Conrad Aiken Long Fiction Analysis - Essay

Conrad Aiken Long Fiction Analysis

(Survey of Novels and Novellas)

The central event in Conrad Aiken’s personal life—the murder-suicide of his parents—was also the central event of his artistic life, for all of his literary work is in some way aimed at coming to terms with the childhood tragedy. In Ushant, Aiken says of his parents that “he was irrevocably dedicated to a lifelong—if need be—search for an equivalent to it all, in terms of his own life, or work; and an equivalent that those two angelic people would have thought acceptable.” The search for understanding of his personal tragedy motivated Aiken to try to understand the universal tragedy of modern humankind, what Joseph Warren Beach called “moral terror,” the basic question of good and evil in the human heart...

(The entire section is 3236 words.)