Irving Howe on the tragedy of our twentieth-century Tolstoy
Boris Pasternak was born 124 years ago on this day. In honor of his birthday, here is Irving Howe's appraisal of the unique genius of Pasternak's best-known work, Doctor Zhivago.
There's way more to Frost than "The Road Not Taken."
A defense of the late, scolding Tolstoy
The old magician stands before me, alien to all, a solitary traveler through all the deserts of thought, in search of an all-embracing truth which he has not found—I look at him and, although I feel sorry for the loss, I feel pride at having seen the man. -Maxim Gorky, Reminiscences
September 8, 1958
Boris Pasternak won the Nobel Prize in 1958 and refused to accept it.
Doris Lessing, who died Sunday at 94, is being remembered as a shatterer of literary and political conventions. In 1962, 45 years before she won the Nobel Prize, Lessing was the subject of a lengthy review in The New Republic by Irving Howe.
The Mansion By William Faulkner (Random House, $4.75) The Snopeses have always been there. No sooner did Faulkner come upon his central subject—how the corruption of the homeland, staining its best sons, left them without standards or defense—than Snopesism followed inexorably. Almost anyone can detect the Snopeses, but describing them is very hard. The usual reference to “amorality,” while accurate, is not sufficiently distinctive and by itself does not allow us to place them, as they should be placed, in a historical moment.