Sheer Fiction Two
Clothbound, sewn, jacketed, 198 pages, 6 x 9", 1991, 0-929701-08-9
In this second volume of collected essays and reviews--Sheer Fiction, Volume Two-- Paul West examines the subtleties of Djuna Barnes' almost devilish wit, the Aeschylean tones of Broadway's Les Miserables, and the ideas binding Dickens and Dostoevesky to Faulkner. On the briefer side, West reviews some 50 novels by such diverse authors as Turgunev, J.R.R. Tolkein, Cortazar, Amado, Marie-Claire Blais, Janet Frame, Anthony Burgess, Anita Desai, Katherine Dunn, George Garrett, Kurt Vonnegut, J.R. Salamanca, Stanley Elkin, and more. Many of the books reviewed are currently available in paperbacks, and more attention is given in this volume to American and other English-language authors than in Volume One. His writing style is supple, invigorating, intelligent, generous by intention, and clearly the result of nothing less than complete engagement with his subject, whether it is the latest European novels or the clinical implications of heart attack or the true nature of atrocity. He is as unstinting in his praise of what he admires as he is devastating in his criticism of pretense and ineptitude.
See below for the table of contents.
Table of Contents
"Anti-academic, anti-conventional, West's short bursts of applause for those who eschew 'suburban pit-a-pat' are bracing and entertaining." — Library Journal
"As always, West's style is provocatively intelligent and his ideas are direct and responsive to the most pertinent questions about literature." — The Star-Ledger
"A first-rate reviewer -- thorough, passionate, opinionated -- who never lets his judgments interfere with his considerable ability to evoke the texture and character of the work under review." — Washington Post Book World
"Inspector Javert's Moment of Pure Aeschylus"
"Djuna Barnes at the Stake"
"The Eskimo Motor in the Detention Cell"
"Endgames, or The Plague for which There Is No Known Anecdote"
"Maria Thomas: 1941-1989"
PART TWO: REVIEWS
Ivan Turgenev, Andrei Biely, Witold Gombrowicz, Petru Dumitriu, Italo Calvino, Claudio Magris, Mario Soldati, Luigi Santucci, Thomas Mann, Hermann Hesse, Franz Kafka, Heinrich Boll, Max Frisch, Eca de Queiroz, Julio Cortazar, Jorge Amado, Juan Goytisolo, Eduardo Galeano, Jean Jules-Verne, Julien Gracq, Jean-Louis Bergonzo, Philippe Jullian, Marie-Clair Blais, Rene-Victor Pilhes, Voldemar Lestienne, Janet Frame, J.R.R. Tolkien, Christina Stead, Anthony Burgess, Antonia Byatt, John Wain, Julian Gloag, George MacDonald Fraser, Leonard Cohen, Josef Skvorecky, Djuna Barnes, Anita Desai, Katherine Dunn, Reynolds Price, George Garrett, Guy Davenport, John Leggett, Walker Hamilton, Kurt Vonnegut, Chuang Hua, J.R. Salamanca, Robert Kroetsch, Chaim Potok, Alexander Theroux, Stanley Elkin, Michael Brodsky