Long Day’s Journey into Night (Embassy) Eugene O'Neill's Long Day’s Journey into Night is the full statement of the early autobiography that he had disguised and used partially in several plays. Beyond the Horizon (1918) is about two brothers, one of whom is tubercular; the doomed couple in All God’s Chillun Got Wings (1923) have his parents' first names; other plays contain further references and derivations.
In a recent radio interview, New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller was being pressed to explain why he refused to call a special session of the legislature to consider revision of the state’s inequitable system of apportionment. As the relentless questioners poked pins into the various defenses of Rockefeller, the Governor finally turned on his assailants. “But what would be your basis for apportionment?” he asked.
Pale Fire By Vladimir Nabokov (Putnam, $5) Pale Fire is a Jack-in-the-box, a Faberge gem, a clockwork toy, a chess problem, an infernal machine, a trap to catch reviewers, a cat-and-mouse game, a do-it-yourself novel. It consists of a 999-line poem of four cantos in heroic couplets together with an editor's preface, notes, index, and proof-corrections.
Ship of Foolsby Katherine Anne Porter(Atlantic-Little, Brown; $6.50) Katherine Anne Porter has published her first novel at the age of 72, and since she spent 20 years on it, we must assume it will be her only novel. She forecast the book in 1940 in the preface to the Modern Library edition of Flowering Judas: [These stories] are fragments of a much larger plan I am still engaged in carrying out.
Gray, ranging from the pearliest shade to the edge of black, is the tonality of Ingmar Bergman's new film Through a Glass Darkly. A bare, ruined choir of an island in the Baltic; a few stone cottages; a few trees; an old hulk of a fishing boat; marsh and naked field. The light and the milieu are cleansed to the point of abstraction, like simplistic modern architecture. On this small island is the summer home of a novelist, whom we see with his adolescent son, his married daughter, and her doctor-husband.
Michelangelo Antonioni's new film The Night is so perfectly congruent with our concerns, so piercingly honest, that it is close to a personal experience. Such an acutely subjective reaction is not always the purpose of art, but it is his purpose and he achieved it.The story is spare. In Milan live Giovanni and Lidia, a novelist and his wife, childless, in their thirties, married some years, affectionate with each other but no longer in love.
The Immediate Experienceby Robert Warshow(Doubleday; $4.50) Robert Warshow died in 1955, aged 37, taking with him a serious mind and a valuable disrespect for acceptances. A number of his essays and reviews, mostly from Commentary and Partisan Review, have now been published under the title The Immediate Experience, and the collection underscores the pathos of his early death. Warshow was one of the best of a school of literary, theater, and film critics that has risen in this country since the thirties.