“In the world of literature,” says Bruce Edward Walker in this week’s Acton Commentary, “perhaps only Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn did more to expose the lies and cruelty of 20th century totalitarianism.”
What makes Darkness at Noon such an enduring artistic work is Koestler’s firsthand knowledge of his source material. Indeed, Darkness at Noon is an imaginative effort, but unlike The Gladiators – set in the first century B.C. and detailing the failed slave revolution led by Spartacus – and Arrival and Departure – set for the most part in Neutralia, a slightly fictionalized Portugal, during World War II – Koestler’s second novel documents its author’s reasons for abandoning the Communist Party of which he had been a loyal adherent.
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