Malamud as Jewish Writer
From His earliest stories in the 50′s, the relationship between Bernard Malamud’s literary imagination and his Jewish background has been a peculiar one. For the most part, it has proved to be a remarkably creative relationship, though there are a few points in his work where the wedding of Jewish materials and fictional invention seems largely a shotgun affair, performed to legitimize imaginative offspring that ought to have validated themselves without benefit of skull-capped clergy. Now, American Jewish novelists, from Abraham Cahan and Ludwig Lewisohn to Philip Roth, have, quite understandably, often written about Jews, as the kind of people they have known best; and since the novel as a rule tries to reconstruct the social matrices of individual character, this has generally meant writing about Jewish milieux, first in the ghetto, more recently in suburbia. The concentration on Jewish social environments has not, however, led to anything like a distinctively Jewish mode of imaginative writing. Henry Roth’s Call It Sleep, for example, still probably the most fully achieved work of fiction by an American writer of Jewish descent, is a novel of immigrant experience, using Joycean methods for the lyric rendering of consciousness; the principal characters happen to be Jews, but I see nothing in the conception or execution of this extraordinary book that could not be readily transferred to a novel about a family from some other immigrant group.
In Malamud’s work, on the other hand, the immigrant experience is at once more peripheral and more central than in writers of comparable background. Although most of his protagonists are avowedly Jewish, he has never really written about Jews, in the manner of other American Jewish novelists. Especially revealing in this connection is the fact that nowhere does he attempt to represent a Jewish milieu, that a Jewish community never enters into his books, except as the shadow of a vestige of a specter. What literary sense, then, does Malamud make of the emphatic, vividly elaborated ethnic identity of his characters—those whitefish-eating, Yiddish-accented isolates in a bleak, generalized world of harsh necessity? He clearly means Jewishness to function as an ethical symbol; it is, as Theodore Solotaroff has written, “a type of metaphor . . . both for the tragic dimension of anyone’s life and for a code of personal morality.” Last year in these pages,1 I had occasion to observe that such symbolism (as in the relationship between Morris Bober and Frank Alpine in Malamud’s The Assistant) can become uncomfortable; when a writer assigns a set of abstract moral values to the representatives of a particular group, the connection thus insisted on may strike a reader as arbitrary, an artistic confusion of actualities and ideals. The symbolic use Malamud makes of Jewishness deserves more detailed attention, but before we consider that, it is worth noting another, more organic, way in which Jewish experience enters into his writing.
Malamud is, to the best of my knowledge, the first important American writer to shape out of his early experiences in the immigrant milieu a whole distinctive style of imagination and, to a lesser degree, a distinctive technique of fiction as well. He is by no means a “folk” artist, but his ear for the rhythms of speech and the tonalities of implication, his eye for the shadings of attitude and feeling, of Jewish folk culture, have helped make the fictional world he has created uniquely his own. Though such influences are hard to prove, I suspect that the piquant juxtaposition in his fiction of tough, ground-gripping realism and high-flying fantasy ultimately derives from the paradoxical conjoining of those same qualities that has often characterized Jewish folklore.
To put this another way, it would seem as though the homespun Jewishness of Malamud’s characters affords him a means of anchoring his brilliant fantasies in reality, for the dreariness of daily privation and frustration familiar to him through the ghetto are his indicators of what the real world is like, reminding him of the gritty, harsh-grained texture of ordinary human experience. It is significant that the only book he has written in which there are no identifiable Jews, his first novel, The Natural, is also the only one in which the underpinnings of reality are finally pulled away by the powerful tug of fantasy. The Natural is a spectacular performance, a sort of Parzival on the ball field that combines serious moral fable with pointed comedy, superbly sustained suspense, and sheer wish-fulfillment, zestfully imagined; but in the end the novel entertains more than it convinces because too much of the world as we know it has been rearranged in the service of imaginative play.
