Louis Begley Analysis


(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Alexander, Victoria N. “Louis Begley: Trying to Make Sense of It.” Antioch Review, Summer, 1997, 292-304. Alexander sees a thematic development from Wartime Lies through About Schmidt, reflected in events and characters and having to do with retribution, punishment, and justice, both divine and poetic.

Edwards, Thomas R. “Palm Beach Story.” The New York Review of Books 43, no. 17 (October 31, 1996): 63-65. Edwards describes Begley’s first three books before turning to About Schmidt and giving a clear and detailed explanation as to why he considers it to be a departure from the early fiction and the best of Begley’s novels to date.

Hepburn, Allan. “Lost Time: Trauma and Belatedness in Louis Begley’s The Man Who Was Late.” Contemporary Literature 39, no. 3 (Winter, 1998): 380-404. This study traces evidence of psychological trauma in Begley’s first three novels, connecting them to the fictional works of other authors and to theories of psychology to explain Begley’s treatment of character.

Mendelsohn, Jane. “Fiction in Review.” The Yale Review 83, no. 1 (1995): 108-120. An illuminating study that traces the development of Begley’s ideas and emotions as they are expressed in the major characters of Begley’s novels up to As Max Saw It, which Mendelsohn sees as a culmination of several themes.