Summer 1944 • Vol. VI No. 3 Book ReviewsJuly 1, 1944 |

Fictions Not Wholly Achieved

The Dangling Man by Saul Bellow. Vanguard. $2.50. Return of the Traveller by Rex Warner. Lippincott. $2.00. Mr. Bellow’s hero reflects: He has a community. I have this six-sided box. And goodness is achieved not in a vacuum, but in the company of other men, attended by love. I, in this room, separate, alienated, distrustful, find in my purpose not an open world, but a closed, hopeless jail. My perspectives end in the walls. Nothing of the future comes to me. Only the past, in its shabbiness and innocence.…One room holds me. This is the setting of moral deterioration. For months the dangling man is suspended between the normal world—marriage, friends, work, and the necessity of choice—and the army. As his perspectives grow shorter, more mirrored, more distorted, his marriage decays, his friends abandon him, and he holds meaningless colloquies with The Spirit of Alternatives ("Have an orange.” "Oh, thanks, no.” "Take one, go on.” "They’re so expensive

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