Books: Stately Pastoral

Now IN NOVEMBER—Josephine Johnson —Simon & Schuster ($2).

When the republic of letters was a monarchy, the grand manner was reserved for such uncommon themes as the death of kings, paradise lost or the celestial city found. Mass education has changed all that. Prizefighters, prostitutes, plain people of all kinds are the modern tragic heroes, and modern authors write about them in Promethean language. Time was when farmers figured in literature only as comic oafs or sullen clodhoppers, but Now in November pipes a more stately pastoral. Written with a slightly self-conscious sonority, this...

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