The Jewish folk figure on which Malamud has modeled most of his protagonists is, of course, the shlemiel, the well-meaning bungler, compounded with the shlimazel, the hapless soul who is invariably at the wrong end of the bungling. The way he handles this doubly ill-starred figure illuminates his whole artistic relationship to his Jewishness. The shlemiel is, we hardly need to be reminded, often an engaging kind of character, and Malamud treats him—most memorably, in the Fidelman stories—with a very special quality of amused sympathy modified by satiric awareness. The spirit of wry folk humor that Malamud has caught in his personages is nicely expressed in the Yiddish joke about the man who comes to a doctor to complain that he talks to himself all the time: when the doctor answers that he, too, talks to himself and that it is really nothing to worry about, the man objects, “But, Doctor, you have no idea what a nudnik I am!” Malamud’s protagonists are frequently just this: shlemiels who talk to themselves, who repeatedly engage in self-confrontation, shrewdly but futilely aware of their own limitations, like Fidelman, “self-confessed failures” caught in the trap of themselves and rankling over their predicament, though just a little amused by it, too.
The shlemiel-shlimazel, however, is not merely a source of colorfulness in Malamud’s fiction, the stock comic property that the type has become in so much American Jewish fiction. To be a shlemiel—which, for Malamud, is almost interchangeable with the idea of being a Jew—means to assume a moral stance, virtually the only possible moral stance in his fictional world. For if circumstances are at best indifferent to this individual, if human beings are so complicated, varied, and confused that to be truly open to another person means to get mixed up with and by him, even hurt by him, the very act of wholehearted commitment to the world of men means being a blunderer and a victim. The only clearly visible alternative to the stance of the shlemiel in Malamud’s fiction (and this is, of course, a boldly foreshortened version of reality, one good reason why it works better in the short stories than in the novels) is the stance of the manipulator. Gus the Gambler and the sinister club-owner, the Judge, in The Natural; Karp, the “lucky” liquor-store neighbor of inveterately luckless Morris Bober in The Assistant; Gerald Gilley, the Cascadia professor scheming for the departmental chairmanship in A New Life—all these are characters who in varying degrees take a sharply instrumental view of humanity, who manage to stay on top of circumstances and people by being detached from them so that they can merely use them. Gerald Gilley’s physical sterility is emblematic of the general condition of moral withdrawal shared by all the manipulators: he can “enjoy” his wife sexually, but, in her expression, “he has no seeds,” he cannot give of himself what is ultimately a man’s to give a woman in the most intimate of shared experiences. By contrast, S. Levin, the novel’s hero, can and does give all to Pauline Gilley, even when he scarcely intends it, so that his openness to the world and his commitment to accept the consequences of his own acts brings him, inevitably, to a shlemiel’s, fate—ousted from the profession of his choice, burdened with a family he didn’t bargain for and a woman he loves only as a matter of principle, rolling westward in his overheating jalopy toward a horizon full of pitfalls.
The shlemiel, it should be said, lends himself much more readily to revelation in a short story than to development in a novel, perhaps because his comic victimhood invites the suddenness and externality of slapstick; when that technique is merely multiplied in being transferred to a novel—where we expect more subtlety and innerness, a more discursive and analytic: treatment of character—the comedy becomes a little tedious. Thus, in the first hundred pages or so of A New Life, S. Levin: has a casserole spilled in his lap, is pissed on by a three-year-old, steps into a cow pie, walks in to teach his first class with (of course) his fly open, slips in front of his school building with an armful of books, is interrupted on two separate occasions at the point of sexual entry. Even when he tries to scale a stone across a pond on a walk with a girl, it sinks! All this is funny up to a point, but after so much repetition it begins to look like sheer reflex on the writer’s part, and it is not particularly helpful in establishing the inner life of an anguished intellectual struggling against both his own weakness and the resistance of the world around him to make himself a new man. The accumulated calamities, however, of S. Levin—whose Jewish identity is mentioned only once in the novel, at the very end-suggest why Malamud’s symbolic Jews must be shlemiels, for, as we shall see, Malamud’s central metaphor for Jewishness is imprisonment, and even when no actual enclosing walls are present, his Jews remain manacled and hobbled to their own scapegrace ineptitude.
