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between a check-up and a controlling check rem?

If the army really


had been coddling
Communists
c o u 1donehavedeniedSenator
McCarthys rlght to investigate and
force the army to alteritsadministrativemethods?
It was the apparent m o t i v e, as well as the
methods, of ,the investlgation, rather
than
the
constitutional
power to
makeit, which one had to ca!l in
question.
Barth
recalls the 1862
committee ontheconduct
of the
Here are nine vivid, close-up por- CivilWar as an outrightattempt
traits of typical -Russians . . .Intimate studies
By the legrslature to usurp executive
in narrativeformthatreveal
how the rank
and file citizens of the U.S. S. R. really feel functions, for it not only exposed
about lrfe under the regime. These redistic
military errors andinefficiencies but
stories bring you an authentic cross-sectionof
tried to take over the actual conduct
Soviet society today, showing thepressures
andrewards its membersencounter in pur- of mdltary affairs. But how may
suing their personal goals.
one activity be drs tmguished, in
Though the characters are fictitious, theyare
practice, from the other?
built solidly on materialgathered m interFor another thlLg, there is a ,
wews wlth Russian refugees and on data
available to the authorat Hmards Russian fourth partytotheconstltutional
ResearchCenter andat the Center for Inter- balance-the individual citizen. T h e
national Studies at M. I. T.
separation of powers was intended
$3.95 at your bookstore
not simply to protect
the
courts
from the legislature or the legdature
from
the
executive;
it was
fundamentallyintended
to protect
by RAYMOND A. BAUER with the
assistance of EDWARD W~SIOLEK
the individual from government as
A Technology Press Book, M. 1. T.
a whole. The malor part of the conJOHN WILEY & SONS, Inc.
-troversy over the investigatlons re448 Fourth Avenue
New York 16, N. Y ,
volves, of course, around theirmvaslon of igdividual
rights
and
guaranties; unfortunately, this is the
The book the
most difficult area to deal with. Mr.
Barth can give moving instances of
legdative trialsviolating allour
concepts of due process; both writers
deal at length, if somewhat uneasily,
with the Fifth Amendmentplea; Mr.
Taylor sees that the anti-Communist
investigations have got us deep In
Wl-at can accurately be described
only as inquzsztzon. But there IS
in. Mr. Taylor, perhaps also in Mrl
Barth, a fuzziness as to how to get
out-a fuzzmess arlsmg it would
A

by

information! obtained by a
lned observer wlth a level

MacDuffie

S
I the

Facts, Without Vision

McCoy.

ATKINSON, Saturday Review

I certainlywould not do so. This


fact
demonstrates
how specialized
our
cultural
judgments
have be
tome, how far removed from our
B y John Berger

personal, comparatively spontaneous


BECAUSE I happen to be reviewing recowitions of what isRood
and
bad.I
think
that
Mr.
Gad&
himself
this 950-~aeenovel I wish that I
had time to read it again. But if I would agree wlth this. His title,
were readmg It for my own Interest The Recognitions, is probably
me+nt to be taken on several levels,
J O H N BERGER 2s the a.rt crltzc of but at least one of the themes of
this book is the falseness, the obthe New Statesman ana Nation.

