Darkness Visible Criticism

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Styron penned Darkness Visible when he was sixty-four years old, after a successful career in which he had gained a reputation as a prose stylist who wrote engaging stories that emphasized enduring human themes. Its critical reception is to a large degree based on Styron's established reputation and the respect it affords him. With few exceptions the book was praised for its insight and candor. Reviewing the book for Newsweek, Peter Prescott wrote that "Darkness Visible ... is an essay of great gravity and resonance. Never has Styron used so few words so effectively." Jon Saari of Antioch Review agreed, writing: "[Styron's] memoir should become a valuable addition to the understanding of depression, confirming again the role the literary artist plays in bringing light to the darkest secrets of the human psyche." Writing for Magill Reviews, R. Baird Shuman concurs: "His account of this struggle is candid and balanced...

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This section contains 170 words
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Darkness Visible from Nonfiction Classics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.