Memories and Hallucinations

D. M. Thomas, Author Viking Books $18.95 (208p) ISBN 978-0-670-82357-4
Thomas adapted the style of Freudian case history to the Holocaust in his searing novel The White Hotel. Now he turns a psychoanalytic technique on himself in this unsparing autobiographical memoira patchwork of memories, dreamlike passages, reflections, poems and sessions with his therapist. He seems to be marking time here as he analyzes his Oedipal fixation, relives the trauma of a friend's suicide at Oxford and works out his guilt over living with one ex-wife while involved with his other ex-wife. His analyst annoyingly interjects predictable comments like ``You were never really a part of the family.'' The most rewarding sections are meditations on the writer's lonely craft. Skipping around chronologically, Thomas writes of his Cornish working-class roots, his secret puberty rites, the brouhaha over allegations that he plagiarized his Pushkin translations and the contradictory responses that The White Hotel evoked in readers. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1988
Release date: 10/01/1988
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