Books: Unstrung Quartet

THE BANQUET YEARS (306 pp.)—Roger Shattuck—Harcourt, Brace ($8.50).

Nobody quite agrees about what happened at the banquet after pretty Painter Marie ("Coco") Laurencin fell on top of the pastries. Nor has it been decided whether the two poets who foamed at the mouth and had to be locked in the men's coatroom had eaten soap for fun or had faked an attack of the D.T.'s for the benefit of Leo and Gertrude Stein. And nobody knows just how much wine was drunk by Lolo, the donkey that painted impressionist canvases with its tail.

The party...

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