Gustave Flaubert remained misunderstood for decades.
Oblomov By Ivan Goncharov Translated by Stephen Pearl (Bunim & Banigan, 443 pp., $45) I. Anyone with a claim to literacy is familiar with the names of Tolstoy, Turgenev, and Dostoevsky, and can cite some of the titles of their most famous works. But Goncharov and his novel Oblomov, of which a new translation, a snappily colloquial and readable one, has just been published—who ever heard of them? Well, Beckett for one, who was told to read Oblomov by his mistress Peggy Guggenheim, and soon signed some of his letters to her with this cognomen.
Thomas Mann is now in his' seventy sixth year, and it is only natural that his latest work—a brief novella called in German Die Betrogene (The Deceived)—should turn to a typical crisis of old age for its central symbol. In contemporary English literature, this crisis has also preoccupied the later poetry of W.B. Yeats, another great writer whose genius has waxed rather than waned with advancing age.