That same year, Nock resigned from The Freeman and resumed a peripatetic existence as an author of whom it could not be said, as he observed in Memoirs of a Superfluous Man
, that his books ever had enriched a publisher.
Of Memoirs of a Superfluous Man
, Cox writes, "its subject, even to a tiresome degree, is Albert Jay Nock." As provocative as such judgments may be, they do serve to cast into sharp relief the real differences between the relatively more populist Paterson and the unabashedly Olympian stances of Nock and Mencken.
A country estate is visited by a superfluous man
from the city who gains the love of a naive, morally pure woman.
Ellen Chances tracks the variations on the 'superfluous man
' from the mid-nineteenth century through the Soviet period, and the historical cultural factors that gave rise to this recurrent image of the alienated, non-conformist 'outsider', a type which continues to attract ambivalent attitudes, from sympathy to irony to censure.
Farce ended" reminds one of the line spoken by Turgenev's Superfluous Man
: "My little comedy is over" ("La commedia e finita").
To explore the movement's intellectual origins Hodgson profiles four books of diverse content and tone, three finished in 1943 and the fourth a decade later: Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead, Albert Jay Nock's Memoirs of a Superfluous Man
It established the term Oblomovism as a name for the superfluous man
of Russian life and literature.
His autobiographical works were Journal of These Days: June 1932-December 1933 (1934); Memoirs of a Superfluous Man
(1943), largely an attack on democracy; and the posthumous Journal of Forgotten Days: 1934-35 (1949).
His first novel, Goroda i gody (1924; translated as Cities and Years, 1962), also uses this theme, contrasting the vacillating Andrey Startsov, a type of superfluous man
, with the devoted Communist Kurt Wahn, who eventually kills Startsov as a traitor to the cause.
Albert Jay Nock (1873-1945) was editor of The Freeman and author of Memoirs of a Superfluous Man
, among many others.