Books: Memoirs from Wilson Country

A PRELUDE: LANDSCAPES, CHARACTERS AND CONVERSATIONS FROM THE EARLIER YEARS OF MY LIFE by Edmund Wilson. 278 pages. Farrar, Straus & Giroux. $6.50.

GALAHAD and I THOUGHT OF DAISY by Edmund Wilson. 316 pages. Farrar, Straus & Giroux. $5.50.

When Edmund Wilson was starting out as a $15-a-week reporter on the old New York Evening Sun, an editor rejected his first attempt at an editorial by chiding him: "You don't want to write like Dr. Johnson." The editor was obviously no judge of future men of letters. Today, 51 years and 33 books later, Wilson has in fact become something of a 20th...

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