David Caute John R. Coyne, Jr. - Essay

John R. Coyne, Jr.

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

At first [The Occupation] seems just another of that depressing ruck of academic novels written to show us what university life is really like. Summarize one and you've summarized them all. The narrator is inevitably a professor of English in the throes of premature male menopause, his world crumbling around his ears, his wife hostile, the coeds after whom he lusts—and unfortunately, after years of prudent chasing finally catches—disillusioned. Nothing makes sense, the SYSTEM is meaningless, the world is meaningless, it's all a bad cosmic joke.

And superficially, that's the way this one seems to be heading. But somewhere along the line you realize that Caute understands all that, and as...

(The entire section is 683 words.)