Colin Wilson: The Angry Years: the rise and fall of the Angry Young Men (2620 words)


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In 2002, a book entitled The Angry Young Men by Humphrey Carpenter (London: Allen Lane) appeared in UK bookshops. Sub-titled: a literary comedy of the 1950s, it treated the “movement”, and many of those involved in it—with the exception of Kingsley Amis and, strangely, Philip Larkin (who was never, in fact, associated with this group)—as little more than a farcical tableau. In Chapter Nine: “I Hadn”t the Faintest Doubt of my Genius”, he dismissed Wilson and his work, openly basing his opinion on the journalist Harry Ritchie’s vehement (at times vitriolic) attack on Wilson in the book Success Stories (London: Faber & Faber, 1988). Wilson claimed that this chapter had already been written before …

Citation: Stanley, Colin. "The Angry Years: the rise and fall of the Angry Young Men". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 27 March 2013 [, accessed 26 January 2021.]

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