Books: The I of the Beholder

THE IMPERIAL SELF by Quentin Anderson. 274 pages. Knopf. $7.95.

The American writer, poor chap, gets blamed for all sorts of mischief from corrupting grammar to corrupting minors. But the decline and fall of the republic has seldom been laid at his study door. Nobody has flattered a man of letters by calling him a major danger to the state since the time during World War II when Archibald MacLeish, Van Wyck Brooks and others accused T.S. Eliot & Co. of demoralizing the fighters for democracy by having scribbled so depressingly about the "Waste...

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