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JUST PUBLISHED

Culture in a Changng World


By V. J. Jerome
An incisive study of the ideological struggle in the
cultural sphere, including a critical examination- of
reactionary ideas advanced by various exponents of
bourgeois ideology, the people's counter-forces moving
toward a democratic culture, and the special role of
Marxist cultural workers. Price: $1.00; j)aper $,35
Notes Froln the Gallows
By Julius Fuchik
One of the greatest human documents to come out of
the war, this book is the final testament of a Com-
munist leader of the Czech anti-Nazi underground,
describing his Golgotha, h is mental and physical tor-
tures until the last moments before his death on the
gallows. It is permeated with the spirit of struggle and
confidence in the ultimate triumph of the people over
fascism. Price: $.60
Jewish Culture iri America
By Nathan Ausubel
A provocative and stimulating study of the problems
of Jewish culture as a weapon for Jewish survival and
progress, its relation to the democratic strivings and
aspirations of the American people as a whole, the
treatment of Jewish character in l i ter a tur e, both past
and contemporary, and the need for progressive Jews
to concern themselves with this vital aspect of the
Jewish question. _Price: $.15
NEW CENTURY PUBLISHERS
83 2 Broadway, New York 3, N; Y.
JUST PUBLISHED
Culture in a Changing World
By V. J. Jerome
An incisive study of the ideological struggle in the
cultural sphere, including a critical examination of
reactionary ideas advanced by various exponents of
bourgeois ideology, the people's counter-forces moving
toward a democratic culture, and the special role of
Marxist cultural workers. Price: $1.00; f)(jper $.3:)
Notes From the Gallo""s
By Julius Fuc:hik
One of the greatest human documents to come OUt of
the war, this book is Lhe final testament of a Com-
munist leader of the Czech anti-Nazi underground,
describing his Golgotha, his mental and physical tor-
tures until the last moments before his death on the
gallows. It is permeated Wilh the spirit of struggle and
confidence in the ullimate triumph of the people over
fascism. Price: $.60
Jewish Culture ill America
By Nathan Ausubel
A provocative and stimulating study of tllC problems
of Jewish culture as a weapon for Jewish survival and
prof, ....css, its relation to the democratic strivings and
aspirations of the American people as a whole, the
treatment of Jewish character in litel'ature, both past
and contemporary, and the need for progressive Jews
to concern themselves with this vital aspect of the
Jewish question. Price: $,15
NEW CENTURY PUBLISHERS
832 Broadway, New York 3, N. Y,
VOLUME 1, NUMBER 1
masses &
MAINSTREAM
MASSES "' MAINSTR EAM is published mOnlhly by Masses & Main-
stream, Inc . 832 Broadway. New York 3. N. Y. Subscription rate:
$4 .00 a year; for eign and Canada: $4.50 a year. Single copies 35
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tries must be made eit her by U.S. money orders or by checks payable
in U.S. currencv, Re-ent ered as second et4SS matter February 25, 1948,
at the Post Offi ce at N ew York . N . Y ., under th e Act of March 3 ,
1879. MASSES II< MAINSTREAM is distribut ed nati onally by New
Century Publishers. 832 Broadway . N. Y. C.
Rudolf Hruby
March, 1948
74
69
3
6
21
28
38
41
51
56
63
65
77
80
83
86
89
92
95
The Editors
Louis Parrot
Phillip Bonoslsy
Herbert Aptbeleer
Joseph Gibbons
Barbara Giles
Thomas McGrath
Sanora Babb
Preface for Today
Picasso at Work
The Picnic: a story
The Face of the Lesser Evil
Readin' , Writin' & Tickertape
We Were Nice People
Blues for Jimmy: a poem
Femme Fatale: a story
Right Face
Letter from Prague
Books in Review:
Illusion and Reality, by Christopher Caudwell :
Ali ck West
The Boiling Point, by Richard Brooks :
Charl es Humboldt
T o Walk a Crook ed Mile, by Thomas McGrath;
The Green Wave, by Muriel Rukeyser: Milton Blau
Venus and the Votet'S, by Gwyn Thomas : Ben Field
Films : The Hitchcock Case Joseph Foster
Art: Totem and Tattoo Joseph Solman
Music : Notes on Aaron Copland Sidney Finkelstein
Theatre: The Two Galileos Harry Granick
Dance: Anna Sokolow Edna Ocko
Drawings by Ben-Zion, Blaustein, Gropper, Gwathmey,
Har ari , Mahl.
Edit or
SAMUEL SI LLEN
Associate Editors
HERBERT APTHEKER
LLOYD L. BROWN
CHARLES H UMDOLDT
Contributing Editors
MI LTON DLAU
RICHARD O . BOYER
W. E. B. DU BOIS
ARN AUD D'USSEAU
PHILIP EVERGOOD
HOWARD FAST
BEN FIELD
FREDERI CK V. FIELD
SIDNEY FINKELSTEIN
J OSE PH FOSTER
BARBARA GILES
SH IR LEY GRAHAM
WI LLIAM GROPPER
ROBERT GWAT HMEY
MILTON HOWARD
V. J , JEROME
JOHN HOWARD LAWSON
MERIDEL LE SUEUR
PAUL ROBESON
I SIDOR SCH N EIDER
HOWARD SELSAM
JOSEPH SOLMAN
THEODORE WARD
VOLUME 1. NUMBER 1
masses &
MAINSTREAM
MASSES ... MAINSTllBAM o's fJ,,1JJiJbu ",,,"Jbly by M",s., 6- M"i,,
'WU"', I"e . 832 B"u.w6Y. N_ Y o ~ " 3, N. Y. S"bseritni".. r"U:
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e_",' "",,;.. ,b" US.A., jQ e_lS. All fI"'''''''', /ro", I",.lfipo eo""-
'ri", ",lIlI b. rmuliJbn- by U.S. ",.""., ",..w, "" b, eb.d, fI.'1"bt.
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em/",.." P"blo'sbw,. 832 ar<Hfliw,,'1. N. Y. C.
Rudolf Hrub,
March, 1948
74
69
3
6
21
28
38
41
"
'6
63
6'
77
80
83
86
89
92
9'
The Editors
Louis Parrot
Phillip BOl'losk,:!
Herbtlrt Aptheker
Joseph Gibbons
Barbar" G;us
ThomM MeGrtllh
Sanor" Babb
Preface for Today
Picasso al Work
The Picnic; a Stocy
The Face of the Lesser Evil
Readin', Writin' & Tickertape
We Were Nice People
Blues for Jimmy: a poem
Femme Fatale; a Story
Right Pace
Letter from Prague
Books in Review:
ll1usu"m arJd Realu,:!. by Christopher Caudwell:
A/iek West
The Boiling Point, by Richard Brooks:
Chtlr!ts Humboldt
To Wtlik tI Crooked M;u. by Thomas McGrath;
The Green Wtlve. by Muriel Rukeyser: Millon Blau
Venll.1 and the Voters, by Gwyn Thomas; Ben F;eld
Films: The Hitchcock Case Joseph Foster
Art: Totem and Tattoo Joseph Solmtln
Music: Notes on Aaron Copland SidrJf1':! FirJk'/stf1;rJ
Theatre; The Two Galilees Harr,:! Grtlnick
Dance: Anna Sokolow /!.drJ" Geko
Drawings by Ben-Zion, BlauSlein, Gropper, Gwathmey,
Harari, Mahl.
Editor
SAWUIlL $II.LEN
AuoeUd. Editors
l-IEKBEIlT APTl-IEKEIl.
LLOYD L. BItOWN
Cl-l.... LES HUMDOLOT
COrJtribulirJg Editors
MILTON BLAV
RIC,..AKO O. BOYEK
W. B. D. DU DOIS
A1tNAUI> O'USSBAU
"HILIP BVBRGOOO
HOWAKO PAST
BEN .FIELD
PllBOBKJCk V. MilLO
SIDNEY PINIUII..STEIN
JOSEPH PO$TIlK
BAltBAaA GILES
SHIRLEY GRAHAM
WlLLlAM GlIOPPEa
ROEERT GWATHMllY
MILTON HOWILRJ)
V. J. JEROMH
JOHN HOWARD LAWSON
){JlIlIDEL Ul SUIlUR
"AUI. RODIlSON
ISIOOR SCHNBlDER
HOWA1l.D SJlUAM
JOSIlPH SOLMAN
THIlODORB WARD
AMONG THE CONTRIBUTORS
SANORA BABB, who li ves in H oll ywood, has appeared in two volumes
of Cross Section and is under contract to Random House for a novel.
AL BLAUSTEIN, veteran of World War II, is a student at Cooper Union
Institute in New York.
PHILLIP BONOSKY is preparing a book of his short stories for pub-
lication. .
BEN FIELD'S new novel, The Last Freshet, is being published by Double-
day early this month.
SIDNEY F I N KELSTEIN, author of Art and Society, is writing a new book
on jazz to be published by Citadel Press.
HARRY GRANICK, pl aywright and author, is the American corresponde nt
for the London magazin e, N ew T heatre.
RUDOLF HRUBY is a Czech journalist and critic.
LOUIS PARROT, critic of Les Lettres Francaises, wrote his article for us in
response to a request for an intimate study of Picasso, about whom
he has written a larger work.
JOSEPH SOLMAN is an artist who in the 1930's edited Art Front.
ALICK WEST, English Marxist critic, is the author of Crisis in Criticism.
COVER: Bull-headed Sphinx, an etching by Pablo Picasso. Courtesy
Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Copyright 1948 in the Unit ed States and Great Br it ain by Masses & Main-
stream, Inc . All rights, i ncluding translation i nt o ot her languages, reserved by
the Publisher i n the United St at es, Great Brit ai n, Mexico, and all countries par-
ticipating in th e Internati onal Copyright Convention and the Pan -American
Copyri ght Convention. All material appearing in MASSES & MAINSTREAM is
copyrixhted i n th e interests and for the protect ion of contrib utors, and copy-
right automati cally reverts back to the own ership of the authors.
~ 2 0 9
All manuscripts sho uld be addr essed to The Editors of MASSES & MAINSTREAM,
832 Broadway, N ew Y ork 3, N . Y ., and be accompanied by stamped, self-
addressed envelope for return.
AMONG THE CONTRIBUTORS
SANORA BABD, who lives in Hollywood, has appeared in two volumes
of Cross Section and is under contract to Random House for a novel.
AL BLAUSTEIN, veteran of World War II, is a student at Cooper Union
Institute in New Yock.
PHILLIP BONOSKY is preparing a book of his shOrt stories for pub-
lication. _
BEN FIELD'S new novel, The Last Freshet, is being published by Double-
day early this momh.
SIDNEY FINKELSTEIN, author of Art and Society, is writing a new book
on jazz ro be published by Citadel Press.
HARRY GRANICK, playwright and author, is the American correspondent
for the London magazine, New Theatre.
RUDOLF HRUBY is a Czech journalist and critic.
LOUIS PARROT, critic of Le.! LeUres Pran;aiJes, wrote his article for us in
response to a request for an intimate study of Picasso, about whom
he has written a larger work.
JOSEPH SOLMAN is an artist who in me 1930's edited Art Front.
ALJCK WEST, English Marxist critic, is the author of CriJh in C1'iticism.
COVER: Butt-headed Sphinx, an etching by Pablo Picasso. Courtesy
Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Copyright 1948 in the V,tiud Sfates and B,.ita;n by MasseJ & Main-
st,.eam, Inc. All r-ighlJ, including t,.ansl<lIion into languages, ,.eSeNJed by
th. Publisher in the StatQJ, Great Britain, Mexico, and all countries par
in the lmernatiolldl Copyright Convention and Pan-American
Cop.,..;ght Conflention. AU material appearing in MAsses .5< MAINSTREAM i-J
copyri!?hted in the interssts a'ld lor thtl protsct;on 01 contributors, and copy,
automatically reverts back to the oUJnef'ship 01 the amhorl.

AU manuscripu IhouJd be addressed to The Editors 01 MASSES .5< MAINSTREAM,
832 Broadway, New Yor-k 3, N. Y., and be accon/panied by stamped, ssll-
addreued enfleJope lor-
PREFACE FOR TODAY
W
ITH this issue we re-enter the arena in defiance of those who
would outlaw dissent and chain the American people to a pro-
gram of fascism and war. Our enemies rejoiced prematurely at the
rumor of our exit from the literary scene. William Henry Chamber-
lin's "joyful obituary" in The New Leader was pronounced over a
corpse of his own fancy, while James T. Farrell's public sighs of relief
betrayed the anxiety of a mind that must conjure up the death of
what it fears. But it is not a ghost that returns. Here, proudly, in
purpose even if not in identical form, is a magazine that combines
and carries forward the thirty-seven-year-old tradition of New Masses
and the more recent literary achievement of Mainstream. We have
regrouped our energies, not to retire from the battle but to wage it
with fresh resolution and confidence.
We appear at a grave hour. The arsenal of democracy has become the
arsenal of world reaction, servicing every scoundrel from Chiang Kai-
shek and the Mufti to Tsaldaris and De Gaulle. An arrogant govern-
ment of bankers and generals presses a bipartisan policy of world con-
quest. Preparations for war against the Soviet Union and the new peo-
ple's democracies of Europe have passed the stage of hypocritical con-
cealment. And the architects of this desperate strategy, the rulers of a
decaying capitalism, are redesigning the land of the free as a land of
witch-hunts where the F.B.I. inherits the functions of the Gestapo and
the Un-American Committee checks our thoughts by the anti-Commu-
nist tests of Mein Kampf.
Faced with this war of Wall Street against the American people and
the peaceful people of other lands, our magazine understands its re-
sponsibility. We mean to resist. We mean to fight back. Together with
the millions who are rallying to the third party movement headed by
Henry A. Wallace, we mean to play our part in winning peace and free-
dom for our country.
Our specific intention is to fight on the cultural front, in the battle
of ideas. This is not a peripheral front. TIle American thought-con-
trollers, no less than the German book-burners, want to beat into supine
obedience the creative artist, the scientist, the educator. Honesty and
3
PREFACE FOR TODAY
W
ITH this issue we reenter the arena in defiance of those who
would outlaw dissent and chain the American people to a pro-
gram of fascism and war. Our enemies rejoiced prematurely at the
rumor of our exit from the literary scene. William Henry Chamber-
lin's "joyful obituary" in The New Leade,. was pronounced over a
corpse of his own fancy, while James T. Farrell's public sighs of relief
betrayed the anxiety of a mind that muse conjure up the death of
what it fears. But it is not a ghost chat rerurns. Here, proudly, in
purpose even if not in identical form, is a magazine tbac combines
and carries forward the thirty-seven-year-old tradition of New MasJes
and the more recent literary achievement of Maimtl'cam. We have
regrouped our energies, not to retire from the batc1e but to wage it
with fresh resolution and confidence.
We appear at a grave hour. The arsenal of democracy has become the
arsenal of world reaction, servicing every scoundrel from Chiang Kai-
shek and the Mufti to Tsalclaris and De Gaulle. An arrogant govern-
ment of bankers and generals presses a bipartisan policy of world con-
quest. Preparations for war against the Soviet Union and the new peo-
ple's democracies of Europe have passed the stage of hypocritical con-
cealment. And the architects of this desperate strategy, the rulers of a
decaying capitalism, are redesigning the land of the free as a land of
witch-hunts where the F.B.I. inherits the functions of the Gestapo and
the Un-American Committee checks Our thoughts by the antiCommu-
nist teSts of Mein Kampf.
Faced with this war of Wall Screet against the American people and
the peaceful people of other lands, our magazine understands its re-
sponsibility. We mean to .resist. We mean to fight back. Together with
the millions who are rallying to the third patty movement headed by
Henry A. Wallace, we mean to play our parr in winning peace and free-
dom for our country.
Our specific intencion is to fight on the cultural frone, in the battle
of ideas. This is nOt a peripheral fronc. The American thought-con-
trollers, no less chan the German book-burners, wane to beat into supine
obedience the creative anist, the scientist, the educator. Honesty and
3
4]
THE EDITORS
independence of intellectual judgment, already banned in the monopoly-
controlled cultural media, are to be hounded out of American life. The
attacks on the progressive film-workers in Hollywood, on Howard Fast,
on Paul Robeson, on Hanns Eisler prepare a barbed-wire camp for
American art.
We do not view our position as merely defensive. For the people's
resistance movement must also assert in a positive form the values of a
progressive culture. We must sing our own songs and tell our own
stories. An art rooted in American reality must oppose the banalities
and false images of cash-register culture. The scientist must regain
the laboratory from the militarist and manufacturer. To the cult, of
brutality and unreason we will counrerpose a concern for people and
for truth. Against the barbarisms of Jim Crow and anti-Semitism we
will set our passion for justice.
Our editorial viewpoint-though not necessarily the viewpoint of
every contributor-is Marxist. For we believe that only in a socialist
society can the creative energies of man be truly liberated. Our criti-
cism of capitalism and its culture is based on no illusion that reforms
will end its wars, its economic crises, its antagonism toward the ar-
tist. These evils, inherent and basic, have reached a frightful climax
in imperialism and fascism. And we believe that the artist of integrity,
insofar as he truthfully reflects these evils, will confirm in his esthetic
achievement the Marxist science that points to socialism.
The rule of monopoly capitalism is discussed in an article in this
issue, and the relation of the greatest painter of our time, Pablo Picasso,
to the fight for freedom is examined in another. The politics of our
epoch and the . art of our epoch interpenetrate; they cannot be sepa-
rated. Our correspondent from Prague describes how intellectuals of the
new Europe approach this reality, while Barbara Giles, in her recol-
lections of childhood in Louisiana, shows the intertwined social and
psychological roots that lie behind her novel, The Gentle Bush. It is in
such articles, as well as through stories, poetry, art, and concrete analyses
of personalities, problems and trends in specific cultural fields that we
will strive for a culture based upon and identified with the working
class and the progressive people's movement in the United States.
Weare eager to hear from our readers. We want your suggestions
and criticisms. Our work requires the closest liaison between the
writers and their audience. MASSES & MAINSTREAM belongs to both
and speaks for both.
THE EDITORS.
4] THE EDITORS
independence of intellectual judgment, already banned in the monopoly-
controlled cultural media, are to be hounded Qut of American life. The
attacks on the progressive film-workers in Hollywood, on Howard Fast,
on Paul Robeson, on HanDs Eisler prepat'e a barbed-wire camp for
American art.
We do DOt view our posicion as merely defensive. For the people's
resistance movement must also assert in a positive form the values of a
progressive culture. We must sing our own songs and tell Que own
stories. An art rOOted in American reality must oppose the banalities
and false images of cash-register culture. The scientist must regain
the laboratOry from the militarist and manufacturer. To the cule of
brutality and unreason we will coumerpose a concern fOr people and
for truth. Against me barbarisms of Jim Crow and anti-Semitism we
will set OUI passion for justice.
Our editorial viewpoint-though not necessarily the viewpoint of
every contributor-is Marxist. For we believe that only in a socialist
society can the creative energies of man be troly liberated. Our criti-
cism of capitalism and its culture is based on no illusion that reforms
will end its wars, its economic crises, its antagonism toward the ar
tist. These evils, inherent and basic, have reached a frightful climax
in imperialism and fascism. And we believe that the artist of integrity,
insofar as he truthfully reflects these evils, will confum in his esthetic
achievement the Marxist science that pointS to socialism.
The rule of monopoly capitalism is discussed in an ankle in this
issue, and the relation of the greatest painter of our time, Pablo Picasso,
to the fight for fteedom is examined in another. The politics of our
epoch and the art of our epoch inrerpenerrare; they cannot be sepa-
rated. OUI correspondent from Prague describes how inrellecruals of rhe
new Europe approach this reality, while Barbara Giles, in her recol
lections of childhood in Louisiana, shows the intertwined social and
psychological roots that lie behind her novel, The GenJle Bush. Ir is in
such articles, as well as rwough stories, poetry, art, and concrete analyses
of personalities, problems and trends in specific cultural fields thar we
will strive for a culture based upon and identified with the working
class and rhe progressive people's movement in the United States.
We are eager to hear from our readers. We wanr your suggestions
and criricisms. Our work requires rhe closest liaison between the
writers and their audience. MASSES & MAINSTREAM belongs to both
and speaks for both.
THE EDITORS.
THE
LOVALTY
AC'
THE
LOYAlTY
AC.
PICASSO AT WORK
by Lo.UIS PARROT
P
I CASSO lives in Paris on the Rue des Grands-Augustins, in a his-
toric house once occupied by the Dukes of Savoy. This princely,
though somewhat run-down, dwelling the painter's friends now call
Minotaur House, alluding thus to the numerous bull-fighting scenes
and Greek themes which the artist has painted. The Rue des Grands-
Augustins is a few steps from the Seine, in a section of old houses
and deserted courtyards. Picasso's studio, made up of three enor-
mous rooms, is located on the top floor , which you reach by climbing
a narrow staircase past worn woodwork and broken geranium-colored
tiles.
Four white pigeons flutter about in the little anteroom where
Picasso has set up his winter garden-and woe to anyone who lets
them flyaway! When he was twelve, living at Malaga, Santiago and
Barcelona-he was born at Malaga on October 25, 1881-Pablo Ruiz,
as he was then called, painted lilacs and pigeons, and these have re-
mained his favorites. In this anteroom you also see his other pets:
turtle-doves, canaries, an owl.
The anteroom opens on a kind of studio-reception room where
Picasso receives his friends every morning until one in the afternoon.
This is a favorite meeting-place, where you can find boyhood com-
panions of the painter along with his latest acquaintances, dealers,
booksellers and even amateur art-collectors who, fearing that they
have bought a forgery, come to have him verify their .purchases. Bare
whitewashed walls enclose this big room furnished with old arm-
chairs on which lie guitars, African musical instruments and neatly-
tied packages of documents, etchings, drawings accumulated over the
years.
A heavy cabinet, rarely opened, contains a large part of the painter's
6
PICASSO AT WORK
by LOUIS PARROT
P
ICASSO lives in Paris on the Rue des Grands-Augustins, in a his-
catic house once occupied by the Dukes of Savoy. This princely,
though somewhat run-down, dwelling the painter's friends now call
Minotaur House, alluding thus to the numerous bull-fighting scenes
and Greek themes which the artist has painted. The Rue des Gcands-
Auguscins is a few steps fcom the Seine, in a section of old houses
and deserted courtyards. Picasso's studio, made up of three enor-
mous rooms, is located on the cop Boor, which you reach by climbing
a narrow staircase past worn woodwork and broken geranium-colored
tiles.
Fow: white pigeons flutter about in the little anteroom where
Picasso has Set up his winter garden-and woe to anyone who lets
them flyaway! When he was twelve, living at Malaga, Santiago and
Barcelona-he was born at Malaga on October 25, 1881-Pablo Ruiz,
as he was then called, painted lilacs and pigeons, and these have re-
mained his favorites. In this anteroom you also see his other pets:
turtle-doves, canaries, an owl.
The anteroom opens on a kind of studio-reception room where
Picasso receives his friends every morning until one in the afternoon.
This is a favorite meeting-place, where you can find boyhood com-
panions of the painter along with his latest acquaintances, dealers,
booksellers and even amateur an-collectors who, fearing that they
have bought a forgery, come to have him verify their purchases. Bare
whitewashed walls enclose this big room furnished with old arm-
chairs on which lie guitars, African musical instruments and neatly-
tied packages of documents, etchings, drawings accumulated over the
y""'.
A heavy cabinet, rarely opened, contains a large part of the painter's
6
Picasso At Work [7
collection, notably the books he has illustrated from Ovid's Metamor-
phoses to volumes by Max Jacob and Reverdy. It also contains the
painter's albums of drawings with. over a hundred notebooks, kept
since 1889. In these albums, where you may trace the artist's develop-
ment, you find classic heads of people in nineteenth century Madrid,
landscapes, clocks, sketches of his first collages and minute studies
in the manner of Leonardo da Vinci's "botanical explorations." These
notebooks also include the first sketches of Picasso's most famous
canvases, from the Carnegie Prize portrait of his wife down to the
most recent bull-fighting scenes. These are invaluable documents;
yet Jaime Sabartes, Picasso's secretary, tells us that the painter never
looks at them.
Picasso discloses in all his talents a virtuosity which has sometimes
been compared with that of the Japanese painter, Hokusai. The story
has it that the latter, asked to paint a river carrying off the leaves of
a purple-colored maple tree, dipped the legs of a cock into a bucket
of red paint and allowed the animal to run across the paper. The
wayward tracks left by the fowl immediately suggested the leaves of
a maple tree. There are many similar revelations in Picasso's work.
He tosses on the canvas a spot which does not mean a thing. Soon,
living lines radiate in all directions from this dark sun, a human
landscape takes shape, then a whole picture whose origins are quickly
forgotten.
Nothing interests Picasso more than the work of artisans, of
lithographers and engravers; he is like the true musician who wants
to know how the lute-makers work. Never does Picasso enter a studio
as a "master," but always as a man eager to learn, eager to add some
new formula to all those he willingly shares. His voice has an alert,
good-humored quality, a kindness shot through with irony. His inten-
tions are not immediately revealed in his conversation. Often he
interrupts his words unexpectedly with a quick and slightly husky
laugh. But there is only good will in the words he addresses to those
who work by his side.
Picasso has never been troubled by technical problems. The dullest
scraping knife or a match-end lying on the table suits his purpose
just as much as the most highly perfected instruments. He finds a use
for anything. He has made drawings on a lithographic stone with an
old rusty nail. But what Picasso always lacks is time; he is a man
Picasso AI Work [7
collection, notably the books he has illustrated from Ovid's Metamor
phose! to volumes by Max Jacob and Reverdy. It also contains the
painter's albums of drawings with over a hundred notebooks, kept
since 1889. In these albums, where you may trace the artist's develop-
ment, you find classic heads of people in nineteenth century Madrid,
landscapes, clocks, sketches of his first collage! and minute studies
in the manner of Leonardo da Vinci's "botanical explorations." These
notebooks also include the firSt sketches of Picasso's most famous
canvases, from the Carnegie Prize portrait of his wife down to the
most recent bull-fighting scenes. These are invaluable documents;
yet Jaime Sabartes, Picasso's secretary, tells us that the painter never
looks at them.
Picasso discloses in all his talents a virtuosity which has sometimes
been compared with that of the Japanese painter, Hokusai. The Story
has it that the latter, asked to paint a river carrying off the leaves of
a purplecolored maple tree, dipped the legs of a cock into a bucket
of red paint and allowed the animal to run across the paper. The
wayward tracks left by the fowl immediately suggested the leaves of
a maple tree. There are many similar revelations in Picasso's work.
He tosses on the canvas a spot which does not mean a thing. Soon,
living lines radiate in all directions from this dark sun, a human
landscape takes shape, then a whole pietille w.hose origins are quickly
forgotten.
Nothing interests Picasso more than the work of artisans, of
lithographers and engravers; he is like the true musician who wants
to know how the lute-makers work. Never does Picasso enter a studio
as a "master," but always as a man eager to learn, eager to add some
new formula to all those he willingly shares. His voice has an alert,
good-humored quality, a kindness shot through with irony. His inten-
tions are not immediately revealed in his conversation. Often he
interrupts his words unexpectedly with a quick and slightly husky
laugh. But there is only good will in the words he addresses to those
who work by his side.
