To the Editors:
Stephen Schwartz notes in his justifiable attack on H. P. Lovecraft and his conservative admirers ("Infinitely abysmal," May 2005) that "no work of [Edmund] Wilson . . . is to be found on the Library of America's roster."
Incredibly, the idea for the Library of America originated with Edmund Wilson, as Lewis Dabney, the editor of Wilson's diaries, notes in Wilson's Sixties. He writes that Wilson

had developed a plan for reprinting the American classics in an elegant, efficient form like The Pléiade. . . . In 1965, the funds seemed to be available at the newly organized National Endowment for the Humanities, chaired additionally by his friend Henry Allen Moe. The project fell victim to the competing "authorized texts" of the Modern Language Association, the subject of Wilson's 1968 pamphlet "The Fruits of the MLA." Some years after his death his scheme was...

 

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