Muir, Edwin

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.
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Muir, Edwin

Edwin Muir, 1887–1959, British author, b. Orkney Islands, Scotland. He moved with his family to Glasgow in 1901, where he remained for 18 years. In 1919 he went to London and joined the staff on the New Age. During the early 1920s he traveled on the Continent, supporting himself chiefly with contributions to the Freeman. At the age of 35 he turned to writing poetry, producing such collections as Chorus of the Newly Dead (1926) and The Labyrinth (1949). However, it was not until his Collected Poems appeared in 1952 that Muir achieved recognition. A visionary poet, he sought in his personal, often dreamlike verse to understand the meaning of the spiritual universe. Muir is also well known as a literary critic. Included among his critical writings are The Structure of the Novel (1928), The Present Age, from 1914 (1939), and Essays on Literature and Society (1949). His other works include translations of Kafka; three novels, The Marionette (1927), The Three Brothers (1931), and Poor Tom (1932); and an excellent autobiography, The Story and the Fable (1940), which later appeared in an enlarged edition, An Autobiography (1954).

See his letters, ed. by P. H. Butter (1974); studies by G. Marshall (1987) and J. Aitchison (1988).

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