Picasso has never been troubled by technical problems. The dullest
scraping knife or a match-end lying on the table suits his pwpose
just as much as the most highly perfected instruments. He finds a use
for anything. He has made drawings on a lithographic scone with an
old rusty nail. But what Picasso always lacks is time; he is a man
8] LOUIS PARROT
who never has the' time to do what he would like. For he constantly
retouches what he has done: engravings, paintings, sculptures. While
he was working on his celebrated Guernica mural, a visitor asked
him: "Well, when are you going to finish this picture?" Picasso re-
plied: "When they come to get it." For him a work of art is never
finished.
The master's second studio is a huge room that suggests the inside
of a Castilian barn. On a table I notice, in the midst of a pile of
papers and books, some back numbers of Le Minotaure, a magazine
that appeared between the two world wars. Here Picasso published
his poems. He also has written a play, a kind of farce, Le Desir attrape
par la queue (Desire Caught by the Tail), which was played in his
studio during the Occupation in April, 1944. "Poems?" he said to me,
"there are stacks of poems sleeping here. When I began to write them
I wanted to prepare for myself a palette of words, as if I were deal-
ing with colors. All these words were weighed, filtered and appraised.
I don't put much stock in spontaneous expressions of the uncon-
scious and it would be stupid to think that one can provoke them at
will"
"The work of madmen," he told me, "is always based on a law
that has ceased to operate. Madmen are men who have lost their
imagination. Their manual memory belongs to a realm of rigid
mechanism. It is an infernal machine that breaks down and not an
intelligence that progresses and constantly creates in order to pro-
gress. One cannot compare poems resulting from automatic writing
with those of the insane. The work of a madman is a dead work;
the poetry it contains is like the ghost which refuses to give up its
corpse."
P
ICASSO has set up his statues in the middle of his studio, that is,
the first of his studios. Thus they form a permanent exhibition.
Among them is a large statue in green bronze, The Young Girl, who
is indeed the most curious personality in this mythology. This Young
Girl is verdigris in color. Her bust has been cast in a tight corset of
wavy cardboard, her collar formed by a cake-mold. Her arms are
knotty branches. In one hand she carries an apple and in the other
an object whose use is difficult to ascertain, a plow-share or an antique
mirror.
8]
LOUIS PARROT
who never has the time [0 do what he would like. Foe be constancly
retouches what he has done: engravings. paintings, sculptures. While
he was workiog on his celebrated Guerilla. mural, a visitor asked
him: "Well, when are you going to finish this picture?" Picasso re-
plied: "When they come to get it:' Foe him a work of art is never
finished.
The master's second studio is a huge room thac suggests tbe inside
of a Castilian barn. On a table I norice, in the midSt of a pile of
papers and books, some back numbers of Le Minotaure. a magazine
that appeared between the twO world wars. Here Picasso published
his p:>eJns. He also has written a play, a kind of farce, La Desir at/rape
PM la queue (Desire Caught by the Tail), which was played in his
studio during the Occupation in ApriJ.. 1944. "Poems?" he said to me,
"there are stacks of poems sleeping here. When I began to write chern
I wanted to prepare for myself a palette of woeds, as if I were deal
iog with colors. All these words were weighed, filtered and appraised.
I don't put much srock in sponroneous expressions of the uncon-
scious and it would be stupid to think thar one can provoke them at
wiJl"
"The work of madmen," he told me, "is always based on a law
that has ceased to operate. Madmen are men who have lost their
imagination. Their manual memory belongs to a realm of rigid
mechanism. It is an infernal machine that breaks down and not an
intelligence that progresses and coostantly creates in order to pro-
gress. One cannor compare poems resulting from automatic writing
with those of the insane. The work of a madman is a dead work;
the poeuy it contains is like the ghOSt which refuses to give up ics
corpse."
P
ICASSO has set up his statues in the middle of his studio, that is,
the firSt of his studios. Thus they form a permanent exhibition.
Among tbem is a large statue in green bronze, The Young Girl, who
is indeed me most curious personality in this mymology. This Young
Girt is verdigris in color. Her bust has been caSt in a tight corset of
wavy cardboard, her collar formed by a cake-mold. Her arms are
knotty branches. In one hand she carries an apple and in the other
an object whose use is difficult to ascertain, a plow-share or an antique
mirror.
Picasso At Work [9
(
Another statue that attracts a great deal of attention is that of Fate:
it has been made by molding a dressmaker's mannequin on which
Picasso has placed a blind head. There is also the famous black cock
in bronze, which reminds you of a st atue of dross, a bird petrified in
smoke. Irs tiny upturned wings are bramble leaves. "Bramble leaves
fell by t he side of my workbench," Picasso told me, "and I mixed them
with my plaster. There isn't much difference between leaves and
feathers. W hen the cock was finished, I applied the leaves to the
still damp plaster. I was asked why I had done that. I replied: 'I don't
know. J ust because it seemed right:"
"Sculpture," says Picasso, "above all official sculpture, has failed
in its mission. It no longer says anything to the people." And Georges-
Henri Adam, a young sculptor to whom Picasso has given his studio
in which to work, has told me: "Picasso would willingly agree to
give up one of his finest statues if he knew that it would be ex-
hibited in a public park, on the quays of the Seine, or better still
in one of the old sections of Paris." In Picasso's words: "Statues should
be put back where they really belong. Go to the Louvre, for example,
drag one of those Egyptian colossi out of its somnolence, and then set
it up in the he art of a crowded neighborhood. I can well visualize
this ki ng of ancient Egypt with a smiling and funereal mask placed
on t he bank of the Saint-Denis Canal, his majestic black silhouette
standing out against the yellow sky at the hour when the workmen
leave the factories, facing the iridescent waters of the canal in which
the factory-smoke is reflected. The whole landscape would be changed
at a single stroke. . . :' .
Picasso is not a theoretician but he is passionately fond of every-
t hing connected with hi s craft . Does the talk turn to sculpture? He
shows us a panther's skull, then a horse's skull, and points out to us
that the bony corner of the eye always has the same fissure. In this
connecti on he tells us : "The entire skeleton has been not sculpted
but modelled. There is not a bone where one cannot find the trace
of a thumb and which has not been completely modelled. The same
thing goes for all the bones except the orbit of the eye. The edges
of the orbit in the part touching the sinus have not been polished;
they have been 'broken: The mud has been kneaded around this
cavity, pressed between the t humb and index finger, then let go at
the precise moment when the element hardened in a fisssure, unique in
Picasso At Work [9
,
Another stante that attracts a great deal of attemion is that of Fate:
it has been made by molding a dressmaker's mannequin on which
Picasso has placed a blind head. Thete is also the famous black cock
in bronze, which reminds you of a stante of dross, a bird petrified in
smoke. I t ~ tiny upturned wings are bramble leaves. "Bramble leaves
fell by the side of my workbench," Picasso told me, "and I mixed them
with my plaster. There isn't much difference between leaves and
feathers. When the cock was finished, I applied the leaves to the
stilI damp plaster. I was asked why I had done that. 1 replied; '1 don't
know. Just because it seemed right:"
"Sculpture," says Picasso, "above all official sculpture, has failed
in its mission. It no longer says anything to the people." And Georges-
Henri Adam, a young sculptor to whom Picasso has given his studio
in which to work, has told me: "Picasso would willingly agree to
give up one of his finest statues if he knew that it would be ex-
hibited in a public patk, on the quays of the Seine, or better still
in one of the old sections of Paris." In Picasso's words: "Statues should
be put back where they really belong. Go to the Louvre, for example,
drag one of those Egyptian colossi out of its somnolence, and then set
it up in the heart of a crowded neighborhood. 1 can well visualize
this king of ancient Egypt with a smiling and funereal mask placed
on the bank of the Saint-Denis Canal, his majestic black silhouette
standing out against the yellow sky at the hour when the workmen
leave the factories, facing the itidescent waters of the canal in which
the factory-smoke is reflected. The whole landscape would be changed
at a single stroke. __ ,"
Picasso is nOt a theoretician but he is passionately fond of every-
thing connected with his craft. Does the talk turn to sculpture? He
shows us a panther's skull, then a horse's skull, and points out to US
that the bony corner of the eye always has the same fissure. In this
connection he tells us: "The entire skeleton has been not sculpted
but modelled.. There is not a bone where one cannot find the trace
of a thumb and which has not been completely modelled, The same
thing goes fot aU the bones except the orbit of the eye. The edges
of the orbit in the parr touching the sinus have nor been polished;
they have been 'broken.' The mud has been kneaded around this
cavity, pressed between the thumb and index finger, then let go at
the precise moment when the element hardened in a fisssure, unique in
10]
LOUIS PARROT
the skeleton; later its indentation permits the eye to be properly fixed.
"If the edges of the orbit had been smoothed and polished like the
rest of the cranial case, the eye could not remain there. All the life
in the work depends perhaps on this fusion of sculpture and modelling.
It is at the precise moment when the creator, who holds the mud
between thumb and index finger, is about to choose between the
smooth perfection of the skeleton and the torn wrinkledness of the
orbit, that the future life of what he has created is decided. Life is
perhaps this hesitation, this point of equilibrium. Sculpture is the art
of the intelligence:'
Picasso is most careful about the casting of his statues and the
patina he decides to give them. He takes all his plaster-casts to a
little workshop on the Rue des Plantes,run by an artisan named
Marcel Valsuani who comes of a long line of casters. Picasso brings
him statues that are as light and white as meringue. A month or
two later he gets them back all baked, changed into heavy objects
over which neither time nor man has any power.
One day Picasso hit on the idea of making engravings on litho-
graphic stone, so every morning at eight he went to one of the best-
known workshops in Paris, that of the Morlot Brothers. He worked
there for four months with a diligence that surprised everyone: he
remained in a corner of the workshop hidden behind a labyrinth of
green stones used for lithographic Bibles. In front of him, as in
Chinese restaurants, there were black liquids in little covers of old
shoe-polish cans. Picasso worked until evening bent over the litho-
graphic stone, never satisfied with his results and continually beginning
all over again. In four months' time he composed twenty-five large
lithographs, of which eighty different "states" were made. At present
the painter is working on two canvases, dividing his time between
two compositions in which his manner has been completely renewed,
and on a variation' on a theme by Cranach, This one is a zinc en-
graving. So far there are ten versions of this remarkable work.
The painter is likewise working on illustrations for several books,
among them a Gongora. This volume will contain no less than forty
engravings, with each sonnet of the Cordovan poet accompanied by
graphic themes recalling those -Picasso did for Buffon's Natural His-
tory, published several years before the war.
All of Picasso's friends have seen him at the end of a restaurant meal
10]
LOUIS PARROT
the skeleron; later its indentation permits the eye to be properly fixed.
"If the edges of the orbit had been smoothed and polished like the
rest of the cranial case, the eye could not remain there. All the life
in the work depends perhaps on this fusion of sculpture and modelling.
It is at the precise moment when the creatOr. who holds the mud
between thumb and index finger, is about to choose between the
smooth perfection of the skeleton and the torn wrinkledness of the
orbit, that the future life of what he has created is decided. Life is
perhaps this hesitation, this point of equilibrium. Sculprnre is the art
of the intelligence."
Picasso is most careful about the casting of his statues and the
patina he decides to give them. He takes all his plaster-casts to a
little workshop on the Rue des Plames, run by an artisan named
Marcel Valsuani who comes of a long line of casters. Picasso beings
him statues that are as light and white as meringue. A month or
twO later he gets them back all baked, changed into heavy objects
over which neither time nor man has any power.
One day Picasso hit on the idea of making engravings on litho
graphic stone, so every morning at eight he went to one of the b e s t ~
known workshops in Paris, that of the Morlot Brothers. He worked
there for fou! months with a diligence' that surprised everyone: he
remained in a corner of the workshop hidden behind a labyrinth of
green stones used for lithographic Bibles. In fcont of him, as in
Chinese restaurants, there were black liquids in little covers of old
shoe-polish cans. Picasso worked until evening bem over the litho-
graphic stone, never satisfied with his results and continually beginning
all over again. In four months' time he composed twenty-five large
lithographs, of which eighty different "states" were made. At present
the painter is working on two canvases, dividing his time between
two compositions in which his manner has been completely renewed,
and on a variation on a theme by Cranach. This one is a zinc en
graving. So far there are ten versions of this remarkable work.
The painter is likewise working on illustrations for several books,
among them a Gongora. This volume will contain no less than forty
engravings, with each sonnet of the Cordovan poet accompanied by
graphic themes recalling those' Picasso did for Buffon's NaJural His-
tory, published several years before the war.
All of Picasso's friends have seen him at the end of a restaurant meal
Picasso At Work
[11
tear up the paper napkin, twist each of the pieces of paper, crease them
and place them in an empty bottle. Close your eyes and open them
again: a bouquet of irises is on the table! When he wants to color
certain drawings or quick-action statuettes, the painter uses whatever
is in reach. There is a portrait of Nusch Eluard which, according to an
English magazine, the painter made with lipstick, coffee and fruit juice.
The truth is much simpler. Picasso simply made use of a geranium to
get the red on the cheeks and lips of the portrait; the leaf of the gera;ri.-
ium crushed by his thumb furnished the liquid green and faded yellow
colors of the rest of the portrait.
Every time you visit Picasso's studio, there is always a new series of
paintings or drawings, boxes full of water-colors you have never seen
before. During the summer of 1946, while he was at Antibes, he
painted only sea-urchins and owls. He went back there last year and
finished some enormous paintings, huge murals he gave to the Antibes
Museum and which now decorate the Grimaldi Chateau. But it would
be wrong to think that Picasso paints his pictures "serial-wise" and
easily shifts from one theme to another. In his studio are a great many
canvases begun a long time ago. At times he returns unexpectedly to
them, finishing them in ten minutes or dissatisfiedly turning them
against the wall where they can hang for months without his touching
them again. .
Some have contrasted the turbulent and distorted images Picasso
painted at the time of Guernica, or The Man With the All-Day Sucker,
with those throughout his career that have been compared, for purity of
line, with the works of Ingres. That is a childish contrast. There are
not two hostile painters in Picasso. When his paintings seem to re-
semble one another (are not those of his boldest periods the ones that
seem most alike?) it is always in the manner of ghosts. The more
closely a face is made to resemble that of its model, the more it risks
being ghost-like and coming to us from a very great distance. Often it
is the reflection of another period projected onto his drawings or paint-
ings, and it has the frozen purity of the Greek statues whose eyes are
blind. Of course, Picasso's hand accurately remembers all those clowns
in blue jerseys, whose features it once traced with such exactitude. But
the painter carefully avoids allowing himself to be affected by the
memory of these drawings and gouaches, which alone would suffice to
establish a painter's fame. But why should he do over again something
Picasso At Work [11
tear up the paper napkin, twist each of the pieces of paper, crease them
and place them in an empty bottle. Oose your eyes and open them
again: a bouquet of irises is on the table! When he wantS to color
certain drawings or quick-action statuettes, the painter uses whatever
is in reach. There is a porttait of Nusch Eluard which, according to an
English magazine, the painter made with lipstick, coffee and fruit juice.
The truth is much simpler. Picasso simply made use of a geranium to
get the red on the cheeks and lips of the portrait; the leaf of the geran-
ium crushed by his thumb furnished the liquid green and faded y e l l ~ w
colors of the rest of the portrait.
Every time you visit Picasso's studio, there is always a new series of
paintings or drawings, boxes full of water-colors you have never seen
before. During the summer of 1946, while he was at Antibes, he
painted only sea-urchins and owls. He went back there last year and
finished some enormous paintings, huge murals he gave to the Antibes
Museum and which now decorate the Grimaldi Chateau. But it would
be wrong to think that Picasso paims his picnues "serial-wise" and
easily shifts from one theme to another. In his studio are a great many
canvases begun a long time ago. At times he returns unexpectedly to
them, finishing them in ten minutes or dissatisfiedly turning them
against the wall where they can hang for months without his touching
them again. .
Some have contrasted the turbulent and distorted images Picasso
painted at the time of Guemiea, or The Man lVith the All-Day Sucker,
with those throughout his career that have been compared, for purity of
line, with the works of Ingres. That is a childish concrnSt. There are
nat two hostile painters in Picasso. When his paintings seem to re-
semble one another (are not those of his boldest periods the ones that
seem most alike?) it is always in the manner of ghosts. The more
closely a face is made to resemble that of its model, the more it risks
being ghost-like and coming to us from a very great distance. Often it
is the reBection of anothet period projected onto his drawings or paint-
iogs, and it has the frozen purity of the Greek statues whose eyes are
blind. Of course, Picasso's hand accurately remembers all those clowns
in blue jerseys, whose features it once ttaced with such exactitude. But
the painter carefully avoids allowing himself to be affected by the
memory of these drawings and gouaches, which alone would suffice to
establish a painter's fame. But why should he do over again something
12] LOlJIS PARROT
he once succeeded admirably in doing? He quickly turns away and
looks elsewhere. '
Georges-Henri Adam, who sees Picasso often, has relayed to me
some of 't he painter's comments on the problems facing young artists
today: "A large number of young painters show me their pictures. Why
do they want to retrace my path? Why do they adopt the old formulas
of cubism, fauvism and impressionism? Almost all of them seem to me
destined to become painters of charm. For the most part, they only
popularize the techniques of those who preceded them: the dealers,
who rejected the latter, today encourage their imitators. The eye of the
public has grown used to them. The young painters ask themselves
questions. They pose artistic problems to themselves even before wait-
ing for these problems to be posed. It's a great tragedy for young
painters to look for artistic problems in this way. They stop en route;
all their vitality is paralyzed. They draw on memories and allusions,
and try to find a way to solve this difficulty which they themselves have
unwisely created with methods that have already proved their worth.
Let them never stop en route! A growing tree does not pose to itself
problems of tree-culture. A young artist must forget painting when he
paints. That's the only way he will do original work. To blossom
forth, a work of art must ignore, or rather forget all the rules.
"No doubt, it is useful f o ~ an artist to know all the forms of art
which have preceded or which accompany his. That is a sign of
strength if it is a question of looking for a stimulus or recognizing mis-
takes he must avoid. But he must be very careful not to look for models.
As soon as one artist takes another as model, he is lost. There is no
other model, or rather no other point of departure than reality. Why
should I copy this owl, this sea-urchin? Why should I try to imitate-
nature? I might just as well try to trace a perfect circle. What I have
to do is to utilize as best I can the ideas which objects suggest to me,
connect, fuse and color in my way the shadows they cast within me,
illumine them from the inside. And since of necessity my vision is quite
different from that of the next man, my painting will interpret things
in an entirely different manner even though it makes use of the same
elements."
In an essay published in 1935 in the Madrid magazine, Cruz y Raya,
Jaime Sabartes quotes Picasso as saying to a young painter: "If you want
to draw a circle and claim to be original, don't try to give it a strange
form which isn't exactly the form of a circle. Try to make the circle
12] LOUIS PARROT
he once succeeded admirably in doing? He quickly turns away and
looks elsewhere.
Georges-Henri Adam, who sees Picasso often, has relayed to me
some of 'the painter's comments on the problems facing young artists
today: "A large number of young painters show me their pictures. Why
do they want to retrace my path? Why do they adopt the old formulas
of cubism, fauvism and impressionism? Almost all of them seem to me
destined to become painters of charm. For the most parr, they only
popularize the techniques of those who preceded them: the dealers,
who rejected the latter, today encourage their imitators. The eye of the
public has grown used to them. The young paimers ask themselves
questions. They pose artistic problems to themselves even before wait-
ing for these problems to be posed. It's a great tragedy for young
painters to look for artistic problems in this way. They Stop en rome;
all their vitality is paralyzed. They draw on memories and allusions,
and try to find a way to solve this difficulty which they rhemselves have
unwisely created with methods that have already proved their wordl.
Let them never stop en route! A growing tree does not pose to itself
problems of tree-culture. A young artist must forget painting when he
paints. That's the only way he will do original work. To blossom
forth, a work of art must ignore, or rather forget all the rules.
"No doubt, it is useful for an artist to know all the forms of art
which have preceded or which accompany his. That is a sign of
strength if it is a question of looking for a stimulus or recognizing mis-
takes he must avoid. But he must be very careful not to look for models.
As soon as one artist takes another as model, he is lost. There is no
othet model, or rather no other point of departure than reality. Why
should I copy this owl, this sea-urchin? Why should I try to imitate
nature? I might just as well try to trace a perfect circle. Whar I have
to do is to utilize as best I can the ideas which objects suggest to me,
connect, fuse and color in my way the shadows they cast within me,
illumine them from the inside. And since of necessity my vision is quite
different from that of the next man, my painting will interpret things
in an entirely different manner even though it makes use of the same
elemenrs."
In an essay published in 1935 in the Madrid magazine, Crnz y Raya,
Jaime Sabartes quotes Picasso as saying to a young painter: "If you want
to draw a circle and claim to be original, don't try to give it a strange
form which isn'r exacdy the form of a circle. Try to make the circle
Picasso At Work [13
as best you can. And since nobody before you has made a perfect circle,
you can be sure that your circle will be completely your own. Only then
will you have a chance to be original."
Picasso has declared on several occasions: "The true work of art is
also a sum of refusals, and that is the lesson which young painters must
understand. Are you satisfied with what you have just painted or
sculpted? Then don't hesitate: no matter how painful it may seem to
you at first, erase the work, forget it, look elsewhere. You must take
the steepest path, with its thorns and jagged stones that hurt. Renounce
everything that pleases you. Successes destroyed are additions, not sub-
tractions. They strengthen, not weaken the artist. Two roads lead to
what we incorrectly ' call perfection: that of tenderness and that of vio-
lence, that of love and that of hate. The first is so pleasant to follow
that very few have the courage to follow it through to the end; sleep
overtakes them on the way. To them, everything hardens and thickens.
Everything on that road has been prepared for your pleasure; nothing
is unknown to you; you move forward in a blaze of light as in a well-
lighted museum where nothing harmful can happen to you. But the
harm is that nothing happens to you. You begin once more what others
have done before you and you will perhaps get ahead as people, working
in offices are promoted, but your art will thereby have gained nothing.
If you have the boldness to take the violent road, .you will advance
gropingly, across a thousand pitfalls, you will be scorned and hated-
but you will win out. Don't ever be discouraged. That last effort
which you refuse to make may be the one that will reward you for all
your pains. It will be your success, your spiritual success. And however
much satisfaction it may give you, it can only be won at this price!"
O
N E OF THE FEW friends who have watched Picasso work, told me
that the painter remains seated for a long time in front of his
work, looking at it the way a cat studies a mouse, in the hope that the
work will reveal itself when it no longer feels itself being watched.
At that moment, Picasso approaches with his brushes and in a few
minutes fixes a detail over which he has long pondered. Picasso be-
haves toward reality like an animal toward its prey.
Before Picasso, artists painted strictly what they saw. Nature, copied
so logically, explored in every direction down to the tiniest speck of
luminous dust of the Impressionists, withheld no more secrets from
them. And yet the best among them were disoriented. They were dis-
Picasso AI Work
[13
as best you can. And since nobody before you has made a perfect circle,
you can be swe that your circle will be completely your own. Only then
will you have a chance to be original"
Picasso has deda.red on several occasions: 'The true work of art is
also a sum of refusals, and that is the lesson which young painters must
understand. Are you satisfied with what you have just painted or
sculpted? Then don't hesitate; no matter how painful it may seem to
you at fust, erase the work, forget it, look elsewhere. You must take
the steepest path, wiili irs thorns and jagged srones that hurt. Renounce
everything that pleases you. Successes destf'{ryed are MlditiOfll.J, not sub-
tr"tions. The, strengthen, 1Wt weaken the tHtist. Two roads lead to
what we incorrectly'call perfection: that of tenderness and that of via
lence, that of love and that of hate. The fust is so pleasant to follow
that very few have the courage to follow it through to the end; sleep
overtakes them on the way. To them, everything hardens and thickens.
Everything on that road has been prepared for your pleasure; nothing
is unknown to you; you move forward in a blaze of light as in a well
lighted museum where nothing harmful can happen to you. But the
harm is that nothing happens to you. You begin once mare what others
have done before you and you will perhaps get ahead as people, working
in offices are promOted, but your art will thereby have gained nothing.
If you have the boldness to take the violent road, you will advance
gropiogly, across a thousand pitfalls, you will be scorned and hated-
but you will win OUt. Don't ever be discouraged. That last dIan
which you refuse to make may be the one that will reward you for all
your pains. It will be your success, your spiritual success. And however
much satisfaction it may give you, it can only be won at this ptice!"
O
NE OF THE FEW friends who have watched Picasso WOtk, told me
that the painter remains seated for a loog time in front of his
worlt, looking at it the way a cat studies a mouse, in the hope that the
work will reveal irseU when it no longer feels itself being watched.
At that moment, Picasso approaches with his brushes and in a few
minutes fixes a detail over which he has long pondeted. Picasso be-
haves roward reality like an animal toward irs prey.
Before Picasso, artists painted strictly what they saw. Nature, copied
so logically, explored in every direcrion down to the tiDiest speck: of
luminous dust of the Impressionists, withheld no more secrers fcom
them. And yet the best among them were disoriented. They were dis
14] LOUIS PARROT
rurbed, and ri ghtly so, by the discove ries of which the poets spoke. The
latter told them that objects held within themselves another reality than
the one they had always expressed, that the presence of these objects
hid this reality from them. The painters then came to gr ips with these
objects that were blocking their way. Their despair changed to ag-
gress iveness. Now they br oke down the objects which had formerly
baffled them, di viding them into shadows, into geometrical reflections
across which one could distinguish quite another reality, like a landscape
distorted thr ough a prism of cold colors. A new path was opened to the
boldest explorations.
Before Pi casso, painters pretended to ignore the fact that the external
object which they still took as a model, had nothing more to give
them; but they hesitated to go any further. They maintained an in-
Pablo Picasso
14] LOUIS PARROT
turbed, and rightly SQ, by the discoveries of which the poets spoke. The
latter tOld them that objects held within themselves another reality than
the one they had always expressed, that the presence of these objects
hid this reality from chern. The painters then came to grips with these
objects that were blocking their way. Their despair changed to ag-
gressiveness. Now they broke down the objects which had formerly
baffled them, dividing them inco shadows, into geometrical reflections
across which one could distinguish quite anOther reality, like a landscape
distorted through a prism of cold colors. A new path was opened to tbe
boldest explorations.
Before Picasso, painters pretended to ignore the faa that the external
object which they Still took as a model, had nothing more to give
them; but they hesitated [Q go any further. They maintained an m
Pablo Picasso
Picasso At Work
[15
curable inferiority complex- toward the object. This anxiety is evident
in all the great painters at the beginning of the -twentieth century.
Their desperate flights of boldness were always kept within limits
which they could not transgress on penalty of blindness. Then came
Picasso, who was as much concerned with the inside as with the outside
of things. He renounced once and for all describing these objects,
these old images-to which new colors could not give life. He created
another world, the world hidden within the object. But his mind, con-
stantly searching for new forms, did not draw apart from the humble
reality of our daily life. In his most abstract canvases, his thinking,
which has never gone astray, bases itself on this reality. Many painters
who have followed him have lost the path which might have led them
back to this side of the mirror: today they are still wandering in a laby-
rinth of insoluble symbols. They no longer know how to recognize the
reality which they have light-heartedly lost sight of.
As for Picasso, he always knows where he is going and he returns
to reality at will. Sometimes he describes to us, with very traditional yet
sophisticated methods, the most amazing forms which he has just dis-
covered. He comes and goes with complete freedom from the interior
to the exterior of objects, and under his brush-strokes these two terms
cease to be contradictory.