. T H E R E C O G N I T I O N S . By Wilham Gaddls. Harcourt, Brace and


Company. $7.50.
I

10,000 MILES THROUGH


ON A t l S A FROM KHRUS

MARSHALL M o c

376

seem, ,from the, uncertainty and ambivalence with which the whole
problem of communism is regarded
by even our clearest and most liberal minds.
Mr. Taylor tries to help by introducmg ?a background
concept
of
whathe calls the cold civil war.
He sees all these issues, of p,owers,
prerogatives, individual. rights and
duties enmeshed in an impassioned
internal struggle; but though at one
point he defines this as a nationalIst, native-Amencan
challenge
to
the middle-class liberalism and Internationalism which have been the
prevailing
political
climate, he
fails to make very clear either
preclsely what this struggle is or how
it affects the issues withwhich he
grapples. Is it simply, the unbridled
vmlence of this cold civil war
which has led us into thepresent
state of heresy trials and
political
inquisitions,or IS !here something
in the Communistproblem
which
hasrendered these tnings unavodable? Mr. Taylor notes that the
underlying reason why the committees have got so far into the courts
business of prosecution and punishment 1s that thecourtsareunable
to pros&ute or punish for the activltles which the committees. desire to
rep5ess. If, he says atone place,
what the nation wants and needs
is apowerful and flexible governmental mechanism forpolitical inquisition and denuncxation, there I S
truly no substitutefora
Congressionalinvestlgationoperated
by a
Dles or a McCarthy. Mr. Taylor,
01 course, wants nothing of the kmd.
Butwhat
to do assuming that the
nation does want it, or even to what
extent
nation
the
may actually
needsuch defenses against communism, is not made clear.

T h e NATION

,
I
I

:
1

liqueness, of the type of recognition


gained by artiits In Western-soaeey.
The chief character is apainter
of implied genius who fakes paintings by the early Flemish masters, or
ratherpaints
new works in their
style and then forges the signature.
His motive for doing this is not cash
but.. is similar to that which drives
his father,a New England clergyman,fromtheorthodoxchurch
to
various forms of pagan sacrifices;
both of them realize that true individuality is bound to be destroyed
by the moderncult of pers,onality
and so seek a past order of values
which places less emphasis on selfconsciousness. Or atleast that is their
rational motive; their
irrational
motives are
ritualistic
and center
around the death of the mother. A
description of the dark meaning of
their even darker pilgrimage takes
up a large part of the book: the rest
is mostly a satire on the false glltter
of New York bohemianism.
NEEDLESS to say, alot
'can be
packed into 950 pages. Thereare
quotations in Latin, G erma n.
French,
Spanlsh,
Italian; descriptions of thunder storms, hospitals,
fornications.electric railways, monasteries, r a.d i o proBrams, papal
agents, parochial villages, and the
capitals of Europe. There are many
secondary and subsidiary characters-a crook-conndisseur art critic
(called Basil Valentine!), a Catholic
lame-dog musician, a young so-called
playwright who wears his arm in a
sling to give himself airs, a counterfeiter of dollar bills, drunks in the
subway, a business tycoonjwho falls
dawn the stairs in a ' suit of armor
and kills himself, aNegrobutler
who plansmurder,a
series of bonemian women who go to parties
to get bed companions, and a man
who either is or pretends to be
Ernest Hemingway.
I
T o match this variety of subject
matter, eheie are several different
ways of writmg. There ,is *straight
and often very amusingly satirical
dialogue: there are pages of involved
introspection;thereare
purple passages; there is the film-camera technique of panning in o n a street and
following the lwes of people who
happen to get on the same bus and
to sit nextto each other but have
nothing else in common.
Bdt when all has 'been said (and

A f j d 30,1955

..

"

Selected Works

The most ~ m p o r t a n twrltmgs of Mao


Tse-tune are mcluded In thls flveJ "
volume- set,^ translated- from the late&
Chlnese editlon, wlth comous explana- .
tory notes by the Engl~sheditors.
prlmaiy
source
"Translatlon of thls
materlal on cnmmunlsm In Chma w111

Anniversarypreface

by

SAMUEL SILLEN

"It has
gwen
me
genuine
pleasulre.
Constructwe
crlticlsm
such
as this.
coupled ~71thanmtelhgent selection of
Whltman's own words .on themes of
aartlcular
Interest
t o contemvorarv
be ad~r swlll~certamlybe the very
bed
meons of increasing .mltman's audience SilIen has done it with the verve
of a good reporter, but has
anddash
retamed the perspective
of scholarshlp.
I congratulate p!in upon the dlfflcult
dccompllshment
-CLIFTON
JOSEPH
FURNESS.
leadlngWhltmanscholar.
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peaceful
and
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377

