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sors. They are experimenters with language if not wlth ideas.

In our culture in our tlme one I thesurestdefensesagamstover-

of

u-helnung external pressures for the

sensltwe and

may be to turn Inward to flnd the qualitles of indwiduallty. But the

searchmg young arttst

wrlters we read in

Paris Review, New

Chicago Revaew and the others are headed for prlvate repetltlon unless they discoverthemes wlth wider posslbhes. The writers who lastall1

Perspectioe, The

World IFhtz?tg,

probably be

those who, like Harvey

Swados and Herbert Gold, find ways

of privately vlewing a broader field of human activlty. As Mr. Gold wrote to the editors of StoTy five years ago, Any actlvlty which pays off so lit- tle in cash should at least have the vlrtues of a commitment to events

and

<<

words

to

the

recognition

that hfe on earth isn’t very nice and never was, but it’s all we have, and besides, it’s got kicks if we know how

to get them.”

Sweating Out a Birthright

THESELECTED

LETTERS

TVILLIrlM

Edited by John

Dowell, Obolensky. 347 pp. $5.

CARLOSWILLIAMS.

C.

Thirlwall.Mc-

OF

Katherine Hoekills

I HAVE neverreadtheformalauto-

btography of Wrlllam Carlos Williams, and I doubt now that I ever shall. For thls volume o f letters builds to a spir- itual autobiography of such hlgh stature andIntegratedstructure as tomake anyother seemirrelevant.Withno wlsdom of hindsight, no morallzing on the event, these letters present a lrfe while rt wasbeinglived,informedby the knowledgesandignorances o f the moment. It is as if dunng all those years Dr. Wlllrams had been composinga masterpiece with his left hand, in coun-

terpoint as

cupations. He

at largeandwith no guarantee that

theywouldeverbeassembled.Yet, IIke the mysterrous swallows, here they are back at their birthplace. And though many and beautrful ones are no doubt rntssing, like the swallows, it is the ag- gregate that counts. The meaning is 111

43

The Cmel18 and the Irntlonal

Y.15

by E R. Dcdds

L1 Tho and Wntern Man

Y.95

by Wyndharn Leu71s

4S The Gnat Tranrformatlonr the POllHcal and Econornlc Orlglns

Our Tho by Karl Polany)

01

11.6

16

Sutt’8 last Expedltlon: Tho Journale at Captaln R. F. Scott arranged by

Leonard Huxl~y

11.95

47

Posihlsterlc Man

51.IS

by Rcderlck Scldmbrrg

U

RaWn8tNdon In Philowphy

11.45

by John Dewy

U

Outllnes 01 ihe Hlrtory 01 Dogma

11.35

SO

by Ado1 I

Harnack

Natunl Law and The Theory a1 st 75 Socloty (15004SW) by Otto Gmke

SI The Inilmate Journals 01 Chmrlar

Eaudclalre.

Isherwood

Introduction by W

Tnnrlated by Chnstopher

H. Auden:

SI IS

Uluntnhd by Charlm Baudelare.

SI A Contuy 01 Hem-Wonhlp

by Erlc Bentley

$1.60

At your tmokslorc or u.r11c lo.

BEACON PRESS

DePt NO BEACON HILL. Bosh. Mess

Send me. h’ea Beacon Puperback me. h’ea Beacon Puperback

43Q 47 0 56 0

Q

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0

56

0

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44

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61

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0

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0

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46

D

Your ?ew catalog

0

.

52 0 . 46 D Your ?ew catalog 0 . : : . it were tossed

: :

.

it

were

tossed

to his offiaal out the chapters

oc-

assembly.

the

1

They are not letters to be picked up atrandomandsavored for a blt of gosslp here, an aphorlsrnthere. They

d should be begun at the beglnnlng and read through to the end, In that way the reader may have the extraordrnary experience of watching a life build, stone after dtfflcult stone, to nobility.

The drama is made the more acces-

srhle to us byremarkablea job of cdltmg on the part of John C. Thirl- w.111 The stages of the doctor’s life as

~~

C. Thirl- w.111 The stages of the doctor’s life as ~~ e . STREET . CITY

e

.

STREET

.

CITY

.

STATE

life as ~~ e . STREET . CITY . STATE 0 Check 0 Money Order enclosed

0

Check

0

Money Order enclosed

Sorry, no C.0.D.k no C.0.D.k

91

e

3A

KATHERINE HOSKINS

rccetved

a

grant

from

versrty for her volume

Narcisse.

has

Braadeis

recently

Unz-

of poetry, Villa

L

,*.~

C

man arepresented in blocks of re-

lated letters-from college to his mother andbrother,then to hlsyoungwife,

in

then to hls sons, first at school, later the armed forces. Andthroughthese,

from start to finish, thread letters to

of

them fellow writers and editors. Some- timesnamea will appearbutonce, others weave in and out of the whole Me, as to Marianne Moore, to Kenneth Burke, and the involutions of a friend- shrp are adumbrated. In a letter to his mother in 1904, he mentions his new friendEzraPoundandadds a brief characterization of him that stands up wonderfully through the years. Through- out there are letters to Pound, mention 1s made of him and the last letter in the book is to him.

