Lionel Trilling (1905-1975) was an American literary critic, author, and University Professor at Columbia University. Among the most influential of his many works are two collections of essays, The Liberal Imagination and The Opposing Self; a critical study of E.M. Forster; and one novel, The Middle of the Journey.
The great critic’s masterwork makes a case for the necessity of the imaginative works in a society ever more worshipful of the liberal ideals of rationality and progress. “Trilling…shows how criticism, written with grace, style, and a self-questioning cast of mind, can itself become a form of literature, as well as a valuable contribution to how we think about society.—Morris Dickstein
Published in 1947, as the cold war was heating up, Lionel Trilling—s only novel was a prophetic reckoning with the bitter ideological disputes that were to come to a head in the McCarthy era.