NO MAN'S TIME by V.S. Yanovsky


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Dr. Yanovsky, whose first novel to appear in this country is introduced by W.H. Auden, is a fabulist--and while the external events with which it deals are scaffolded in fantasy more than in reality, it also engages in druidic configurations and arguable speculations. Much of the novel takes place in a primordial community somewhere near the Canadian border. Time itself is elliptical, on two meridians with occasional points of confluence; identity, and even more specifically, individuality, is just as dualistic; his characters often have two names to suggest that they have two lives; their language, sometimes biblical in character, sometimes colloquial, also indicates the interchangeability of past and present. The story itself is subsidiary to all of Dr. Yanovsky's concerns with the collective, with free choice, with the attainment of a unitary ideal (oneness), and it takes his central character Conrad Jamb-Cornelius Yamb to this preindustrial village (where planes fly overhead) to retrieve the heir of a fortune (Bruno, also yclept We). While ostensibly the husband of Ipata, he falls in love with her sister Yanina, and eventually Conrad, Bruno and Yanina make their way to Chicago and New York. All save Cornelius are destroyed by the evils of modernism-urbanism and Conrad-Cornelius returns to his archaic Eden... The story itself, in spite of talky stretches, has a calculable curiosity in what is happening or what has happened. But essentially it is a cosmic charade, full of metaphysical twisters, some of which may escape the general reader.

Pub Date: Sept. 11th, 1967
Publisher: Weybright & Talley