Viking, $27.00 hb, 174 pp
Is it possible to admire a novel, to have enjoyed it on both first and second readings, yet to remain unconvinced that one can with confidence say what it is about? Isn’t that rather the complex response that poetry excites? Here it might be noted that John Scott, who subtitles The Architect not ‘a novel’ but ‘a tale’, is a poet turned novelist, as is his friend David Brooks, of whose House of Balthus something similar might be said. ‘Poetry must resist the intelligence almost successfully,’ as Wallace Stevens opined.