In this newly discovered "third" of a book by one of the
most influential literary critics of the postwar period, an elderly
poet and novelist turned distinguished mathematical physicist
embroils himself in a principled but somewhat absurd conflict,
complicating the lives of his admirers. These memorable characters
include a beautiful short-story writer; the director of a private
foundation and a compromised man of letters; the headmaster of a
private school; a wealthy, progressive couple; an au pair from the
foundation director's household; and an untried literary man
from the Midwest, drawn from Lionel Trilling's own life
experiences. "The Journey Abandoned" was supposed to be a
novel about the anomalies of heroic action in a conformist age.
Instead, it presents an extremely personal portrait of the life of
letters in America.