Angus Wilson: A Bit Off the Map

(508 words)
  • Marina MacKay (University of Durham)

The characters in Wilson's third collection of stories are struggling to find their place on England's post-war map. Kennie, the protagonist of the title story, is a mentally subnormal teddy boy who drifts around cafes, infatuated with an untalented, artistic crowd who are themselves attempting to tap into the cultural zeitgeist with their angry, blustering fiction. After a party at the home of a second-rate literary lioness, simple Kennie walks alone across Hampstead Heath, where he meets Colonel Lambourn, who claims to have access to “The Truth.“ Initially, Kennie does not realise that the old man is less than sane, and he listens eagerly to his account of a conspiracy. Finally coming to the conclusion that he is being …

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MacKay, Marina. "A Bit Off the Map". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 January 2001
[, accessed 29 November 2015.]