CAROUSEL by Theodora Kroeber


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The carousel is a magic one, with the carved wooden animals breaking out every night to romp on the Greek Knoll, and one night when the others return the winged horse Pegason ""whinnies skyward"" and flies up toward the Pleiades to join in their ""dance."" But he doesn't make it and comes down in a city where ""gay revellers"" mock him and an Inspector decrees that this new-found object of value be set in cement so that no one can steal it. Meanwhile there is much anxiety back at the carousel but at last a tinker reports on Pegason's whereabouts and his companions Gryphon and Pyggon fly off to the city and guide him home. Kroeber tells it all a-flutter, in sentences set down like lines of poetry--a device that rouses expectations which her remote and lifeless prose does not fulfill, for all its straining after high effect. Equally crippling is her solution to Pegason's Icarian overreach--a sort of lobotomy wherein the carousel's carver/keeper, who had ""carved into Pegason's heartwood and headwood and wingwood my own wild wish to fly,"" now makes the horse new wings with a ""gentler flying wish and need. . . within carousel law: no higher than Pyggon can see, no wider than the circle of Green Knoll."" So much for reaching for stars.

Pub Date: Oct. 21st, 1977
Publisher: Atheneum