ON CLOWNS

THE DICTATOR AND THE ARTIST

Romanian-ÇmigrÇ novelist Manea here offers a rambling clutch of essays that effectively reproduce the sense of chaos and insecure self-definition that was (and still must be) the lot of the writer-citizen in the slipperiest, perhaps most psychotic of all the pre-1989 European hell-states, Ceausescu's Romania. Collective fate was to live under the ``insidious, dilated presence of the monster called the Power,'' inducing a mass psychological disturbance that resulted from ``the hours sacrificed to standing in lines, to ritual political meetings and to rallies, on top of the hours at work and the hours of helpless exposure to the inferno of public transportation...and when you were finally home in your birdcage, you found yourself mute, staring into an emptiness that could be defined as infinite despair.'' Manea presents a censor's ``reader's report'' on one of his about-to-be-published novels— and, movingly, his own reaction upon rereading the book later: ``The writer who thought himself so aesthetically `engaged' discovered any number of pages, fragments, chapters that had been corrupted by the very artifices he had used (often with a sense of triumph) as a defense against the censor's office.'' An essay comparing Ceausescu to a White Clown, and the artist to the classic clown Auguste; a piece on Mircea Eliade's malignant Iron Guard-apologist past, and anecdotes of literary hardship—all are intermittently impressive, but Manea is a weak essayist, drifting and often self-serving, and this dilutes the truths he knows.

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-8021-1415-6

Page Count: 178

Publisher: Grove

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 1991

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. AND THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON

This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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