The central development of the idea of Jewishness as imprisonment occurs in The Assistant. That novel is suffused with images of claustrophobic containment, and Morris Bober’s grocery, which is the symbolic locus of being a Jew with all the hard responsibilities entailed thereby, is frequently referred to as a prison. “What kind of man did you have to be,” wonders Frank Alpine, “to be born to shut yourself in an overgrown coffin? . . . You had to be a Jew. They were born prisoners.” Later, Frank reads some Jewish history, and his understanding of it (Malamud’s too, it would appear) is much of a piece with his vision of Bober in the store: “He . . . read about the ghettos, where the half-starved, bearded prisoners spent their lives trying to figure it out why they were the Chosen People.” Frank himself is from the outset an ideal proselyte in being a kind of Italianate shlemiel on his own way into a tight prison: “With me one wrong thing leads to another and it ends in a trap.” The real symbol of his conversion to Judaism is his clumsy act of toppling onto Morris Bober’s coffin as it is being lowered into the grave; the subsequent circumcision merely pays obeisance to the institutional forms. In this respect, the curve of Frank’s experience is paralleled by that of Arthur Fidelman—from the frustrations of a bungler (“The Last Mohican”) through the captivity of sexual bewitchment (“Still Life”) to the iron jaws of imprisonment (“Naked Nude,” where Fidelman is held prisoner by gangsters in a whorehouse, at one point chained hand and foot to his bed).
Claustrophobic images of Jewish experience are hardly Malamud’s invention—they recur frequently, for example, in Hebrew writers of the late 19th and early 20th century who rebelled against all that was stifling in the life of the shtetl. But the way such images function in Malamud’s work is quite new. Since his Jews are, after all, more metaphoric than literal, the imagery of imprisonment turns out to be the symbolic representation of an already symbolic state. This is made explicit in the case of S. Levin, where the prison motif is invoked for the first time at the end of the novel, to elucidate the denouement. Levin, we learn, was originally accepted for the teaching position that led to his comic-disastrous entanglement with the Gilleys because Pauline Gilley happened to spot his picture in a stack of applications and was attracted by his Jewish face—thus capricious fate selects its victims, hardly intending them as victims, and we see how the Jew-as-shlemiel is, in the most ironic sense, “chosen” for his destiny. After hearing this story, Levin ponders his future with Pauline Gilley:
His doubts were the bricks of a windowless prison he was in. . . . The prison was really himself, flawed edifice of failures, each locking up tight the one before. . . . Unless the true prison was to stick it out chained to her ribs. He would look like a free man but whoever peered into his eyes would see the lines of a brick wall.
Imprisonment, like the condition of being a Jew with which it is elsewhere identified, is seen here as a general image for the moral life with all its imponderable obstacles to spontaneous self-fulfillment: it is living in concern for the state of one’s soul, which means knowing with an awful lucidity how circumscribed the will is in its ability to effect significant change, how recalcitrant and cowardly it can be, and shouldering the terrible onus of responsibility for one’s acts, especially as they are implicated in the lives of others. The prison, like the shlemiel who is usually its chief inmate, is Malamud’s way of suggesting that to be fully a man is to accept the most painful limitations; those who escape these limitations achieve only an illusory, self-negating kind of freedom, for they become less than responsible human beings. One does not have to be a Jew to be thus enmeshed in the endless untidiness of moral experience—witness the protagonist of “The Prisoner,” an Italian in a candy store instead of a Jew in a grocery—but, as the saying goes, it helps, for the Jew, at least as Malamud sees him, has undergone the kind of history that made it difficult for him to delude himself about his defeats and humiliations, that forced him to accept the worst conditions because he had no alternative while trying to preserve his essential human dignity. Malamud sees, moreover, in the collective Jewish experience of the past a model not only of suffering and confinement but also of a very limited yet precious possibility of triumph in defeat, freedom in imprisonment. His reading of Jewish history is clearly undertaken from a rather special angle, and with perhaps less than adequate knowledge ability—European Jewry, even in the ghettos, often was, and felt itself to be, much more than a trapped group of “half-starved, bearded prisoners.” Historical accuracy, however, is beside the point, for what is relevant to Malamud’s literary achievement is that an aspect of Jewish experience, isolated and magnified, has afforded him the means of focusing in an image his own vision of the human condition.
