Winter 1970 • Vol. XXXII No. 1 Book Reviews |

Shorter Reviews: Lunar Landscapes: Stories and Short Novels, 1949-1963

Lunar Landscapes: Stories and Short Novels, 1949-1963, by John Hawkes. New Directions, $5.95. "Landscape" is a key tern in Hawkes's aesthetic. The basic strategy of his work has always been to create a visionary world, projecting onto a desolate and unfamiliar landscape the dramatized fears and desires of men, as well as the destructive potentialities of the actual world around us. The result is a distorted, a heightened, surreal scene, a world elsewhere fulfilling Emerson's dictum, "Build therefore your own world." Thus all of Hawkes's fictions are set in "mythic" countries, his Italy never charted in Baedeker, his America never found by Columbus. This collection is called Lunar Landscapes—the term is Leslie Fiedler's—because of the eerie, uncanny atmosphere that permeates Hawkes's fiction. These are no literal lunar landscapes; the real moon, in comparison with Hawkes's vision of violence, disintegration, and decay, is a clean, well-lighted place. Hawkes is an experime

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