Books: Another Bed, Another Novel

THE EMPTY CANVAS (306 pp.)—Alberto Moravia — Farrar, Straus & Cudahy ($4.50).

To write a novel about boredom is to invite literary disaster. But Italian Novelist Alberto (The Woman of Rome) Moravia has taken on such challenges before, and managed to deal with such themes as poverty, fascism and dictatorship by translating all of them into a framework of sex. In The Empty Canvas, Moravia has overreached himself. He has made sex itself a bore.

Moravia has a ready, if somewhat specious, rationale for the erotic in his books. "It is the result of our highly industrialized mechanical living. Men have been victimized...

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