Mark Harris Edgar Z. Friedenberg - Essay

Edgar Z. Friedenberg

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

A reviewer who attempts to look … deeply into Twentyone Twice faces curious but interesting problems, both technical and moral. If it were fiction, I would hail it as a satirical masterpiece. The character, Harris, who emerges from it is just the sort that Jean-Paul Sartre, say, would have drawn to depict an American professor in a provincial college torn between fidelity to his youthful radicalism and the ambition to become an instrument of "national purpose." It is all there: the studied use of obscenity to project an image of impulsive warmth; the deliberate, self-critical assumption of an anti-heroic posture to explain the absence of militance. Mr. Harris loses no opportunity to present himself as...

(The entire section is 487 words.)