Published in 1931, "Axel's Castle" was Edmund Wilson's first book of literary criticism--a landmark book that explores the evolution of the French Symbolist movement and considers its influence on six major twentieth-century writers: William Butler Yeats, Paul Valery, T. S. Eliot, Marcel Proust, James Joyce, and Gertrude Stein. As Alfred Kazin later wrote, "Wilson was an original, an extraordinary literary artist . . . He could turn any literary subject back into the personal drama it had been for the writer.""