The Late Bourgeois World by Nadine Gordimer
New York : Viking Press, 1966. First Edition. Stated "First published in 1966 by the Viking press" on the copyright page. Hardcover. 120 pages ; 21 cm. $3.50 dust jacket. Very good + copy, with firm binding, clean and unmarked pages.
The Late Bourgeois World
If Max Van Den Sandt, son of the distinguished South African M.P., had been black he would not have had to commit suicide. He had betrayed his friends and his cause, and it is probable that someone would have stuck a knife into him. His divorced wife tried to explain Max to their son: It was "as if you insisted on playing in the first team when you were only good enough, strong enough, for the third."
Max, the ineffectual rebel, had given all he had for African nationalism. It was not enough. In his attempts to love he had lost even his self-respect. He had nothing to leave behind except his disgrace—nothing but the still-living memory in the mind of the wife whom he had failed as he had failed himself, and as his respectable white background had failed him.
This is his story—and the story of Africa in transition, a world in which the realities of the human condition have become increasingly sharp and have finally penetrated the hard, smooth surface of society. The late bourgeois world is an age of passionate, violent, and shadowy drama in which it is sometimes possible to see that "the madness of the brave is the wisdom of life." Out of it Nadine Gordimer has created a novel of terrifying emotional thrust and universal reach.
NADINE GORDIMER's stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's, The Atlantic, Kenyon Review, The Yale Review, and many other periodicals. A short-story collection, Friday's Footprint, won the W. H. Smith Award in 1961. She is the author of three other volumes of stories, including The Soft Voice of the Serpent and Not for Publication, and three earlier novels—A World of Strangers, The Lying Days, and Occasion for Loving. Born and educated in South Africa, she lives today with her husband in Johannesburg.
Praise for Not for Publication, Nadine Gordimer's last book:
"Not many authors in her field accomplish what she sets out to do with so much force and grace. Her aim is nothing less than to advance the amenities of civilization. A tall order. But she goes about it with a kind of brilliantly deceptive casualness." —CHARLES POORE, The New York Times
"Her sympathies are wide and observant. . . . The pages are scattered with brilliant thumbnail assessments ... they are warmed by compassion and consistently gripping to the attention. Miss Gordimer is a very good writer indeed." —ALAN PRYCE-JONES, The New York Herald Tribune
"Nadine Gordimer can reveal the bent mainspring of the human mechanism with a skill and ease few of her contemporaries possess. ... Her measured, poised style lulls the reader with a poetic consistency of tone. And then, suddenly and subtly, there comes an alien sound in the well-oiled works—not a dramatic fouling of gears, not even an ominous creak, but simply a decided, detectable tick that cannot be ignored. Almost imperceptibly it compels total attention." —Newsweek
"One of her most arresting methods is this: to concentrate the reader's attention on one particular moment, one gesture. There is a near-biblical, magical rhythm to the words. From this... the author moves immediately to a description of the gesture in social, sexual, esthetic, religious and political terms. It is this passion to explore the hidden significance of a particular moment and this discovery of historical movement which makes Miss Gordimer's work so exciting."
—ADRIAN MITCHELL, The New York Times Book Review
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