THE ILLUSIONLESS MAN by Allen Wheelis

THE ILLUSIONLESS MAN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A San Francisco psychoanalyst and author of The Quest for Identity and the less successful novel The Seeker takes up once again his constant concerns in a series of fantasies and meditations. He writes of life, its meaning or lack of it. His ""Illusionless Man"" who lives with ""The Visionary Maid"" moves during a lifetime of ups and downs from ""It's an illusion"" to ""There isn't anything else."" The protagonist of ""Sea Girls"" seeks but finds only an empty self. In ""The League of Death"" a thanatotherapist reasons that to revel in life one must court death. ""The Signal"" features a writer of cooky fortunes who becomes an anonymous success for his pithy pessimism, whose missives appear in book form as Adventures in Nihilism, who yet dies to save a bird. The fantasies shift easily to the meditations on determinism and the practice of his profession (""And all this is perhaps nothing of choice, no creation, but the life process as given--to this species in this time and place""), on morality without the goad of God (""a distillate of our security operations). Dr. Wheelis is imaginative, intelligent, amusing, and writes in a gracefully glancing prose. Attractive.

Pub Date: Sept. 30th, 1966
Publisher: Norton