Against this whole background, Malamud’s new novel, The Fixer,2 emerges as a far less radical departure from his earlier fiction than one might initially conclude. The surface differences, to be sure, between this book and his previous work are abundant and striking. Malamud has always written about spheres of experience with which he was personally familiar; here he sets his novel in Kiev, toward the end of the Czarist regime. Except in a few of his comic fantasies, he has always written about everyday people in a world whose most basic quality is uneventfulness; here his subject is a lurid murder case and an incredible conspiracy against justice. Suffering in his novels and stories has generally been a matter of humiliated egos or the gnawing fears of poverty; in The Fixer the central action is a process of suffering through violence, torture by inches, complete with the obscene inventions of a jailer’s sadism, an attempted poisoning, a suicide, even Dostoevskian hallucinations including one where a frantic-eyed horse is beaten over the head with a log. Malamud has always known the art of counterpointing a flat, understated style with flights of whimsy and poetic invention, but never before has he written such taut, muscular prose—as, for example, in this prisoner’s nightmare, with its stacatto parade of short declarative sentences and sharply-etched physical images that give fantasy the weight and tactile hardness of palpable fact:
The wind wailed mutely in the prison yard. His heart was like a rusted chain, his muscles taut, as though each had been bound with wire. Even in the cold he sweated. Amid the darkly luminous prisoners he saw spies waiting to kill him. One was the grayhaired warden with a gleaming two-headed ax. He tried to hide his crossed eye behind his hand but it shone like a jewel through his fingers. The Deputy Warden, his fly open, held a black bullwhip behind his back. And though the Tsar wore a white mask over his face and another on the back of his head, Yakov recognized him standing in the far corner of the cell, dropping green drops into a glass of hot milk.
Perhaps the greatest external difference between The Fixer and Malamud’s earlier work is the relationship in it between fiction and actual events. The novel is very closely based on the Beiliss case, the last conspicuous occasion after the Middle Ages when a Jew was actually brought to trial on the charge of ritual murder. By an odd but happy coincidence, Malamud’s novel appears in print almost simultaneously with Maurice Samuel’s Blood Accusation3 an elaborate, painstaking, yet eminently readable account of the complicated details of the Beiliss Case. Many readers of Malamud’s novel will want to consult Samuel’s book, out of simple historical curiosity, which the novel rouses but of course cannot satisfy, and because of the readily available opportunity to see, through a comparison with the facts, how a novelist has transmuted history into art. On the whole, Malamud has altered very few of the basic facts of the case. His protagonist, Yakov Bok, is, like Mendel Beiliss, the overseer in a Kiev brick factory, a simple man, not much of an observant Jew, who one early spring day in 1911 finds himself to his utter amazement arrested for the murder of a Christian boy whose body has been found in a cave near the brickyard, stabbed many times with a sharp instrument, in a manner, say the accusers, which indicates that the blood was slowly drained to be collected for use in matzos. Bok, like Beiliss, is incarcerated for more than two years while the investigating magistrates, in collusion with the most fanatical forces of reaction, trump up a case against him for a murder they more or less know has been committed by a stunningly brazen Russian woman (in the novel, the boy’s mother, in fact, the mother of a friend) together with a gang of her habitual partners in theft and orgy.
Malamud’s novel follows the train of events from the discovery of the body to the point at which the accused is brought out of prison to be tried. The actual trial ended on an appropriate note of muddled ambiguity, the jury at once acquitting Mendel Beiliss and concluding that the murder had occurred in the brickworks, not in the apartment of the Cheberyak woman where the clearest evidence placed it, and that the child’s blood had been methodically drained for unspecified purposes. Malamud rearranges some details of the Beiliss affair in the interests of necessary simplification or even credibility—the Czarist government’s case against Beiliss, for instance, was based on such a shabby patchwork of anti-Semitic fantasies that Malamud, in order not to violate novelistic probability, had to invent some shreds of circumstantial evidence for his prosecution to grasp at. Other changes in the actual circumstances are made in order to emphasize themes; to a few of these we shall have occasion to return.
Why should the Beiliss case attract a serious contemporary novelist and why in particular should Malamud find it a congenial subject? The first half of this question is answered in part by Maurice Samuel in the suggestive, though regrettably brief, Epilogue to his account of the case. The significance of these events, Samuel argues, extends far beyond the historical question of anti-Semitism. The case was really “a crude preview of the possibilities of the twentieth century,” one of the early instances of the use by a government of the big lie, through which a powerful bureaucracy totally subverts the moral sense of its individual members and, as Samuel aptly puts it, “makes its assertions with brazen disregard for what is known . . ., seeks, by immense clamor, by vast rhythmic repetition, to make thinking impossible.” To translate Samuel’s observation from politics to the viewpoint of individual experience, the Beiliss case is one of the first striking public occasions in this century when Kafka’s fiction of arbitrary arraignment, of a reality which is governed by an insane, inscrutably perverse logic, became historical fact.
