Books: Light & Truth

IF THINE EYE OFFEND THEE (405 pp.) — Heinrich Schirmbeck — Simon & Schuster ($5.95).

Philosophers amuse themselves by attacking unities with metaphysical axes, splitting them into dualities, and then trying to glue the pieces together again.

Author Schirmbeck is a metaphysical novelist of considerable imagination and hubris who is desperately concerned with recementing the duality whose halves are customarily called reason and feeling, truth and grace, science and morality, or mathematics and poetry. A character in his novel—itself a disturbing duality, part murky hokum, part stark reality—expresses the wish to be the first poet of modern physics. Clearly he speaks for the...

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