Patricia Highsmith | Critical Review by Richard Burgin

This literature criticism consists of approximately 2 pages of analysis & critique of Patricia Highsmith.
This section contains 303 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Review by Richard Burgin

SOURCE: A review of Found in the Street, in New York Times Book Review, November 1, 1987, Vol. 92, p. 24.

In the following positive review, Burgin discusses the psychological elements in Found in the Street

Patricia Highsmith writes compellingly about those ambiguous boundaries that are supposed to separate rational behavior from irrationality and beautiful lives from grotesque ones. Her 19th novel [Found in the Street] centers on Elsie, a pretty 20-year-old waitress who has moved to Greenwich Village from upstate New York, dreaming of modeling or becoming an actress. Friendly, earnest and preternaturally charismatic, she captivates everyone who meets her, including Jack Sutherland and Ralph Linderman. At the novel's beginning, Ralph is already obsessively following her, warning about the dangerous company she keeps. A lonely night watchman and amateur inventor in his mid-50's, Ralph is at once a moralist and an atheist, an idealist and a spy. He is contrasted with Jack, a wealthy and amenable illustrator in his late 20's, and his wife, Natalia, a quasi-socialite art gallery manager, both of whom befriend and fall in love with Elsie. They help her modeling career by introducing her to the chic social world of the Village and SoHo. Ralph misperceives but is correctly alarmed by Elsie's sudden rise in society. Meanwhile, Elsie, who is gay "just now," also excites the passions of three other young women. Despite a plethora of coincidences, the novel's violent conclusion is both surprising and esthetically satisfying. Ms. Highsmith keeps her potentially bathetic material under control through a patient unfolding of luminous details. She understands her characters' conflicts and how they are inflamed by the peculiar tensions of their environment. Often misrepresented as a genre writer of thrillers, Ms. Highsmith is a fine psychologist and ironist, and her newest novel is a powerfully disturbing, resonant creation.

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This section contains 303 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Review by Richard Burgin
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