One often feels in The Fixer that for Malamud 1911 is 1943 in small compass and sharp focus, and 1966 writ large. The Beiliss case gives him, to begin with, a way of approaching the European Holocaust on a scale that is imaginable, susceptible of fictional representation. For the Beiliss case transparently holds within it the core of the cultural sickness around which the Nazi madness grew, representing as it does a symptomatic junction of the medieval demonological conception of the Jew as satanic enemy to Christ and mankind, and the modern phobic vision of an international Jewish conspiracy, manipulated through commerce and politics and underworld activity by the sinister Elders of Zion. (Murky hints of genocide actually crept into some of the verbal attacks on the Jews during the Beiliss affair, as when they were characterized in the reactionary Russian press, quoted by Samuel, as “an exclusively criminal class which brings death to any wholesome society.”) Malamud seems quite conscious of this aspect of his subject, but I would assume that the blood libel and false arrest are even more important to him as an extreme paradigm for the condition of impotence in a mad world that all people today share, whether they live under absolutist regimes or in the mass societies of that part of the world which ritualistically calls itself free. The credo of Bibikov, the one sympathetic government investigator, confided to Yakov Bok in his cell, is substantially the implicit credo of Malamud’s earlier fiction, where the settings are contemporary, but it is an affirmation spoken from the heart of a tensely dramatic situation that gives a new kind of stark and bold concreteness to its moral abstractions:
One often feels helpless in the face of the confusion of these times, such a mass of apparently uncontrollable events and experiences to live through, attempt to understand, and if at all possible, give order to; but one must not withdraw from the task if he has some small thing to offer—he does so at the risk of diminishing his humanity.
The Fixer is clearly Malamud’s most powerful novel—and, it seems to me, his first wholly successful one. An important reason for its tight artistic unity is the identity in it between central metaphor and literal fact: the Malamudian prison is here not merely an analogy, a moral and metaphysical state, but has real, clammy, stone walls, excretory stenches, heavy-fisted jailers, dank unhealed cells, lice. Similarly, Malamud’s symbolic Jew is much more believable here than in his last two novels because the character’s symbolic implications flow naturally from the literal fact of his Jewishness which is, after all, the real reason for his arrest. Though to be a Jew in this novel does imply a general moral stance, it also means being involved in the fate of a particular people, actively identifying with its history—in contrast, for example, to Morris Bober, for whom the meaning of Jewishness is exhausted in “to do what is right, to be honest, to be good.”
In this connection, one difference between Yakov Bok and Mendel Beiliss is revealing. The brickworks in which Beiliss was employed were in a section of Kiev forbidden for Jewish residence, except to certain classes of Jews who could obtain special permits. Mendel Beiliss had such a permit and lived at the brickworks openly, with his wife and children, on terms of respect and cordiality with his fellow workers. Yakov Bok has no residence permit: he lives alone at the brickworks, under a Gentile name, suspected as a Jew by his fellow workers and thoroughly hated by them. His masquerading as a Russian is the beginning of his troubles when he is arrested, and it is the one crime he freely confesses: “He had stupidly pretended to be somebody he wasn’t, hoping it would create ‘opportunities,’ had learned otherwise—the wrong opportunities—and was paying for learning.” (Malamud once before touched on this idea, in a somewhat lighter mood, in “The Lady of the Lake,” where Henry Levin-Freeman loses the girl of his dreams by pretending to be a Gentile and thus dissociating himself from the Jewish fate in which she has been tragically involved and to which she is committed.)
Circumstances force Yakov Bok, who sought to escape from the shtetl to a new world of possibilities in the big city, into being a Jew despite himself. And he becomes, of course, a Jew in Malamud’s special sense, a prisoner placed in progressively restricting confinement—from communal cell to solitary confinement to being shackled to the wall hand and foot—who is mangled physically and mentally by his imprisonment but never lets himself surrender his integrity because of it. Emblems of membership in the traditional community of Jews are thrust on him by his jailers, and he accepts them, with a kind of ironic gratitude, because he has no choice. He is thrown a prayer shawl and phylacteries—the phylacteries he puts aside, the prayer shawl he wraps about him because it gives him warmth. A fistful of bloodstained pages from a Hebrew Bible is flung into his cell—he pieces them together and reads them over and over, fitting the verses to his own fate and hopes, though the God that speaks through the ancient words, in Whom he does not believe, alternately angers him and stirs his pity. Forced in this and related ways to summon up all his inner resources of survival in order to stay sane and alive in solitary confinement, Bok in his cell recapitulates the darkest, most heroic aspects of Jewish existence in the Diaspora.