A very large part of Picasso's work has been inspired by themes
from Greek mythology, especially by the Minotaur myth. (It seems
superfluous to remind the reader that .Picasso's Minotaur always evokes
the bull-fighting scenes so characteristic of the land of his birth.) The
Minotaur, which has so often been transformed in his work and the
first sketches of which are like the tortured drawings of the old Spanish
masters, symbolizes this passionate desire for knowledge, the need to
penetrate as far as it is humanly possible into this inner world where
one never ventures with impunity. How many painters before him
have been satisfied to describe merely the approaches to the Labyrinth!
How many others, having risked taking several steps toward it, have
hastily turned back! Picasso is a man who has always dared. The
wisest words of caution have never made him recreat-e-quite the con-
trary! He brings us a profusion of new relationships. When he paints,
objects become transparent; they reveal themselves to us like X-ray pic-
tures in which we see much more than we could have suspected, a whole
constellation of strange bodies.
PicaJSO At Work [15
cumbie inferiority complex toward the object. This anxiety is evident
in all the gteat painters at the beginning of the twentieth century.
Their desperate flightS of boldness were always kept within limits
which they could not tranSgress on penalty of blindness. Then Clme
Picasso, who was as much concerned with the inside as with the outside
of things. He renounced once and for all describing these objectS,
these old images to which new colors could not give life. He created
another world, the wodd hidden within the object. But his mind, con-
Stantly searching for new forms, did not draw apart from the humble
reality of our daily life. In his most abstract canvases, his thinking,
which has never gone astray, bases itself on this reality. Many painters
who have followed him have lost the path which might have led them
back to this side of the mirror: today they are still wandering in a laby-
rinth of insoluble symbols. They no longer know how to recognize the
reality which they have light-heartedly JOSt sight of.
As for Picasso, he always knows where he is going and he renlCns
to reality at will. Sometimes he describes to us, with very traditional yet
sophisticated methods, the most amazing forms which he has JUSt dis-
covered. He comes and goes with complete freedom from the interior
to the exterior of objects, and under his brush-strokes these twO terms
cease to be contradictory.
A very large parr of Picasso's work has been inspired by themes
from Greek mythology, especially by the Minotaur myth. (It seems
superfluous to remind the reader that Picasso's Minotaur always evokes
the buUfighting scenes so characteristic of the land of his birth.) The
Minotaur, which has so often been transformed in his work and the
firSt sketches of which are like the tortured drawings of the old Spanish
masters, symbolizes this passionate desire for knowledge, the need to
penemue as far as it is humanly possible intO this inner world where
one never ventures with impunity. How many painters before him
have been satisfied to describe merely the approaches to the Labyrinth!
How many others, having risked taking several steps toward it, have
hastily turned back! Picasso is a man who has always dared. The
wisest words of caution have never made him retreat--quite the con-
trary! He brings us a profusion of new relationships. When he paints,
objects become transparent; they reveal themselves to us like X-ray pic-
tures in which we see much more thaD we could have suspected, a whole:
constellation of strange bodjes.
16]
LOUIS PARROT
The gate to the Labyrinth? Why, that might have been any object
'whatever. Who knows? Perhaps a coffee-pot painted in two smoke-
black strokes; or a lamp, its flame painted like a green sun dotted with
butterfly-spots; or a bunch of leeks, disconcertingly banal. And no one
before him had seen that it was precisely through these inconsequential
objects that one could reach the heart of reality.
A
T THE BEGINNING of September, 1944, a few days after the lib-
eration of Paris, the entire painting world of Paris paid tribute to
Pablo Picasso. During the four years of German occupation, Picasso
had insisted on staying in Paris. A few days before war broke out,
he told Guillermo de Torre, noted critic of Spanish art now living
in Buenos Aires: "I wouldn't think of moving from here. I shall be
the last foreigner to leave Paris." And this loyalty to unhappy France
was hailed in that unforgettable demonstration. If it were not childish
to speak of a "reward" as applied to such a man, one might say that
this city, in which he has lived for more than forty years, in which he
has known poverty and fame, was brilliantly repaying him for his affec-
tion and confidence.
But Picasso's attitude in that period surprised no one. Picasso has
always been on the side of justice. I was at Madrid, at a time when
the first retrospective exhibition of his finest paintings was opened in
the Spanish capital. Every evening shots rang out on the streets of
Madrid. The reflection of burning buildings played over these famous
canvases-among them the great sleeping woman, rose- and violet-col-
ored--of 1935. The corrupt press insulted Picasso, accusing him of
having attempted to debase Spanish taste and holding him responsible
for "unbalancing people's minds:' You can easily guess who were the
painter's defenders in the few newspapers to which they still had
access.
A few months later we met them again on the barricades of
Madrid and read their names beside those of Unamuno, Alberti, Cer-
nuda, and Machado in Hora de Espana. In those tragic hours Picasso
anxiously followed the course of events. A few days after the assassina-
tion of the great poet, Garcia Lorca, in August, 1936, I had been given
the honor by the Spanish Ambassador in Paris of announcing to the
painter that the Spanish Republic had just named him Honorary Di-
rector of the Prado Museum. Picasso was then living on the Rue de 1a
16] LOUIS PARROT
The gate to the Labyrinth? Why, that might have been any object
whatever. Who knows? Perhaps a coffee-pot painted in [wo s m o k e ~
black strokes; or a lamp. its Bame painted like a green sun dotted with
butterfly-spots; or a bunch of leeks, disconceningly banal. And no one
before him had seen tbat it was precisely through these inconsequential
objects that one could reach the bean of reality.
A
T THE BEGINNING of September, 1944, a few days after the lib-
eration of Paris, me entire painting world of Paris paid tribute to
Pablo Picasso. During the four years of German occupation, Picasso
had insisted on staying in Paris. A few days before war broke out,
he told Guillermo de Torre. noted critic of Spanish art now living
in Buenos Ailes: "I wouldn't think of moving from here. I shall be
the last foreigner to leave Paris." And this loyalty to unhappy France
was hailed in that unforgettable demonstration. If it were not childish
to speak of a "reward" as applied to such a man, one might say that
this city, in which he has lived for more than forty years, in which he
has known poverty and fame, was brilliantly repaying him for his affec-
tion and confidence.
But Picasso's attitude in that period surprised no one. Picasso has
always been on the side of justice. I was at Madrid, at a time when
the firSt tetrospective exhibition of his finest paintings was opened in'
the Spanish capital. Every evening shots rang out on the streets of
Madrid. The reflection of burning buildings played over these famous
canvases-among them the great sleeping woman, rose- and violet-col-
ored---of 1935. The COtrupt press insulted Picasso, accusing him of
having attempted to debase Spanish taste and holding him responsible
for "unbalancing people's minds," You can easily guess who were the
painter's defenders in the few newspapers to which they still had
access.
A few mOnths later we met them again on the barricades of
Madrid and read their names beside those of Unamuno, Alberti, Cer-
nuda, and Machado in Hot'a de Espana. In those tragic hours Picasso
anxiously followed the course of events. A few days after the assassina-
tion of the great poet, Garcia Lorca, in August, 1936, I had been given
the honor by the Spanish Ambassador in Paris of announcing to the
painter that the Spanish Republic had just named him Honocacy Di-
rector of the Prado Museum. Picasso was then living on the Rue de la
Picasso At Work
[17
Boetie, in an apartment cluttered with books and pictures. When I
brought him the news, Picasso, who is always very composed, grew
troubled for a moment, and I saw his eyes gleam with a sharper light.
Of course, it did not mean that he would direct the Museum or take part
in its administration. But he was moved by this confidence which men
of the same origin as himself had thus placed in him. They were
humble men who had certainly not penetrated all the secrets of his art,
but who wished to honor in him the indefatigable worker, the artist
whose works and whose example had contributed so much .to honoring
the name of their country in the world. And shortly thereafter he
created the paintings inspired by events, the large Guernica mural and
the Dreams and Lies of Franco. Guernica, painted from May to July,
1937, is a searing example of a man taking his st and, a man inspired
by the sacred anger of which Lope de Vega has spoken. Picasso rose
up in all his genius to lash at the deeds of those builders of ruins who
sought to make real the black legend of church-ridden and despotic Old
Spain. In his paintings and drawings, Picasso fought like a soldier
against that world of injustice and stupidity. From the very first days of
the Civil War, Picasso had chosen. His place was in the struggle which,
for him, has never ended.
To those who saw him during the German occupation of France,
the memory of a visit to Picasso's studio is always associated with the
remembrance of a good day. By his presence alone, Picasso gave hope to
those who had begun to doubt our chances of liberation. His confident
attitude, both as man and as artist, won our warm regard. Those who
shortly before the war had taken his canvases out of their museums
and tried to sell them at low prices, received their due by that very act.
They could prevent him from exhibiting in Paris, but they could not
stop him from painting; and those four years of waiting were one of the
most fertile periods of his life. His studio became one of those gather-
ing-places where all the values we loved retained their heart-warming
lustre. Over humiliated Paris he cast a brilliant light which no power
in the world could alter.
The uprising in Paris re-awakened in him all the heroic and glorious
images of Old Spain. Goya in 1808, Picasso in 1944. The shots on
the deserted quays of the Seine, the grave and laughing faces of boys
armed with rusty guns behind the barricades on the alert for passing
tanks, the cars driving at break-neck speed, and-elimaxing the scene
Pica.!Jo Al W O1'k
[17
~ c i e , in an apanment cluttered with books and pictures. When I
brought him the news, Picasso, who is always very composed, grew
troubled for a moment, and I saw his eyes gleam with a sharper light.
Of course, it did not mean that he would direct the Museum or rake pan
in its adminisuacion. But he was moved by this confidence which men
of the same origin as himse.lf had thus placed in him. They were
humble men who had cerqinJy nOt peneuated all the secretS of his art,
but who wished to honor in him the indefatigable worker, the artist
whose works and whose example had contributed so much to honoring
the name of their country in the world. And shordy thereaher he
created the paintings inspired by events, the large Guemica mural and
the D,.sa1nf and LisJ 01 P,anco. GuernictS, painted from May to July,
1937, is a searing example of a man raking his stand, a man inspired
by the sacred anger of which Lope de Vega has spoken. Picasso rose
up in all his genius to lash at the deeds of those builders of ruins who
sought to make real the black legend of church-ridden and despotic Old
Spain. In his paintings and drawings, Picasso fought like a soldier
against tbat world of injustice and stupidity. From the very first days of
the Civil War, Picasso had cbosen. His place was in the struggle which,
for him, has never ended.
To those who saw him during the German occupation of France,
the memory of a visit to Picasso's studio is always associated with the
remembrance of a good day. By his presence alone, Picasso gave hope to
those who had begun to doubt ow: chances of liberation. His confident
attitude, both as man and as artist, won our warm regard. Those who
showy before the wac had taken his canvases OUt of their museums
and tried to sell them at Jaw prices, received their due by that very act.
They could prevent him from exhibiting in Paris, but they could not
StOp him fcom painting; and those four years of waiting were one of the
most fertile periods of his life. His studio became one of those gather-
ing-places where all the values we loved retained their heart-warming
lustre. Over humiliated Paris he cast a brilliant light which no power
in the world could alter.
The uprising in Paris re-awakened in him all the heroic and glorious
images of Old Spain. Goya in 1808, Picasso in 1944. The shots on
the deserted quays of the Seine, the grave and laughing faces of boys
armed with rusty guns behind the barricades on the alert for passing
tanks, the cars driving at break-neck speed, and-climaxing the scene
18]
LOUIS PARROT
-the heavy golden clouds which did not lose their bright outlines until
very far into the night. There was nothing missing in this scene in
the French capital, not e ~ e n the sense of horror which his great Guernica
mural had evoked in us several years before. No doubt all people's
movements resemble one another, and all men who fight for the same
cause have the same light in their eyes. But if Pablo Picasso followed the
course of the uprising with such passionate excitement, it was because
the goal it sought to achieve was exactly the same goal he had always
followed. This master of the School of Paris, who had remained so
profoundly Spanish, was better qualified than any other artist to fuse
the spiritual characteristics, so often contrasted, of his two countries,
and to combine the strongest love of work and study with a fierce love
of freedom.
During the days preceding Liberation his production was consider-
able, as if work to him was a way of taking part in the battle. There is a
well-known color engraving based on the theme of a bacchanal by
Poussin: the figures in it are those he saw in the street rushing to the
barricades. In the collection of his friend Dora Maar there is a large
and extremely severe still-life: a plant without blossoms on long,
sharply colored stalks. Picasso finished that picture the same night
the Paris Wine-Market was bombarded. Dense clouds of red smoke
rose from the blaze and were reflected in the window-panes. The very
evening the first units entered Paris, while shots were still interspersed
with the roar of the liberated population, Picasso, as he later told me,
saw "that the sky and clouds had really changed color." There was
a more luminous reflection on the Seine, a Spot of brightness that
lingered longer than other evenings on the old stones of the city, a
change, imperceptible to anyone but him, in the play of lights and
shadows of the crowds on the streets-yes, the color of the sky had
really changed. On the square in front of the City Hall, the first
armored car that stopped in the midst of a crowd of weeping women
bore in huge white letters the name of Guernica: its driver was a Span-
ish volunteer!
That day Picasso had painted the head of a young man; and it was
quite easy to recognize the image of one of those street-fighters he had
met on the barricades in the Saint-Michel district. The next day, Picasso
said: "I was at my window watching the fight. There were sharp-
shooters on the roofs and young people fighting on the road. Then,
I did not want to stay in the middle. I went down into the street."
18]
LOUIS PARROT
-the heavy golden clouds which did not lose their bright outlines until
very far into tbe night. There was nothing missing in this scene in
the French capital, DOt even the sense of horror which his great Guernica
mural had evoked in us several years before. No doubt all people's
movements resemble one another, and all men who fight for the same
cause have the same light in their eyes. But if Pablo Picasso followed the
course of the uprising with such passionate excitement, it was because
the goal it sought to achieve was exactly the same goal he had always
followed. This master of the School of Paris, who had remained so
profouncUy Spanish, was better qualified than any mher artist to fuse
the spiritual characteristics, so often contrasted, of his twO countries,
and to combine the strongest love of work and study with a fierce love
of freedom.
During the days preceding Liberation his production was consider-
able, as if work to him was a way of taking part in the battle. There is a
well-known color engraving based On the theme of a bacchanal by
Poussin: the figures in it are those he saw in the street rushing to the
barricades. In the collection of his friend Dora Maar there is a large
and extremely severe still-life: a plant without blossoms on long,
sharply coloted stalks. Picasso finished that picrure the same night
the Paris Wine-Market was bombarded. Dense clouds of red smoke
rose from the blaze and were reflected in the window-panes. The very
evening the firSt units entered Paris, while shots were still interspersed
with the roar of the liberated population, Picasso, as he later told me,
saw "that the sky and clouds had really changed color." There was
a more luminous rel.ection on the Seine, a spot of btightness that
lingered longer than other evenings on the old stones of the city, a
change, imperceptible to anyone but him, in the play of lights and
shadows of the crowds on the streets-yes, the color of the sky had
really changed. On the square in front of the City Hall, the first
armored cat that stopped in the midst of a crowd of weeping women
bore in huge white letters the name of Guernka: its driver was a Span-
ish volunteer!
That day Picasso had painted the head of a young mao; and it was
quite easy to recognize the image of one of those street-fighters he had
met on the barricades in the Saint-Michel district. The next day, Picasso
said: "I was at my window watching the fight. There were sharp-
shooters on the roofs and young people fighting on the road. Then,
I did not want to stay in the middle. I went down iota the street."
Picasso At Work
[19
T
HAT IS HOW Picasso explained his joining the Communist Party, an
act that startled Paris. He became the target of the most violent
attacks. He was called a traitor, or at least an opportunist. The reac-
tionary papers denounced him as "the worst painter of the period."
Critics whose behavior during the occupation had been far from ex-
emplary, insulted him in the name of French good taste. But what joy
among his friends! Several days later a large exhibition of eighty of
his canvases was opened at the Salon of Modern Art. Marcel Cachin
and Maurice Thorez were present at the opening, at which several inci-
dents occurred. Some of his paintings were torn down. A large section
of the conservative-minded, who had never seen Picasso's paintings,
were dumbfounded by the boldness of this painter who, to them, rep-
resented "the negation of French art." As a matter of fact, all this furor
was provoked by the painter's decision to become a Communist. He
had already said that he could not remain indifferent to the struggle.
Rather than continue as a neutral and enjoy all the advantages of his
neutrality, he had preferred to join the ranks of those who fought with
no other arms save those of courage. He had not wanted to remain
above the battle; he had gone down into the street.
This decision, which was to excite so much comment and which
the painter had made in complete agreement with his deepest convic-
tions, did not surprise those of his friends who knew how much he was
concerned with the emancipation of man and of the artist from all the
constraints that our society imposes on them. All of Pablo Picasso's work
is marked by a violent effort of liberation; and his example, which
throughout his long career has so frightened the theoreticians of paint-
ing, is the most fertile of any that an artist has given for a long time.
It is a crude error of vision which makes some say that his painting is
"an art of -decadence"; in truth, it has more cruelly than any other
reflected the decadence of traditional painting and has arisen on the
ruins of the latter. On the contrary, it marks the point of departure
of a liberated art, the beginnings of that- genuine Renaissance which we
are witnessing and which is accompanied by so many painful up-
heavals. It was because he was profoundly convinced of this that Picasso,
to whom politics is still a strange world, has found it natural to join
with those who, on another level and with quite different means, are
working to achieve the same end. And it would be an even cruder
mistake to think that by acting thus, Picasso is running counter to his
many-sided interests. "To paint pictures or large engravings that would
Picasso At Work
[19
T
HAT IS HOW Picasso explained his joining the Communist Party, an
act chat searded Paris. He became the carget of the most violent
attacks. He was called a traitor, or at least an opportunist. The reac
cionnry papers denounced him as "the worst painter of the period."
Critics whose behavior during the occupation had been far from ex-
emplary, insulted him in the name of French good taste. But what joy
among his friends! Several days later a large exhibition of eighty of
his canvases was opened at the Salon of Modern Art. Marcel Cachin
and Maurice Thorez were present at the opening, at which several inci-
dents occurred. Some of his paintings were torn down. A large section
of the conservative-minded, who had never seen Picasso's paintings,
were dumbfounded by the boldness of this painter who, to them, .rep-
resented "the negation of F.rench an." As a matter of faa, all this furor
was provoked by the painte.r's decision to become a Communist. He
bad already said that he could not .remain indifferent to the struggle.
Rather than continue as a neutral and enjoy all the advantages of his
neutrality, he had prefer.red to join the .ranks of those who fought with
no othe.r arms save those of cou.rage, He had not wanted to remain
above the battle; he had gone down inca the sueet,
This decision, which was to excite so much comment and which
the painter had made in complete agreement with his deepest convic
tions, did not surprise those of his friends who knew how much he was
concerned with the emancipation of man and of the anist from all the
constraintS that our society imposes on them. All of Pablo Picasso's work
is marked by a violent effOrt of liberation; and his example, which
throughout his long career has SO frightened the theorericians of paint-
ing, is the mose fertile of any that an artist has given for a long time.
It is a crude error of vision which makes some say tbat his painting is
"an art of decadence"; in truth, it has more crueUy than any orner
reBected the decadence of traditional painting and has arisen on the
ruins of the laner. On the contrary, it mades the point of deparcure
of a liberated art, the beginnings of thar- genuine Renaissance which we
are witnessing and which is llccompanied by so many painful up-
heavals. It was because he was profoundly convinced of this that Picasso,
to whom politics is still a strange world, has found it natural to join
with those who, on another level and with quite different means, are
working to achieve [he same end. And it would be an even cruder
mistake to think that by acting thus, Picasso is running counter to his
many-sided interests. ''To paint pictures or large engravings that would
20]
LOUIS PARROT
be sold on street-corners for 100 francs each," that is what Picasso
dreams of, the sculptor Adam once ' told me. "It would be marvelous
to bring the plastic arts right back to their original direction, to their
anonymity, instead of forcing them to find haphazard refuge with the
dealers." Despite all appearances, no one more than Picasso despises all
the painring vrnarrs and all the constraints which present-day society
forces on the artist. No other painter has maintained as great a freedom
toward his art, and as biting an attitude toward those who live off it.
To him, pictures are not made to decorate apartments. "Painting is an
instrument of offensive and defensive war against the enemy." Those
of his friends who have witnessed the violent fits of rage provoked in
him by lack of understanding and meanness, know very well that his
supreme passion is to paint, to create.
"Picasso was remarkably handsome when he was young," wrote Ger-
trude Stein, who knew him well. And she added: "He was illuminated
as if he wore a halo." This halo has remained, and the legend which
for half a century has surrounded this artist without equal, has made him
subtler and more moving. Look at him: his strong face on which his
smile cuts ever deeper wrinkles, his sly joviality, his air of seriousness
that is not always impenetrable, and the lock of gray hair which falls
over an eye that has seen everything, remembered everything, and
which is always ready for fresh discovery. Look at him through the
smoke of that Gauloise cigarette he has smoked since the early days of
his first collages. His gestures, quick, cutting, like the flying-scissors
of the black-and-white paintings of 1935 evoke this whole world of
brilliant colors one glimpses when the door opens. Picasso does not
paint with lace ruffles; his palette is an old newspaper thrown on the
ground. As soon as his yisitors have left, Picasso goes up to his studio,
into his Minotaur-like solitude, and no one sees him until the next
day. His vast body of work stretching across more 'than fifty years, with
its endless procession of successes that the world applauds and its
failures that ,no one suspects, ends here in front of this easel where the
painter pursues his life-work. But who can read his thoughts when he
remains there in the solitude of his studio, into which no one has
penetrated when once he has shut the door on his last visitor? This artist
who enjoys world fame, fabulous renown, has remained what he has
always been: the most unfathomable of men.
( Translated from the French by Joseph Bernstein.)
20]
LOUIS PARROT
be sold on sueer-coroers for 100 francs each," that is what Picasso
dreams of, the .sculptOr Adam once told mc. "]t would be marvelous
to briog the plastic ans right back to their original direction, CO their
anonymity, iostead of forcing them to find haphazard rcfuge with the
dealers." Despite all appearances, no one more than Picasso despises all
the painting marts and all the coosuaims which present-day society
foeces on the artist. No other painter has maintained as great a freedom
(award his an, and as biting an auimde toward those who live off it.
To him, piaure5 are not made to aecoraJe apanments. "Painting is an
instrument of offensive and defensive war against the enemy." Those
of his friends who have witnessed the violent fits of rage provoked in
him by lack of understanding and meanness, know very well that his
supreme passion is to paint, to create.
"Picasso was remarkably handsome when he was young," wrote Ger-
trude Stein, who knew him well. And she added: "He was illuminated
as jf he wore a halo." TIljS halo has remained, and the legend which
for half a century has surrounded this artist without equal, has made him
subtler and more moving. Look at him: his strong face on which his
smile cuts ever deeper wrinkles, his sly joviality, his air of seriousness
chat is not always impenetrable, and che lock of geay hair wbich falls
over an eye that has seen everything, remembered everything, and
which is always ready for fresh discovery. Look at him through the
smoke of that GauloiJe cigarette he has smoked since che early days of
his first collages. His gestures, quick, cutting. like che Bying-scissors
of the black-and-white paintings of 1935 evoke this whole world of
brilliant coloes one glimpses when the door opens. Picasso does DDt
paint widl lace ruH1es; his palette is an old newspaper du'Own on the
ground. As soon as his yisitors have left. Picasso goes up to his studio,
iota his J.finocaur-like solirude, and no one sees him until the next
day. His vast body of work stretching across m"ore than fifty years, with
its endless procession of successes that the world applauds and its
failures tbat no one suspects, ends here in froot of this easel where the
painter pursues his life-work. But who can read his thoughts when he
remains there in the solitude of his studio, into which no one has
penetrated wben once he bas shut the door on his last visitor? This artist
who enjoys world fame, fabulous renown, has remained what he has
always been: the most unfathomable of men.
(T,.amlated j,.om the French by Jouph Bermtsin.)
The Picnic
A. Story by PHILLIP BONOSKY
C
OM I N G UP THE cinder-paved alley, strewn now with the red spring
"worms" from the big cottonwood poplar, he was amazed to see
his four children rushing down to meet him, their knees flashing, their
eyes rigid with joy, at eight o'clock in the May morning. They sur-
rounded him, pulling on his ar m and forgetting to look into his lunch
bucket for the apple he might have left over from lunch.
"Hurry, hurry!" they cried. "Daddy, hurry!" And they began to pull
him up the las t little hill of the alley.
Swiftly he searched his mind, where the image in the warm bed, still
warm from her body, lay curled; and thought: what's today? Then over-
whelmingly he remembered. This wa s the great day, the end of school
day-the school-p icnic day!
They were pulling h im up the st eps, and he lifted his five-pound
steel-toed shoes with a sigh. "Kids," he complained, "not so fast."
But they were deaf.
The kitchen was filled with coffee and washing soap smell. The
moment he entered i t, "Rich," his wife told him, handing him the y o u n g ~
est, only one year old, "hold Louie for me." In the middle of the floor
there was a mountain of clothes, and on the stove two huge kettles
were boiling. That was why d ie ki tchen smelled of washing day, too.
He went into the next room and aft er his eldest son, Francis, cov-
ered the couch with newspaper, sank down on it with a huge relaxing
groan. The baby he saddled on his chest and picked up one of its bare
toes and pressed it on his nose. He kissed its cold instep and the baby
wriggled and shr ill ed.
The four steps, as he called his other children, were in t he kitchen
ar ound the table on the middle of which rested a big basket. He could
21
The Picnic
A Story by PHILLIP BONOSKY
C
OMJNG UP THE cinder-paved alley, strewn now with the red spring
"worms" from the big cottonwood poplar, he was amazed to see
his four children rushing down to meet him, their knees flashing, their
eyes rigid with joy, at eight o'clock in the May morning. They sur-
rounded him, pulling on his arm and forgetting to look into his lunch
bucket for the apple he might have left over from lunch.
"Hurry, hurry!" they cried. "Daddy, hurry!" And they began to pull
him up the last little hill of the alley.
Swiftly he searched his mind, where the image in the warm bed, still
warm from her body, Jay curled; and thought: what's today? Then over-
whelmingly he remembered. This was the great day, the end of school
day-the school-picnic day!
They were pulling him up the steps, and he lifted his five-pound
steel-toed shoes with a sigh. "Kids," he complained, "not so faR"
But they were deaf.
The kitchen was filled with coffee and washing soap smell. The
moment he emered it, "Rich;' his wife told him, handing him the y o u n g ~
est, only one year old, "hold Louie for me:' In the middle of the floor
there was a mountain of clothes, and on the stove twO huge kettles
were boiling. That was why tIfe kitchen smelled of washing day, too.
He wear into the next room and after his eldest son, Francis, coy.
ered the couch with newspaper, sank down on it with a huge relaxing
groan. The baby he saddled on his chest and picked up one of its bare
toes and pressed it on his nose. He kissed its cold iostep and the baby
wriggled and sluilled.
The four steps, as he called his other children, were in the kitchen
around the table 00 the middle of which rested a big basket. He couId
21
22]
PHILLIP BONOSKY
see her through the doorway-her hair pulled back and then rolled
in the hasty bun-the "two-minute bun" she'd say. She called to him
as she worked.
