Access to the full text of the entire article is only available to members of institutions that have purchased access. If you belong to such an institution, please log in or find out more about how to order.


Wilson, Edmund (1895–1972) By Copeland, David

DOI: 10.4324/9781135000356-REM1381-1
Published: 02/05/2017
Retrieved: 19 June 2024, from


American literary critic, editor, playwright, novelist and journalist Edmund Wilson’s key critical texts trace the development of twentieth-century Anglo-American writing. Wilson’s Axel’s Castle: A Study in the Imaginative Literature of 1870–1930 (1931), through which a ‘generation discovered modern literature’ (Dabney 158), was the culmination of his first and most influential period as an arbiter of cultural taste. Charting its authors’ absorption of symbolist technique, particularly their privileging of image and the formal properties of music, and its consequent impact on readership, Wilson found aesthetic unity in writing which eschewed the narrative connectives that readers of prose and poetry had come to expect.

content locked



Article DOI



Citing this article:

Copeland, David. Wilson, Edmund (1895–1972). Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism, Taylor and Francis,

Copyright © 2016-2024 Routledge.