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

Already have an account? Login

Join KR for even more to read.

Register for a free account to read five free pieces a month from our current issue and digital archive.
Register for Free and Read This Piece

Or become a subscriber today and get complete, immediate access to our digital archives at every subscription level.

Read More


Your free registration with Kenyon review incudes access to exclusive content, early access to program registration, and more.


With your support, we’ll continue 
to cultivate talent and publish extraordinary literature from diverse voices around the world.