Books: Venus Observed

THE CAMBER WELL BEAUTY AND OTHER STORIES by V.S. PRITCHETT 211 pages. Random House. $5.95.

A writer, V.S. Pritchett once explained, "is at the very least two persons. He is the prosing man at his desk and a sort of valet who dogs him and does the living." Few literary lives so genially and thriftily illustrate this peculiar symbiotic relationship as that of Victor Sawdon Pritchett. Two volumes of peerless memoirs (A Cab at the Door, Midnight Oil) chronicle his evolution from a shy, working-class English youth (born 1900) to eminence as an international man of letters: renowned lecturer, editor and critic....

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