Thornton Wilder --> reviewed by Eric Ormsby -->

Of all the characteristics which set Thornton Wilder apart from the other great American writers of his generation and which make him something of an odd man out, it is his unexpected serenity which most unsettles. Even when dealing with tragic events, he is possessed of a decided equanimity. The shock of such events—a collapsing bridge in eighteenth-century Peru or (no less harrowing) a young girl’s twelfth birthday revisited from beyond the grave in Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire—is always captured from a vastly wider, indeed, a cosmic, perspective. The effect, curiously enough, is to bring those calamitous moments closer, to make them painfully familiar, as though they formed part of our own...

 

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