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Everything’s for the best
Does it matter that Simon Jenkins, apart from saying nothing new or amusing or well-expressed, is wrong when he says that Harold Pinter and Kingsley Amis were “angry young men”? Pinter took no part in that supposed movement. Kingsley Amis actually refused to contribute to Declaration, which was a collection of essays that publicised “the angries,” nearly all of whom were on the make via politics to fame. One key, unmentioned figure of the time was Colin Wilson, whose affectations of intellectual cosmopolitanism heralded the intrusion into cultural punditry of a non-graduate, unconnected outsider indeed, who was first saluted and then dismissed the literary service.
As for there being no female writers, Doris Lessing’s The Golden Notebook was soon an important, if now obsolete, manifesto, as was her first book about Africa (The Grass