November 30, 2006
Books: Farce, fascism and dash of Proust create a ‘Wonder’
(Page 2 - Previous Page)"It bedevils me," he says. "When an artist feels this tension, he does his best work." If that is true, then perhaps Epstein felt a heightened tension in writing about Haile Selassie, emperor of Ethiopia and reputed descendant of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. In what may be the most luminous passage in "Eighth Wonder," Epstein writes, "What struck the milling masses ... were his eyes, a strip of black iris, a strip of ivory, and the way they stared as fixedly as those in a stone statue of Jupiter to where the great arch rose like a guillotine at the end of the Via Sacra."
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