Millhauser began his unusual voyage in 1972 with the parody biography “Edwin Mullhouse: The Life and Death of an American Writer 1943-1954,” supposedly written by Mullhouse’s precocious contemporary Jeffrey Cartwright. All the themes Millhauser would work in later years can be found in that first book: the unstable self, the knife’s-edge difference between reality and dreams, the power of hysterical young people. The way Millhauser conveyed a suburban world where the quiet slippage of the self was a greater threat than violence hardly fit that era. His characters didn’t turn on or tune in. They lived under the indifferent Connecticut sky, moored to reality by their thoughts and their books.
Monday, March 3
Ah, Millhauser! There's someone I should read
The parody biography is my genre of choice. I picked up Edwin Mullhouse at the library several months ago but quickly put it back. I shall have to pick it up again .... and read it before I put it back. Here the Times reviews Millhauser's latest short story collection and closes with the following assessment of Mullhouse: