...finished, actually, Ward Just's new novel, "Forgetting." It had a smart review by John Updike in the New Yorker (a twofer, including John le Carre's "The Mission Song") and another, more unreserved, by Michael Gorra in last Sunday's New York Times Book Review.
Updike calls the book a "wide weave of incident and rumination." It is that. Much goes on in this novel, in the writing and thinking on virtually every page, and in even the small scenes (like the teenage girl on horseback in the fog on a Maine beach). In one early section, the narrator uses the German word "lebensluge," which he defines as the lie that makes it possible to live one's life. Later, there is this unsettling line, which has stuck in my mind:
"Every society needed people to do their dirty work, taking care to keep the worst of it out of sight, unacknowledged, and deniable.... Lebensluge would be involved. Lebensluge, he thought, was probably in first position."