Books: Feverish

THE HOSPITAL — Kenneth Fearing —Random House ($2).

The Hospital is to most hospital romances what the Mayo Clinic is to an osteopath. Not even during the recent epidemic of doctors' and nurses' memoirs has a book smelled so strongly of ether and carbolic. Above all, Kenneth Fearing is a specialist in diagnosing hospital life as experienced by the patient—its atmosphere of muffled crises, sterilized optimism, morbid freshness, of surrealist panic as viewed through an anesthetic mask.

Poet Fearing is no doctor. His sources were: 1) several months' firsthand and frequently queasy study of...

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