Brigid Brophy, critic of note and stylist absolutely par excellence, is also a bit of a crazy lady in the classical sense -- defender of animals, decrier of hypocrisies, champion of reason and beauty, a sort of solitary, spiritual activist who vaults along by sheer perverse whimsicality and logic. It must be a happy state of existence, judging by these stories, or fables, or whatever you would call the likes of, say, Brahms and Polyhymnia sniping back and forth about Sir Edward Elgar -- in which Brophy provides herself with arrestingly choice occasions for the airing of her views which might not hold up so well in a more usual form of exposition. Instead, a frequent ploy is to invent a couple of types or invoke historical personages and let them bat out restricted segments of the argument. Voltaire, Gibbon and God, plus a psychiatrist and a couple of academic specialists and an assortment from the general populace, cover a good many topics in the course of a ramble across the Elysian fields, God proving to be a quite sophisticated, reflective sort of being, modest, and profoundly cognizant of his existential nature as a fictional character. (He has a striking rapport with Voltaire, who is less modest and posthumously addicted to psychoanalysis.) The topics they debate would interest the parties involved, probably, and the quality of the argument will delight anyone with a suitably literary turn of mind, but these are crotchets that will be shared or not. What everyone can enjoy in Brophy is style and wit nearly always adequate to the burdens she puts upon them. The few real fables are acid and lovely, just as such.