Ararat (Magill's Literary Annual 1984)
D. M. Thomas’ third novel The White Hotel (1981), which brings Freudian fantasy to the theme of Nazi extermination of the Jews, became a publishing legend. When first released in the author’s native Great Britain, the novel did not receive much more notice than that which had been accorded Thomas’ two previous novels, Birthstone (1980) and The Flute-Player (1982). The American edition, however, was soon enormously successful, outselling everything, including novels that were far more accessible and conventional. Thomas, an obscure Cornish don better known in literary circles for his poetry and his translations of Russian verse than for his fiction, was transformed into a celebrity, the object of lavish attention, both positive and negative—several critics noted that long passages in The White Hotel and other works by Thomas were appropriated from the writings of others.
Ararat, Thomas’ latest novel, has been reviewed widely and prominently in both the United States and the United Kingdom. Although it has not been the best-seller that The White Hotel was, Ararat likewise has provoked strong and disparate reactions. Some have praised its spare construction and narrative inventiveness, while others have denounced it as a self-indulgent and gratuitously unpleasant game. In Ararat, Thomas once again makes use of other authors’ texts, most notably of Alexander Pushkin’s...
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 1984)
Antioch Review. XLI, Fall, 1983, p. 510.
Boston Review. VIII, October, 1983, p. 36.
Hudson Review. XXXVI, Autumn, 1983, p. 556.
Library Journal. CVIII, March 1, 1983, p. 518.
Los Angeles Times Book Review. April 3, 1983, p. 1.
The New York Review of Books. XXX, June 16, 1983, p. 34.
The New York Times Book Review. LXXXVIII, March 27, 1983, p. 7.
Newsweek. CI, April 4, 1983, p. 75.
Time. CXXI, April 25, 1983, p. 114.
Virginia Quarterly Review. LIX, Summer, 1983, p. 91.
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