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What time is it?

Michael Wood

16 February 1989
Dreams of Roses and Fire 
by Eyvind Johnson, translated by Erik Friis.
Dedalus, 384 pp., £11.95, December 1988, 0 946626 40 5
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Women in a River Landscape 
by Heinrich Böll, translated by David McLintock.
Secker, 208 pp., £10.95, February 1989, 0 436 05460 4
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The Standard Life of a Temporary Pantyhose Salesman 
by Aldo Busi, translated by Raymond Rosenthal.
Faber, 430 pp., £12.95, January 1989, 0 571 14657 0
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... because the novel is set in 17th-century France, and concerns the devils of Loudun – Aldous Huxley published his account of this celebrated case in 1952. In fact, we have to jump over two largish fences to get to Johnson’s book at all. In America it was published (in 1984) as an instance of ‘Nordic Literature’; in England it is offered to ...
9 March 1995
... a case of ‘Latin’ bellafigurisme, since in Italy, at least, gay writers such as Tondelli and Aldo Busi have gladly accepted the label. No, France is a country in which at least the illusion is maintained of an open, civilised communication among all the elements of society; the strong push towards secularism, at least as old as the Revolution, has ...

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