I especially remember two lighter episodes from my long friendship with Hilton. The first was a two-martini chat at 11:30 a.m. in the second-floor bar at Sardi’s, after which Hilton sauntered buoyantly back to the Times while I went on to a lunch at the Plaza with a prospective author, during which I was barely conscious. In the second episode, Hilton was involved in absentia. He had already left the Times when I went to see Chip McGrath, who was then editor of the Times Book Review. I walked into his office to see hanging on the wall near the door a framed photo of Hilton with a Hitler mustache drawn on. Hilton was tickled to hear he was then the Times’ Antichrist.

I had the privilege of publishing two of Hilton’s books, The Twilight of the Intellectuals and The Triumph of Modernism. I say “privilege” because I regarded him as the only critic who educated me about...


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