Books: Sirens & Symbols

USHANT (365 pp.)—Conrad Aiken—Duell, Sloan & Pearce-Little, Brown ($4.50).

Approaching Brest at night, the Atlantic traveler gets his first winking, warning sign of his destination from the lighthouse of He d'Ouessant, better known as Ushant. Poet Conrad Aiken has never seen Ushant, but he has thought & thought about it. To him it stands for Europe, the wide world, a life of physical and spiritual voyaging.

This much is fairly easy to grasp in Aiken's "autobiographical narrative'' Ushant; thereafter, the going gets harder. For much of Ushant is cryptic self-psychoanalysis, and is to be...

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