If the name and work of D. J. Enright, who died on New Year’s Eve, 2002 at the age of eighty-two, are little known in the United States, that is not surprising; the same is true in his native England. The circumstances of his life and the cast of his mind kept him on the periphery of our cultural life, an old-style roving academic and social commentator reminiscent, in different ways, of William Empson and Richard Hoggart. His poetry, novels, and criticism fell into neglect and he seemed fated to be known mainly as a skilful anthologist. He cultivated a doggedly unfashionable persona and quoted with approval Charles Lamb’s reaction to an editorial letter of rejection: “Damn the age! I will write for Antiquity.” Then, late in life, he regained public attention with a trilogy of books whose subtitles indicate their resistance to classification: Interplay: A Kind of Commonplace Book (1995), Play Resumed: A Journal...

 

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