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88 WesternAmerican Literature in respectable journals. “The Secret” (1917) appeared in Century Magazine; “Lavia” (1935) came out in Argosy, and two volumes of verse, including The Village Street and Other Poems (Putnam’s 1922), were highly praised. “Only the Young Fear Death” (1933) was published in Harper’s and is one of his best: Only the young fear death. A god has crossed their path and they are sure Of happiness, if it would but endure . . . In most of his poetry there is a definite influence of the Greek and Roman poets, not only in theme, but in a rhyme scheme he devised based on the terza rima. He lived with his wife and children for manyyears in avilla near Florence, Italy, and while it is reported he could write a prose work in nine days, he would be nine months composing a classical verse. Faust is best known as Max Brand (he had fifteen pen names), writer of popular western fiction and creator of such immortal characters as Destry and Dr. Kildare. At the time of his death in 1944 (he was killed in action in Italy where he was serving as a war correspondent), he was carrying the manuscript of an unfinished epic dealing with Prometheus’theft of fire. During his lifetime he authored nearly 200 books, 210 magazine stories, movie scripts, and numerous essays. This collection of Faust’s poetry, compiled by his daughter, Jane, and son-in-law, Robert Easton, is published to celebrate the 100th anniversary of his birth. In one of his notebooks he wrote, “Prose is writing about life. Poetry is life.”He would have been pleased with this volume of his poetry for verse was the central love of his life. DORYS CROW GROVER East Texas State University House ofMirrors. ByJoseph Hutchison. (Golden, Colorado: James Andrews & Co., Inc., 1992. 97 pages, $8.95.) Ifanything characterizes this work byJoseph Hutchinson aswestern Ameri­ can literature, it is his exploration of light. Light does indeed flood the western landscape and show up as a recurring motiffrom the writings of Frank Norris in California, Ivan Doig in Montana, Edward Abbey in Utah, Owen Wister in Wyoming to Lawrence Ferlinghetti in Paris. Light is a metaphor for life: “world of crystal light. . . land without end”for Wister in The Virginian; Gatlin trapped by light, a love affair with Sandy, in Abbey’s Black Sun; light sustaining hope for Zane Grey in Black Mesa; light equaling life for Frank Norris in The Octopus, where death is the absence of life, and night is the absence of day. ForJoseph Hutchison, light is often connected with dust, as those streams through our windows display the dance of what we were, what we are, what we will become. House of Mirrors is divided into three sections. In the first, Reviews 89 Hutchison, reflecting light in a mirror, spreads a scene of the world we have now created and puts us into the reflection. The reflection is grief, lamentation for our earth, for ourselves, for persons close passing from us, for the passing of those unknown third persons, a spreading horizontal grief as wide as light, as wide as life. In the mirror if we look closely, we will find self to be the cause of grief, selfthe victim of self. But the light endures, has and still gives light to fish, birds and now us, who from a “Viewpoint on Independence Pass,”“... suddenly feel/kissed by shadows of birds/sailing high/in the gusty light.” In the second section, to the commonplace of private and public griefs, Hutchison addsjoy, which allows us to survive and continue the destruction.Joy comes to ease the grief; grief comes to keep us grounded. In the third section, thejoy is clandestine, a love affair with light, with life. But of course, the secret joy of one person is at the expense of another. The self lives, devouring light, even when the light is another life, . . nameless . . . /like dust.” SANDRA GAIL TEICHMANN Florida State University Franklin’s Crossing. By Clay Reynolds. (New York: Dutton, 1992. 536 pages, $22.00.) Franklin’s Crossing satisfies everything a reader expects of a Western. Reynolds’book, however, is set apart from...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1948-7142
Print ISSN
0043-3462
Pages
pp. 88-89
Launched on MUSE
2017-10-04
Open Access
No
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