his friends and acquaintances, most

THE

RECURRENCE of

Poundacts

like a frctional device to point up the

IntenseAmericanism o f the Williams

story. Whatever may be the truth o f our presidents, the American artist has,

untll very lately,

in aculturallogcabin. He has been self-madeandhasmissed few of the

advantagesdisadvantagesand the phrase connotes. He has been, he has hadto be, lonely,cantankerous,

stmate. He has had to waste motion and to dlrect and tutor his originality with very Lttle aid from the outside. And he has had to earn his living in the market place. It is a tough proposi- tlon. Butthosewhohaveevaded or escaped it have sqemed doomed to ex- patriation and that has often proved in the end to be even tougher. Clearly, Dr. Williams never regretted thisAmericanfate of his, thoughhe oftenregretteditsbarrenness,wished like any artrst that he could enjoy, just forhttle,a greenlawnsandnoble friends and a life ordered to ‘his high-

been born

and reared

ob-

The NATION

est capabilities. He “embraced his lion”

and if hisinsistenceonAmericanism was folly, he at least pursued it to where he joins the classical line of men of ac- tion plus letters, of Chaucer, Montaigne, Shakespeare, Stendhal, Flaubert. Though it takes the extremes of the new country and the new era to demand that a man deliver two thousand babies in addition to being a poet. Surely, none of the old

masters was quite so driven. Still,

one considersthisline, the career of pure man of letters looks new and de- cadentwhen it doesn’t look hieratic andhermetlc.Andit is hard for an American to remember that the priest and decadent are also invaluable to our poetic economy. In 1932, Williams wrote, “Let us onceandfor all understand that Eliot is finally and definitely dead ”and his troop along with him.” Twenty yearslater,hewrites, “I’m gladyou recognized my affection for Pound and saw what I intended to make known of him. He too was an orchid in my forest, he had no interest, really, for my trees,

nomorethan did Eliot.Theyboth belonged to an alien world, a world perhaps more elevated than mine, more removed from my rigors. I have always felt as if I were sweating it out some- where low, among the reptiles, hidden in the underbrush, hearing the monkeys overhead.Theirdefeatswere my de- feats, I belonged to them more than to a more mobile “Eliotcouldhavesavedmemany

as

re-

mainhere 2nd put his weight behind the worklng of the thing out, [;.e. a new

poetic Irne] Pound helped at the begin- ningandhas,itmustbesaid,not weakened. Both Pound and

years

had he been

willing

to

are top men in the craft. But I must go beyond that.” Lost though he may have seemed in

the underbrush, Dr. Wllhamsemerges triumphant, having done what he set out to do. He gave the local an airy habitation and a name; and, for his own needs at least,arrived at a new and satisfactory metric. These are immense achievements.Andonemustaddto them such humane virtues as the cuur- a$ with which he sustain~d his many, m.lny years of msuccess,yearswhen often even his colleagues scorned him; hls unfahng kindness to young poets; hls sensitivity to work for which he had little temperamental sympathy. Perhaps hisgreatstrengthshowsbestinhis abdity to meet and incorporate change. For years he berated the “academies”; lately he writes, “we are ignorant, we

British ewcolonials” and suggests

3 generation of formalschoolingin poetry may not hurt us after all. Change is for h ; m anenriching.anincluding, rather than a shift from one attitude to another. And so he can write wisely, 3s in 1951 to Marianne Moore. “It is inevitable that, in the end, individuals,

brothers though they be and closely al- lied as they have lived, will finally ar- rive at the place where their separate individualities are revealed and they will findthemselvesstrangers. That will be the moment when their love and their

with

faith is most tested. Let it be so

us ’I

that

When one

sees how an American can

“make himself”

own terms, one is likely to be seduced into crying, Viva the log cabin. But I think that what one really means is, Viva William Carlos Williams.

on his

on all

sides and

LETTER from DUBLIN

Thomas Parkinson

DUBLIN inlatesummer is crowded with the products o f a new Irish in- dustry:tourism.Beginningwiththe AugustBankHolidayandcontinuing throughHorse-ShowWeek on to the middle of September,thecrowdson Crafton and O’Connell Streets are swell- ed by visrtors, mainly from the United States and England, and as the hotel

THOMAS

Yeats, Self

professor

of English at the Unzverszty of Califor-

nia (Berkeley) and the author of W. B.

the

next

year in Europe on a Guggenheim

PARKINSON

is

Critic. He is spending

f&WJh$.

Octobe7 5, 1957

rates go up, the size and splendor the automobiles outside the Shelbourne and the Russell increase. The weather

remainsintermittent:rain,sun,over-

cast. But sometimes for an entire day the sun is beneflcent. and in the eve- ningthecitybasks in indolentcalm. The Liffey glitters in the late light, the backstreetsringwiththe voices of youngmenloiteringindoorways,the Pro-Cathedral is crowdedwithdeeply pious men and women for evening bene-

of

diction. The brref period of its glory quiteforgotten,theoldParliament Buildingstandswith its blindniches opening out on the swirl of traffic past

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A deeply hurnnn drama as rugged nnd real as 1ts

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227