Wilson seems like an apt critic for the Symbolists & Moderns because he's not really like them. He's a humane journalist-scholar. That is, he reads poetry & fiction as a generalist, through a wide lens of general human problems. He approaches art in terms of character & psychology, but he's not a psychologist; in terms of history and politics, but he's not a historian or an ideologue. He's synthetic, not programmatic or theoretical. As somebody noted somewhere, he's a subtle literary portraitist; we begin to see literary moves & choices as shaded, in part, by the personality of the artist, & in part by the economic & political climate of the times - underneath the more explicit or tendentious philosophical-aesthetic debates.

(- plus he wrote a pretty good essay about Pushkin's Eugene Onegin, so he can do no wrong.)

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