Books: In the Village Hollow

TO AN EARLY GRAVE by Wallace Markfield. 255 pages. Simon & Schuster. $4.50.

This hilarious first novel can be enjoyed by the general reader for its grotesque comedy, savored by the insider for its satire on the folkways of Greenwich Village intellectuals. "I raised you from a Middlebrow. I weaned you away from the art films, showed you the difference between the Western as mass myth and mass rite," one character tells another. It can also be read as a seriocomic exploration of the hollowness concealed beneath the vintage sophistication that has long been...

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