Summer 1959 • Vol. XXI No. 3 Book ReviewsJuly 1, 1959 |

The Tetralogy Concluded

The Empire City by Paul Goodman. Bobbs-Merrill. $6.95. Proust brought the naturalistic tradition to such a summation and Joyce gave it such a turn that any writer coming after them must necessarily take the problems of characterization and narration as open questions; he will find little support in contemporary conventions. Paul Goodman's solution to these problems in the four books of The Empire City has produced two notable things: first, a voice which assimilates philosophic content to the excitement of narration, and second, a set of characters who stand not within but upon the structure of modern psychology, with the result that their actions are moral and religious—"serious" in the Aristotelian sense—rather than psychological. Three of the books of the tetralogy appeared singly, the first in 1942, and as one might suppose the first praise of them occurred among writers. Goodman is so inventive and eclectic that one is hard put to say in a few words what the novels a

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