Books: The Lasf Knight

THE HUSSAR (343 pp.)—Gregor von Rezzori—Harcourf, Brace ($4.95).

In the town of Tchernopol, "to be mean is no crime." The people of Tchernopol laugh when a coachman slashes at a blind man for getting in the way of a carriage. They laugh when a drunk sings obscene songs or when a dog is run over.

Tchernopol is in southeastern Europe, possibly in Rumania, where 46-year-old Author von Rezzori was born. But the city of cruel laughter is also Everyplace, an allegorical setting for a philosophical novel on the nature of reality.

The town and its people are seen through the eyes of a nameless...

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