Books: Three Miles from a Bad Word

THE LAND OF RUMBELOW by Carlos Baker. 370 pages. Scribner. $4.95.

It is now considered slightly gauche to put four epigraphs on your title page, and Carlos Baker, a Princeton University professor and literary critic who has been smart for a long time, tastefully begins his book with only two quotations, neither from Kierkegaard. But there are subtler sorts of title-page-manship, and Baker uses one of the most telling: the subtitle, or direction for use, of The Land of Rumbelow is A Fable in the Form of a Novel. Baker means to put the reader on notice that the events he describes...

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