Leon (Joseph) Edel Kenneth Atchity - Essay

Kenneth Atchity

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Leon Edel's masterly career in literary psychology, expressed in this superb collection ["The Stuff of Sleep and Dreams: Experiments in Literary Psychology"], reveals the process by which the artist's private myth is transformed into a dream we all can share.

"Art is the result," Edel writes, "not of calm and tranquillity, however much the artist may, on occasion, experience calm in the act of writing. It springs from tension and passion, from a state of disequilibrium in the artist's being."

Edel's essays explore the grace and the courage by which the artist maintains his inner chaos in service of his muse. Surrounded by a sea of critical jabberwocky, Edel's sensitivity is an...

(The entire section is 607 words.)