Books: Try at Tragedy

THE GATES OF AULIS—Gladys Schmitt—Dial ($2.75).

In this first novel, with great seriousness and intensity, Miss Schmitt makes a try at a genuine U.S. tragedy. Too few U.S. writers try that, and almost none succeed. Miss Schmitt deserves a medal for valor, not for success.

Carl Hasselmann and his sister Ellie, provincial, supersensitive Americans, dwell in the uneasy revulsions of a sort of spiritual incest. They represent, respectively, the frigid, inhumane predicament of mind-without-spirit and the equally suicidal predicament of spirit-without-mind. Carl's mental drive stretches him flat on the altar he has built before a hypnotic social theorist. Ellie is impelled to sacrifice...

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