Friday, March 21, 2008

Price, Matthew. "Outsider Artist [on Alfred Kazin]." BOOK FORUM (February/March 2008)

In his early twenties, Kazin set up in room 315 of the New York Public Library and burrowed himself deeply into the American grain for the epic 1942 study On Native Grounds, which was hailed by Lionel Trilling and which read like the culminating work of a senior scholar, not the debut of a neophyte. And this was only the beginning. Kazin soared to the top of the freelance pack in the ’50s and ’60s, had friendships and fallings-out with a who’s who of the thinking classes—Richard Hofstadter, Saul Bellow, Hannah Arendt, Arthur Schlesinger, and Daniel Bell, to name some notable examples—traveled abroad, held visiting professorships galore, and garnered a sparkling reputation as a critic, memoirist, and intellectual. . . . Read the rest here:

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