Fall 1952 • Vol. XIV No. 4 Book Reviews |

A Novel Is a Novel

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. Random House. $3.50 Let It Come Down by Paul Bowles. Random House. $3.50 At one point in Mr. Paul Bowles's new novel, the hero basks comfortably in the sun and reflects that "life is not a movement toward or away from anything; not even from the past to the future, or from youth to old age, or from birth to death. The whole of life does not equal the sum of its parts. It equals any one of its parts; there is no sum. The full-grown man is no more deeply involved in life than the new-born child; his only advantage is that it can occasionally be given him to become conscious of the substance of that life, and unless he is a fool he will not look for reasons or explanations. Life needs no clarifying, no justification. From whatever direction the approach is made, the result is the same: life for life's sake, the transcending fact of the living individual. In the meantime you eat." These perilous words invite a variety of meditations. If, for examp

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.
Richard Chase (1914-1962) was a literary critic and a Professor of English at Columbia University. He is known for his work The American Novel and Its Tradition.

Read More

Another Harpoon

By Richard Chase

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. Random House. $3.50 Let It Come Down by Paul Bowles. Random House. $3.50 At one point in Mr. Paul Bowles's new novel, the hero basks […]

Subscribe

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

Donate

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