"Now be sure they don't get lost, Rich," she said, "and make Francis
take care of the kids and Johnny; he's old enough now."
Francis came into the room and sat down on a chair, detached from
the others in the kitchen, and looked at him.
"You'll be in high school now, is that it, Frankie?" he said.
"Yes, Dad," the boy replied.
"Listen, lady," he said wearily, chasing circles around the baby's nose
while it tried to bat the whirling fingers with its fat hand. "Why don't
you take them and have fun?"
"Fun?" she cried. "They're going to be like madmen all week now
school's out. My last chance to get anything done," she said. "I'll get
the clothes washed while you're gone, and then I want to start the wood-
work, and then the dress for her," meaning Antoinette, "and besides,
what about him?" meaning little Louie who looked cross-eyed at the
twirling fingers,
"I'll come in the afternoon and maybe you can go home and get
some sleep before tonight." She then turned to all the children and
said sternly, "Kids, your father has to go to work tonight again, and
he worked all night last night-so if you annoy him and get him tired
out, I'll smack all of you!" And to Johnny, she said, "First thing you do
is find out where the toilet is and go yourself. Better go and dress,"
she added to Rich.
"Already?" he said. "The picnic'll last all day!"
"Oh, Daddy!" the children cried to him. "You said!"
He gOt up from the couch and gave the baby to his eldest boy and
went upstairs to the bedroom. There the bed stood, the covers turned
down, the departed shape of her lingeringly imprinted. He lay down
upon it and smelled the faint aroma of her hair in the pillow where
she had lain, and dug his closed eyes in it and nuzzled it, feeling the
pillow sweet and welcome.
With a real groan this time he pulled himself up, a little dizzy, and
took off his big shoes. They fell like rocks to the floor. Then he took
off the stiff pants that collapsed, not in a heap like other clothes, but
broken. The sweat of the night's work which saturated his underwear,
now released, filled the room. He took this underwear off and put on
lighter ones; then shirt and trousers and Sunday shoes.
22]
PHILLIP BONOSKY
see her through the doorway-her hair pulled back and then rolled
in the hasty bun-the "two-minute buo" she'd say. She called to him
as she worked.
"Now be sure they don't get lost, Rich;' she said, "and make Francis
take care of the kids and Johnny; he's old enough now."
Francis came into the room and sat down on a chair, detached fcom
the others in the kitchen, and looked at him.
"You'll be in high school now, is that it, Frankie?" he said.
"Yes, Dad," the boy replied.
"Listen, lady," he said wearily, chasing circles around the baby's nose
while it tried to bat the whirling fingers with its fat hand. "Why don't
you take them and have fun?"
"Fun?" she cried. "They're going to be like madmen all week now
school's out. My last chance to get anything done," she said. ''I'll get
the clothes washed while you're gone, and then] want to start the wood
work, and then the dress for her;' meaning Antoinette, "and besides,
what about him?" meaning little Louie who looked cross-eyed at the
twirling fingers.
'']'11 come in the afternoon and maybe you can go home and get
some sleep before tonight." She then turned to all the children and
said sternly, "Kids, your father has to go to work tonight again, and
he worked all night last night-so if you annoy him and get him tired
out, I'll smack all of you!" And to Johnny, she said, "First thing you do
is find out where the toilet is and go yourself. Better go and dress,"
she added to Rich.
"Already?" he said. "The picnic'll last all day!"
"Oh, Daddy!" the children cried to him. "You said.'''
He gOt up from the couch and gave the baby to his eldest boy and
went upstairs to the bedroom. There the bed stood, the covers turned
down, the departed shape of her lingeringly imprinted. He Jay down
upon it and smelled the faint aroma of her hair in the pillow where
she had lain, and dug his closed eyes in it and nuzzled it, feeling the
pillow sweet and welcome.
With a real groan this time he pulled himself up, a little dizzy, and
took off his big shoes. TIley fell like rocks to the 600r. Then he took
off the stiff pants that collapsed, not in a heap like other clothes, but
broken. The sweat of the night's work which saturated his underwear,
now released, filled the room. He took this underwear off and put on
lighter oncs; then shirt and trousers and Sunday shoes.
The Picnic
[23
D
OWNSTAIRS the basket was covered. The children were made almost
formal by the starch still in their new clothes. His wife was
standing at the stove plunging a stick into the boiling water where
clothes ballooned out. "Everything's ready," she said. "And remem-
ber," she added anxiously as she caught his eyes drooping, "watch them
-every year somebody gets hurt; watch them, Rich."
'With both eyes," he answered.
She looked at him, withdrew her arms from the kettle and crossed
them over her bosom. "Rich, maybe you shouldn't go? Get your sleep,
and then in the evening--"
"Wouldn't think of it. Why, the kids would scalp me alive," he re-
plied. "Wouldn't you, kids?"
"Yes, Daddy," they cried.
"See?"
"But all night-and then tonight again? Why did you promise? You
kids," she cried at them. "You don't know what it means to work!"
"Picnic comes but once a year," he intoned sing-song way.
"All right then. But I'll be out this afternoon-and maybe they'll be
tired enough by that time so we can all come home. Do you think?"
"Maybe," he agreed. "Okay, kids, off we go--four Iittle steps, all in
a row." They started-first, Johnny who was eight, then Antoinette
who was ten, William who was twelve, then Francis who was fourteen.
And Louie, in the mountain of clothes where he'd been dropped, was
one year old-a big, big step.
Down the alley they had to go, past the library, past the Irish church,
past the playground, to the streetcar track, right beside the Mill which
was spitting and hooting and banging bars together deep inside itself.
There was a gang of children gathered, parents islanded among them,
with harassment already patched on their strained faces.
The streetcar came and everybody pushed and Rich lost the kids for
a minute but finally gathered them all together in the back of the car.
The car rocked with noises and clanging bells. There, on the long seat,
they arranged themselves. Francis, his eldest, sat beside him quietly.
. "Dad," he said finally, as the car started with a jerk. "I'm a man
now, Dad."
"Why do you say that?" he asked, startled.
"You know," the boy said to him with secret eyes, then turned away
and stared remotely at the other children fantastic in their fun.
He stared at his eldest boy.
The Picnic
[23
D
OWNSTAIRS the basket was covered. The children were made almOSt
formal by the starch still in their new clothes. His wife was
standing at the stove plunging a stick into the boiling water where
dothes ballooned OUt. "Everything's ready;' she said. "And remem-
ber," she added anxiously as she caught his eyes drooping, "watch them
-every year somebody gets hurt; watch them, Rich."
'With both eyes," he answered.
She looked at him, withdrew her arms from the kettle and crossed
them over ber bosom. "Rich, maybe you shouldn't go? Get your sleep,
and then in the evening--"
""Wouldn't think of it. Why, we kids would scalp me alive;' he re-
plied. '''Wouldn't you, kids?"
"'Yes, Daddy," they cried.
"See?"
"But all nigbt-and then tonight again? Why did you promise? You
kids," she cried at them. "You don't know what it means to work!"
"Picnic comes but once a year," he intoned sing-song way.
"All right then. But I'll be out this afternoon-and maybe they'll be
tired enough by that time so we can all come borne. Do you think?"
"Maybe," he agreed. "Okay, kids, off we ~ f o w little steps, all in
a row." They started-first, Johnny who was eight, then Antoinette
who was ten, William who was twelve, then Francis who was fourteen.
And Louie, in the mountain of clowes where he'd been dropped, was
one year old-a big, big step.
Down the alley they had to go, past the library, past the Irish church,
past the playground, to the streetcar track, right beside the Mill which
was spitting and hooting and banging bars together deep inside ieself.
There was a gang of children gathered, parents islanded among them,
with harassment a1ceady patched on their strained faces.
The streetcar came and everybody pushed and Rich laSt the kids for
a minute but finally gawered them all together in the back of the car.
The car rocked wiw noises and clanging bells. There, on the long seat,
tbey arranged themselves. Francis, his eldest, sat beside him quiedy.
"Dad," be said 6nally, as the car started with a jerk. "I'm a man
now, Dad."
"Why do you say that?" he asked, statded.
"You know," tbe boy said to him with secret eyes, then turned away
and Stared remotely at the other children fantastic in their fun.
He stared at his eldest boy.
24]
Illustration by Al Blaustein
"OH, BIG AS A WHALE!" they cried-the park that had been washed
up on this everyday shore. They scrambled all over it with cries.
He gathered his brood together inside the gate and added up the
tickets they'd bought at school at half-price. It was important that the
two youngest be kept off the Racer and the Rabbit and shunted to
something like the ferris wheel and the caterpillar.
24]
lJJusmll;on b'J Ai BltluJtein
"0H, BIG AS A WHALE!" they cried-the park that had been washed
up on this everyday shore. They scrambled all over it with cries.
He gathered his brood together inside the gate and added up the
tickets they'd bought at school at halfprice. It was important that the
two youngest be kept off the Racer and the Rabbit and shunted to
something like the ferris wheel and the caterpillar.
The Picnic
[25
"Frankie," he said, "you take Antoinette with you, and Will, you
take J ohnny."
"He can't go on the Racer!" Will cried.
"No, what I want you to do is take him on the caterpillar and the
fer ris wheel."
"And use up my tickets?"
He looked helplessly at his son.
"I'll give you half of my tickets," Frankie announced. They stared
at him. Frankie looked at his father.
"We woul dn' t ask you to do that, Frankie."
"That's all right, Dad," he replied. "I 'll come and talk to you after-
wards. W e' ll just sit."
"Well," he said. "Now, I'm going to stay with the basket here by
the tree. You come to me every hour so I know where you are. Then
we'll have lunch. Do you have enough money?"
They had two dollars among them.
He watched them race across the green grass t o where the peaks of
Babylon were shining in the May sunlight. Above the intricate white
woodwork of the stand where the Racer was he saw the yellow car
poise on the topmost terrace, hold in the sky, and then plunge down-
ward. H e fancied he could hear their shrieks even so far away.
He sat down on the grass, taking out a newspaper from his back
pocket as he did so, and rubbed his back against the tree. Then he
spread his paper and settled back to read it . .. .
He was r ipped out of his sleep by a shriek, and he leaped to his
feet to see his youngest son come trailing across the grass dripping
blood from hi s nose. Tears had mingled with the blood on the boy's
face and had formed a pale cherry blot on his white shirt.
"W illy did it! " he cried as he saw his father. "H e hit me!",
They went to the fountain together and tears and blood were
washed away; and in a moment he was gone again without leaving
a d ue.
H e picked up his paper again and noted that contract time was
coming due and his eyes ran down the new terms the union ~ o u l d
be asking this year. "Time and a half for night work," he read aloud,
and added dryly to himself, "I'll never see daylight again." He remem-
bered the odor of the bed and sighed.
In an hour the children returned to him and reported. Willy con-
The Picnic [25
"Frankie," he said, "you take Antoinette with you, and Will, you
take Johnny."
"He can'c go on the Racer!" Will cried.
"No, what I want you co do is take him on the caterpillar and the
ferris wheel."
"And use up my tickets?"
He looked helplessly at his son.
"I'll give you half of my tickets," Frankie announced. They stared
at him. Frankie looked at his father.
"We wouldn't ask you to do that, Frankie:'
"That's all right, Dad," he replied. "I'll come and talk to you after-
wards. We'll jusc sic."
'Well," he said. "Now, I'm going to stay with the basket here by
the tree. You come to me every hour so I know where you are. Then
we'll have lunch. Do you have enough money?"
They had twO dollars among them.
He wacched them race across the green grass to where the peaks of
Babylon were shining in the May sunlight. Above the intricate white
woodwork of the stand where the Racer was he saw the yellow car
poise on the topmost terrace, hold in the sky, and then plunge down-
ward. He fancied he could hear their shrieks even so far a ~ a y .
He sat down on the grass, caking out a newspaper from his back
pocket as he did so, and rubbed his back against the cree. Then he
spread his paper and setrIed back to read it....
He was ripped out of his sleep by a shriek, and he leaped to his
feet to see his youngesc son come rrailing across the grass dripping
blood from his nose. Tears had mingled with the blood on the boy's
face and had formed a pale cherry blot on his white shirr.
"Willy did itt" he cried as he saw his father. "He hit me!"
They went to the fountain together and rears and blood were
washed away; and in a moment he was gone again withouc leaving
a due.
He picked up his paper again and noted that contract time was
coming due and his eyes ran down the new terms the union would
be asking this year. "Time and a half for night work," he read aloud,
and added dryly to himself, ''I'll never see daylight again." He remem-
bered the odor of the bed and sighed.
In an hour the children returned to him and reported. Willy coo-
26] PHILLIP BONOSKY
fessed that the reason he had punched his younger brother in the nose
was because he ran too slow.
He wanted to say something special to his eldest son but could
think of nothing that was not formal. He was surprised at this.
Frankie was only fourteen years old-and in four more years? When
he had been ten he had told them one day, "Daddy, when I go to work
in the mill, I'll take your place-and you can sit and rock on the
porch and talk to Mama all day. I'll bring my pay home to you."
"You take Johnny this time," was all he could think of now.
They took a banana each from the basket and flew off again. Now
he got up and walked to the end of the bank, which slanted to the
railroad and then leaped into the river. At that point in the river
was a dam over which the whitened water flowed. Braddock, the
British general, he remembered, had once crossed the river here; now
there was a tube mill where he had worked once years ago. The
union was first formed there.
His head felt stuffed and his eyes drooped. He returned to the tree
and sat down. His head fell, and he slept.
W
HAT woke him was the shocked cry of his wife in his dream.
But when he opened his eyes, there she was standing, holding
little Louie in her left arm. She was surrounded by the other children,
all standing dismayed and pale, staring at the empty basket on the
ground. The food was strewn about.
"What happened?" he cried, trying to pull himself up.
."Dogs," she announced. "While you slept: dogs!"
He stared at the wreck.
"But I just dozed off!"
"Four hours," she said.
"Four hours?"
"I'm here, ain't I?" she answered.
They fell silent. Sandwiches had been torn apart; the bread ignored
but the meat ripped away. Pickles, apples, the pie, paper plates-
they were lying everywhere.
He stood up. "Well, kids," he said. The youngest looked at hiin with
brimming eyes and then, as he stood unable to perform the miracle
they wanted of him, began to cry. He stood awkwardly before them,
helpless to think of anything to sayar of any way to reduce the
catastrophe.
26] PHILLIP BONOSKY
fessed that the reason he had punched his younger brother in the nose
was because he ran tOO slow.
He wanted to say something special to his eldest son but could
think of nothing that was not formal. He was surprised at this.
Frnnkie was only fourteen years olcl-and in four more years? When
he had been ten he had told them one day. "Daddy, when I go to work
in the mill. I'll take your p l a c ~ n d you can sit and cock on the
porch and talk to Mama all day. l'll bring my pay home to you."
"You take Johnny this time:' was all he could think of now.
They took a banana each from the basket and flew off again. Now
he got up and walked to the end of the bank, which slanced to the
railroad and then leaped inco the rivee. At that point in the civet
was a dam over which the whitened water Bowed. Braddock, the
British general, he remembered, had once crossed the river hete; now
there was a rube mill whete he had worked once years ago. The
union was first formed there.
His head felt sruffed and his eyes drooped. He returned to me tree
and sat down. His head fell, and he slept.
W
HAT woke him was the shocked cry of his wife in his dream.
But when he opened his eyes, there she was standing, holding
litrle Louie in her left arm. She was surrounded by the other children,
all standing dismayed and pale, staring at the empty basket on the
ground. The food was strewn about.
"What happened?" he cried, trying CO pull himself up.
"Dogs," she announced. "While you slept: dogs!"
He stared at the wreck.
"But I JUSt dozed off!"
"Four hours," she said.
"Four hourJ?"
''I'm here, ain't I?" she answered.
They fell silent. Sandwiches had been torn apart; the bread ignored
but the meat ripped away. Pickles. apples, the pie, paper plates-
they were lying everywhere.
He stood up. "Well, kids," he said. The youngest looked at hUn with
brimming eyes and dlen, as he stood unable to perform the miracle
they wanted of him. began to cry. He stood awkwardly before them,
helpless to think of anything to say or of any way to reduce the
cataStrophe.
The Picnic
[27
"Well, you all had a banana apiece," he said at last, but they didn't
seem to hear. His eldest son was the only one who smiled. "The dogs
didn't get that," he continued desperately. "You beat them out of
thad"
"Rich," she said, "that'll never fill a basket. Come on, kids, let's
start home."
Silently they trooped behind her on the way out, casting glances
behind them at fairyland. At the streetcar station they waited in deep
gloom. He looked at his watch. It was four 0'clock.
His wife whispered, "Rich, I'm just as glad. Now, you can get a
few hours sleep and the kids won't be so tired."
"I'm sorry I spoiled the picnic for you," he said to her.
"You didn't spoil anything for me," she said. "I have ironing."
His eldest son came to him and looked up at him. "Dad," he said.
"Look." In his hands was a strip of tickets. "I didn't have to give
them to Willy after all." He tore them up.
"Wasn't it a good picnic though as long as it lasted?" he asked
his son, surprised at the almost humble tone in his voice.
His son nodded. "Yes, Dad," he said, to reassure him. "It ended
just at the right time. You couldn't help it if you .fell asleep. You're
old now."
\
The Picnic [27
"Well, you all had a banana apiece," he said at last, but they didn't
seem to hear. His eldest son was the only one who smiled. "The dogs
didn't get that;' he COntinued desperately. "You beat them out of
that!"
"Rich," she said, "that'll never fill a basket. Come aD, kids, let's
start home."
Silently they trooped behind her on the way out, casting glances
behind them at fairyland. At the streetcar station they waited in deep
gloom. He looked at his watch. It was four o'clock.
His wife whispered, "Rich, I'm JUSt as glad. Now, you can get a
few hours sleep and the kids won't be so tired."
''I'm sorry I spoiled the picnic for you," he said to her.
"You didn't spoil anything for me," she said. "I have ironing."
His eldest son came to him and looked up at him. "Dad," he said.
"Look." In his hands was a strip of tickets. "I didn't have to give
them to Willy after all." He tore them up.
"Wasn't it a good picnic though as long as it lasted?" he asked
his son, surprised at the almost humble tone in his voice.
His son nodded. "Yes, Dad," he said, to reassure him. "It ended
just at the right time. You couldn't help it if you .fell asleep. You're
old now:'
THE FACE OF THE
LESSER EVIL
by HERBERT APTHEKER
I
N FOLLOWING the "lesser-evil" argument of those liberals who sup-
port Truman, one is reminded of Macaulay's comment on Lord
Brougham's encyclopedic mind. "He is a kind of semi-Solomon," said
Macaulay, "he half knows everything."
It is the missing half in the protestations of these "fearful ones" that
forms the key failing in their labored reasoning. They surpass mere
ingenuity in attempting to show how Mr. Wallace's candidacy helps the
Republicans, how it allegedly jeopardizes a healthy outcome in the
Congressional campaigns. They descend to rank absurdity and slander
in asserting that it dovetails with nefarious Communist plots for in-
citement of chaos, and that it proves the former Vice-President to be a
"dupe of the Kremlin."
Here, however, we wish to concern ourselves specifically with the lost
link vitiating the entire approach and concept of the lesser-evil liberals.
These individuals, like the New Jersey Democratic Senatorial as-
pirant, Frank Kingdon; the editor of The Nation, Freda Kirchwey;
the editor of the New York newspaper PM, Max Lerner, hurl the most
damning indictments against the separate elements comprising the
domestic and especially the foreign policy of the Truman Administra-
tion and the Republican Party.
At times, it is true, one senses an affected naivete in the dichotomy
they pose between domestic and foreign affairs, with the most obvious
demagogy for home consumption lapped up as by mirage-stricken men
swallowing sand for water. Nevertheless, their writings have at times
attacked American policy with regard to Greece, China, Germany, Italy
and Palestine, as well as the Administration's handling of domestic ques-
tions like loyalty tests, the high cost of living and the militarization of
our nation.
28
THE FACE OF THE
LESSER EVIL
by HERBERT APTHEKER
I
N FOLLOWING the "lesser-evil" argument of those liberals who sup-
port Truman, one is reminded of Macaulay's comment on Lord
Brougham's encyclopedic mind. "He is a kind of semi-Solomon," said
Macaulay, "he half knows everything."
Ie is the missing half in the protestations of these "fearful ones" that
forms the key failing in their labored reasoning. They surpass mere
ingenuity in attempting to show how Mr. Wallace's candidacy helps the
Republicans, bow it allegedly jeopardizes a healthy outcome in the
Congressional campaigns. They descend to rank absurdiry and slander
in asserting that it dovetails with nefarious Communist plots for in-
citement of chaos, and that it proves the former Vice-President to be a
"dupe of the Kremlin,"
Here, however, we wish to concern ourselves specifically with the lost
link vitiating the entire apptoach and concept of the lesser-evil liberals.
These individuals, like rhe New Jersey Democratic SenatOrial as-
pirant, Frank Kingdon; rhe editOr of The Nation, Freda Kirchwey;
the editor of the New York newspaper PM, Max Lerner, hurl the mosr
damning indiaments against the separate elements comprising the
domestic and especially the foreign policy of the Truman Administra-
tion and the RepubliCln Party.
Ar rimes, it is true, one senses an affected naivete in the dichotomy
they pose between domestic and foreign affairs, with the most obvious
demagogy for home consumption lapped up as by mirage-stricken men
swallowing sand for water. Nevertheless, their writings have at times
attacked American policy with regard to Greece, China, Germany, Italy
and Palestine, as well as the Administration's handling of domestic ques-
tions like loyalty testS, the high COSt of living and the militarization of
ow nation.
28
The Face 0/ The Lesser Evil
[29
Here are typical examples. PM editorializes: "We have allowed our
foreign policy to become enmeshed with the cause of reaction in every
part of the world." The Nation declares: "The Economic Report of
the President indicates that we are moving inexorably from boom to
bust; the report of his Air Policy Commission, that we are moving
fatalistically toward war."
Yes, all these things and more are seen and presented. But they are
presented in a vacuum; they are presented in the form of rootless, hap-
hazard, basically causeless events. From all this it appears that nothing
more is needed than piecemeal, patchwork reform to be performed
by remote men of good will. Indeed, one frequently gets the impression
that even such action is uncalled for; that nothing more than the jour-
nalistic expose, the lament, the rebuke, is intended or required. One
thinks of a physician who confines his treatment of gangrene to a
graphic description of its manifestations.
The evils deplored by these people are the expressions of an historic
reality, symptoms of a chronic disease. They have their "origin," as
Henry Wallace declares, "in monopoly capitalism." This, Wallace cor-
rectly points out, is the enemy, and recognition of this is the foundation
stone of the third party movement. And it is exactly at this nub of the
movement that the eloquent "fearful ones" are silent.
They have not a word to say about the basic fact of the domination
of American political and economic life today by monopoly capitalism.
This is where their analysis turns away from liberalism's finest historic
quality of independence and vitiates itself by becoming subservience.
This capitulation may be explicit and outright as with those who, like
William Henry Chamberlin, write columns . for the social-democratic
New Leader and the Wall Street Journal. Or it may be implicit; it may
be the result of a grudging surrender, an acquiescence. That is a mere
matter of style and form, not content.
The lesser-evil advocates preserve the appearance of independence
by their persistent protestations, but the fact of dependence arises from
their actual adherence to the Administration. Meanwhile the dynamics
of American imperialism make their protestations less and less sharp,
and their explicit support more and more clear. And so long as they
cling to this position, they will continue to beat their breasts and plead
for more subtle tactics; but at every point they will withdraw, renew
the illusion, refurbish the rationalizations and prepare for the next re-
treat. This is their function.
The Face 0/ The Lesser Evil
[29
Here are typical examples. PM editorializes: "We have allowed our
foreign policy to become enmeshed with the cause of reaction in every
part of the world:' The No/ion declares: '"'!he Economic Report of
the President indicates that we are moving inexorably from boom to
bust; the report of his Air Policy Commission, that we are moving
fatalistica.1ly coward war:'
Yes, all these things and more are seen and presemed. But they are
presented in a vacuum; they are presemed in the form of rootless. hap-
hazard. basica.1ly causeless events. From all this it appears that nothing
more is n ~ e d than piecemeal. parchwork reform to be performed
by ttmote men of good will. I n d ~ , one frequenrly gets the impression
that even such action is uncalled for; tbat nothing more than the jour-
nalistic expose, the lament, the rebuke, is intended or required. One
thinks of a physician who confines his treatmem of gangtene to a
graphic description of its manifestations.
The evils deplored by these people ate the expressions of an historic
reality, symptoms of a chronic disease. They have their "origin," as
Henry Wallace declares, "in monopoly capitalism." This, Wallace cor-
rectly poims out, is the enemy, and recognition of this is the foundation
Stone of the third party movement. And it is exacr1y at this nub of the
movement that the eloquent "fearful ones" are silent.
They have not a word to say about the basic fact of the domination
of American political and economic life today by monopoly capitalism.
This is where their analysis rums away from liberalism's finest historic
quality of independence and vitiates itself by becoming subservience.
This capitulation may be explicit and ouuight as with those who, like
William Henry O1amberlin, write columns for the social-democratic
New Leader and the waU Stret# ]ou,..",u. Or it may be implicit; it may
be the result of a grudging surrender, an acquiescence. That is a mere
matter of style and form, not content.
The lesser-evil advocates preserve the appearance of independence
by their persistent protestations, but the fact of dependence arises from
their aCtual adherence to the Administmtion. Meanwhile the dynamics
of American imperialism make their protestations less and Jess sharp,
and their explicit support more and more clear. And so long as they
cling to this position, they will continue to beat their breasts and plead
for more subtle tactics; but at every point they will withdraw, renew
the illusion, refurbish the rationalizations and prepare for the next re.
treat. This is their function.
30] HERBERT APTHEKER
Mr. Wallace, on the other hand, represents in his forthright opposi-
tion to monopoly a continuation of the best traditions of liberalism
and an extension of 't hose traditions into this era of crisis, into this era
when American concentrated capital manifestly threatens a world
disaster by its drive toward war and fascism.
This is the fundamental question in American political life today.
And it is this fact, evaded by the pro-Truman liberals, that must be
brought out into the center of the stage for all the people to see.
T
H E fact is unquestionable. Monopoly capitalism has been in effec-
tive control of the United States ever since 1890, and it has been
making this control more and more stringent and complete-with only
brief intermissions-during the ensuing decades. When this is under-
stood, the social sores are seen for what they are. They are seen as
classic manifestations of a monopoly capitali sm which, in this postwar
era of acute crisis, drives toward world domination.
In broadest outlines the story of monopoly is an old and oft-told
one. It is so obvious that it has been enunciated by Presidents and
their advisers and documented by Congressional investigating com-
mittees for fifty years.
Woodrow Wilson, in the halcyon "New Freedom" days of 1912,
accurately asserted: "The masters of the government of the United States
- are the combined capitalists and manufacturers of the United States,"
while his chief economic adviser of that period, Louis D. Brandeis,
warned a year later : "We must break the Money Trust or the Money
Trust will break us." Twenty years later a Senate Committee found
half of all non-banking corporate assets in the control of just 200
corporations, and reported the growth of these giants to have been two
and a half times more rapid than all others. It warned that if this rate
were continued eighty percent of all corporate wealth would be held
by the 200 firms in 1953 and "practically all wealth" would be so con-
centrated by 1973!
