. . . and O, for that contemporary cipher, the perennial Ph.D. student, dillydallying, shillyshallying through a world with which he can't quite cope. You've met him before, and here he is again in the impressionable first person of his diary kept during a year which finds him married to Yoshie--a ""soothing"" relationship--and living in Kyoto--a ghetto. Irritabilities abound; the repressiveness of the Japanese, ""forever children"" under their ""No-mask faces""; a shanty house with a sagging floor and a leaking roof; all aggravated by Yoshie's pregnancy which compounds his feeling of having stopped before he's really started. Following an affair (with Yoshie's mother), he returns to America, leaving the country of improbabilities and illusions behind to accept the ""assigned values"" which translate readily into responsibility. . . . Young Mr. Greenberg (shorter pieces in Esquire, the Village Voice) writes with a certain flair but his first novel is on the sketchy side--a minikimono which doesn't quite cover the East-West differential it is intended to span.