Books: Dilettante of the Depths

DOWN THERE ON A VISIT (318 pp.)—Christopher Isherwood— Simon & Schuster ($4.75).

Christopher Isherwood, that permanently promising young man, seemed during the '30s to be the two dandiest literary dactyls since Joyce's Malachai Mulligan. To earnest literary leftists of the decade, Auden, Spender and Isherwood were pronounced as one word, and in 1935 Isherwood and Auden were acclaimed for an amusing prose and verse play (The Dog Beneath the Skin) that twitted the British Establishment satisfactorily, even if it struck no telling blows in the class war. Isherwood's most promising work came four years later: Goodbye to Berlin, six wistful stories whose...

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