A PURSUIT OF FURIES by Janice Warnke


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Take a passel of international intellectuals with pasts to brood about, hole them up in Switzerland during the time of the Hungarian revolution, allow them to converse sublimely, pair them off conclusively, send them all to drift off to their various destinies, and you just might, as Miss Warnke sometimes does, hypnotize the reader into admiration, or depending upon that reader's tolerance level for lengthy musings, into insensibility. Taken at the flood, Miss Warnke's characters are preposterous but magnificently vocal: Mrs. Dartley (a fusion of Isadora Duncan and Eleanor Roosevelt), writer of outraged pamphlets, causer of causes, yet one who can sense the reality and tragedy of human conflict; Ernest, former atomic physicist, striding away from personal and cosmic horror; author Sylvia, intent on the thread of meaning in meaninglessness, drawn against her best instincts to George, CIA agent, one who is alive only at the height of action; Posy and Marshall, two lovely children; Anton and Lily, from another era, with pasts of terror and beautiful music; and Knox, a TV interviewer (strongly resembling a familiar TV fixture) who senses a real ground in the stern, just vision of Mrs. Dartley. There are deaths, touching and final, flights in autos and meditations, some poetic moments. A veritable fusillade of somber comment, tangled psyches, and crackling chatter for the ladies-- in the grand manner. The Narrow Lyre (1958) had mixed reviews.

Pub Date: June 7th, 1966
Publisher: Random House