Horse-Trading and Ecstasy: Essays

Barbara Probst Solomon, Author North Point Press $18.95 (255p) ISBN 978-0-86547-348-5
From a 1959 put-down of Jack Kerouac to a 1988 meditation on Klaus Barbie, Gestapo chief of Lyons, France, these bracing essays never falter in readability or intellectual rigor. Whether she's discussing the cultural awakening in Spain after Franco's death, or the blurring of fiction and nonfiction in recent books, Solomon ( Arriving Where We Started ) links culture to politics, broadly defined. One brave essay analyzes Marguerite Duras's Prix Goncourt-winning novel The Lover as ``a shrewd mingling of erotic experience and racist nostalgia.'' Solomon talks with Norman Mailer about ancient Egypt, presents personal recollections of James Baldwin and Diego Rivera, reports on the murder trial of ``Midwest innocent'' Jean Harris. Not the least of this collection's serendipitous pleasures are her travelogues, which capture the sadness and beauty of Texas, the ferment of Madrid, the violent, electric hum of New York City. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/27/1989
Release date: 03/01/1989
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