As I was fishing through my email's spam folder, I came across this subject line: L. Ron Hubbard, "one of the greatest literary figures of the 20th century."
My response: hell no!
The email is from Galaxy Press, which is owned by the Church of Spiritual Technology and publishes the fictional works of L. Ron Hubbard along with the Writers of the Future anthologies. Now I don't mind publishers promoting their works--promotion is a great thing for any author. And I'm glad Galaxy Press is rereleasing Hubbard's pulp works. There is great fun to be had in the classic pulps, and Hubbard was one of the major figures of the genre, churning out more than 130 novels in the five years between 1933 and 1938.
However, to call Hubbard "one of the greatest literary figures of the 20th century" is simply too much and nothing a true reviewer would say of Hubbard's works. Curious, I tracked down the original review and yes, in the Publishers Weekly review for an audio version of Hubbard's story "Orders is Orders" the unnamed reviewer says, "Hubbard's stunning writing ability and creative imagination set him apart as one of the greatest literary figures of the 20th century." My first thought is that of course this had to be an anonymous review, since I doubt a named reviewer would place their name beside such an obviously puffed up statement about Hubbard.
Hubbard has his place in the literary canon, but it is not as "one of the greatest literary figures of the 20th century." It is as a writer of pulp fiction. Enjoy the better aspects of his work, many of which are fun and some of which are well-deserved classics (such as Final Blackout). But don't try to push his stories off as being more than they are.