RHAPSODY OF A HERMIT And Three Tales by Michael Rothschild

RHAPSODY OF A HERMIT And Three Tales

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A collection of three medium-sized and one novella-length short stories about men alone in their literal and metaphorical wildernesses -- trying to find or avoid some truth about themselves. In one, a former artist becomes obsessed with becoming an ""Austringer,"" only to have his apparently not-so-trained goshawk fly off at the first opportunity; in another a former lover returns to haunt a lady and her husband; in the title tale, a man tries to resurrect his shattered life and marriage by placing his possessions in the hands of an unscrupulous encounter-type philosopher who preaches freedom from desire as he poaches other people's property, both material and corporeal. The central conflict generally revolves around the necessity of one's instincts overcoming the abstract philosophies by which intellectuals think they live their lives; as such, the stories have a rather didactic quality which contradicts their own message. The style is that of graduate writing school: careful plotting, an excess of details, heavy themes -- almost totally devoid of spontaneity.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1973
Publisher: Viking