Dr. Richard Kellogg, professor emeritus of psychology at Alfred State, is the author of an article that appears in the most recent issue of “Paperback Parade,” a quarterly journal for readers and book collectors published by Gryphon Publications. The article is titled "Philip Wylie's ‘The Disappearance.’"
The author, in reviewing Wylie's novel “The Disappearance,” notes that Wylie (1902-1971) was often labeled a misogynist for his biting critique of wives and mothers in his earlier “Generation of Vipers” (1942). He suggests that Wylie wrote “The Disappearance” to atone for his earlier attacks on women.
“The Disappearance” takes place in Miami on Valentine's Day in 1950. In the blink of an eye, all the women suddenly disappear from the world of men. At the same instant, all the men vanish from the world of women, leaving two parallel universes: one occupied by men and the other by women. The novel reveals the sequence of events that occur over the next four years in the male and female domains.
Wylie depicts a one-sexed world as one filled with loneliness and despair. He captures the sadness and the anger that develops when men and women are separated from each other. Wylie asserts that the combination of male and female energies is necessary to create a healthy and productive society.
Kellogg concludes that Wylie understood the interdependency of the two sexes and that “The Disappearance” refutes the allegation that he hated women. In fact, literary critics now consider this novel to be among Wylie's finest achievements in the genre of science fiction.