IN THE REVIEW

A World’s Beginning

Robert Graves: The Assault Heroic

by Richard Perceval Graves
One evening in 1922 Robert Graves, villager of Islip, Oxfordshire, unexpectedly entered the cottage of another villager, Dick Wilkinson, as the family were having their evening meal. “What’s for supper, Dick?” Graves asked, and on being told that there was bread, cheese, and pickles, pulled up a chair and joined …

Just Good Friends

The Impossible Friendship: Boswell and Mrs. Thrale

by Mary Hyde
Everyone with a serious interest in Samuel Johnson sooner or later reads not only Boswell’s Life but also the Anecdotes written by Hester Salusbury under her third surname, Piozzi. Hester was, of course, Johnson’s friend Mrs. Thrale, whose house at Streatham became a second home to Johnson between 1765 and …

In Johnson’s Bear Hug

Boswell in Extremes, 1776-1778 Editions, McGraw-Hill

edited by Charles McC. Weis, edited by Frederick A. Pottle

The Correspondence and Other Papers of James Boswell Relating to the Making of the Life of Johnson, Vol. 2 Editions, McGraw-Hill

edited by Marshall Waingrow
Need we envy Boswell and Mrs. Thrale? Was there in Dr. Johnson’s conversation, his physical presence, even his oddities, some precious essence that is not in the writings he has left behind? Or should we, remembering Boswell’s warning that Johnson often talked for victory and said things he would not …

The Very Thing

Command, and I Will Obey You

by Alberto Moravia, translated by Angus Davidson

Bad Debts

by Geoffrey Wolff
There are times when one is as weary of the clutter of fiction as of the clutter of life: all that coming and going, those conversations and journeys and meals, all the concrete manifestations of our intent which fulfill it and at the same time spill over its edges. At …

Women’s Work

The Collected Stories of Jean Stafford

by Jean Stafford

Bruno's Dream

by Iris Murdoch
Jean Stafford’s stories have a wide social and geographical range; they are linked together by two strong threads—the presiding sensibility is always a woman’s and the attitudes are unmistakably American—but, beyond that, one has no idea what to expect. She writes about people whom loneliness has driven slightly mad, but …

Eating Fables

The Carnal Myth A Search into Classical Sensuality

by Edward Dahlberg

The Leafless American

by Edward Dahlberg, edited with an Introduction by Harold Billings
“Man must eat fables, or starve his soul to death.” So writes Edward Dahlberg, and he has a right to the oracular pronouncement, because it has been his consistent goal as an imaginative writer to transmute his own experience into fable. To this end he has taken his life, his …

Puppeteers

The Three Suitors

by Richard Jones

Cocksure

by Mordecai Richler
Probably not many literary people today would agree with my belief that self-consciousness more than any other fault spoils novels. The general feeling is that the novel is a form no longer entirely natural to our culture (any kind of audio-visual slop requiring the services of an army of technicians …