President Roosevelt, in launching the Temporary National Economic
Committee, remarked early in 1938 that American "private enterprise is
ceasing to be free enterprise . . . it is in fact becoming a concealed
cartel system after the European model." And the TNEC in its study of
Competition and Monopoly in American Indust1'Y said, of monopoly:
30] HERBERT APTHBKBR
Me. Wallace, on the other hand, represents in his forthright opposi-
don to monopoly a continuation of the best traditions of liberalism
and an extension of "those traditions intO this ern of crisis, into this era
when American concentrated capital manifestly threatens a world
disaster by its drive toward war and fascism.
This is the fundamental question in American political life today.
And it is this fact, evaded by the pro-Tcuman liberals, that must be
brought Qut into the center of the stage for all the people to see.
T
HE fact is unquestionable. Monopoly capitalism has been in effec-
tive control of the United States ever since 1890, and it has been
making this control more and more stringent and complete-with only
brief inrermissions--during tbe ensuing decades. When this is under-
stood, the social sores are seen for what they are. They are seen as
dassic manifesrations of 3. monopoly capitalism which, in this poStwar
era of acute crisis, drives toward world domination.
In broadest ouclines the story of monopoly is all old and oft-told
one. It is so obvious that it has been enunciated by Presidents and
their advisers and documented by Congressional investigating com-
mittees for fifry years.
Woodrow Wilson, in the halcyon "New Freedom" days of 1912,
accurately asserted: "The maSters of the government of the United States
ace the combined capitalists and manufacturers of the United States,"
while his chief economic adviser of that period, Louis D. Brandeis,
warned a year later: "We must break the Money Trust or the Money
Trust will break us." Twenty years later a Senate Committee found
half of all non-banking corporate assets in the control of just 200
corporations, and reported the growth of rhese giants to have been tWO
and a half times more rapid than aU others. It warned that if this rate
were continued eighty percent of all corporate wealth would be held
by the 200 firms in 1953 and "practically all wealth" would be so con-
centrated by 1973!
President Roosevelt, in launching the Temporary National Economic
Committee, remarked early in 1938 that American "private enterprise is
ceasing to be free enterprise ... it is in faCt becoming a concealed
cartel system after tbe European model." And the TNEC in its study of
Competition and Monopoly in American Indttstry said, of monopoly:
The Face 0/ The Lesser Evil [31
"A more nearly perfect mechanism for making the poor poorer and the
r ich richer could scarcely be devised." The Committee's Final Report
pointed out that as of 1940 six-te nths of one percent of the popula-
tion owned fifty percent of all corporate stock.
The Second Worl d War greatly acceler ated this trend for, as other
government commi ttees have shown, out of 175 billions of dollars in war
contracts from June, 1940, to September, 1944, almost seventy percent
went to 100 top corporations while seventy percent of all plant sales
and leases by the War Assets Administration went to the sixty largest
firms in the nation.
At the apex of this system of concentration st ands the financial
oligarchy-"The Club" as it is informally called. This is the group of
seventeen investment bankers-Morgan, Stanley & Co., Dillon, Read
& Co., etc.-who, from 1940 to 1947 controlled the offering and prices
of fourteen billions out of a total of seventeen billions of dollars worth
of corporate stock sold, with 257 other investment banking firms
handling the remaini ng three billions of crumbs.
This financial centralization is both a result and a precipitant of
monopoly. Said Wendell Berge, who was assista nt attorney-general in
charge of the anti-trust section of the Department of Justice from
1943 to 1947:
"One of the gre atest causes of the growth of monopoly is the in-
creasing control which rela tively small groups exercise over credit.
. . . Not only has competition among dominant firms in investment
banking ceased, but they have apportioned among themselves, ac-
cording to their own rules, the business of providing the nation's
industry wit h capital."
, T HIS concentrati on has accompanied the unprecedented gorging of
American capital during and since the war, resulting in fantastic
rates of profit, so that, for example, the net report ed profits of American
business from 1940 through 1947 totalled ei ghty-four billion dollars!
This capital accumula ti on and concentrat ion not only is without
precedent, but it occurs when three great competing imperialisms-
German, Ital ian, J ap anese-have been eliminated, and when the re-
sources an d colonial empires of the others-English, French, Dutch,
Belgian-are at their lowest ebb. To further heighten an already ir-
The Face Of The Lesser Evil [31
"A more nearly perfect mechanism for making the poor poorer and the
rich richer could scarcely be devised." The Committee's Final Reporl
pointed our that as of 1940 six-tenths of one percent of the popula-
tion owned fifty percent of all corporate stock.
The Second World War greatly accelerated this trend fot, as other
government committees have shown, out of 175 billions of dollats in war
contractS from June, 1940, to September, 1944, almOSt seventy percent
went to 100 tOp corporations while seventy percent of all plant sales
and leases by the War Assets Administration went to the sixty largest
firms in the nation.
At the apex of this system of concentration stands the financial
oligarchy-"The Club" as it is informally called. This is the group of
sevemeen investment bankers-Morgan, Smoley & Co., Dillon, Read
& Co., etc.-who, from 1940 to 1947 controlled the offering and prices
of fourteen billions out of a tQta! of seventeen billions of dollars worth
of corporate stock sold, with 257 other investment banking firms
handling the remaining three billions of crumbs.
\ This financial is both a result and a precipitant of
monopoly. Said Wendell Berge, who was assistant attorney-general in
charge of the ami-trust section of the Department of Justice from
1943 to 1947:
"One of the greatest causes of the growth of monopoly is the in-
creasing control which relatively small groups exercise over credit.
. . . Not only has competition among dominant firms in investment
banking ceased, but they have apportioned among themselves, ac-
cording to their own rules, the business of providing the nation's
industry with capital."
T
HIS concentration has accompanied the unprecedented gorging of
American capital during and since the war, resulting in fantastic
rates of profit, so that, for example, the net reported profits of American
business from 1940 through 1947 totalled eighty-four billion dollars!
This capital accumulation and concentration not only is without
precedent, but it occurs when three great competing imperialisms-
Getm:lO, Italian, Japanese--have been eliminated, and when the re-
Sources and colonial empires of the orhers-English, French, Dutch,
Belgian-are at their lowest ebb. To further heighten an already ir-
32] HERBERT APTHEKER
resistible motivation for aggression there remain the stubborn facts,
so inhibiting for imperialism, of socialist control over one-sixth of the
earth, and of rnulri-millioned Communist parties, with one of these
leading a national people's revolution against semi-feudalism and semi-
colonialism, and with others engaged, within popular coalitions, in
remaking the political and economic life of half of Europe.
We witness, then, an insatiable economic desire for capital invest-
ment abroad, an insistent political desire for the protection and en-
hancement of those investments-the Marshall Plan, the Truman Doc-
trine--and a ruthless building of a military and social order at home
to guarantee the unimpeded realization of those economic and political
desires.
The Treasury Department in a recently released monograph (Census
of American-Owned Assets in Foreign Countries), shows that United
States holdings abroad are steadily rising. These properties totaled
thirteen and a half billion dollars in 1943, over seventeen billions in
1945 and over twenty-one billions in 1946.
The degree of concentration of these holdings may be surmised
from the Treasury figures for 1943 showing that just 410 corporations
owned forty-five percent of all overseas investments.
The bipartisan policy of the trusts and the national emergence of a
third, i.e., an anti-monopolist, party are to be viewed in the light of such
socio-economic realities. And they are to be viewed in the light of the
two great key changes in American life: the presence of fifteen million
organized workers, and the degree of political maturity (reaching the
point of leadership) of the fifteen million Negroes who now have a
mass organization, the National Association for the Advancement of
Colored People, with over 600,000 members.
These are the facts which give substance and form to the individual
protestations of the Lerners and Kingdons. These are the facts which
form the background for, the ultimate explanation of, the deliberately
provoked anti-Communist hysteria, the atom-bomb diplomacy, the
Hollywood trial mockeries, the soaring cost of living, the deportation
proceedings, the attack upon trade unions, the heightened chauvinism,
the unprecedented militarism, the naked usurpation of top governmental
posts by not merely the agents but by the actual leaders of finance
capital.
Many Americans affected an air of disdain for the "dull Teutons" who,
32] HBRBERT APTHBKBR
resistible motivation for aggression mere remain the stubborn facts,
so inhibiting for imperialism, of socialist control over one-sixth of the
earth, and of multjmillioned Communist parties, with one of these
leading a national people's revolution against semi-feudalism and semi-
colonialism., and with others engaged, within popular coalitions, in
remaking the political and economic life of half of Europe.
We witness, then, an insatiable economic desire for capital invest-
ment abroad, an insistent political desire for the protection and en-
hancement of those investments-the Marshall Plan, the Truman Doc-
uine---and a ruthless building of a military and social order at home
to guarantee the unimpeded realization of those economic and political
desires.
The Treasury Department in a recendy released monograph (Cemus
of American-Owned Auets in Foreign Countl'ies), shows that United
States holdings abroad are steadily rising. These properties totaled
thirteen and a half billion dollars in 1943, avec seventeen billions in
1945 and over twenty-one billions in 1946.
The degree of concentration of these holdings may be surmised
from the Treasury figures for 1943 showing that JUSt 410 corporations
owned forty-five percent of all overseas investments.
The bipartisan policy of the teuSts and the national emergence of a
third, i.e., an anti-monopolist, party are to be viewed in the light of such
socia-economic realities. And they are to be viewed in the light of the
tWO great key changes in American life: the presence of fifteen million
organized workers, and the degree of political maturity (reaching the
point of leadership) of the fifteen million Negroes who now have a
mass organization, the National Association for the Advancement of
Colored People, with over 600,000 members.
These are the facts which give substance and form to the individual
protestations of the Lerners and Kingdons. These are the facts which
form the background for, the ultimate explanation of, the deliberately
provoked anti-Communist hysteria, the atom-bomb diplomacy, the
Hollywood trial mockeries, the soaring COSt of living, the deponation
proceedings, the attack upon trade unions, the heightened chauvinism,
the unprecedented militarism, the naked usurpation of tOp governmental
POStS by not merely the agents but by the actual leaders of finance
capital.
Many Americans affected an air of disdain for the "dull Teutons" who,
The Face Of The Lesser Evil
[33
some fifteen years ago, could not see the handwriting on the wall.
How blinding proximity may be! Still, those with eyes willing to look
may see.
I
MMEDIA T EL Y after President Truman requests thirteen billions for
the military, Secretary of War Royall tells a Congressional commit-
tee: "Our interest lies in encouraging Germany and the other nations
of Europe to have systems of free competitive enterprise." The Presi-
dent's Air Policy Commission blandly announces: "A nation in the
position in which the United States finds itself today has no choice but
to follow policies which may lead to friction with other nations."
The New York Times reports, as early as September, 1945, that
Washington has reached the "tentative conclusion" that this country
"must be geared legally, mentally and militarily to strike the first blow,
without violating the Constitution, if that can be done, or by changing
the Constitution if that is necessary." The next year (November, 1946)
General Eaker of the Army Air Forces insists "that the next war would
be a short war of unparalleled destruction ... we must strike the enemy
first." And in the Air University Quarterly Review (January, 1948)
Colonel Coira, of the Air Force Operations Division, declares that' the
President "can start a preventive war" and points with approval to such
precedents as the American invasions of Mexico in 1913 and Siberia
in 1918.
Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, upon retiring in January, 1948,
as Chief of Naval Operations, begins his valedictory by quoting with
full approval the dictum of the Elizabethan buccaneer, Sir Walter
Raleigh, that "whosoever commands the sea commands the trade; who-
soever commands the trade of the world, commands the riches of the
world and consequently the world itself.". And in the course of reit-
erating the traditional rationalizations for a super-navy, the ex-chief
adds an ominous new note: "Naval forces are able, without resort to
diplomatic c h a n n e ~ [my italics-H. A.] to establish offshore anywhere
in the world air fields completely equipped with machine shops, ammu-
nition dumps, tank farms, warehouses, together with quarters and all
types of accommodations for personnel. Such task forces are virtually
as complete as any air base ever established."
Nevertheless, "old-fashioned" naval and air bases are now maintained
by the United States not only in its dependencies-Alaska, Guam,
The Face 0/ The Lesser Evil
[33
some fifteen years ago, could not see the handwriting on the wall.
How blinding proximity may be! Still, those with eyes willing to look
may see.
I
MMEDIATELY after President Truman requests thirteen billions for
the military, Secretary of War Royall tells a Congressional commit-
tee: "OUI" interest lies in encouraging Germany and the other nations
of Europe to have systems of free competitive enterprise," The Presi-
dent's Air Policy Commission blandly announces: "A nation in the
position in which the United States finds itself today has no choice but
to follow policies which may lead to fricd(:>n with ocher nations."
The New York Tim(J$ reports, as early as September, 1945, that
Washington has reached the "tentative conclusion" that this country
"must be geared legally, mentally and militarily to strike the first blow,
without violating the Constitution, if that can be done, or by changing
the Constitution if that is necessary." The next year (November, 1946)
General Eaker of the Army Air Forces insistS "that the next war would
be a short war of unparalleled destruction ... we must strike the enemy
firSt." And in the University Review (January, 1948)
Colonel Coira, of the Air Force Operations Division, declares that' the
President "can Start a preventive war" and points with approval to such
precedents as the American invasions of Mexico in 1913 and Siberia
in 1918.
Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, upon retiring in January, 1948,
as Chief of Naval Operations, begins his valedictory by quoting with
full approval the dictum of the Elizabethan buccaneer, Sir Walter
Raleigh, that "whosoever commands the sea commands the trade; who-
soever commands the trade of the world, commands the riches of the
world and consequently the world itself." And in the course of reit-
erating the traditional rationalizations for a super-navy, the ex-chief
adds an ominous new note: "Naval forces are able, without to
diplomatic channels (my italics-H. A.] to establish offshore anywhere
in the world air fields completely equipped with machine shops, ammu-
nition dumps, tank farms, warehouses, together with quarters and all
types of accommodations for personnel. Such task forces are virtually
as complete as any air base ever established."
Nevertheless, "old-fashioned" naval and air bases are now maintained
by the United States not only in itS dependencies-Alaska, Guam,
34] HERBERT APTHEKE R
Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Canal Zone-but also in Cuba, the Philippines,
the Azores, the former Japanese Mandated Islands, Formosa, Li bya,
Greenland, Iceland, Jamaica, Trinidad, Antigua, Bermuda, St. Lucia,
British Guiana, Newfoundland and Baffin Island, plus a military alli-
ance with Canada, thirteen military missions throughout South America,
and active participation and direction of wars i n Greece and China!
And when the Secretary of Defense is asked by a Senator if additional
military bases are to be demanded in return for money expended under
the Marshall Plan, he remarks that such a consideration does not have
priority at the moment (January 17, 1948), but, "I am sure that the
Secretary of State will have it in mind."
In consequence of all the foregoing facts the top administrative and
policy-making personnel of the American government now represent,
as never before in our history, a living coalition of military and finan-
cial interests. It is significant to note that this accomplishment is in ac-
cordance with long-announced desires.
Observe, for example, the remarks of Charles E. Wilson, president of
General Electric, made in the course of an address delivered J anuaty
MILITARY AND FINANCIAL PERSONNEL IN TOP LEVELS
OF AMERICAN GOVERNMENT
President's Chief 0/ Staff: ADMIRAL W. D. LEAHY.
Secretary 0/ Stat e: GEN. G EORGE C. MARSHALL.
Unofficial Co-Secret ary 0/ State: ]. F. DULLES ( Director : International N ickel
Co.; Trustee: Bank of New York; Partner: Sullivan & Cromwell , Wall
St. law firm).
Personal Asst. to Sec. 0/ St at e: BRIG. GEN. M. S. CARTER.
Under Sec. of Stat e: R. A. LOVETT (Partner till 1940 : Brown Bros. & Harriman,
investment bankers).
Asst. Sec. of Stat e: BRIG. G EN. C. SALTZMAN (Vice-Pres., N . Y. Stock
Exchange) .
Asst. Sec. of State: W . L. THORP (Director: Associated Electric Co., and three
other public utility corporations).
Deputy Dir ector, Office of International Trade Policy, Department of Stat e:
P. H . NITZE (Member: Dillon, Read .& Co., investment bankers ) .
Ambassador to Great Britain: L. H. DOUGLAS (Pres., Mutual Life Insurance
Corp.; Director : General Motors; Vice-Pres., American Cy anamid ) .
Ambassador to A rgentina: ]. BRUCE (Vice-Pres., National Dairy Products
Corp.).
Ambassador to U.s.S.R.: LT. GEN. W. B. SMITH.
Chief, American M ission to Greece: D . P. GRISWOLD ( Director : First National
Bank, Gordon, Nebraska).
Ambassador to Belgium: ADMIRAL A. G . KIRK.
Ambassador to South Africa: MAJ. GEN. T . H OLCOMB.
34] HERBERT APTHEKER
Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Canal Zone--but also in Cuba, the Philippines,
the Azores, the former Japanese Mandated Islands, Formosa, Libya,
Greenland, Iceland, Jamaica, Trinidad, Antigua, Bermuda, St. Lucia,
British Guiana, Newfoundland and Baffin Island, plus a military alli
ance widl Canada, thirteen military missions throughout South America,
and active participation and direction of wars in Greece and China!
And when the Secretary of Defense is asked by a Senaror if additional
military bases are to be demanded in return for money expended under
the Marshall Plan, he remarks that such a consideration does nOt have
priority at the moment (January 17, 1948). but, "I am sure that
Secretary of Scare will have it in mind."
In consequence of all the foregoing facts the tOp administrative and
policy-making personnel of the American government nOw represent,
as never before in our history, a living coalition of military and
cial interests. It is significant to note that this accomplishment is in ac-
cordance with desires.
Observe, for example, the remarks of Charles E. Wilson, president of
General Electric, made in rhe course of an address delivered January
MILITARY AND FINANCIAL PERSONNEL IN TOP LEVELS
OF AMERICAN GOVERNMENT
PnnidetJt's Chief 0/ Slaff: ADMIRAL W. D. LEAHY.
SeCTetary 0/ Slale: GEN. GEORGE C. MARSHALL.
Unofficial Co-Secrelary 0/ Slale: }. F. DULLES (Director: International Nickel
Co.; Trustee: Bank of New York; Partner: Sullivan & Cromwell, Wall
St. law firm).
P61'lonal Aill. 10 Sec. 0/ Slale: BRIG. GEN. M. S. CARTER.
Under Sec. 0/ Slale: R. A. LovElT (Partner till 1940: Brown Bros. & Harriman,
investment bankers).
Asst. Sec. 0/ State: BRIG. GEN. C. SALTZMAN (Vice-Pres., N. Y. Stock
Exchange).
Alii. Sec. 0/ Slate: W. L. THORP (Director: Associated Electric Co., and three
other public utility corporations).
Depuly Direclor, Office 0/ Inlernalional Trade PoliCY, Departmenl 0/ Shlte:
P. H. NITZB (Member: Dillon, Read & Co., investment bankers).
Ambassador 10 Great Britain: L. H. DoUGLAS (Pres., Mutual Life Insurance
Corp.; Director: General Motors; Vice-Pres., American Cyanamid).
Ambassador 10 Argen#na: }. BRUCH (Vice-Pres., National Dairy ProductS
Corp.).
Ambassador to U.S.S.R,: LT. GBN. W. B. SMITH.
Chief, Amencan Mission 10 Greece: D. P. GRISWOLD (DirC1:tor: First National
Bank, Gordon, Nebraska).
Amb4Ssador 10 Belgium: AOMIRAL A. G. KIRK.
Ambassad01' 10 South A/rica: MAJ. GEN. T. HOLCOM8.
The Face OJ The Lesser Evil [35
19, 1944, before the Army Ordnance Association: "The tendency to
war is inevitable, just as the human tendency to disease is inevitable
. . . industry, co-operating with the Army and Navy, makes for a very
effective combination, a combination that should be extended into the
postwar period. . . . The burden is on all of us," he concluded, "to
integrate our respective activities-political, military, industrial, because
we are in world politics to stay, whether we like it or not."
How far Mr. Wilson's proposed "integration" has already gone will
be apparent from a study of the table below.
T
H IS is the face and form of the "lesser evil" for which so-called
liberals urge the common man and woman to vote. This lesser
evil drives full speed ahead for war and fascism as the conscious instru-
ment of American imperialism. The chauffeurs operate on twelve-hour
shifts, divided between Republicans and Democrats. The passengers
have no alternative, if they seek a different destination, but to unite
upon a program of peace and abundance and to compel, by political
action, the implementing of such a program.
Minister t o Panama: BRIG. GEN. F. T. HINES.
Secretary of the Treasury: J. W. SNYDER (Vice-Pres., First National Bank,
St . Louis ).
Under Sec. of T reasury: A. L. WIGGINS (Pres., Trust Co. of S. c.; Pres., Ameri-
can Bankers Assn., 1943-44).
Chairman, Federal Reserve Board: T. B. MCCABE (Pres., SCOtt Paper Co.).
Chairman, Export-Import Bank: W. H. MARTIN, JR. (Pres., N. Y. Stock Ex-
change, 1938-41).
Chief, World Bank: ]. J. MCCLOY (former member: Cadwalader, Wickersham
& Taft; Cravath, de Gersdorff, Swaine & Wood, Wall St. law firms).
Secretary of Commerce: W. A. HARRIMAN (Partner: Brown Bros., Harri-
man; Chairman of Board, Union Pacific R.R.; Director, five other
m ajor railroads; Director of Western Union and Guaranty Trust Co.).
Secretary of Defens e: J. V. FORRESTAL (Pres., Dillon, Read & Co., 1937-40;
Vice-Pres. , General Aniline and Film Corp., a subsidiary of I. G.
Farben, 1940-41).
Secretary of Air Force: W. S. SYMINGTON (Pres., Emerson Electric Mfg. Co.).
Under Sec. of A ir: A. S. BARROWS ( Pr es., Sears, Roebuck; Director: Continental
Illinois Bank & Trust Co.).
Asst. Sec. of A ir: C. V. WHITNEY (Chairman, Pan-American Airways).
Under Sec. of Army: MAJ. GEN. W. H. DRAPER (Vice-Pres., Dillon, Read).
Chairman, National Security Resources Board: A. M. HILL (Pres., Atlantic Grey-
hound Corp.).
Secretary, National Security Council: S. W. SOEURS (Vice-Pres., General Ameri-
can Life Insurance Corp.).
Chair man, Munitions Board: T. J. HARGRAVE (Pres., Eastman Kodak Corp.) .
The Face OJ The Leuer ElIil [35
19, 1944, the AImy Ordnance Association: "The tendency to
war is inevitable, JUSt as the human tendency to disease is inevitable
... indusrry, co-operating with the AImy and Navy, makes for a very
effective combination, a combination that should extended intO the
postwar period. . . . The burden is on all of us," he concluded, "to
integrate our respective aaivities-political, military, industrial, because
we are in world politics to Stay, whether we like ir or not."
How far Mr. Wilson's proposed "integration" has already gone will
be apparent from a study of the table below.
T
HIS is the face and form of the "lesser evil" for which so-called
liberals urge the common man and woman to vote. This lesser
evil drives full speed ahead for war and fascism as the conscious instru-
menr of American imperialism. The chauffeurs operate on twelve-hour
shifts, divided between Republicans and Democrats. The passengers
have no alternative, if they seek a different destination, but to unite
upon a program of peace and abtmdatJce and to compel, by political
action, the implementing of such a program.
MifliJler JO Panama: BRIG. GEN. F. T. HINES-
0/ Ihe Trea.Iury: ]. W. SNYDER (Vice-Pres., FirS[ National Bank,
St. Louis).
Under See. 0/ Tre/ZSury: A. L. WIGGINS (Pres., TruS[ Co. of S. c.; Pres., Ameri-
can Bankers Assn., 1943-44).
Chairman, Federal Reserve Board: T. B. McCABE (Pres., ScOtt Paper Co.).
Chairman, Expo1'llmpQ" Banlto' W. H. MARTIN, }R. (Pres., N. Y. StOck Ex-
change, 1938-41).
Chief, WorlJ &nlt: }. }. MCCLOY (fonner member: Cadwalader, Wickersham
&: Talt; Cravlltb, de Gersdorff, Swaine &: Wood, Wall St. law firms).
Secrnary 0/ W. A. HARRIMAN (Parmer: Brown Bros., Harri-
man; Chairman of Board, Union Pacific R.R.; Director, five other
m2jor railroads; DirectOr of Western Union and Guaranty Trust Co.).
Secr"ary 0/ DtI/enseo' }. V. FORRESTAL (Pres., Dillon, Read &: Co., 1937-40;
Vice-Pres., General Aniline and Film Corp., a subsidiary of I. G.
FllCben, 1940-41).
Seere,,,,,,, 0/ Air Force: W. S. SYMINGTON (Pres., Emerson Electric Mfg. Co.).
Under Stle. 0/ Air: A. S. BARROWS (Pres., Sears, Roebuck; DirectOr: Continental
Illinois Bank & Trust Co.).
A1.I1. Sec. 0/ Air: C. V. WIiJTNEY (Chairman, Pan-American Airways).
Under See. 0/ Army: MAJ. GEN. W. H. DRAPER (VicePres., Dillon, Read).
Ch,,;rman, N"Jional Seeuril1 Relources Board: A. M. HILL (Pres., Atlantic Grey-
hound Corp.).
Secrellll'y, NaliOflal Seeuril1 Coum;il: S. W. SOEURS (Vice Pres., General Ameri
can Life Insurance Corp.).
Chairman, Munilion, Board: T. }. HARGRAVE (Pres., Eastman Kodak. Corp.).
36]
HERBERT APTHEKER
Such a movement, and nothing else, contains now within itself the
potential of producing a meaningful campaign, one of decisive educa-
tional importance. It alone contains the possibility of arousing the de-
voted participation of those millions of independent mass voters with-
out whom no forward-looking national political drive, Presidential or
Congressional, has ever made any headway. .
Such a spirited campaign can mark the start of a lasting break-
away from the two-party front for ' capital that has characterized Ameri-
can history from Ulysses Grant to Harry Truman. This historic change
has roots in the people's movements that produced Jefferson and Lin-
coln. It has roots in the deep popular distrust of and hatred for Big
Business, revivified during the Roosevelt decade; the experiences gained
in the dozens of regional independent political movements that have
emerged in the past fifteen years; and the lessons learned-incomplete
though they may have been-from the struggle against N azism. And
today the essential basis for an historic turn exists in an organized labor
movement fifteen million strong and an equal number of Negro people
-many located in key political areas--whose militance and whose or-
ganization have reached new levels.
This third-party movement is a permanent one. And it is one that,
starting at a moment of "boom," contains decisive significance in the
struggle against war, and in providing a mass, organized base for po-
litical and economic resistance during the impending period of "bust."
Ten years ago, Max Lerner was moved to write a book whose sub-
title was "The Need for a Militant Democracy." There he dwelt upon
the monopoly control of the press, radio, university and movies. He
saw, then, that the decisive task was the forging of an instrument or a
movement which would be able to break this throttle-hold and get the
message/of "militant democracy" to the people in order, as he put it, "to
transfer the control from the oligarchs to ourselves." He lambasted,
then, the timid ones whose energies were devoted "to fighting dangers
that might conceivably arise from positive action to meet the present
dangers." He excoriated, then, the "swivel-chaired Liberal" to whom "a
purpose is like a work of art carved in butter." These people, he then
said, were "fear-obsessed" and had "become the Fifth Column in the
besieged city of the progressive cause."
