Fall 1948 • Vol. X No. 4 CommunicationsOctober 1, 1948 |

Wilde, Goodman, and Roditi

Sirs: I chanced to read Paul Goodman's review of my Oscar Wilde, in your Spring issue, in the American Information Library of Kassel, a German city of ruins where I stopped one night while on a tour in the course of which I lectured on American poetry, in German, to audiences in some thirty German towns. For weeks, I had been receiving letters from friends, in the States, who had been annoyed by Goodman's peculiar treatment of my book. Goodman, I was told, had taken all my criticisms of Wilde, whether as artist or as man, as personal insults, but without Wilde's wit or his good nature. I had not yet been able to obtain a copy of your issue, so that it was by the ruins of Kassel and, I hope, not by those of our friendship, that I sat down and read my friend Goodman's tirades. I feel much flattered by several of his statements. My book, writes Goodman, "for all its faults has value." I "take Wilde seriously … raise real problems," and "oddly, but rather profitably, … equat

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