The Art of Arno Schmidt

Michael Irwin

  • Evening Edged in Gold by Arno Schmidt
    Marion Boyars, 215 pp, £60.00, September 1980, ISBN 0 7145 2719 X
  • Confessions of a Lady-Killer by George Stade
    Muller, 374 pp, £6.95, September 1980, ISBN 0 584 31057 9
  • Seahorse by Graham Petrie
    Constable, 169 pp, £5.95, August 1980, ISBN 0 09 463710 5

The reviewer of fiction can pretty easily acquire enough second-hand information to enable him to imply easy familiarity with the oeuvre of a writer he has only infrequently encountered. There can even be a temptation to go a step further, by seeming to assume that this knowledge will be common to all cultivated people. In the case of Arno Schmidt I am tempted towards no such subterfuges, partly because my ignorance of the man and his work, prior to my reading of Evening Edged in Gold, was total, partly because I imagine numerous other potential British readers will be in a similar position.

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