Efforts at Truth

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Nicholas Mosley was born in 1923. His father was Sir Oswald Mosley, leader of the British Union of Fascists in the 1930’s. In RULES OF THE GAME and BEYOND THE PALE, Mosley told the story of his relationship with his father up until 1947 when he, Nicholas, married and began a new life. EFFORTS AT TRUTH struggles to understand the patterns in the author’s life from that point on.

Mosley focuses on important passages in his life, trying to understand both the patterns created by the actors and the motives of the offstage observer/manipulator. This approach assumes that standing back far enough to see and judge one’s destructive actions affords room for free will to operate, and, in this respect, EFFORTS AT TRUTH offers a tentative hope for humanity.

Mosley spends much time summarizing his novels and explicating their origins in his personal relationships, especially those he perhaps endured as much as enjoyed with several mistresses. He spells out his infidelities, often quoting painful letters, and not flinching from the misery he caused his first wife, Rosemary. His father appears frequently enough to reveal a personality that must have been exceptionally difficult to deal with and endure. Another important person in Mosley’s life was Father Raynes, the Superior of the Anglican Community of the Brotherhood, whose influence inspired Mosley for some years to edit a small Anglican monthly called PRISM.

The endless fond glossing of already-forgotten novels will not grip many readers’ attention, but the pain evident in these memoirs proves that not even a self-indulgent rich man can escape suffering for his follies.