Winter 1987 • Vol. IX No. 1 Book ReviewsJanuary 1, 1987 |

The Ordeal of Arthur Inman

The Inman Diary: A Public and Private Confession edited, with Introduction, by Daniel Aaron. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1985. 2 vols. 1661 pages. $50.00. What are we to make of Arthur Inman? The son of a first family of Atlanta, he retreated into his Boston apartment in his early twenties and remained there in darkened rooms most of the rest of his days, until his suicide in 1963 at sixty-eight. One might see him, particularly in the final two decades of his life, as a real-life Roderick Usher, aristocrat and heir of a family whose blood had grown thin, so plagued by an acute sensitivity to noise and light and much else perceived by the senses that he could hardly stand contact with the outside world. Or, on another level, one might see him as a cheapened version of Henry Adams, another weak son of a powerful family who declared himself a "sissy," a "spectator" of life and a failure, but was compelled to describe that failure and the world around him in fascinating deta

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Men of Letters

By Fred Hobson

The Inman Diary: A Public and Private Confession edited, with Introduction, by Daniel Aaron. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1985. 2 vols. 1661 pages. $50.00. What are we to make of […]

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