The quality of his character, moreover, makes him admirably suited to the task of survival and to his larger symbolic role in the novel. Though the vividly comic aspects of the type are naturally muted, Bok is another of Malamud’s plain, earthy Jews, the first of these figures, so happily used in the short stories, to work effectively as a major character in a novel. There is a touch of the knowing shlemiel in him—“If there’s a mistake to make,” he thinks, “I’ll make it”—which leads him to expect calamity and ruefully resolve to hold up under it. Meagerly self-taught, he is not a subtle man but is shrewd and straight-thinking. His speech and reflections are laced with the salt of wry Yiddish irony, and his skepticism is tough-minded and unpretentious: “Take my word for it,” he tells his pious father-in-law, who tries to convince him that faith in God can sustain him in his sufferings, “it’s not easy to be a freethinker, especially in this terrible cell.” Perhaps Mendel Beiliss was not so different from this: he laughed out loud just once at his trial, Maurice Samuel reports, when the prosecution solemnly averred that he had the reputation among his fellow workers of being a tzaddik, a Hasidic wonder-rabbi.
There is, furthermore, a special thematic appropriateness in the fact that the hero of The Fixer is a simple man. Yakov Bok has no desire to become involved in history; at the beginning of the novel, we see him as someone who has led a deprived, unhappy life and who merely wants to find a better existence for himself, in that vague and rather pathetic way in which so many of Malamud’s protagonists long for “something more worthwhile.” But history seizes him by the collar, and at first all he can do is wonder, stunned, why it should all be happening to him—again, Malamud’s previous protagonists repeatedly ask themselves much the same question about their misfortunes—“What was a poor harmless fixer doing in prison?” The obvious answer is that he is in prison because he is a Jew. Bok soon arrives at the generalization that “being born a Jew meant being vulnerable to history, including its worst errors.” This has largely been true of Jews collectively during two thousand years of exile, and Bok now finds it to bear just as directly and heavily on his own life. Confronted with such awful vulnerability, a man may want to rebel or opt out, seeking to escape the inescapable, but the only alternative for Yakov Bok that will allow him to retain his self-respect is to accept the entanglement in the worst of history together with the responsibility for those who are similarly entangled, making a “covenant with himself,” since he can’t make one with God, that he will not betray his fellow Jews, that if necessary he will die rather than assent, even through the most oblique compromise, to the lie that would deny their humanity.
The lesson that Bok learns, in short, is Malamud’s familiar lesson of the necessity for moral involvement, with all its painful, awkward, humiliating consequences, though the idea emerges from Bok’s anguish with greater force than anywhere in the earlier fiction. At the very end of his two-year ordeal of incarceration, as he is carried through the streets of Kiev to the courthouse, surrounded by a mob of faces, some curious or hostile, some even compassionate, he summarizes what he has gradually made clear to himself: “One thing I’ve learned . . . there’s no such thing as an unpolitical man, especially a Jew.”
This last sentence nicely states the relationship between particular and universal in this novel and in Malamud’s work as a whole. The speaker is undeniably a Jew in all the distinctive qualities of his mental and physical being, his wasted flesh and aching bones. The Jew, however, is conceived by the writer not as a creature sui generis but as an extreme and therefore pellucid instance of all men’s inevitable exposure to the caprice of circumstance and the insidious snarl of history: all people are in this way “chosen,” Jews only more transparently than others. The Jew as Everyman is a kind of literary symbol that is likely to wear thin very quickly; it is a tribute to Malamud’s resourcefulness as a writer that he has been able to make the symbolic equation succeed to the extent he has in his stories and novels. In his most recent book, he gives new imaginative weight to his conception of Jewishness by adding to it the crucially important dimension of history, and in so doing he manages to transform his recurrent symbol into the stuff of an urgent, tautly controlled novel that firmly engages the emotions and the intellect as well.
1 “Sentimentalizing the Jews,” September 1965.
2 Farrar Straus & Giroux 359 pp $5 75
3 Knopf, 286 pp., $5.95.