This is often entertaining campy opera bouffe dealing with the time when an ""educator-revolutionist"" dowager, an old...

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MRS. OCTOBER WAS HERE

This is often entertaining campy opera bouffe dealing with the time when an ""educator-revolutionist"" dowager, an old intimate of Henri Bergson whose current alias is ""Mrs. October,"" chooses a small, insular, philistine American city ""on the outskirts of the 20th century"" (a place called Tasmania, Ohio) as the site of the final revolution. It will be the revolution to end all hatred which she projects, like an artist God, from her mind directly to paper and thence reality. So that Mrs. October is writing the ""reality"" of Coleman Dowell's novel and sexual freedom its strongest weapon. Acts of public copulation by townspeople recruited and reeducated by October's cadre inaugurate the revolution. A New York Times scoop attracts a swarm of all-too-familiar celebrities and Tasmania becomes the ""hottest spot, practically in the world,"" as well as the most fashionable. But the discovery of Mrs. October's writings by one of her projected sacrificial victims on the climactic eve of the outbreak reverses her history and she becomes a Christ figure. Dowell implements Bergson's own ""contradiction is the essence of revolutionary activity"" with a good deal of black humor and he carl be by turns aphoristic, farcical, sentimental, ironic and above all bizarre. There are a surprising number of tricks in this bag and the momentum becomes compelling if obviously not for that ordinary reader points east, west, south and north of Tasmania, Ohio.

Pub Date: April 19, 1974

ISBN: 0811205185

Page Count: -

Publisher: New Directions

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1974