Spring 1961 • Vol. XXIII No. 2 Book ReviewsApril 1, 1961 |

No Point of Purchase

Eight Men by Richard Wright. The World Publishing Company, $3.95. The existentialist overtones and the explicit allusions to Nietzsche and Heidegger in The Outsider led some of the reviewers of his book of 1953 to conclude that Richard Wright was misguidedly experimenting with intellectual traditions outside the ambiance of his actual experience and that he had taken a wrong turning. This was a judgment, however, which surely had to require as its basic premise something like the rather incomprehensible mystique about the Negro intellectual which James Baldwin has pushed in Notes of a Native Son, that he is somehow ancestrally fated to exclusion from the general Atlantic community of cultural exchange—simply because his racial identity does itself, in some ineffable way, consign him to a permanent ghetto of the mind. But, if this mystique is abandoned as the nonsense that it really is, there should have been no occasion for surprise at the expression which The Outsider provide

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As Strange as Truth

By John Thompson

Eight Men by Richard Wright. The World Publishing Company, $3.95. The existentialist overtones and the explicit allusions to Nietzsche and Heidegger in The Outsider led some of the reviewers of […]

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