Regular readers of The New Criterion do not need a full introduction to Rebecca West (1892–1983). She remains one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century. It is best to describe her as a writer—not as a novelist, journalist, art critic, woman of letters, political commentator, or memoirist—because, no matter what genre she took up, the same writerly and worldly sensibility infused virtually every word she composed. She projected her personality in such forceful prose that we still are dealing with its ricochet. Although she believed in an international ideal and in certain basic human rights recognized in the United Nations charter, she stubbornly insisted that Old World clashes between men and women, ethnic rivalries, blood feuds, and nationalistic movements would persist in international relations and as a constituent of the modern psyche. Her magisterial epic, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon...

 
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