Harold Acton (1904–1994) was a prolific Anglo-Italian writer, poet, novelist, and translator. He lived in China from 1932 to ’39, teaching English literature at the University of Peking.

IN THE REVIEW

Bird or Devil?

Corvo: Saint or Madman?

by Donald Weeks
Most of us have been bothered by a Corvo at one time or another, especially if we live near the Mediterranean. Corvo is a generic term for a type of megalomaniac with a grievance against society for not accepting him at his own inflated valuation, an embodiment of Poe’s raven.

Strange Bedfellows

La Batarde

by Violette Leduc, translated by Derek Coltman

Witches' Sabbath

by Maurice Sachs, translated by Richard Howard
The biographies and autobiographies are on the whole more impressive than the fiction of the last two decades, but the freakish best sellers among them are least likely to withstand the test of time. Violette Leduc’s autobiography, La Bâtarde, has sold no less than 125,000 copies and one wonders if …

Enfant Terrible

The Exile of Capri

by Roger Peyrefitte, translated by Peter Fryer

The Prince's Person

by Roger Peyrefitte, translated by Peter Fryer
Though Gallic wit will always continue to flourish even if it is driven underground, it has become increasingly hard to seek in modern French literature. Possibly this may be due to the last war: a heavy pall of bleak pretentious boredom has descended—one hopes only temporarily—on the purveyors of contemporary …