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United States: Essays 1952-1992 - Study Guide "Edmund Wilson: this Critic and this Gin and these Shoes" (1980) Summary & Analysis

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Vidal's essay on the literary critic Edmund Wilson begins with a 1955 reflection upon the unhealthy lifestyle of writers, referring to an entry in Wilson's journal Upstate in which Wilson mentions drinking an entire bottle of champagne, part of a bottle of Old Grand-Dad, and a bottle of red wine while consuming Limburger cheese and ginger snaps—then falling asleep (or passing out) in his chair. Vidal recalls that at about the same time he got a letter from novelist Upton Sinclair in which the social reformer denounced John Barleycorn.

Sinclair wrote that during the course of a long life, practically every writer he'd known, including his friend Jack London, had died of alcoholism. Vidal agrees and says, "a significant number of...

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This section contains 417 words
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Buy the United States: Essays 1952-1992 Study Guide
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