Books: Home for Dead Cats

THE MUSES ARE HEARD (182 pp.)—Truman Capofe—Random House ($3).

The five-verst shelf of books on Russia —hortatory, minatory or merely muddled, whether by Webb-footed economists, panting pilgrims, puffing pundits or Red-eyed viragoes—must surely comprise some of the most glum and gullible guff in the history of letters. A rare creature, exotic as a hummingbird in the tundras, has just been sighted in this dreary literary region. Truman Capote, previously noted for his ability in tatting webs of lacy sensibility, has written a wise and witty report on Russia.

When the touring all-Negro Porgy and Bess company went behind the Iron Curtain last year...

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