THEY by Marya Mannes


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This is Marya Mannes' first novel in a good many years--but then it's not really a novel. Actually it's a restatement of a good many of the views she's voiced in the past, More in Anger or otherwise, on various aspects of our plastic, psychedelic, pornographic culture. Den mother of conservative canons? or duenna of more civilized values? there have been discrepant opinions. However, once again, humanely, humanistically, she asserts the lifeline of ""knowing and feeling"" at a time, which could be now, when there has been a totalitarian takeover by the young. The journal, addressed to the You who will become They, is kept by Kate, one of five middle-aged men and women who are isolated from the rest of the world and out of contact with it except for their computerized check-ups. Sixty-five is the final cut-off. Kate tells their story which is actually a series of exchanges between this small group of artists, writers, musicians-on aesthetics, on race, sex, God, ethics, liberalism, etc., etc. Miss Mannes invests these colloquies with more sincerity than originality, and when writing about sex and using the lingua franca of the '60's she seems somehow more off key than off color. But the gravamn of her arguments-about the devaluation of our culture and the disenfranchisement of those who represent dignity, serenity, tradition--seems incontestably true and apposite and, at times, affecting.

Pub Date: Oct. 18th, 1968
Publisher: Doubleday