NIGHT by Ezra Jack Keats
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"Once it was, the repose of Night,/ was a place, strong place, in which to sleep.// It is shaken now. It will burst into flames./ Either now or tomorrow or the day after that." (Wallace Stevens, "Girl In a Nightgown") Vibrating against the glimmering negative images, the quivering translucent double images, the uncanny close-ups of Beverly Hall, are the night thoughts of Milton and Truman Capote and Mark Twain, of Issa and Proust and Pushkin and Blake. An Ewe children's song shares with James Baldwin the vision of night as a star-spangled city; Henry Roth and J. M. Barrie lie listening "in the incredible depths of the night" where "ghosts were created." Elsewhere night is a metaphor for loneliness, concealment, chaos... or, in the words of Wallace Stevens, "only the background of ourselves." In black and silver and shadow--resonant full-blooded illuminations.
Pub Date: Oct. 17th, 1969
Publisher: Atheneum
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 1969