Sunday, August 8, 2010

With seeming effortlessness, Keilson performs the difficult trick of showing how a single psyche can embrace many contradictory thoughts, and how naturally extreme intelligence and sensitivity can coexist with obtuseness, denial and self-deception. To say that reading this novel makes it impossible not to understand how so many European Jews underestimated the growing menace of ­Nazism is to acknowledge only a fraction of its range. In fact the novel shows us how human beings, in any place, at any time, protectively shield themselves from the most frightening truths of their private lives and their historical moment.
Francine Prose at NY Times Review of Books on Hans Keilson's The Death of the Adversary and Comedy in a Minor Key.

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