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19359[mythsoc] Re: '50 Greatest Postwar British Writers'

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  • David Bratman
    Jan 16, 2008
      Jason Fisher wrote:

      >(With the caveat that I have no idea what their
      >criteria might have been:) I have to say the
      >omission of Graham Greene is just shameful.
      >He's another of my favorite writers, but setting
      >aside my own personal tastes, I don't see how
      >one can ignore his contribution to English letters.

      You do need the caveat: they didn't omit or ignore Greene, they decided he was ineligible by their date criteria. Same for Waugh. (See the explanation by clicking on the article's link reading "Do you agree with the selection?" I find that questionable, but because of the dates of the bulk of Greene's work, not because he's important.

      Mike Foster refers to Larkin's work, which I like also. He wrote some of the most splendidly misanthropic poems of all time. One of the best is on the web at <http://www.tetrameter.com/larkin.htm>, but WARNING, do not click on this link unless you are willing to read a very naughty word. And in case you're wondering, no, he never married, had no children, did have romantic relationships with women but always lived alone,
      and by profession he was ... a university librarian, and by all reports a very good one.

      Re Wendell Wagner's comments on eligibility, nonfiction writers are explicitly eligible, and besides the philosopher Isaiah Berlin, include the historian A.J.P. Taylor - who was a Magdalen College colleague of C.S. Lewis's.

      But if nonfiction writers are included, there's a whole host of other candidates. I'd want to put in a word for the now-deceased newspaper columnist Bernard Levin, whose work I discovered when I found a collection of his pieces, including one praising cats over dogs, in a Welsh bookshop with several store cats. Levin was also a Tolkien fan, and mentioned Middle-earth in his book on utopias and imaginary worlds, _A World Elsewhere_.
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