THE HUSSAR (343 pp.)Gregor von RezzoriHarcourf, 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...