NEW YORK: A Pound of Waltzing Mice

There was no getting around it: Edmund Wilson's Memoirs of Hecate County was what the nonliterary citizen would call a raw book and decidedly not for the high-school youngsters. One of its six short stories had 20 more or less detailed descriptions of sexual intercourse. But Memoirs was no flippant bedroom farce. Fat, fiftyish Author Wilson, book critic for the New Yorker, had written it as a critique of modern manners and morals. Most reviewers agreed that it was an honest and intelligent work; many a reviewer and reader found it labored,...

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