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United States: Essays 1952-1992 - "John Horne Burns" (1965) Summary & Analysis

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"John Horne Burns" (1965) Summary and Analysis

An elegy to his lost novelist friend of World War II, this essay recalls the man who wrote The Gallery published in 1947, which Vidal calls "the best book of the Second War" even considering Vidal's own war novel, Williwaw. Burns, a raw Irishman from Boston, was awakened to life completely when, as a young soldier, he encountered the Galleria Umberto, a teeming "city within a city" in Naples.

"It was the time when cigarettes, chocolate and nylons were exchanged for an easy sex that could become, for a man like Burns, unexpected love," Vidal writes. In that environment, Burns came fully to his senses and fully alive, startled and delighted with the good humored brutality and simple dignity of the Italians. The book was a critical and popular success, but his...

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This section contains 263 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Purchase our United States: Essays 1952-1992 Study Guide
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United States: Essays 1952-1992 from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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