Four scenes and four characters build up a modern morality play-novelette which introduces techniques that demand an...

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BURNING BRIGHT

Four scenes and four characters build up a modern morality play-novelette which introduces techniques that demand an awareness, a sensitivity, on the part of the reader to the symbolism, imagination in bridging the transitions. The characters carry through:- Joe Saul, to whom the thread of immortality demands offspring; Friend Ed, whose understanding and love encompass them all; Victor, wholly virile and material; and Mordeen, whose love for Joe Saul is great enough to accept the inevitability of betrayal. There's a central continuity of theme, whether the scene is the dressing rooms of the Big Top, the house on the farm, the captain's cabin of the freighter. The passion for survival in the next generation -- the great love of a man for a woman, a woman for a man- jealousy and suspicion -- possession- friendship, these are the drives that implement the story. A challenge to dramatic techniques, less related to his own Of Mice and Men than to Wilder's Our Town and Skin of our Teeth or to some of O'Neill's dramas. As a novel, it is far from easy reading, with unexplained shifts of setting and long philosophical diversions, weakening- for fiction- the emotional impact. The play is to be produced by Rodgers and Hammerstein almost simultaneously with book publication, and it will be exciting to see how, in dramatic form, the ideas carry conviction. A sure subject of controversy.

Pub Date: Oct. 20, 1950

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1950