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Confessions of a Disloyal European

Author:

Jan Myrdal

Confessions of a Disloyal European

This is Jan Myrdal talking to himself, and it can stand for the theme of his remarkable exercise in self-analysis. In this ‘fictionalized’ autobiography, the 40-year-old Myrdal has tried the impossible—to tell the truth about himself, whom he sees as representative of the decadent breed of European intellectual (‘by Europeans I mean Europeans all the way from the Urals to California’) whose perception, analysis and moral discrimination have been powerless to stop the social and political holocausts of the twentieth century.

Newsweek

Confessions of a Disloyal European

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Literature

Confessions of a Disloyal European

Jan Myrdal is best known in the U.S. for Report from a Chinese Village, hailed by Harrison Salisbury as a “social classic.” He has written over 60 books--novels, poetry, plays, political and social commentary, history, art and literary criticism, and has edited scholarly editions of Balzac and Strindberg. He maintains a controversial presence in Swedish culture through frequent radio, TV, and newspaper commentaries.

Confessions of a Disloyal European

This is Jan Myrdal talking to himself, and it can stand for the theme of his remarkable exercise in self-analysis. In this ‘fictionalized’ autobiography, the 40-year-old Myrdal has tried the impossible—to tell the truth about himself, whom he sees as representative of the decadent breed of European intellectual (‘by Europeans I mean Europeans all the way from the Urals to California’) whose perception, analysis and moral discrimination have been powerless to stop the social and political holocausts of the twentieth century.

Newsweek

These pages are so unboring that sometimes you feel like crying “Uncle” for the reprieve of ennui. Jan’s protest succeeds as literature because it breathes (or curses) with the very physicalness and immediacy of his sense impressions. He touches an especially crucial nerve in those of us who are Westerners par excellence; who are ever so emancipated, educated, sophisticated. In this book Jan Myrdal uses against himself the blackest skepticisms of psychoanalysis, the most cunning corruptions of eloquence. And still he cannot lose the breathlessness of the freshman-revolutionary. There is high art in the way he sustains that contradiction, and a dangerous poetry and long, long echoes of you and me.

New York Times Book Review

One hears in him—even at his most self-centered—the representative accents of his times. He seems to be the voice behind the disaffected student faces seen in newspaper photographs from all over the world. He is the prototype son of model liberals who has found the traditions of reform, of humane rationalism, just not enough.

Christian Science Monitor