Lenny Bruce Nat Hentoff - Essay

Nat Hentoff

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Before the Kuhs [the reference is to prosecuting attorney Richard Kuh] of his country wore him down, Lenny had become a prodigiously skillful juggler of images, fantasies, flashbacks, jump cuts—all fused into a constantly surprising stripping of personal and social history to the antic bones of the American way of life. Many American ways of life. By then, the mores of show business interested him much less than the opaque barriers behind which all manner of unmeltable ethnics and unbridgeable classes girded themselves for daily survival by making self-deception the only true national faith….

Although everything he said inevitably, inextricably, related to his own pilgrim's progress into the...

(The entire section is 571 words.)