Leon Edel (Joseph Leon Edel) Biography
(1907–1997), (Joseph Leon Edel), Henry James, James Joyce: The Last Journey
American biographer, born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, educated at McGill University, Toronto, and the University of Paris. During the 1930s he worked as a journalist and subsequently taught at New York University, where he became a professor in 1955. The five volumes of Henry James (1953–72), for which he received a Pulitzer Prize in 1963, established his eminence as a biographer. While avoiding the technical vocabulary of psychoanalysis, Edel's practice of biography makes extensive use of Freudian interpretative methods. His other works include James Joyce: The Last Journey (1947), Bloomsbury: A House of Lions (1979), The Stuff of Sleep and Dreams (1982), essays on literary psychology, and Writing Lives (1984), a discussion of biography, which he defends as ‘a noble and adventurous art’. He is also noted for his editions of the writings of Henry James, which include The Complete Plays (1949) and the four volumes of Letters (1974–84).