Sunday, May 08, 2011

Happy birthday, Edmund Wilson.

Edmund Wilson,
ca. 1936. NYPL.
Journalist, critic, and Vanity Fair and New Republic editor Edmund "Bunny" Wilson was born today in Red Bank, NJ, in 1895. He died in 1972. In the mystery community he is most notorious for his cranky New Yorker column "Who Cares Who Killed Roger Ackroyd?" (1945) in which he seems to trash all mysteries except for Raymond Chandler's Farewell, My Lovely. Protesters of Wilson's incendiary opinions on the mystery included Jacques Barzun. George Demko discusses Wilson's antimystery pieces here; Edward Champion looks at Wilson's columns here and concludes, "Wilson read mysteries for the wrong reasons."

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