The Burning Glass

S. N. Behrman
Boston: Little, Brown, 1968
First edition in dust jacket

The severity of Behrmanís disappointment with the production and reception of But For Whom Charlie precluded his continuing on yet one more piece of dramaturgy. Inevitably he put aside his notes for a new work, tentatively entitled "At Rise," which offered the French philosopher Montaigne as the central character. Instead, Behrman turned his attention back to "Let Me Hear the Melody," ostensibly to fashion his failed play into a novel. However, he developed The Burning Glass, a novel he had talked of writing back in the 1930s. The third person, "Stanley Grant," is Behrman in a semi-fictionalized account of a playwright/screenwriter socially conscious of the rising menace of Nazism. The resultant book dissatisfied him, and he reviewed his life in further memoirs, People in a Diary. At last his health faltered, his eyesight failed him, and he spent the last of his days in a state of near blindness. He died when he was eighty.


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