Sir Angus Wilson shot to fame in the late 1940’s – his first stories were greeted by Sean O’Faolain and Evelyn Waugh alike with delight. He was championed at once as an odd realist providing new social maps of post-war England – V S Pritchett was to see him as revising the conventional picture of English Character, and recovering “broadness” without losing humanity. He has many faces as a writer. If he inherits the comic Dickensian novel of social depth and density, he also marries this to a recognisably modern anxiety and insecurity about the ‘self’. Wilson’s major books often concern ‘creative breakdown’: they depict people who undergo a crisis and/or collapse of self-belief, and then have to find the courage to invent themselves anew.
Peter Conradi is Professor of English at Kingston University. He has held positions at VEA, University of Colorado and in Poland and lectured widely around the world. His recent books include: John Fowles (1982); Dosteovsky (1988) and Iris Murdock: the Saint and Artist (1989).
216 × 138 × 6 mm
January 7, 1997
Writers and their Work