These apt words appeared in a work called It Is Later Than You
Think. And now it is ten years later than that!
36] HERBERT APTHBKER
Such a movement, and nothing else, contains now within itself the
potential of producing a meaningful campaign, one of decisive educa-
tional importance. Ie alone contains the possibility of arousing the de-
vOted participation of those millions of independent mass voters with-
out whom no forward-looking national political drive, Presidential or
Congressional, has ever made any headway. .
Such a spirited campaign can mark the start of a lasting break-
away from me two-party from foe capital that has characterized Ameri-
can history from Ulysses Grant to Harry Truman. This historic change
has rOOts in me people's movements that produced Jefferson and Lin-
coln. It has rootS in the deep popular distrust of and hatred for Big
Business, revivified during the Roosevelt decade; the experiences gained
in the dozens of regional independent political movements that have
emerged in the past fifteen years; and the lessons learned-incomplete
though they may have been-from the struggle against Nazism. And
today tbe essential basis for an historic turn exists in an organized labor
movement fifreen million strong and an equal number of Negro people
-many located in key political areas-whose militance and whose or-
ganization have reached new levels.
This third-party movement is a permanent one. And it is one that,
starring at a moment of "boom," contains decisive significance in the
struggle against war, and in providing a mass, organized base for po-
litical and economic resistance during the impending period of "bust,"
Ten years ago, Max Lerner was moved to write a book whose sub
title was "The Need for a Militant Democracy:' There he dwelt upon
the monopoly comrol of the press, radio, university and movies. He
saw, then, that the decisive task was the forging of an instrument or a
movement which would be able to break this throttle-bold and get the
message'of "militant democracy" to the people in order, as he put it, "to
transfer the control from the oligarchs to ourselves:' He lambasted,
then, the timid ones whose energies were devoted "to figbting dangers
that might conceivably arise from positive action to meet the present
dangers." He excoriated, then, the "swivel-chaired Liberal" to whom "a
purpose is like a work of arr carved in butter." These people, be then
said, were "fear-obsessed" and had "become the Fifth Column in the
besieged city of the progressive cause:'
These apt words appeared in a work called It Is Late, Than You
Think. And now it is ten years later than that!
Readin', W ritin'
cs Tickertape
by J O S E P H GIBBONS
I
SEE by the New York Times there is a new cultural organization
called The Executive Book Club, which "every thinking man owes
it to himself and his business future to join." I regard this news as good.
Executives are no longer going to leave l it erature to the people and
book clubs to their wives. They are going to settle down in the evenings
and risk eyestrain and scholarly wrinkles devour ing entire books, not
digests. If the club catches on I predict sweep ing changes in the mental
life of management. I'll bet the prospect worries Leo Cherne of the
Research Institute of America, who has been furnishing executives with
premasticated labor doctrine and painkiller for the bruises of govern-
ment. No more will a quick look at Victor Riesel' s column satisfy the
well-read executive. Now the boys are going to assimilate the raw
stuff of literature itself.
The Club's first selections are wisely made. The pedagogic theory of
the selectors seems to be not to scare a man off his first book by making
it too deep. So the initial free offering is Economics in One Lesson,
by Henry Hazlitr. It is described as a "popular best-seller" so the mem-
ber won't feel like a pansy bookworm curled up with a copy of Horizon.
The book takes the Iiterary initiate by t he hand and inducts him into the
mystery of economics without tears. Millionaires, to whom Economics I
has been double-dome stuff, will discover that the "economic fallaci es
which have been harassing American business" are explained away in
Hazlitt's one easy lesson.
The next choi ce is another humdinger, right up a business man's
alley, How to Devel op Your Executioe Ability, by Daniel Starch. Our
average club member, say a distinguished-looking chairman of the
38
Readin', W ritin'
f5 Tickertape
by JOSEPH GIBBONS
I
SEB by the New York TimeJ there is a new cultural organization
called The Executive Book Gub, which "every thinking man owes
it to himself and his business future to join." I regard this news as good.
Executives are no longer going to leave literature to the people and
book clubs to their wives. They are going to settle down in the evenings
and risk eyestrain and scholarly wrjnkles devouring entire books, not
digests. If the dub Cardle5 on I predict sweeping changes in the mental
life of management. I'll bet the prospect worries Leo Cherne of the
Research Institute of America, who has been furnishing executives with
premasticated labor doctrine and painkiller for the bruises of govern-
ment. No more will a quick look at VictOr Riesel's column satisfy the
well-read executive. Now the boys are going to assimilate the raw
stuff of literatute itself.
The Club's first selections are wisely made. The pedagogic theory of
the selectors seems to be not to scare a man off his first book by making
it tOO deep. So the initial free offering is EconomicJ in One LeHon,
by Henry Hazlitt. It is described as a "popular best-sellee" so the mem-
bee won't feel like a pansy bookworm curled up with a copy of Horizon.
The book takes the litecary initiate by the hand and inducts him into the-
mystery of economics without tears. Millionaires, to whom Economics I
has been double-dome stuff, will discover that the "economic fallacies
which have been harassing American business" are explained away in
Hazlitt's one easy lesson.
The nexr choice is another humdinger, right up a business man's
alley, How to Develop Your Executive Ability, by Daniel Search. Our
average dub member, say a distinguished-looking chairman of the
38
Readin', Writin' & Tickertape [39
board of a billion-dollar firm, has been secretly hankering for executive
ability. Existing literature held out no hope for him. How could he learn
executive ability from Gone With the Wind or Other Voices, Other
Rooms, the only things he seemed to find lying around the house? Now
the entire family can enjoy literature: Mother with the Book of the
Month Club selection, Brother with Superman Comics, Sister with
Truman Capote's book, and Daddums chuckling to himself over a worn
copy of How to Develop Your Executive Ability. I tell you this is
going to make for Better Homes at Grosse Point, in Westchester and
Paoli.
The third book selection is harder. It is Twelve Rules for Straight
Thinking, by William J. Reilly. Notice that our Club member has
progressed from one lesson ~ o twelve rules. That many rules are kind
of hard to keep in your head, but Daddums has got this literature bug
bad by now. "Why didn't they teach this kind of stuff at Princeton?"
he exclaims. "Why this Reilly is no starry-eyed New Deal Crank Pro-
fessor. He's got know-how! A fellow as keen as him could make a lot
of money in business. I'll bet he could meet a payroll!" At this point
Mother lowers her book and says, "Now, Daddums, don't get off on
Henry Wallace. Remember your basal metabolism."
The fourth book selection is a thriller with' a happy ending, The
Triumph of American Capitalism, by Louis M. Hacker. Capitalism gets
the girl in the end. And by now Father has learned literary cheating:
he sneaks a look at the last chapter to see how it comes out. He is a
confirmed bibliomaniac: the playroom is converted to a library.
Daddums applies his literary knowledge so effectively at the plant that
wages are CUt fifteen percent and the grateful board of directors votes
him a big block of stock as a literary prize.
THE CLUB is no blue sky proposition: its board of selection is com-
posed of perhaps the most fiducially sound group of literary critics
in the United States. Only six of the seventeen distinguished litterateurs
on the board are less than president or chairman of some industrial
colossus. Lewis H. Brown is the chief critic of the Executive Book Club.
He is, of course, chairman of Johns-Manville, a name to conjure with
~ n book circles. Assisting him in weighing the merits of hopeful authors
IS Fowler McCormick, Chairman of International Harvester; H. W.
Prentis, Jr., President of Armstrong Cork; Edgar M. Queeny, President
Readin
J
J
Writin' & Tickertape [39
board of a billion-dollar fum, has been secretly hankering for executive
abiJity. Existing literature held OUt no hope for him. How could he learn
executive ability from Gone lPith the Wind or Othe,. Voices, Othef'
Rooms, rhe only things he seemed to find lying around the house? Now
the entire family can enjoy literature: Mather with the Book of the
Month Club selection, Brother with Superman Comics, Sister with
Truman Capote's book, and Daddums chuckling to himself over a worn
copy of How to Develop You,. Executive Ability. I tell you this is
going to make for Better Homes at Grosse Point, in Westchester and
Paoli.
The third book sele<:tion is harder. It is Twelve Rules fo1'" Stl"aighl
Thinking, by William J. Reilly. Notice that our Club member has
progressed from one lesson ~ o twelve rules. That many rules are kind
of hard to keep in your head, but Daddums has gOt this literature bug
bad by now. "Why didn't they teach this kind of stuff at Princeton?"
he exclaims. "Why this Reilly is no starry-eyed New Deal Crank Pro-
fessor. He's gOt know-how! A fellow as keen as him could make a lot
of money in business. I'll bet he could meet a payroll!" At this point
Mother lowers her book and says, "Now, Daddums, don't gee of! on
Henry Wallace. Remember your basal metabolism."
The fourth book selection is a thriller with a happy ending, The
T,.ittmph of American Capitalism, by Louis M. Hacker. Capitalism gets
the girl in the end. And by now Father has learned literary cheating:
he sneaks a look at the last chapter to see how it comes out. He is a
confirmed bibliomaniac: the playroom is converted to a library.
Daddums applies his literary knowledge so effectively at the plant that
wages are CUt fifteen percent and the grateful board of directors votes
him a big block of stock as a literary prize.
THE CLUB is no blue sky proposition: its board of selection is com
posed of perhaps the most fiducially sound group of literary critics
in the United States. Only six of the seventeen distinguished litterateurs
on the board are less than president or chairman of some industrial
colossus. Lewis H. Brown is the chief crjtic of the Executive Book Club.
He is, of course, chairman of Johns-Manville, a name to conjure with
~ n book circles. Assisting him in weighing the merits of hopeful authors
IS Fowler McCormick, Chairman of International Harvester; H. W.
Prends, Jr.. President of Armstrong Cork; Edgar M. Queeny, President
40] JOSEPH GIBBONS
of Monsanto Chemical; Stanley Resor, President of J. Walter Thomp-
son; Alfred P. Sloan, Jr., Chairman of General Motors; and Dr. Henry C.
Link, Vice-President of the Psychological Corp. (What's that?-Auth.)
Chairman Brown is a book writer himself, having produced his
first slender sheaf last year on the subject of What to Do With Ger-
many. Mr. Brown says the big Nazis should be released and restored to
the management of German industry.
~ I n addition to the distinguished literary industrialists, several mem-
bers of the advisory board are the purest kind of corporate intellectuals.
After all, Alfred P. Sloan, Jr., runs a pretty large business in Ge,neral
Motors, and you can't expect him to give all his time to picking books.
Trustworthy fulltime authors, thinkers and educators add solid intel-
lectual flavor to the board. Henry Hazlitt, financial editor of Neu/su/eee;
Dr. William A. Berridge, Economist for Metropolitan Life; Bradford B.
, Smit h, Economist for u.S. Steel; Dr. Virgil Jordan, President of the
National Industrial Conference Board; and Dr. H . M. Wriston, Presi-
dent of Brown University, constitute this bohemian aspect of the panel.
I am disappointed that there is no clergyman: why not the Rev.
Gerald L. K. Smith?
As much as I admire the literary attainments of the Advisory Board,
I do feel they need a woman member. I have a name to suggest; that
of a lady who, like the present critics on the panel, can "provide broad
executive experience, judgment and perspective, which in a successful
career are more vital than ever"-to quote the Club's advertisement in
the Times.
Her name is Lana Turner. Recently Miss Turner was involved in an
industrial dispute with her plant management and refused to take the
part of Lady de Winter in The Three Musketeers. Then her vision and
perspective came back to her and she went to see President Louis B.
Mayer of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and signed. When she came out of the '
conference Miss Turner gave the following statement to the press:
"In consideration of world conditions and the economic effect upon the
motion-picture industry, there could be no other decision."
Gents, if that isn't industrial statesmanship, I'll eat a copy of Eco-
nomics in One Lesson in Macy's window.
40] JOSEPH GIBBONS
of Monsanto Chemical; Stanley Reser, President of J. Walter Thomp-
son; Alfred P. Sloan, Je., Chairman of General MotOrs; and Dr. Henry C.
Link, VicePresident of the Psychological Corp. (What's that?-Auth.)
Chairman Brown is a book weiter himself, having produced his
first slender sheaf last year on the subject of What to Do With Ger-
many. Mr. Brown says the big Nazis should be released and restored to
the management of German industry.
In addition to the distinguished literary industrialists, several mem-
bers of the advisory board ace the purest kind of corporate intellectuals.
After all, Alfred P. Sloan, Jr., runs a pretty large business in General
Motoes, and you can't expect him to give all his time to picking books.
Trustworthy fulltime authors, thinkers and educators add solid intel-
lecrual flavor to the board. Henry Hazlitt, financial editor of Newsweek;
Dr. William A. Berridge, Economist for Metropolitan Life; Bradford B.
Smith, Economist for U.S. Steel; Dr. Virgil Jordan, President of the
National Industrial Conference Board; and Dr. H. M. Wriston, Presi
dent of Brown University, constitute this bohemian aspect of the panel
I am disappointed that there is no clergyman: why not the Rev.
Gerald L. K. Smith?
As much as I admire the literary attainments of the Advisory Board,
I do feel dley need a woman member. I have a name to suggest: that
of a lady who, like the present critics on the panel, can "provide broad
executive experience, judgment and perspective, which in a successful
career are more vital than ever"-to quote the Club's advertisement in
the Times.
Her name is Lana Turner. Recently Miss Turner was involved in an
industrial dispute with her plant management and refused to take the
part of Lady de Winter in The Th,ee Musketeers. Then her vision and
perspective carne back to her and she went to see President Louis B.
Mayer of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and signed. When she came out of the
conference Miss Turner gave the following statement to the press:
"In consideration of world conditioos and the economic effect upon the
motion-picture industry, there could be no other decision."
Genrs, if that isn't industrial statesmanship, I'll eat a copy of Eco-
nomics in One LenD1J in Macy's window.
We were NICE PEOPLE
by BARBARA GILES
T
ljERE ~ e r e not many books where I grew up, in the bayou coun-
try of Louisiana-not many, that is, outside of the Big House
which was used occasionally by the California landlords of the planta-
tion. There, it was reported, books could actually be found in the
attic, stowed away to make room for newer ones. The report startled
people only a little. They had already heard of the owners' racing
stables out West, an alien and exotic measure of wealth that might
understandably take in a luxury like adding to the supply of books
one already happened to have. We were among the . families who
merely happened to have--schoolbooks, a small row of classics, some
children's tales, a half-dozen highly moral "yell owbacks" from my
mother's youth, and an encyclopedia.
Not that We were especially poor. We belonged, in fact, to a
small category that could only be described indefinitely and nega-
tively as "not poor." Like two or three other families, we could
indicate the farthest limits of our own luxury with a player-piano
and a car. But not with books. My father, who was a bookkeeper for
the sugar refinery, h ~ d once read some of the landlo;ds' volumes while
he slept in the house as a sort of caretaker during the owners' ab-
sence, and for years afterward he recalled his amazed discovery of
Victor Hugo and Balzac; yet it never occurred to him, even when he
had acquired some land of his own, to acquire some Hugo and
Balzac too. He loved them but he did not respect them that much.
Similarly, his children-like all the children we knew-saved pen-
nies to buy dolls and toy guns from Sears, Roebuck while we borrowed
and lent, read and read again, every book that could be obtained
without purchase. We rarely talked about them, and never asked
whether or not they were "real." I myself thought they were. Nobody,
41
We were NICE PEOPLE
by BARBARA GILES
T
IjERB y.rere not many books where I grew up. in the bayou coun-
try of Louisiana-not many. that is, outside of the Big House
which was used occasionally by the California landlords of the planta-
cion. There, it was reported, books could acrually be found in the
attic, Stowed away to make room for newer ones. The report Startled
people only a little. They had already heard of the owners' racing
stables out West, an alien and exotic measure of wealth that might
understandably take in a luxury like adding to the supply of books
one already happened to have. We were among the. families who
merely happened to bave--sc.hoolbooks, a small row of classics, some
children's tales, a balf-dozen highly moral "ye11owbacks" from my
mother's youth, and an encyclopedia.
Not that we were especially poor. We belonged, in faCt, to a
small category that could only be d ~ i b e d indefinitely and nega-
tively as "not poor." Like twO or three other families, we could
indicate the farthest limitS of our own luxury with a player-piano
and a cae. But not with books. My father, who was a bookka:pec for
the sugar refinery, had once read some of the landlords' volumes while
he slept in the house as a son of caretaker dueing the owners' ab-
sence, and for years afterward he recalled his amazed discovery of
Victor Hugo and Balzac; yet it never occurred to him, even when he
had acquired some land of his own, to acquire some Hugo and
Balzac too. He loved them but he did not respect them that much.
Similarly, his children-like all the children we koew-saved pen-
nies to buy dolls and toy guns from Sears, Roebuck while we borrowed
and lent, read and read again, every book that could be obtained
without purchase. We rarely calked about them, and never asked
whether or not they were "real." I myself thought they were. Nobody,
41
42] BARBARA GILES
it seemed to me, could make up such people, amusing, earnest, vil-
lainous, angelic or "ordinary," so brightly and soundly tinted in the
colors of character-people, moreover, whose everyday life was a
rich tangle of struggle and purpose but who lived in a world com-
manded by such orderly and absolute values that the wicked always
took a beating from the angels, who were well rewarded for their
exercise.
The contrast with my own world was striking enough to be felt
though I couldn't articulate it. For our days were largely moved by
the clock while it was the values that were as tangled as the moss
that hung, decorative and depressing, above our heads. Partly be-
cause of a vague notion that the very business of writing led one into
these vivid and unconfused worlds, I decided when I was ten or so
that it was "about time" I wrote a novel myself.
The plot was easy. I simply took Little Lord Fauntleroy, reversing
it to portray a little girl with a noble English father coming to live
with her American grandmother. The general idea, of course, was
that the haughty foreign child would ultimately be humbled and
sweetened by her new playmates in a superior country. The opening
scene was to be laid in America, and I wrote the first sentence con-
fidently: "Rosemary stood picking the long-stemmed roses that twined
themselves around the pillars of the veranda." As I read it over, ad-
miring the lilt and worrying a little about the repetition of "Rose-
mary" and "rose," my heroine slowly dissolved into a foggy-pink
composite of Elsie Dinsmore, the Little Colonel and every other vapid,
Mammy-loved Southern child of purest fiction. The people in novels,
I remembered, were supposed to be "true"-and so I had especially
intended mine.
After some hard reflection I crossed the sentence out and started
over. "Margaret," I wrote sternly, "was cutting some flowers in the
yard because her mother told her to." Again the pause, the query:
would Margaret, whom I did know and rather too well, be eager to
humble and sweeten a little English aristocrat-Margaret, who re-
minded me weekly of her Virginia ancestry and her immaculate proof
of heredity against the "French blood" that tainted the swamps? And
if not Margaret, who? I knew other children with far less claim to
hauteur; but claims they had, and where the claims were weak there
was envy or aspiration. None of them, it seemed certain, would be
42]
BARBARA GILBS
jt seemed to me, could make up such people, amusing, earnest, vil-
lainous, angelic or "ordinary," so brightly and soundly timed in the
colors of character-people, moreover, whose everyday' life was a
rich tangle of struggle and purpose but who lived in a world com-
manded by such orderly and absolute values that the wicked always
took a beating from the angels, who were well rewarded for their
exercise.
The contrast with my own world was striking enough to be felt
though ] couldn't articulate it. Foe our days were largely moved by
the dock while it was the values that were as tangled as the moss
that hung, decorative and depressing, above our heads. Partly be-
cause of a vague notion dlat the very business of weiting led one into
these vivid and unconfused worlds, I decided when I was ten or so
that it was "about time" I wrOte a novel myself.
The plot was easy. I simply took Little Lord Fauntleroy, reversing
it to portray a little girl with a noble English father coming to live
with het American grandmother. The general idea, of course, was
that the haughty foreign child would ultimately be humbled and
sweetened by her new playmates in a superior country. The opening
scene was to be laid in America, and I wrote the first sentence con-
fidenrly: "Rosemary stood picking the long-sremmed roses that rwined
themselves around the pillars of the veranda." As I read ir over, ad
miring the lilt and worrying a little about the repetition of "Rose-
mary" and "rose," my heroine slowly dissolved inca a foggy-pink
composite of Elsie Dinsmore, the Little Colonel and every other vapid,
Mammy-loved Southern child of purest fiction. The people in novels,
I remembered, were supposed to be "true"-and so I had especially
intended mine.
After some hard reflection I crossed the sentence out and started
over. "Margaret," I wrote sternly, "was cutting some Bowers in the
yard because her mother told het to." Again the pause, the query:
would Margaret, whom ] did know and rather tOO well, be eager to
humble and sweeren a little English arisrocrat-Margaret, who re-
minded me weekly of her Virginia ancestry and her immaculate proof
of heredity against the "French blood" that tainted the swamps? And
if nOt Margaret, who? I knew other children with far less claim to
hauteur; but claims they had, and where the claims were weak there
was envy or aspiration. None of them, it seemed certain, would be
We Were Nice People [43
likely to look democratically down their noses at a child of the British
nobility.
The second sentence remained unwritten. I had, without being
able to name it, met the problem of caste in "real life" and literature,
with no precedents to enlighten me. In my society there were three
preoccupations: sex, food and caste. Novelists had treated the first
discreetly, the second incidentally, and the third lightly if at all.
But caste, as I had experienced it, was a terrifying game, desperately
played. The rules were not stated; only the scorekeepers knew them
exactly, could tell from their complex and arrogant knowledge how
much a patch of land in the past now "counted," how much more a
patch in the present, the tally on a Dresden cup and saucer, a costly
dress, thin skin and pale eyes, a so-refined gesture. And the unstated
rules were obeyed-by children too. Mary might go to play w i t ~
Yvonne but Yvonne was not received at Mary's home; Mary in turn
could not visit Margaret though they swapped secrets at school. There
were the "nice" and "not nice," the "very" and "not quite," with
degrees between-among a ruling and white-collar class whose total
population, counting in the neighboring town, would not have made
up a village. (One of my first doubts that Negroes were as "unhurnan"
as our elders had led us to suppose was prompted by the discovery
that they were not without some caste system of their own.)
E
VERYON E played the game, everyone who was admitted. It kept
us, more effectively than religion, from the sin of great happi-
ness. We should have been happy. Life, on any white-collar income,
included a good house, an automobile, decent clothes and a "cook"
(who cleaned seven or more rooms daily, did the fine laundry, came
at dawn to serve coffee in bed and departed well after supper-for
three dollars a week) . Fruit fell from backyard trees, vegetables were
delivered every day by a gardener paid entirely with a share of his
produce. The time spent thinking about food, talking about it and
preparing it seems almost infantile in retrospect and a little repellent,
but to a greedy child it was delightful. We had land-wooded fallow
land, empty pastures, backyards running to the bayou-not our own
but ours to play on. For pets we might adopt anything from pigeons
to retired work horses.
Certainly we enjoyed this abundance. Yet I cannot remember a
We Were Nice People [43
likely to look democratically down thei.r noses at a child of the British
nobility.
The second semence remained unwrinen. I had, without being
able to name it, met the problem of caste in "real life" and literature.
with no precedents to enlighten me. In my society there were three
preoccupations: sex, food and caste. Novelists had treated the 6rst
tbe second incidentally, and the thi.rd lightly if at all.
But caste, as I had experienced it, was a terrifying game, desperately
played. The rules were nOt srated; only the scorekeepers knew them
exactly, could tell from their complex and ar.rogant knowledge how
much a patch of land in the past now "coumed," how much more a
patch in tbe present, the tally on a Dresden cup and saucer, a costly
dress, thin skin and pale eyes, a so-re6ned gesru.re. And the unStated
rules were obeyed-by children too. Mary might go to play with
Yvonne but Yvonne was nOt received at Mary's home; Mary in turn
could not visit Margaret though they swapped secrets at school. There
were rhe "nice" and "not nice," rhe "very" and "not quire," with
degrees between-amoog a ruling and white-collar class whose tOtal
population, counting in the neighboring tOwn, would DOt have made
up a village. (One of my firSt doubts that Negroes were as "unhumao"
as our elders bad led us to suppose was prompted by the discovery
that they were not without some caste system of their own_)
EVERYONE played the game. everyone who was admitted. It kept
us, more effectively than religion, from the sin of great bappi.
ness. We should have been happy. Life, on any white-collar income,
included a good house, an automobile, decent clothes and a "cook"
(who cleaned seven or more rooms daily, did the fine laundry, came
at dawn to serve coffee in bed and departed well after supper-for
t:hree dollars a week). Fruit fell from backyard trees, vegetables were
delivered every day by a gardener paid entirely with a share of his
produce. The time spent thinking about food, talking about it and
preparing it seems almost infamile in retrospect and a little repellent.
but to a greedy child it was delightful. We had land-wooded fallow
land, empty pastures, backyards cunning to the bayou-not our own
but ours to play on. For petS we might adopt anything from pigeons
to retired WOrk horses.
Certainly we enjoyed chis abundance. Yet I cannot remember a
44]
BARBARA GIL E S
time before I knew that it didn't "count," it was all petty and inci-
dental to the bitter striving for appearance, manners and objects-
objects and more objects-to enrich our favor with the scorekeepers.
Even the basic moralities became chips: illicit love was sinful, but
much worse, it was common. The Methodisr-Episcopalians went to
church because nice people were church-goers (and the M-E Church
was the "real nice one"). A few words bounded the entire territor y
of character (mean or sweet, honest or sly, good or bad) though we
had learned others-without learning their uses.
At least the game should have simplified our lives. It should have
furnished just one goal, one way of play to engage our whole activity.
Surely it should have kept our attention upon ourselves, away from
the majority of people excluded from the game. To a point it did,
and a pretty high point. We had learned at school that all people
were created equal and we believed it-it was a virtue of "our" coun-
try-but we also believed that Negroes were not quite people. As for
the poor, they didn't have to be poor-did they? Indeed, if they had
been created equal to us they should have been equally able to make
money. Yes, it should have been simple. And yet-
O
N E summer day my mother sent me to ask a Cajun woman
whether she could help make some mattresses. To this day I
don't know her husband's occupation but I heard my mother remark
that he had been ill and the wife should be glad of a chance to earn
a dollar or two. Margaret had been playing in our yard and she came
along with me. The house wasn't far; we had time to get there and
back before our noon dinner, but when we arrived at the Cajun home
the family was already at the table and we held our scant conversa-
tion through the unscreened kitchen window, which provided a com-
plete view of the repast: a dish of bare boiled rice. The flies wanted
it too, and the father wearily shooed them off with one hand. It was
the only motion he or the two children made; as far as I could see
the whole family was sick, the mother too, though she said yes to my
query-said it immediately but not smiling, not at all glad-of-the-
chance. I felt that she might hate me.
When we had got a few yards from the house Margaret made a
gagging sound and said "Pooh! Cajuns." I didn't answer. There were
quivers in my stomach too but they came from fear. Never before
44] BARBARA GILES
time before I knew that it didn't "count," it was all petty and inci-
dental to the bitter striving for appearance, m.annerS and objeo:s-
objects and mOre objects-tO enrich our favor with the scorekeepers.
Even me basic moralities became chips: illicit love was sinful, but
much worse, it was common. The Methodist.Episcopalians went to
church because nice people were church-goers (and the M-E Church
was the "real nice one"). A few words bounded the entire territory
of charaCter (mean DC $weel, honest or sly, good or bad) though we
had learned others-without learning their uses.
