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Literature and Reality

"Mr. Fast applies party line thinking to literature, and the results make monotonous reading. His critical vocabulary is composed of terms such as life, art, truth, super-truth, dialectical materialism, objective relativity, Socialist realism, formalism, historical perspective, historical materialist, and materialist-critical.

The point for Mr. Fast seems to be that the true artists are those who understand the objective reality, and the objective reality of today is understood only by the Communists. Some of the writers who comprise Mr. Fast's 'cultural dung-heap of reaction' are T.S. Eliot, Kafka, Steinbeck, Richard Wright, Kipling, Tennyson, Lionel Trilling, and James M. Cain. The ones who receive accolades are all people you've never or hardly ever heard of -- with the exception of Euripides."

book review by Joyce Geary, New York Times Books, January 29, 1950

(Frank Campenni, in his 1971 dissertation, reports of an interview (Dec. 11, 1968) with Fast, "Years later, Fast described this book as the one work of which he was ashamed, and he dropped it permanently from book-jacket lists of his published works.")