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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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... desolation in this novel, as if neither author nor characters knew where to turn, since for them a world without sin is a world without a chance of redemption. This is precisely the world of AldoBusi’s The Standard Life of a Temporary Pantyhose Salesman (published in Italy in 1985), which recounts three weeks or so (with copious flashbacks) in the rambling, conspiratorial existence of one ...
9 March 1995
... as reactionary and belittling. Nor can the French attitude be dismissed as closetedness or as a case of ‘Latin’ bellafigurisme, since in Italy, at least, gay writers such as Tondelli and AldoBusi 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 ...

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