At least the game should have simplified our lives. It should have
furnished juSt one goal, one way of play to engage our whole activity.
Surely it should have kept OUI anenrion upon ourselves, away from
the majority of people excluded from the game. To a point it did,
and a pretty high point. We had learned at school that all people
were created equal and we believed it-it was a virtue of "our" coon-
,,y-but we also believed that Negroes were not quite people. As for
the poOr, they didn't have to be poor---did they? Indeed, if they had
been created equal to us they should have been equally able to make
money. Yes, it should have been simple. And yet-
O
NE summer day my modler sent me to ask a Cajun woman
whether she could help make some mattresses. To this day I
don't know her husband's occupation but I heard my mother remark
that he had been ill and the wife should be glad of a chance ro earn
a dollar or two. Margaret had been playing in our yard and she came
along with me. The house wasn't far; we had time ro get there and
back before our noon dinner, but when we arrived at the Cajun home
the family was already at the table and we held our scant conversa-
tion dlCough the unscreened kitchen window, which provided a com-
plete view of the repaSt: a dish of bare boiled rice. The flies wanted
it tOO, and the father wearily shooed them off with one hand. It was
the only motion he or the twO children made; as far as I could see
the whole family was sick, the mother too, though she said yes to my
query-said it immediately but not smiling, not at all glad-of-the-
chance. I felt that she might hate me.
When we had gOt a few yards from the house Margaret made a
gagging sound and said "Pooh! Cajuns." I didn't answer. There were
quivers in my stomach tOO but they came from fear. Never before
We Were Nice People
[45
had I seen the interior of poverty. Only the surface had appeared, the
faded clothes and whitewashed little houses, and the sallow skins of
people who "didn't eat properly." I had been assured that they were
happy and they had seemed happy enough to me. No one had ever
suggested, nor had I dreamed, that an "improper diet" might . mean
worse than coarse food and little variety. That it might amount to
no food at all or next to none-c-how -was that possible?
At home I reponed my findings over the chicken gumbo: ee There
was nothing on the rice."
My mother gave a little murmur of pity and my father gravely
shook his head twice.
"No butter, even," I elaborated. "I mean, not anything at all. Just
nothing-just rice."
After a moment my mother spoke. "Some people," she said in the
bright tone she used to invalids and babies, "like their rice without
butter."
The fear that had been in me burned off in secret anger. Did she
think I was a baby? I had seen those people, I had seen . . .
No, I did not, like some wise and sensitive children of fiction,
promptly call to mind all the falsehoods ever told and demolish them.
But it was not the first time that Authority had been caught without
an evasion good enough, and each blunder shook the structure a
little. It was tightly built, from thousands of evasions carefully laid,
with a euphemism in every chink, but the material was makeshift.
For many things were not simple, not even in our enclosed little
world. Our family score was precarious but beginning to rise with
my father's fortunes. This in itself was odd, for the one explicitly
stated prerequisite for the Game was "blood" and his was anything
but celebrated. .My mother, on the other hand, came of a family whose
tally had once been remarkable but who no longer counted except in
the little French town of her girlhood where people still remembered
"who" her grandparents had been. Before I was born their glory had
perished-ulike a starving eagle," said my great-uncle-with the loss
of their land.
But if blood counted for so much, and one was born with it , why
shouldn't the glory still be apparent? Because, ran the evasion in this
case, it was French blood and the Cajuns were French too; and
French people drank wine, played cards and had babies every year

We We1'e Nice People


[45
had I seen me interior of poverty. Only the surface had appeared, the
faded clothes and whitewashed little houses, and the sallow skins of
people who "didn't eat properly:' I had been assured that they were
happy and they had seemed happy enough to me. No one had ever
s u ~ e d , nor had I dreamed, that an "improper diet" might mean
worse than coarse food and little variety. That ir might amOUD[ to
no food at all or next to none--bow was that possible?
At borne I reported my findings over the chicken gumbo: "... There
was nothing on the rice:'
My momer gave a little murmur of pity and my father gravely
shook his head twice.
"No butter, even," I elaborated. "J mean, nOt anything at all. JUSt
nothing-just rice:'
After a moment my mother spoke. "Some people," she said in the
bright tone she used to invalids and babies, "like their rice without
butter."
The fear that had been in me burned off in secret anger. Did she
think I was a baby? I had seen those people, I had seen . ..
No, I did nOt, like some wise and sensitive children of fiction,
promptly call to mind all the falsehoods ever told and demolish them.
But it was nor the firSt time that Authority had been caught without
an evasion good enough, and each blunder shook the structure a
little. It was tightly built. from thousands of evasions carefully laid.
with a euphemism in every chink. but the material was makeshift.
For many things were nat simple, nat even in ow enclosed little
world. Our family score was precarious but beginning to rise with
my father's fortunes. This in itself was ood. for the one explicitly
Stated prerequisite for the Game was "blood" and his was anything
but celebrated. My mother. on the other hand. came of a family whose
tally had once been remarkable but who no longer COUOted except in
the little French town of her girlhood where people still remembered
"who" her grandparentS had been. Before I was born their glory had
perished-"Jike a starving eagle;' said my great-uncle-with the loss
of their land.
But if blood COUnted for so much, and one was born with it, why
shouldn't the glory still be apparent? Because, ran the evasion in this
case, it was French blood and the Cajuns were French tOO; and
French people drank wine, played cards and had babies every year

46]
BARBARA GIL E S
( "like the cows" ) . The explan ation, coming from the Scotch-Irish
scorekeepers of the plantation and neighboring town to the right of
us, should have been adequate. But why, then, should the French
be acceptable in the town to the left, where people remembered the
lost land? And why, for that matter, should the Scotch-Irish, also, find
it acceptable in some people- a New Orleans banker, for example?
To add to the paradox, my father, who was bearing our caste up-
ward, had less concern for it than anyone else I knew. The son of a
rural doctor with a large family, he had gtown up in a backwoods
section of Mississippi that was, apparently, as wild as the wildest
West. No doubt there was caste but food came first. Later he had
prospected and mined in Colorado and was, so far as I know, the only
man in our community who had ever held a union card. His ambition
was not directed toward appearances-my mother complained that
he could have lived happily in a mud hut-but toward security and,
as a special .aim, the best possible education for his children.
The fact that all his children but one were girls made no difference.
In a community where a backward daughter could be explained by
the cheerful remark that "Mary never cared for school," he was rela-
tively without male prejudice. It did not seem to him either outlandish
or "cute" for a little girl to sit among the men after dinner listening
to their talk of politics-listening to the safely di st ant thunder of a
battle' in which personalities and principles fought almost as excitingly
as in the novels. From him I derived a sense that ideas were im-
portant and amusing and that character might mean something outside
of novels.
B
UT it was he, also, who helped mislead me on the basic complica-
tion of our culture, our relationship to the hundreds of human
beings we called "they"-the Negroes. We had crueler words for them
but none so cruel, it seems to me, as the generalities built around that
anonymous third-person plural. They were "t he missing link" in evo-
lution-though we didn't believe in evolution. They had been li b-
erated by us (through slavery) from equal existence with the gorillas.
They were, as I've mentioned before, "unhurnan.' My father varied
the argument sli ghtly: they were "like children." His theory impressed
me happily because it allowed room for kindness as well as discipline,
especially as it came from a person devoid of malice in his personal
46] BARBARA GILES
("like the cows"). The explanation, coming from the Scotch-Irish
scorekeepers of the plantation and neighboring (Own to the right of
us, should have been adequate. But why, chen, should the French
be acceptable in the town to the left, where people remembered the
lost land? And why, for that matter. should the Scotch-Ieish, also, find
it acceptable in some people---a New Orleans banker, for example?
To add to the paradox, my father, who was bearing our caste up-
ward, had less concern for it than anyone else I knew. The son of a
rural doctor with a large family, he had grown up in a backwoods
section of Mississippi that was, apparently, as wild as the wildest
West. No doubt there was caste but food came first. Lacer he had
prospected and mined in Colorado and was, so far as I know, the only
man in our community who had ever held a union card. His ambition
was not directed toward appearances-my mother complained that
he could have lived happily in a mud hut-but toward security and,
as a special .aim, the best possible education for his children.
The fact that all his children but one were girls made no difference.
In a community where a backward daughter could be explained by
the cheerful remark that "Mary never cared for school;' he was rela
tively without male prejudice. It did not seem to him either outlandish
or "cute" for a little girl to sir among the men after dinner listening
to their talk of politics-lisrening ro the safely distant thunder of a
battle in which personalities and principles fought almost as excitingly
as in the novels. From him I derived a sense thar ideas were im-
portant and amusing and that character r:oight mean something outside
of novels.
B
UT it was he, also, who helped mislead me on the basic complica-
tion of our culture, our relationship ro the hundreds of human
beings we called "they"-the Negroes. We had crueler words for them
but none so cruel, it seems to me, as the generalities built around that
anonymous third-person plural. They were "the missing link" in evo-
lution-though we didn't believe in evolution. They had been lib-
erated by us (through slavery) from equal existence with the gorillas.
They were, as I've mentioned before, "unhuman." My father varied
the argument slightly: they were "like children." His theory impressed
me happily because it allowed room for kindness as well as discipline,
especially as it came from a person devoid of malice in his personal
We Were Nice People
[47
life. But then, I was eager to be impressed. Actually, as it is easy to
see now, our effort to explain "them" was an attempt to explain our-
selves, to find the virtue of reason in a meanness whose mildest ex-
pression was indifference to misery.
Even so our credulity seems amazing. How could we have not seen
that a man who loved children enough to enjoy them-an attitude
then frowned upon as "spoiling"-had no such love for "these people
entrusted to our care"? Or that the most rebellious child on earth is
not disciplined by hanging? How?--On no other subject in the
world is a Southern white child "educated" so meticulously, with
such devoted attention to instruction and example, as in this one-
and in no other is he more pliable. Else we could not have borne
ourselves. As it was, I ran out into the pasture when my mother's
lectures to the cook reached the shaky pitch of fury struggling with
dignity. Now and then wonder pierced the shielding phrase: if they
were children, if they were helpless .. . why were they dangerous? . ..
dogs were helpless and could be dangerous ... only horrible people
cursed at dogs or let them starve. But I would no more have put my
queries than I would have asked how babies were born. At the center
of both topics lay the menacing shadow of a tree of knowledge for
grown-ups only-ehildren were frightened away.
About lesser confusions I was not so shrinking. By his attitude my
father had thrown a small -revealing light of comedy and irony on
contradictions at the surface of our society. And with the childish
demand for order and "sense," there was a normal relish for puzzles,
oddities, comparisons and contrasts, though the latter might become
painfully bewildering. In these areas we were free to wonder, even
to ask. But when it came to "the colored problem," conscious wonder
had to force its way.
Yet in this particular area the myths not only denied the obvious,
they contradicted each other. "They" had nursed us at the breast but
if we touched their hands we would wither of disgrace. " T h ~ y " knew
who their friends were (us-naturally) but were the sneaky foes of
every white man, woman and child in the country including their
"so-called friends, the nigger-lovers up North" who were common
trash that any colored person would scorn since "they," being totally
devoid of any standards of taste and breeding, had been endowed with
a peculiar extra sense, rather like a dog's special sense of smell, which
We Were Nice People
[47
life. But then, I was eager to be impressed. ACtUally, as it is easy to
see now, our effOrt to explain "them" was an attempt to explain our-
selves, to find the virtue of reason in a meanness whose mildest ex-
pression was indiffetence to misery.
Even so our credulity seems amazing. How could we have not seen
that a man who loved children enough to enjoy them-an attitude
then frowned upon as "spoiling"-had no such love for "these people
entrusted to our care"? Or that the most rebellious child on earth is
nor disciplined by hanging? How?----On no other subject in the
world is a Southern white child "educated" so meticulously, with
such devoted anention to instruction and example, as in mis one--
and in no other is he more pliable. Else we could not have borne
ourselves. As it was, I ran Out into the pasture when my mother's
lecrures to the cook reached the shaky pitch of fury struggling with
dignity. Now and then wonder pierced the shielding phrase: if they
were children, if they were helpless ... why were they dangerous? ...
dogs were helpless and could be dangerous ... only horrible people
cursed at dogs or let them starVe. But I would no more have put my
queries than I would have asked how babies were born. At the center
of both topics lay the menacing shadow of a tree 9f knowledge for
grown-ups only--ehildren were frightened away.
About lesser confusions I was not so shrinking. By his attitude my
father had thrown a small revealing light of comedy and irony on
contradictions at the surface of our society. And with the childish
demand for order and "sense," there was a normal relish for puzzles,
oddities, comparisons and contrasts, though the latter might become
painfully bewildering. In these areas we were free to wonder, even
to ask.. But when it came to "the colored problem," conscious wonder
had to force its way.
Yet in this panicular area the myths not only denied the obvious,
they contradicted each other. 'They" had nursed us at the breast but
if we touched their bands we would wither of disgrace. 'They" knew
who their friends were (us-naturally) but were the sneaky foes of
every white man, woman and child in the COUntry including their
"so-called friends, the nigger-lovers up North" who were common
trash that any colored person would scorn since "they," being torally
devoid of any standards of taste and breeding, had been endowed with
a peculiar extra sense, rather like a dog's special sense of smell, which
THE STANDARD BEARER THE STANDARD BEARER
\\..
I I
\ I
\ I
!/
We Were Nice People
[49
enabled them to distinguish quality and prevented them from having
any use for poor whites or those who demeaned themselves by be-
friending black people en masse. ( We befriended them individually:
"You can take'this hat, Victoria, I'm through with it, but don't tell
anyone; I can't have every darky in the Quarters come begging for old
clothes, and if you- give to one of them .. ."). Sometimes the old
clothes piled up, an irritating burden. Burn them, throw them in the
bayou-anything but admit the fact of a want that waste could not
wholly cover. For if any nakedness were left it might resemble the
truth, and God help us if that ever happened.
The books were no help. They merely presented one set of myths,
the loving-devoted-smiling-comical-faithful one, without the others. I
had never known a Negro woman called Mammy and I was rather
relieved as all the little girls put in her charge seemed doomed to
read the Bible constantly or die of romantic consumption; it sounded
beautiful in literature but, even with golden curls thrown in, it was
not my plan for life. Besides, I had doubts about the smiling-devoted-
faithful view-it was all too easy to believe my mother's theory that
they had been happier in slavery. I might have learned something
from a song, "The Battle-Hymn of the Republic," which was'taught
us in high school as one of the "national lyrics"; except that there
may have been no greater tribute to our guardians' talent for snubbing
an historical truth to death than the fact that I could sing with ringing
exaltation "Let us die to make men free!" without ever guessing that
the men to be liberated were my forefathers' slaves.
L
OOKI N G back I can realize that we must have observed and
thought more on this subject than we admitted to awareness.
While "they" were supposed to be marginal to our existence and it
was "better just to forget them," they were all around us and our
elders never forgot.. They never forgot, and their vigilance paid off.
It was a long time after I myself was grown before I learned that this
greatest contradiction of all, which had been posed for me literally
in black and white, was the source of all the contradictions, confu-
sions and evasions of our culture. Upon it had been based the dreary,
ridiculous game of caste-the thousand idiocies and corruptions. And
the contradiction itself?-such an obvious, elementary thing, so naked
under the mound of rags and frills we had piled over it: simply the
We Were Nice People
[49
enabled them to distinguish quality and prevented. them from having
any use for poor whites or those who demeaned the.m..selves by be-
friending black people en maue. (W" befriended. them individually:
"You can take this hat, Victoria, I'm through with it, but don't tell
anyone; I can't have every darky in the Quaners come begging for old
dothes, and if you give to one of them ..."). Sometimes the old
clothes piled up, an irritating burden. Burn chern, throw chern in the
bayOU--QDything but admit the faa of a want that waste could not
wholly cover. For if any nakedness were left it might resemble the
troth, and God help us if that ever happened.
The books were no help. They merely presented. one set of myths,
the loving-devoted-smiling-comical.faithful one, without the others. I
had never known a Negro woman called Mammy and I was rather
relieved as all the little girls put in her charge seemed doomed to
read the Bible constantly or die of romantic consumption; it sounded
beautiful in literature but, even with golden curls thrown in, it was
not my plan for life. Besides, I had doubts about the smiHng-devoted-
faithful view-it was all tOO easy to believe my mother's theory that
they had been happier in slavery. 1 might have learned something
from a song, ''The Battle-Hymn of the Republic," which was tllught
us in high school as one of the "national lyrics"; except that there
may have been no greater uibute to our guardians' talent for snubbing
an historical truth to death than the fact that I could sing with ringing
aalration "Let us die to make men free!" without ever guessing that
the men to be liberated were my forefamers' slaves.
L <X>KING back I can realize that we must have observed and
thought more on this subject than we admitted to awareness.
While "they" were supposed to be marginal to our existence and it
was "better JUSt to forget them," they were all around us and our
elders never forgot.. They never forgot, and their vigilance paid off.
It was a long time after I myself was grown before I learned that this
greatest contradiction of all, which had been posed for me literally
in black and white, was the source of all the contradictions, confu.
sions and evasions of our culture. Upon it had been based the dreary,
ridiculous game of caste-the thousand idiocies and corruptions. And
the COntradiction itself?-such an obvious, elementary thing, so naked
under the mound of rags and frills we had piled over it: simply the
50] BARBARA GILES
contradiction that exists wherever a few men live by exploiting the
many and then build a whole universe of fantasy to give oppression
the face of beauty and truth.
But before I learned that, I had to learn Marxism. Until then the
South that I knew and was going to "write about some day" became
clearer to me in its physical details, its psychology and social dispari-
ties, but never clear enough. Nor was a basic clarity sufficient. A
novelist dealing with the South faces two temptations. One is to select
the more obvious "literary" fruits-irony, romance, sentimentality, de-
generation-which preceding novelists have examined. The other is to
focus on the hidden roots and mud to such a degree that whatever
fruits appear in the novel seem to have sprung, already ripe, from
the tree-stump. To the Marxist novelist the latter temptation is espe-
cially strong; after all the roots are his discovery, his special contribu-
tion to truth. It tempted me, I remember. The difficulty was that my
subject was a collection of fruits that had ripened to the point of
"decadence" (a rather over-used word of the 1930's which I did not
interpret too clearly). What was the point of examining the roots of
a dying stump?
It took a lot more study before I could see that the most decadent
society in the world is not without its human potential or devoid of
the universal historical element of struggle. It is the Marxist's business
to understand the whole growth, from soil to the farthest leaf, in its
most intricate manifestations and sources. This is a large aim-it
requires, first of all, a ruthless perception of social forces and an
equally ruthless perception of people, which is the only perception
from which a genuine love of people can come. That must be our
starting place.
50] BARBARA GILES
contradiction that exists wherever a few men live by exploiting the
many and then build a whole universe of fantasy to give oppression
the face of beauty and truth.
But before I learned that, I had to leMO Marxism. Until then the
South that I knew and was going to "write about some day" became
dearer to me in its physical details, its psychology and social dispari-
ties, but never dear enough. Nor was a basic clarity sufficient. A
novelist dealing with the South faces twO temptations. One is to select
the more obvious "literacy" fruits-irony, romance, sentimentality, de-
generation-which preceding novelists have examined. The other is to
focus on the hidden cOOts and mud to such a degree that whatever
fruits appear in the novel seem to have sprung. already ripe, from
tbe tree-stump. To the Marxist novelist the latter temptation is espe-
dally Strong; after all the rOOtS are his discovery, his special contribu-
tion to truth. It tempted me, I remember. The difficulty was that my
subject was a collection of f.ruits that had ripened to the point of
"decadence" (a rather over-used word of the 1930's which I did not
interpret tOO dearly). What was the point of examining the roots of
a dying srump?
It took a lot more study before I could see that the most decadent
society in the world is not without its human potential or devoid of
the universal historical element of struggle. It is the Marxist's business
to understand the whole growth, from soil to the farthest leaf, in its
most intricate manifestations and sources. This is a large aim-it
requires, fust of all. a ruthless perception of social forces and an
equally ruth1ess perception of people, which is the only perception
from which a genuine love of people can come. That must be our
starting place.
Blues for
Jilll111Y
by THOMAS MCGRATH
For Jimmy McGrath, killed June, 1945
1.
(If it were evening on a dead man's watch,.
Flowerfall, sundown, the light furled on the pane;
And the shutters going up on the windows of the twentieth century,
6 Post Mortem in the world of the dead-)
The train was late. We waited among the others,
All of us waiting for friends on the late train.
Meanwhile the usual darkness, the usual stars,
Allies of the light trust and homeless lovers.
And then the train with its clanking mechanical fury.
"Our will could neither turn it around nor stop it."
Abrupt as history it violates the station-
The knife, the dream, the contemporary terror.
(Midnight awakens on a dead man's watch:
The two exact figures in the million beds
Embrace like skeletons chained in other dreams,
In the world of the dead where love has no dominion.)
"And then we took him to the funeral parlor,
Half-way house, after the train came in."
We found he had put on another face,
The indifferent face of death, its brutality and pallor.
"And now at last, everyone is home?"
All but you, brother. We left you there alone.
51
Blues for
Jimmy
by THOMAS MCGRATH
For Jimmy McGrath, killed June, 1945
1.
(1 it were evening 00 a dead man's watch,.
FlowerfaJl, sundown, the light furled on the pane;
And tbe shutters going up on the windows of the twentieth century.
6 Post Mortem in the world of the dead-)
The train was late. We waited among tht; others,
All of us waiting for friends on the late train.
Meanwhile the usual darkness, the usual stars,
Allies of the light truSt and homeless lovers.
And then the train with its clanking mechanical fury.
"Our will could neither turn it around nOr StOp k"
Abrupt as hisrory it violates the station-
The knife, the dream, the contemporary tereOr.
(Midnight awakens on a dead man's watch:
The two exact figures in the million beds
Embrace like skeletons chained in other dreams,
In the world of the dead where Jove has no dominion.)
"And then we took him to the funeral parlor,
Half.way house, after the train came in."
We found he had put on another face,
The indifferent face of death, its brutality and pallor.
"And now at last, everyone is home?"
All but you, brother. We left you there alone.
51
52] THOMAS MCGRATH
(The dead man's watch unlocks the naked morning,
And the day, already bandaging victories and wounds,
Assumes like Time the absolute stance of indifference,
On yesterday's sorrow setting its actual seal.)
Among the absorbing tenants of god's half-acre
We gave you back into the mundane chemistry.
The banker dug the grave, but the grave and gentle
Were part of the common plot. The priestly succor,
Scattering platitudes like wreaths of wilted flowers,
Drove in the coffin nails with god's own little hammer-
You are stapled still; and we are freed of onus.
Brother, te laudamus, hallowed be our shame.
(The shadow of noon-upon a dead man's watch-
Falls on the hours and mysteries; April, October
Darkening, and the forward and following centuries. The blind flyer
Locates himself on the map by that cone of silence.)
2.
Locates himself by that cone of silence,
But does not establish his private valence:
When the long grey hearse goes down the street
The driver is masked and his eyes are shut-
While confessing the dead man is his brother.
Only in dreams will admit the murder,
Accepting then what is always felt:
The massive implacable personal guilt.
Who refuses to be his brother's keeper
Must carry a knife and never sleep,
Defending himself at whatever cost
Against that blind importunate ghost.
Priest, banker, teacher or publican,
The mask of the irresponsible man
May hide from the masker his crimes of passion
But not the sin of his class position.
52] THOMAS MCGRATH
(The dead mao's watch unlocks tbe naked morning,
And the day, already bandaging victories and wounds,
Assumes like Time the absolute stance of indifference,
On yesterday's sorrow setting its actual seal.)
Among the absorbing tenants of god's half-acre
We gave you back into the mundane chemistry.
The banker dug the grave, but the grave and gende
Were part of the cornmon plot. The priestly succor,
Scattering platitudes like wreaths of wilted flowers,
Drove in the coffin nails with god's own little hammer-
You are stapled still; and we are freed of onus.
Brother, te laudamus, hallowed be our shame.
(The shadow of noon-upon a dead man's watch-
Falls on the hours and mysteries; April, October
Darkening, and the forward and following centuries. The blind flyer
Locates himself on the map by that cone of silence.)
2.
Locates hiIDself by that cone of silence,
But does nOt establish his private valence:
When the long grey hearse goes down the street
The driver is IDasked and his eyes are shuc-
While confessing the dead man is his brother.
Only in dreams will admit the murder,
Accepting then what is always felt:
The massive implacable personal guilt.
Who refuses to be his brother's keeper
Must carry a knife and never sleep,
Defending himself at whatever COSt
Against that blind importunate ghost.
Priest, banker, teacher or publican,
The mask of the irresponsible man
May hide from the masker his crimes of passion
But not the sin of his class position.
Blues For Jimmy
And what of the simple sensual man
Who only wants to be let alone.
With his horse and his hound and his house so fine,
A car and a girl and a voting machine?
Innocent Mr. and Mrs. O?an
Are dead before they have time to lie down.
The doorbell rings but they are away.
It is better to murder than deny.
The desperate laws of human motion
Deny innocence but permit salvation
If we accept sentence before we are tried
We discover the crime our guilt had hid.
But the bourgeois, the saint, the two-gun man
Who are the eyelids of their dream
Refuse to discover that of salvation
There is no private accumulation.
3.
The wind dies in the evening. Dust in the chill au
Settles in thin strata, taking the light with it,
Dusk before dusk in the river hollows.
And westward light glamors the wide Missouri,
The foothills, the Rockies, the arc of the harping coast.
And then the brooding continental night.
When I was a child the long evenings of midsummer
Died slow and splendid on my bedroom windowpane,
And I went into sleep's magnetic landscape
With no fear of awakening in a country of nightmares.
[53
It was easy then. You could let the light go--
Tomorrow was another day and days were all the same:
Pictures in a book you'd read, segments of sealed and certain time,
Easy to go back to the day before yesterday, the year before last.
But now it. is impossible. The leaf is there, and the light,
Fixed in the photograph, but the happiness is lost in the album,
Blues Fo,. Jimmy
And what of the simple sensual man
Who only wantS to be let alone.
Wicb his horse and his hound and his house so fine.
A car and a girl and a vOting machine?
Innocent Me. and Mes. Onan
Iue dead before they have time to lie down.
The doorbell rings but they are away.
It is better to murder than deny.
The desperate laws of human motion
Deny innocence but permit salvation
If we accept sentence before we are tried
We discover the crime our guilt had hid.
But the bourgeois, the saint, the two-gun man
Who are the eyelids of their dream
Refuse to discover that of salvation
There is no private accumulation.
3.
The wind dies in the evening. Dust in the chill air
Settles in thin suata, taking the light with it,
Dusk before dusk in the river hollows.
.And westward light g1amors the wide Missouri,
The foothills. the Rockies. the arc of the harping coast.
.And then the brooding continental night.
When I was a child the long evenings of midsummer
Died slow and splendid on my bedroom windowpane,
.And I went into sleep's magnetic landscape
With no fear of awakening in a country of nightmares.
[53
It was easy then. You could let the light ~
Tomorrow was another day and days were all the same:
Pictures in a book you'd read, segments of sealed and certain time,
Easy to go back to the day before yesterday, the year before last.
