Books: Critical Spirit

THE TRIPLE THINKERS—Edmund Wilson—Harcourt, Brace ($2.75).

Among contemporary American literary men, Edmund Wilson is a natural critic in the way that some writers are natural poets. He turns experience into critical formulations as poets turn them into verse. Even his novel, I Thought of Daisy, drifts into well-phrased critical discussions of the ideas held by its characters—although Daisy herself, a matter-of-fact, cheerful chorus girl, entertains ideas and men that no other important U. S. critic would try to analyze.

Last week Edmund Wilson again demonstrated how consistently he thinks in critical terms. The...