"Greif has studiously and powerfully recovered what he terms 'the discourse of the crisis of man' across a range of midcentury writing. This body of literature and criticism, he demonstrates, was preoccupied with questioning what 'Man' is and ought to be, and was ambitious enough to think it had the answers. This is the 'thought' behind the 'ideas' that, as Tom Townsend would say, we get from fiction by Saul Bellow, Ralph Ellison, Flannery O’Connor, and Thomas Pynchon in the decades after World War II."
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