This collection of essays, which originally appeared as a book in 1962, is virtually the complete works of an editor of Commentary magazine who died, at age 37, in 1955. Long before the rise of Cultural Studies as an academic pursuit, in the pages of the best literary magazines of the day, Robert Warshow wrote analyses of the folklore of modern life that were as sensitive and penetrating as the writings of James Agee, George Orwell, and Walter Benjamin. Some of these essays--notably "The Westerner," "The Gangster as Tragic Hero," and the pieces on the New Yorker, Mad Magazine, Arthur Miller's The Crucible, and the Rosenberg letters--are classics, once frequently anthologized but now hard to find.
Along with a new preface by Stanley Cavell, The Immediate Experience includes several essays not previously published in the book--on Kafka and Hemingway--as well as Warshow's side of an exchange with Irving Howe.
Robert Warshow (1917-1955) was a member of the community that has come to be known as the "New York Intellectuals." He was an editor of Commentary magazine and an astute critic of cinema. He tragically died of a heart-attack at the age of 37. At the time of his death in 1975, Lionel Trilling was University Professor at Columbia University. Stanley Cavell was Walter M. Cabot Professor of Aesthetics and the General Theory of Value, Emeritus, at Harvard University.
Robert Warshow: Life And Works, By David Denby Editor's Foreword Introduction By Lionel Trilling Author's Preface PART 1: AMERICAN POPULAR CULTURE 1. The Legacy of the 30's 2. Woofed With Dreams 3. Clifford Odets: Poet of the Jewish Middle Class 4. The "Idealism" of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg 5. Paul, the Honor Comics, and Dr. Wertham 6. E. B, White and the New Yorker 7. An Old Man Gone PART 2: AMERICAN MOVIES 8. The Gangster as Tragic Hero 9. Movie Chronicle: The Westerner