The Angle

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In lieu of an abstract, below is the essay's first paragraph.

"In 1961 a very fine little novel by Romain Gary slipped into publication in the United States almost unnoticed by the reviewers. I feel that the few critics, however, that did discuss the book missed its message. Atlantic Monthly's reviewer, for instance, found the theme of the book to be centered in a denial of the existence of God and the devil: any power attributed by man to the supernatural was merely man's Faith in the words "God" and ''devil.'' Following a semantic approach, the Atlantic reviewer went on to discuss the varied meanings that these words may have for each individual man. The central lesson Romain Gary was teaching, concluded the article, was that man --and not any supernatural force--was the real master of his fate. This interpretation of the book would place the author in the same Gnostic tradition as Archibald MacLeish,(J. B.) and Paddy Chayefsky, (Gideon)."

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