[The White Hotel] is extremely complex, ambitious and demanding. Freud himself is a central character—in itself a fair index of earnestness—and the book is largely an act of homage to the "discoverer of the great and beautiful modern myth of psychoanalysis". The title-page, however, quotes Yeats … and the author does himself less than justice in describing the novel's territory as "the landscape of hysteria". He in fact moves his story beyond the Freudian confines—into a modern world where public horror can eclipse private nightmare, and finally on into a vision of an after-life. His essential concern is how we may learn to bear the contrary loads of the pleasure- and...
(The entire section is 535 words.)