IT HAD BEEN A MILD, DELICATE NIGHT by Tom Kaye

IT HAD BEEN A MILD, DELICATE NIGHT

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Tom Kaye is a sociologist presently on the staff of the University College of Ghana. He describes this short book, his first novel, as ""a diagnostic experiment in allegorical expressionism"" and his publishers claim that ""he sees his novel as part of his whole sociological inquiry into the failure of modern Western society to provide the conditions necessary for creative living"". With this ambitious introduction one might reasonably expect more from Mr. Kaye than the unsophisticated and unoriginal notion that the ""natural man"" is the best man -- Rousseau's doctrine of salvation couched in sociological/psychological terms. The ""allegory"" is worked out in the London streets of the present and the principal figures are: Faith, a beautiful, calculating, art critic; Henry, a morally anemic editor of a literary magazine called Paprika; and Jaques, a tramp, described as ""a gargoyle presiding at a tryst in a fountained court"". Henry and Faith and Faith's husband, for all their modern knowledgeability, are really empty shells but it is Faith who is looking for something Deeper and more Meaningful. She finds what she is looking for, though she is terrified and overwhelmed by the encounter, in an explosive translation of Poussin's Bacchanalian Dance with the pursuing satyr and ""noble suppliant"", Jaques. Unquestionably the manner in which the author works out his theme is imaginative and he does show more adherence to syntax than his less pretentious ""American primitive"" counterparts, On the Road.

Pub Date: Sept. 14th, 1960
Publisher: Abelard-Schuman