David Caute John Russell Taylor - Essay

John Russell Taylor

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[David Caute's] first play, Songs for an Autumn Rifle (1961), is a complex and ambitious attempt to come to terms with the moral and political issues behind the 1956 Hungarian uprising, not only as they affected the Hungarians and the Russians in Hungary, but as they affected communists and non-communists elsewhere. The structure is very intricate, switching backwards and forwards between Hungary and London, and keeping several groups of characters in play at once—the editor of a London Communist newspaper, confused by the turn of events, his dogmatic mistress-cum-editorial assistant, his son in the army who refuses on principle to serve in Cyprus, the Hungarian rebels, good and bad, the Russian invaders,...

(The entire section is 542 words.)