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written), what does it add up tothe satire, the analysis of art, faith,
and personality, the pagan sacrifices,
the symbolic
deaths,
the Catholicism, the experimental writing? In
my- opinion it adds up to nothing
more than an encyclopedia. Or perhaps one should say nothing less, for
behindan encyclopedia there is a
forinidable amount of knowledge
and some ,ofthe entries are bdund to
beuseful.
Butan encyclopedia is
not a work of art.
Reading this book and considering both the matter and the manner
of it, one is reminded of some huge,
impressive bird, wings Qutstretehed,
neck taut, talons grasping; one is
'impatient to see it taketo the air;r
and then suddenly one realizes that
it can't, that for all its fine feathers,
'the bones of its wings are, broken,
Finally cine puts the bookdown,
longing like the bird, the author,
and the main characters for some
quiet open space. It is a trapped
book: the testament of a , prisoner
counting hisgrievances, or a miser
hiscoins. I don't want to beoverharsh. Some of thegrievances are
ones we all know, and it does us
good to have them defined; some of

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378

COLLECTED POEMS. 1928-1953. therefore, when books by Auden and


By Stephen Spender. Random Spender appear in the same reviewHouse. $4.
' ing period,
they
are1 reviewed toT H E SHIELD OF ACHILLES. By ge ther.
From the very start, however,
W. H. Auden. Random House. 93.
the differencedeclaredbyeach
In
B y ,John Ciardi
his address to &e poem has been not
BY NOW Auden and Spender have so much a ,matter of divergence- as
been' grouped together so often as of opposites. Auden hasbeen the
some sort of hyphenated comEound schoolmaster of the spirit, Spenckr
-generallyassumedto
contain also more nearly its chaplain. One is
tempted to imagine what _these two
an element known as C . Day Lewisthat the casual feader may overlook talents might have been in another '
the fact that .they are very different, age. Spender might so easilyhave
as well as slightly similar, poets, and been, say, Wordsworth, or Rupert
that in many ways they are, in fact, Brookeeven, had nqt the present
quite opposite temperaments. They age of cynicism hardened his ideal, ism, an idealism not much' removed
were at Oxford together, tlieyaccepted loosely a kind of alliance that from that one may observ'e' in the
popular reception suggested to them, best tradition of the Anglican counand they were both concerned with try priest. But not Auden; he is a
figure-a
touch
of
the social look of the wyrld's falling more complex
Byronism
(more
than
a
touch),
a
into its rusted thirties. Inevitably,
- technical passion' almost Popeian in
JOHN CIARDI teaches at Rutgers. its intensity, an intellectualism ColeA new book of his poems, ' A s If, ridge could have respected.
All of which is speculation to be
Poems New and Selected," wall be
sure. But all .of which pointP to the
published an the fall.

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the coins are rare and valuable,. But


what it lacks, like 2.11,claustrophobic
works of art, is imagination. It has
plenty of invention and fantasy, but .
that is something different. Imagination in art is the ability to select
significantly: -to select in order to
communicate a vision.
This book %s no visionbecause
the writer can see no way out of
-the vicious environment he describes
so obsessively. The facts are piled
u p because they may contain a clue
to 'the way out-but he does not find
it. ?he book lacks perspective both
socially and psychologically. And in
the end i t is this, I think, that explains the awkwardness of the style
in whichmuch of it -is wFitten and
its inordinate length. Because the
writer is,trapped, he barely envisages
the existence qf the reader; unIike
that of James Joyce his prose is ungraI, heavy, silent; unlike a great but
lengthy writer like Thomas ,Mann
he has no desire to convince byaccumulation; onefindsoneself
after
nearly 1,000 pages in exactly the
same place as one started. It is perhaps for that reason that I began by
saying that' I felt I ought to read
this book again.
'

The NATION

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