Spring 1955 • Vol. XVII No. 2 Book ReviewsApril 1, 1955 |

The Unities of Modern Fiction

The Man In The Middle by David Wagoner. Harcourt, Brace. $3.50. Federigo, Or, The Power Of Love by Howard Nemerov. Little, Brown. $3.75. The Huge Season by Wright Morris. Viking. $3.75. Heroes Of The Empty View by James Aldridge. Knopf. $3.95. The Wars Of Love by Mark Schorer. McGraw-Hill. $3.00. The novel as a work of art is still a relatively new phenomenon, perhaps nearer the condition of poetry at the time Aristotle wrote than any other art form in which we continue to take pleasure. Classical criticism, it occurred to me recently, may come closer to the problems of the modern novel than much contemporary criticism, and it does, disconcertingly enough, also come closer to the unsophisticated views of many modern readers. Literature should delight, the ancients said; it should be an imitation of an action; it should be expressed in language eloquent and sublime, it should deal with a subject adequate to the high effort expended; and it should be unified in act

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