Summer 1948 • Vol. X No. 3 Book Reviews |

The Fate of the Novel

The Mote and the Beam by Percy Winner. Harcourt Brace. $3.00. A Flask for the Journey by F. L. Green. Reynal & Hitchcock. $3.00. Other Voices, Other Rooms by Truman Capote. Random House. $2.75. The City and the Pillar by Gore Vidal. Dutton. $3.50. Raintree Country by Ross Lockridge. Houghton Mifflin. $3.95. The Circus in the Attic by Robert Penn Warren. Harcourt Brace. $3.00. The Middle of the Journey by Lionel Trilling. Viking. $3.00. The Victim by Saul Bellow. Vanguard. $2.75.   A handful of books from any season must confirm first of all what one has always known: the novel has a history, but it is not sure that it has a fate; or to say it more immediately, its exigencies are economic and social rather than formal. There is an air of distraught improvisation about the novel as it oscillates uncertainly between the Epic and the Document, between Romance and Reporting. Long ago (that is to say, in the 19th Century) the feeble effort to disti

Already have an account? Login

Join KR for even more to read.

Register for a free account to read five free pieces a month from our current issue and digital archive.
Register for Free and Read This Piece

Or become a subscriber today and get complete, immediate access to our digital archives at every subscription level.
Leslie A. Fiedler (1917-2003) was an influential American literary critic. Well known for Love and Death in the American Novel (1960), Fiedler penned many other works and was also a teacher. He was heavily interested in mythology and advocated genre fiction.

Read More


Your free registration with Kenyon review incudes access to exclusive content, early access to program registration, and more.


With your support, we’ll continue 
to cultivate talent and publish extraordinary literature from diverse voices around the world.