Willy Remembers


by Irvin Faust. Arbor House, $6.95. Willy Kleinhans, son of an immigrant German, fought in the Spanish-American War and never got over it. As Mr. Faust constructs them, his memories are a muddle of ignorance, prejudice, jingoism, and senility. Willy confuses Teddy with FDR and Admiral Dewey with Jimmy Walker, but he is capable of a straightforward, convincing account of the Army’s incompetent sanitary arrangements in Cuba. Willy, in short, is gaga on public affairs but lucid on his own, which is not the way senility works, and this glaring artificiality in the author’s scheme blunts the edge of what appears to have been designed as a satire on middle-class pseudo-patriotism.