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Malcolm Cowley (1898–1989)

Author of Exile's Return: A Literary Odyssey of the 1920s

41+ Works 1,424 Members 9 Reviews 1 Favorited

About the Author

Malcolm Cowley, critic, poet, editor, and translator, was an influential figure in American letters. The son of a Pittsburgh physician, Cowley studied at Harvard University and the University of Montpelier, "starved" in Greenwich Village, and lived in France, where he met the Dada crowd and worked show more on two expatriate magazines, Secession and Broom. From 1929 to 1944, he was associate editor of The New Republic. Perhaps the most famous work he wrote was his early book of poetry entitled, Blue Juniata (1929). As an editorial consultant to Viking Press, he pushed for the publication of Jack Kerouac's On the Road. His book The Faulkner-Cowley File: Letters and Memories, 1944-1962 documents his early recognition of William Faulkner. The Portable Faulkner was published at Cowley's instigation and under his editorship in 1946, when all 17 of Faulkner's books were out of print. Its publication had a profound effect -- virtually creating Faulkner's literary revival. Cowley died in 1989. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Image credit: From Wikipedia, Malcolm Cowley photographed by Carl Van Vechten, March 26, 1963.

Works by Malcolm Cowley

Writers at Work (1958) 227 copies
The Portable Malcolm Cowley (1990) — Author — 42 copies
The View From 80 (1980) 41 copies
The Literary Situation (1954) 33 copies
Fitzgerald and the Jazz Age (1966) 24 copies
Books That Changed Our Minds: a Symposium (1939) — Editor — 10 copies
Dry Season (1941) 5 copies

Associated Works

Tender is the Night (1934) — Preface, some editions; Editor, some editions — 12,992 copies
Winesburg, Ohio (1919) — Introduction, some editions — 5,967 copies
Leaves of Grass (1855 edition) (1855) — Editor, some editions — 2,895 copies
The Cabala | The Bridge of San Luis Rey | The Woman of Andros (1956) — Introduction, some editions — 799 copies
The Portable Faulkner: Revised and Expanded Edition (1967) — Editor & Introduction — 607 copies
The Portable Walt Whitman: Revised Edition (1974) — Editor — 569 copies
The Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald (1951) — Editor — 527 copies
The Portable Emerson [New Edition] (1981) — Editor — 378 copies
The Portable Hawthorne (1948) — Editor — 332 copies
Americans in Paris: A Literary Anthology (2004) — Contributor — 298 copies
Writing New York: A Literary Anthology (1998) — Contributor — 282 copies
The 40s: The Story of a Decade (2014) — Contributor — 278 copies
The Portable Faulkner (1946) — Editor & Introduction — 275 copies
Literary history of the United States (1946) — Contributor — 191 copies
A Comprehensive Anthology of American Poetry (1929) — Contributor — 130 copies
The Selected Writings of Lafcadio Hearn (1949) — Introduction, some editions — 108 copies
Twentieth-Century American Poetry (1944) — Contributor — 98 copies
Imaginary Interviews (1941) — Translator, some editions — 45 copies
The Portable Hemingway (1944) — Editor — 43 copies
The Sun Also Rises / A Farewell to Arms / The Old Man and the Sea (1962) — Introduction, some editions — 32 copies
An Autobiography (1965) — Introduction — 4 copies
Pascal Covici, 1888-1964 (1964) — Contributor — 2 copies

Tagged

1920s (107) 19th century (99) 20th century (426) 20th century literature (77) America (91) American (499) American fiction (110) American history (73) American literature (999) anthology (255) classic (415) classic fiction (64) classics (494) ebook (79) essays (170) F. Scott Fitzgerald (68) fiction (2,682) Fitzgerald (79) France (132) history (200) jazz age (100) Library of America (108) literary criticism (114) literature (769) lost generation (98) mental illness (101) modernism (91) non-fiction (165) novel (477) Ohio (127) own (136) owned (67) poetry (836) read (186) romance (74) short stories (577) small town (67) to-read (1,006) unread (169) USA (180)

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Reviews

Azt vettem észre, a gyermekkor sokkal inkább foglalkoztatja az írókat, mint az öregség. Ami nyilván nem csoda - gyermekkora minden írónak van, időskora meg maximum lesz, de erre meg nem szeretnek gondolni. Cowley viszont - lévén nyolcvan éves - úgy véli, akár meg is írhatná, milyen ez a holdbéli táj.

Fontos tudnivaló, hogy Cowley nem számba veszi a múltat, hanem látleletet írna a pillanatnyi állapotról. Következésképpen a szöveg nem dinamikus eseményfűzér, hanem statikus elmélkedés. Konklúzióját talán az általa említett képpel lehet legjobban ábrázolni, ami szerint az öregség olyan, mint hajótöröttnek lenni egy lakatlan szigeten: az ember örül, hogy eddig megúszta a vihart, de várja a következőt. Ebben a metaforában benne van némi csendes fatalizmus, ugyanakkor az óvatos remény is - hogy a fennmaradt időt akár hasznosan is eltölthetjük. Cowley-t idézve:

"Az öregkorban megvan az a kiváltságunk - amely néha álmatlan éjszakák kínjává válik -, hogy ítéletet mondhatunk saját szereplésünkről. De mielőtt kimondanánk az ítéletet, ki kell bogoznunk a darab cselekményét."

Finoman kidolgozott szöveg - de talán túl finom is. Azon gondolkodtam olvasás közben, hogy vajon erősebben hatna-e rám, ha jobban érintve érezném magam - nos, talán, ezt nyilván nem tudhatom. Ám nekem per pillanat túl levegős volt, túl lágy: kedvvel időzött el a súlytalan általánosságokon, nagy tudással formálta azokat tetszetős struktúrákba, de nem ment bele a kínzó konkrétumokba. Van hiányérzetem a kötettel kapcsolatban - mindenesetre elolvasom majd nyolcvan évesen is, hátha akkor jobban tetszik.
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Kuszma | Jul 2, 2022 |
Skipped around in this a lot because some interviews are more compelling than others. On the whole, though, it's an outstanding series of interviews that reveal many insights into the craft of writing.
 
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wyclif | 1 other review | Sep 22, 2021 |
"The 1920s were an age of islands, real and metaphorical. An age when Americans by thousands and tens of thousands were scheming to take the next boat for the South Sea or the West Indies, or better still for Paris."
What a joy this book was for me. Like sitting for a long chat with someone who 'was there' and able to tell you all about it in the most interesting and illuminating way.
Escape from machines, and assembly lines, and expected ways of living. The effects of war, bohemianism, individualism, and perceptions of art. Experiencing and realizing the world tilting on its axis. By accident I learned so much more about a time in world history that was missing from my body of knowledge. Might there be a Roaring Twenties 2.0 waiting in the wings?… (more)
1 vote
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mortalfool | 2 other reviews | Jul 10, 2021 |
Quite interesting. Written from the point of view of demonstrators. Just sometimes it got boring.
 
Flagged
mahallett | Dec 2, 2017 |

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Works
41
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Rating
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