THE EYES OF REASON by Stefan Heym

THE EYES OF REASON

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Fact and fiction relating to the Communist revolution in Czechoslovakia -- actual personalities and types that must have existed by the thousands -- these are skillfully blended in an overlong but holding novel of one of the enigmas of our times. As the story unfolds, the reader is bitingly aware of the forces that created the anomalies; of those elements brought into focus by the Nazi occupation, the working of the Underground, the tragedies of prison camps, the hunger for power and survival. The blindness --on both sides -- of the significance of democracy and of freedom are symbolized in one of three brothers, Thomas Benda, who died a suicide; the dead end of capitalism is symbolized by another Benda, Joseph, who tried to fight the windmill; the doubtful solution of communism is symbolized by the third, Dr. Karel Benda, victim of the Nazis, destined to be the tool of their successors- and choosing what he thinks the better part. The romance in the story is secondary to the political aspects. While not a justification- of either side- The Eyes of seems to present in cogent terms a convincing picture of a country victimized by the extremists, trying to believe that ideals can be converted into facts.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1950
Publisher: Little, Brown