Koestler : the literary and political odyssey of a twentieth-century skeptic / Michael Scammell
- New York : Random House, c2009
Includes bibliographical references (p. -585) and index
- 1st ed
The first authorized biography of one of the most influential and controversial intellectuals of the twentieth century, based on new research and full access to its subject's papers. Best known as the creator of the classic anti-Communist novel Darkness at Noon, Koestler is here revealed as a man whose personal life was as astonishing as his literary accomplishments. The young Hungarian Jew whose experience of anti-Semitism and devotion to Zionism provoked him to move to Palestine; the foreign correspondent who risked his life from the North Pole to Franco's Spain; the committed Communist for whom the brutal truth of Stalin's show trials inspired the angry novel that became an instant classic in 1940; the escape from occupied France by joining the Foreign Legion and his bluffing his way illegally to England, where his controversial 1943 novel Arrival and Departure was the first to portray Hitler's Final Solution. Scammell also gives a full account of the author's voluminous writings, making the case that the autobiographies and essays are fit to stand beside Darkness at Noon as works of lasting literary value.--From publisher description.
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