That is the new book by Mark Greif, and the subtitle is Thought and Fiction in America, 1933-1973. I very much enjoyed grappling with this one. One of my more recent views is that the thinkers of the mid-twentieth century are in fact, as a whole, extremely underrated. They are not old enough to be classic and not new enough to be trendy or on the frontier. Their world faced problems which seemed totally strange to us in the 1990s, but which are starting to sound scarily relevant and contemporary. Yet our world is largely ignorant of their wisdom and creativity, in part because they often sounded dumb or schlocky or maybe they even were in some ways.
This book is sprawling, and while clearly written at the sentence-to-sentence level, it assumes some fair degree of background knowledge. Nonetheless for an intellectually-minded reader it is an excellent way to jump into the world inhabited by Karl Jaspers, Ortega y Gasset, Flannery O’Connor, and Thomas Pynchon.