Perfection Criticism

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Helprin published The Pacific and Other Stories, the collection in which “Perfection” appears, in 2004, after a seven-year absence from fiction publishing. The critical reception was mostly positive, although Helprin’s embrace of such old-fashioned themes as beauty, truth, and honor, and his affirmation of moral absolutes, was not universally admired.

In his mostly enthusiastic review for Newsday entitled “Glimpses of Lives Honed on Honor,” Dan Cryer remarks that Helprin is an “unabashed cultural conservative” who writes about “great qualities” without irony or “the wink of postmodernist qualification.” While he calls the collection “uneven,” Cryer notes that it has a coherent theme, “the grace imparted by a life honed on honor.” He singles out “Perfection” as an “exuberant story” and “one of the oddest, and funniest, of...

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This section contains 489 words
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Buy the Perfection Study Guide
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