This year, proving that life is large, I read William Kotzwinkle's "The Bear Went Over the Mountain" (Doubleday), the funniest fable of our time: a satire on the wacky enterprises of writing, publishing, promoting and book-selling, in the form of a shaggy Hemingway tale of a manuscript-toting bear who, since he is furry, rough and greedy, is treated as the season's new genius. And at the other end of the literary spectrum, I finally read Primo Levi's "Survival at Auschwitz," a work of astonishing literary gift and moral genius. Levi was a writer who could make a criminal's wiping his greasy hand on a Jew's shirt stand for the entire horror of the Holocaust.
HERBERT GOLDHerbert Gold is the author of numerous works, including the forthcoming novel "She Took My Arm As If She Loved Me" (St. Martin's Press) in May. He lives in San Francisco
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