For all the tweed, gin, and torn commuter tickets in the stuff of John Cheever's fiction, his stories carry the ancient authority of a faith that good and evil are not merely words, that grace rewards with joy on earth those who obey the gods, and that a Miltonic "chaos and old night" full of vengeful demons awaits the defiant and unruly. He has a long view in which:

> The magic of the imagination redeems life: "Art is the triumph over chaos (no less) and we can accomplish this only by the most vigilant exercise of choice, but in a world...

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