ALL MEN ARE MARINERS by Calvin Kentfield


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Every man is a mariner and every woman an island to be inhabited""- this line from the Phoenicians is illustrated by the profligate experience of Tom McKinley from Brigham's Crossing, Iowa, as he looks back on a summer in Copenhagen in his twenties. A wanderer who travels light, and ships out here and there around the world after the war, Tom's need to be free is always more urgent than the demands of the girls he loves and leaves- in Copenhagen- (Valerie and Ulla- an inconstant wife)- and others, and as he witnesses the entrapment of his friend Nick (a wife, a baby), he is more than ever determined to avoid commitment. But it is Ulla, also a wanderer, who brings him to the point of submission and then abandons him.... The ageless clash between freedom and permanence, a lesson for the ""lonely... out of their inadequacy or intransigeant ignorance"", reaffirms a novelist (Kentfield has done New Yorker short stories) with a definite talent and range; his present day pilgrim's story which begins with casual humor and obstreperous vitality, also has a primal, lyrical intensity and a sense of torment.

Pub Date: Sept. 25th, 1962
Publisher: McGraw-Hill