But now it is impossible. The leaf is there, and the light,
Fixed in the photograph, but the happiness is lost in the album,
54]
THOMAS McGRATH
And your words are lost in the mind, and your voice in the years,
And your letters' improbable tongues trouble the attic darkness.
And this is the true nature of grief and the human condition:
That you are nowhere; that you are nowhere, nowhere.
Nowhere on the round earth, and nowhere in time,
And the days like doors dose between us, lock us forever apart.
4.
Not where spring with its discontinued annuities
Fills birds' nests with watches, dyes the winds yellow,
Scatters on the night its little flowers of disenchantment
And a drunken alphabet like the memory of clocks.
Not where summer, at the mercury's Feast of Ascension,
Deploys in fields the scarecrows of ' remembrance;
Summer with the wheat, oil, bread, birth, honey and barley,
And a hypnotized regiment of weeping butterflies.
Not when fall reopens private wounds
To stain the leaves and split the stones in walls;
Opening the doors on the furniture of false enigmas
And mechanical patterns of cr azy magicians.
Not when winter on the buried leaf
Erects its barricades of coal stoves and forgetfulness;
With the warmth indoors, talk, love and togetherness,
And outside a blizzard of years and corpses.
The calendar dies upon a dead man's watch. He is nowhere,
Nowhere in time. And yet must be in Time.
And when the Fifth Season with its mass and personal ascensions,
Fire-birds rising from t he burning downs of Negation
Gyring toward freedom-
Until then, brother, I will keep . your watch.
54]
, THOMAS MCGRATH
And your words are lost in the mind, and yow voice in the years,
And your letters' improbable tOngues trouble the attic darkness.
And this is tbe true nature of grief and the human condition:
nut you are nowhere; that you are nowhere, nowhere.
Nowhere on the round earth, and nowhere in time,
And the days like doors dose between us, lock us forever apart.
4.
Not where spring with its discontinued annuities
Fills birds' nests with watches, dyes the winds yellow,
Scatters on the night its litde Bowers of disenchantment
And a drunken alphabet like the memory of clocks.
Not where summer, at the mercury's FeaSt of Ascension,
Deploys in fields the scarecrows of remembrance;
Summer with the wheat, oil, bread, birth, honey and barley,
And a hypnotized regiment of weeping butterflies.
Not when fall reopens private wounds
To stain the leaves and split the stones in walls;
Opening the doors on the furnimre of false emgmas
And mechanical patterns of crazy magicians.
Not when winter on the buried leaf
Erects its barricades of coal stoves and forgetfulness;
With the warmth indoors, talk, love and togetherness,
And outside a blizzard of years and corpses.
The calendar dies upon a dead man's watch. He is nowhere,
Nowhere in time. And yet must be in Time.
And when the Fifth Season with its mass and personal ascensions,
Fire-birds rising from the burning downs of Negation
Gyring toward freedom-
Until then, brother, I will keep your watch.
Blues For Jimmy
5.
I will not deny you through grief,
Nor in the masks and horrors of the voodoo man
Nor sell you in a mass for the dead
Nor seven out and forget you
Nor evict your spirit with a charming rune.
Nor wear my guilt for a badge like a saint or a bourgeois poet.
[55
I forgive myself of your death: Blind shadow of my necessity-
Per m ea culpa---<:.ast by a son of freedom
I climb the hill of your absolute rebellion.
I do not exorcise you: you walk through the dark wood before me.
Though I give your loves to the hours,
Your bones to the first four seasons
Your hope to the ironies
Your eyes to the hawks of heaven
Your blood is made part of the general-strike fund
Your courage is coined into the Revolution
Your spirit informs the winds of the Fifth Season.
Only the tick of a watch divides us.
The crime is to deny the union of opposites.
I make your death my watch, a coin of love and anger,
With your death on one side and mine on the other,
Locked on my wrist to remember us by.
Blue; For Jimmy
5.
] will not deny you through grief.
Nor in the masks and horrors of the voodoo man
Nor sell you in a mass fat the dead
Nor seven out and forget you
Nor evict your spirit with a charming rune.
Nor wear my guilt for a badge like a saint or a bourgeois poet.
[55
I forgive myseU of your death: 'Blind shadow of my necessity-
Pel' mea culpa---cast by a son of freedom
] climb the hill of your absolute rebellion.
I do not exorcise you: you walk: through the dark wood before me.
Though I give your loves to the hours.
Your bones to the first four seasons
Your hope to the ironies
Your eyes to the hawks of heaven
Your blood is made part of the gener31.srrike fund
YOur courage is coined into the Revolution
Your spirit informs the winds of the Fifth Season.
Only the tick of a watch divides us.
The crime is to deny the union of opposites.
I make your death my watch. a coin of love and anger.
With your death on one side and mine on the other.
Locked on my wriSt to remember us by.
FEMME FATALE
A Story by SANDRA BABB
A
FTER the usual quibble, they made the compromise and took seats
midway. Their opposing eye defects caused him to want t o sit
near the screen, her to sit far back. That was not all . Having a fear of
being surrounded and penned in, she wanted to sit on the aisle but he
insisted on going to the center of the row in spite of his restless habit
of visiting .the lobby several times an evening. Considering by some
whimsical reasoning of her own that she had won on the di stance, she
gave in.
Leslie Dunham and Louise Byrd had been seeing each other for
seven years. They were much alone, having cultivated few friends.
They were atall, quietly attractive, intelligent looking couple in their
middle thirties, with a youthful twentyish appearance. Louise wore
tailored clothes and high-necked bright cashmere sweaters. She some-
times criticized Leslie for his careless dressing and gradually assumed
the selection of his sparse wardrobe, to which he put up a mildl y
humorous resistance by arriving for an evening out in his old duck
tennis pants.
They had never meant to fall into any dull habits with each other,
but a number of small domestic rituals inevitably fastened themsel ves
upon their lives. To most people the unconventional is as unwelcome
and trying as is conformity and a certain hollow competition t o others.
Louise and Leslie had drifted into a kind of no-rnan's-Iand as midway
between the customary and the unusual as their compromise in the
theatre. The unexpectedness of it all kept them securely interested i n
each other, but the fear of being bogged down in habitual respon-
sibility and custom held them back from legal marriage. They some-
times discussed it still, but more as a hypothetical question than a real
and personal issue between them. They considered themselves free.
56
FEMME FATALE
A Story by SANDRA BABB
A
FTER the usual quibble, they made the compromise and took seats
midway. Their opposing eye defects caused him to want to sit
near the screen, her to sit far back. That was noc all. Having a fear of
being surrounded and penned in, she wanted to sit on the aisle but he
insisted on going to the center of the row in spite of his restless habit
of visiting the lobby several times an evening. Considering by some
whimsical reasoning of hee own that she had won on the distance, she
gave in.
Leslie Dunham and Louise Byed had been seeing each other foe
seven years. They were much alone, having cultivated few friends.
They were a tall, quiedy attractive, intelligent looking COllpIe in their
middle thirties, with a youthful twenryish appearance. Louise wore
tailored clothes and high-necked bright cashmere sweaters. She some-
times criticized Leslie for his cueless dressing and gradually assumed
the selection of his sparse wardrobe, to which he put up a mildly
humorous resistance by arriving for an evening OUt in his old duck:
tennis pants.
They had never meant to fall into any dull habits with each other,
but a number of small domestic rituals inevitably fastened themselves
upon their lives. To most people the unconventional is as unwelcome
and trying as is conformity and a certain hollow competition to others.
Louise and Leslie had drifted into a kind of no-man's-land as midway
between the custOmary and the unusual as their compromise in che
theatre. The unexpectedness of it all kept them securely interested in
each other, but the fear of being bogged down in habitual respon-
sibility and custom held them back from legal marriage. They some-
times discussed it still. but more as a hypothetical question than a real
and personal issue between them. They considered themselves free.
56
Femme Fatale [57
Domestic inroads had irked their way into this dubious freedom.
Tonight, for instance, Louise felt irritated, as she had many nights of
the seven years, that Leslie must always have a full hot dinner, even
when they planned to go out. Rushing put her in a bad state, the din-
ner never came off well, and she was forced to go out having taken
toO little time with her appearance. They ate so often together in her
apartment that he shared the expense of the food. Louise meticulously
accounted for the individual meals so as not to overcharge Leslie for
general purchases. If, in a hurry, he forgot to settle his part, she un-
willingly brought herself to mention it later, since the least variance
in her expenses upset her budget and bit into her savings.
The small savings account at the bank was her one important con-
cealment . from Leslie. A sense of insecurity, a fear of growing old
alone, with illness perhaps, made her clandestine in this. From the
very first she had considered that they would eventually separate, but
neither felt any such inclination. Leslie sometimes said dryly, "If you
keep planting that seed, Louie, it will finally come up." This jest
strengthened her ordinary foreboding of doom and added to it a sadly
pleasurable resentment against him for not urging her to marry. She
became acut ely aware of time, and they sometimes caught themselves
speaking as if their lives had passed them by. Time races? she would
say to Leslie, as one grows more intimately and desperately aware of its
destination.
They were beginning vaguely to want children. Each secretly asked
himself ab out the long future together. They spoke of a boy and a girl
named D avid and Cathy. Could they afford two extra lives? Each
longed for urgent sureness. Where was it to be found?
IN THE few minutes of travelogue and cartoon before the feature,
Leslie Bung himself loosely and boyishly about until his long body
fitted t ransiently into the cushions. If he raised up too far' the auto-
matic seat snapped at his thin buttocks and forced him to repeat the
whole process of sitting down. People stared belligerently from the
safety of their numbers. Louise smiled indulgently and felt her affec-
tion making a warm trail through her belly. Why had people always
spoken so exclusively of the heart? The same vitals that ached and
were comforted in everyday living quivered with the poetry of her
finest emotions. All the heart did was beat faster, but awareness
Femme Fatale [57
Domestic inroads had irked their way intO this dubious freedom.
Tonight, for instance, Louise felt irritated, as she had many nights of
the seven years, that Leslie must always have a full hot dinner, even
when they planned co go OUt. Rushing pUt her in a bad state, the din-
ner never came off well. and she was forced to go OUt having taken
toO little time with her appearance. They ate so ohen cogether in het
apartment that he shared the expense of the food. Louise meticulously
accounted for the individual meals so as nOt co overcharge Leslie for
general purchases. If, in a hurry, he forgot to settle his part, she un-
willingly brought herself to mention it later, since the least variance
in her expenses upset her budget and bit into her savings.
The small savings account at the bank was her one important con-
cealment from Leslie. A sense of insecurity, a fear of growing old
alone, with illness perhaps, made her dandest.ine in this. From the
very firSt she had considered thar they would eventually separate, but
neither felt any such inclination. Leslie sometimes said dryly, "If you
keep planting that seed, Louie, it will finally come up." This jesr
strength.ened her ordinary foreboding of doom and added to it a sadly
pleasurable resentment against him for not urging her to marry. She
became acutely aware of time, and they sometimes caught themselves
speaking as if their lives had passed them by. Time races, she would
say to Leslie, as one grows more intimately and desperately aware of its
destination.
They were beginning vaguely to want children. Each secretly asked
himself about the long future together. They spoke of a boy and a girl
named David and Cathy. Could they afford twO extra lives? Each
longed for urgent sureness. Where was it to be found?
IN THe few minutes of uavelogue and cartoon belore the feature,
Leslie Bung himself loosely and boyishly about until his long body
fitted transiently into the cushions. If he raised up toO far the autO-
matic seat snapped at his thin buttocks and forced him to repeat the
whole process of sitting down. People stared belligerently from the
safety of their numbers. Louise smiled indulgently and felt her affec-
tion making a warm trail through her belly. Why had people always
spoken so exclusively of the heart? The same vitals that ached and
were comforted in everyday living quivered with the poetry of her
finest emotions. All the heart did was beat faster, but awareness
58] SAN ORA BA B B
traced through the nerves in every part of her. No such whole t hrill
had happened for some years, but she remembered wistfully that it
was possible.
Leslie turned and looked down, and in the public intimate dark
she thought he too was more conscious of her.
"Brooding?" he teased her. -
We ought to live in a theatre for a while, she thought, maybe we' d
want to get married. Why do I care about that nettling little cere-
mony? I don't want it, but if he doesn't insist upon it, I'm never con-
tent. I want proof-to the last ounce. It's absurd.
An obviously disenchanted couple sat down in front of them.
"Aren't you glad we aren't stuffy like that?" Leslie whispered against
her ear.
"From where I sit 'stuffy' is a mean and envious-word." She spoke
so candidly that Leslie usually mistook it for satire.
He felt for her hand and held it tenderly. They were very close for
a moment.
"That was a lovely dinner tonight, Louie, even if you didn't th ink
so."
Food, food! She thought, and withdrew her hand. They had quar-
reled once lately, and the word was since an irritant. He reminded
her that she read less than she used to and she reminded him that she
cooked more instead. She had added, "-while you lie on the couch
and read before dinner." He was rather astonished, and said gently,
"But I've just come from work." "Of course, I haven't," she said. She
watched him for a sign of thoughtful comparison but he went back
unreflectively to his book. Now he turned naively, or wisely, to t he
screen.
As is not uncommon, both having found no expression of t heir
best abilities in the work by which they earned their livings, t hey
sought creative pleasures. One of their habits was attending foreign
movies. They depended on the grubby English titles, both having.
forgotten whatever languages they had studied in college.
With the war so recently over, they were still seeing old films, and
tonight's was especially old, and someone going out had mumbled
"a stinker." It began in such a frayed and old-fashioned way t hat
they whispered together about leaving. Leslie started up, watching
58] SANORA BAB8
traced through the nerves in every part of her. No such whole thrill
had happened for some years, but she remembered wistfully that it
was possible.
Leslie turned and looked down, and in the public intimate dark
she thought he tOO was more conscious of her.
"Brooding?" he teased her.
"No!"
We ought to live in a theat.re for a while, she thought, maybe we'd
want to get man:ied. Why do I care about that nettling little cere-
mony? I don't want it, but if he doesn't insist upon it, I'm never con
teot. I want proof-to the last ounce. It's absurd.
An obviously disenchanted couple sat down in from of them.
"Aren't you glad we aren't stuffy like that?" Leslie whispered against
her ear.
"From where I sit 'stuffy' is a mean and envious word." She spoke
so candidly that Leslie usually mistook it for satire.
He felt for her hand and held it tenderly. They were very close for
a moment.
"That was a lovely dinner tonight, Louie, even if you didn't think
so."
Food. food! She thought, and withdrew her hand. They had quar-
reled once lately, and the word was since an irritant. He reminded
her that she read less than she used to and she reminded him that she
cooked more instead. She had added, "-while you lie on the couch
and read before dinner." He was rather astonished, and said gently.
"But I've JUSt come from work." "Of course, I haven't," she said. She
watched him for a sign of thoughtful comparison but he went back
unreflectively to his book. Now he turned naively, or wisely, to the
screen.
As is not uncommon, both having found no expression of their
best abilities in the work by which they earned their livings, they
sought creative pleasures. One of their habits was attending foreign
movies. They depended on the grubby English titles, both having
forgotten whatever languages they had studied in college.
With the war so recently over, they were still seeing old films. and
tonight's was especially old, and someone going out had mumbled
"a stinker." It began in such a frayed and old-fashioned way that
they whispered together about leaving. Leslie started up, watching
Femme Fatale
[59
the screen, then he suddenly sank back in the seat as if he had come
for a full and rewarding evening.
"It might be good," he said carelessly.
Louise heard two Frenchmen speaking quickly and affectionately
from the screen, as she settled herself again. When she looked up,
she saw the French girl. First, she was curious about her unbecoming
dated clothes, then she decided she was acting quite well. She thought
she seemed coarse and not very pretty, and there was a sinister quality
about her sloppy laziness which covered base, energetic passions. That
was exactly what the film intended to reveal so Louise sat back with
good grace and prepared to watch the two Frenchmen wreck their
friendship and an hour of their lives over her.
Leslie stood up, removed his coat, removed his sweater, slipped
into his coat again and sat down. He had a shifty temperature. There
were whispered grumbles. Louise pulled his sweater onto her lap
knowing that he would absentmindedly leave the theatre without it,
unless he rose to put it on again at a crucial moment in the film.
Such action was not without precedent.
T
HE French girl had already. been taken in to live with the two
friends. One of them was in love with her; the other, who had a
perfectly good sweetheart of his own, scorned her for what she was.
Leslie stirred nervously and Louise was afraid that he was about to
climb long-Ieggedly past the half row of people to go outside and
smoke. This time it was more likely that he wanted to leave; the film
could be hardly more than a curiosity. The French girl was looking
sullen and frustrated.
"Don't look now, m'selle,' Louise whispered, "but your lust IS
showing."
"Sh-h-h-h,' Leslie whispered sharply. "It's so bad it's funny."
Louise watched the heroine and wondered what she knew, if any-
thing, and what she did for a living. It was pretty obvious, of course,
although she wasn't a professional. Tramp was the word. The two
young Frenchmen hadn't discovered this yet. True, there were all
kinds in life, some very nice on the surface. With a leap of pulse she
saw who this French girl was. She was Isabel, without the fine sur-
face, Leslie's ex-wife-and every other woman of her type to whom
she imagined him particularly attracted and forever bound over. She .
Femme Falale
[59
the screen, chen he suddenly sank back in che sear as if he had come
for a full and rewarding evening.
"Jt mighr be good," he said carelessly.
Louise heard twO Frenchmen speaking quickly and affectionately
from che screen, as she setded herself again. When she looked up,
she saW the French girl. First, she was curious about her unbecoming
dated clothes, then she decided she was acting quite well. She thought
she seemed coarse and nOt very pretty, and there was a sinister quality
abour her sloppy laziness which covered base, energetic passions. That
was exactly what che .6lm intended to reveaJ so Louise sar back with
good grace and prepared ro watch che cwo Frenchmen wreck their
friendship and an hour of cheir lives over her.
Leslie Stood up, removed his coat, removed his sweater, slipped
intO his coat again and sat down. He had a shifty temperarure. There
were whispered grumbles. Louise pulled his sweater OntO her lap
knowing that he would absentmindedly leave the theatre without it,
unless he rose to put ir on again at a crucial moment in the film.
Such action was nor without precedent.
T
HE French girl had already been taken in to live with the twO
friends. One of them was in Jove with her; tbe other, who had a
perfectly good sweethean of his own, scorned her for whar she was.
Leslie stirred nervously and Louise was afraid that he was about to
climb long-Jeggedly past the half row of people to go outside and
smoke. This time it was more likely that he wanted to leave; the film
could he hardly more than a curiosity. The French girl was looking
sullen and frustrated.
"Ooo'r look now, m'se/le," Louise whispered, "but your lust is
showing."
"'Sh-h-bh," Leslie whispered sbarply. "It's so bad it's funny:'
Louise watched the heroine and wondered wbat she knew, if any
thing, and what she did for a living. Jt was pretty obvious, of course,
although she wasn't a professional. Tramp was rhe word. The cwo
young Frenchmen hadn't discovered this yet. True, there were all
kinds in life, some very nice on che surface. With a leap of pulse she
saw wbo this French girl was. She was Isabel, without the fine sur-
face, Leslie's ex-wife--and every other woman of her type to whom
she imagined him particularly attracted and forever bound over. She
60]
S A N D R A B A B B
glanced at him, and he was absolutely absorbed. Even a man l ike
Leslie with so much intelligence and understanding! So much shy-
ness. And so little gusto and vitality. His pockets always sagging with
books and his conversation so seldom meaningless. She hated his
mother darkly and soundly.
She hated that woman on the screen whose only possession was
her primal lusciousness. She was now enticing the other man and he
was still scornful, but she had wisely put on a whole dress with a
round white coll ar and was getting a meal for him.
"Not stupid at all!" she whispered archly to Leslie, but Leslie; did
not hear her.
She began to compare herself with the French girL Although she
was much prettier than the heroine, she could certainly never get
around in such a lively fashion; she would have to admit that. She,
Louie, was slow-moving. The French girl had inviting eyes that were
at once bold and innocuous. Her own were unmysterious, without
pretense. Leslie thought them lovely. The French girl had grace and
assurance; she was still plagued with her adolescent uncertainty and
restraint. The French girl's speech was allusive and ambiguous; her
own ingenuous and clear. The heroine's mentality was of no conse-
quence; in this Louie came out far ahead. But the other appeared to
possess a kind of sly wisdom, the ability of maneuver, of which Louise
had none, or (she remembered the savings account), only a little.
Her femininity she thought unfair to use, wanting equality between
them. The test, lacking relativity, was as brutally unimaginative as
a true-and-false, and it was very depressing. However much she would
rather be herself than the heroine, it was apparent that the other
had it all over her for attractiveness, She thought with some intensity
on the backwardness of the male.
Suddenly she noticed the French girl's large awkward feet, and she
moved her own small graceful feet on the floor and knew them to be
unequivocally beautifuL This gave her a moment's delicious respite,
in which she observed that the French girl had done away with t he
m odest dress and the cooking and was running away with the man
who had so recently abhorred her. Louise felt grimly disillusioned in
principles. The friend and the sweetheart were left behind in sad-
looking sorrow. In an American film they would have fallen in love,
but in the French film they only grieved.
60] SAN ORA BABB
glanced at" him, and he was absolutely absorbed. Even a man like
Leslie with so much intelligence and understanding! $0 much shy.
ness. And so little guStO and vitality. His pockets always sagging with
books and his conversation so seldom meaningless. She hated his
mother darkly and soundly.
She hated that woman on the screen whose only possession was
her primal lusciousness. She was now enticing the other man and he
was still scornful, but she had wisely put on a whole dress with a
round white collar and was getting a meal foe rum.
"Not stupid at all!" she whispered archly to Leslie, but Leslie did
not hear her.
She began to compare herself with the French girl. Although she
was much prettier than the heroine. she could certainly never get
around in such a lively fashion; she would have to admit that. She,
Louie, was slow-moving. The French gid had inviting eyes that were
at once bold and innocuous. Her own were unmysterious, without
pretense. Leslie thought them lovely. The French girl had grace and
assurance; she was srill plagued with her adolescent uncertainty and
restraint. The French girl's speech was allusive and ambiguous; her
own ingenuous and clear. The heroine's mentality was of no conse-
quence; in this Louie came out far ahead. But the other appeared to
possess a kind of sly wisdom, the ability of maneuver, of which Louise
bad none, or (she remembered the savings account), only a little.
Her femininity she thought unfair to use, wanting equality between
them. The test, lacking relativity, was as brutally unimaginative as
a true-and-false, and it was very depressing. However much she would
rather be berself than tbe heroine, it was apparent that the other
had it all over her for attractiveness. She thought with some intensity
on the backwardness of the male.
Suddenly she noticed the French girl's large awkward feet, and she
moved her own small graceful feet on the floor and knew them to be
unequivocally beautiful. This gave her a moment's delicious respite,
in which she observed that the French girl had done away with the
modest dress and the cooking and was running away with the man
who had so recently abhorred her. Louise felt grimly disillusioned in
principles. The friend and the sweetheart were left behind in sad-
looking sorrow. In an American film they would have fallen in love,
but in the French film they only grieved.
,
Femme Fatale
[61
"Samuel Buder did it better," she mumbled, and this brought her
back to the sight of Leslie's fascination for the French girl. He was
just as stupid as Jean and Andre, and here he had witnessed the whole
thing from an objective advantage to which they had no" access! It
would be very pleasant to kick him and arouse him from his trance
but he would be startled at such a display.
L
ESLIE was quiet and detached on the bus going home (and he
had forgotten to put on his sweater) , but in the short walk along
the dim residence street, he kissed her. This was not unusual but his
fervor was. She saw his caressing eyes, and she let herself enjoy his
emotion for a moment before she drew away. He looked bewildered.
"You're imagining I'm that French girl! " She walked on feeling for
the key in her purse. He caught up with her at the door and followed
her in.
"Dearest, you're wrong," he lied. "Seeing a woman like that makes
me value you all the more."
"I don't care a hoot about being valued," she said a little des-
perately. "Of course, I do, but I want to be--oh, what an old tale this
is!-I want to be desired too!"
"You are," he laughed, and tried to put his arms around her.
"Acceptable is a more exact word."
"For such a bright girl you are awfully romantic," he said.
"The two aren't mutually exclusive!"
"Louie! You're jealous! Jealous of a shadow on the screen!"
"What wonderful sophistry! You know very well that she's no
shadow any place. Wherever you meet her, she appeals to your inhibi-
tions." Immediately she was sorry, but the way he smiled at her now,
as if the whole thing were her own"invention, made her furious.
He loosened his tie. "
"Anyway," she said, "that female must be older than I am by now."
She felt humiliated and ashamed at her words and decided to be
silent.
"You look very pretty when you're angry, Louie."
"Merci," she said sarcastically, and felt like a fool.
He began to laugh and say "oh" and "no." He took his coat off
once more and pulled the sweater on over his head and this time
he left his coat on a chair."
Femme Palate
[61
"Samuel Buder did it better," she mumbled, and this brought her
back to the sight of Leslie's fascination for the French girl He was
JUSt as stupid as Jean and A n d r ~ , and here he had witnessed the whole
ching from an objective advantage to which they had no access! It
would be very pleasant to kick him and arouse him from his trance
but be would be Stanled at such a display.
L
ESLiE was quiet and detached on the bus going home (and be
had forgotten to put on his sweater), but in the short walk along
the dim residence street, he kissed her. This was nOt unusual but his
fervor was. She saw his caressing eyes, and she let herself enjoy his
emotion for a moment before she drew away. He looked bewildered.
"You're imagining I'm that French girl!" She walked on feeling for
the key in her purse. He caught up with her at the door and followed
her in.
"Dearest, you're wrong," he lied. "Seeing a woman like that makes
me value you all the more."
"I don't care a hoot about being fldtued," she said a little des-
perately. "Of course, I do, but I want to be---oh, what an old tale this
is!-I want to be desired too!"
"You are," he laughed, and tried to pUt his arms around her.
"Acceptable is a more exaCt word."
"For such a bright girl you are awfully romantic;' he said.
'The two aren't murually exdusive!"
''Louie! You're jealous! Jealous of a shadow on the screen!"
'What wonderful sophistry! You know very well that she's no
shadow any place. Wherever you meet her, she appeals to your inhibi-
tions." Immediately she was sorry, but the way he smiled at her now,
as if the whole thing were her own invention, made her furious.
He loosened his tie.
"Anyway," she said, "that female must be older than I am by now."
She felt humiliated and ashamed ar her words and decided to be
silent.
"You look very pretty when you'te angry, Louie."
"Mer"," she said sarcastically, and felt like a fool.
He began to laugh and say "oh" and "no." He took his coat off
once more and pulled the sweater on over his head and this time
he left his coat on a chair.
62] SAN ORA BA B B
"Go home," she said, and went to the little closet where he kep t
his things. She tossed his tennis racket onto the couch.
He was still laughing.
His tennis shoes landed on the carpet near him with a warning
final thud.
"And don't come back!"
His laughter hesitated, stopped and began again, but now he
looked to her like Don Quixote, or a lanky Irish setter, absurd and
lovable, and a little unsure. His laughter came to an end.
"Why?"
She walked to the middle of the room with as much assurance
as the French girl, and then she began to cry. She still felt wounded
by his infidelity, but the anger now was ~ i t h her tears.
"Because-" She would tell him now, everything she resented, and
he would not forgive her or understand, and it would be an end to
this long and indefinite love. Perhaps it was JUSt as welL She looked
at his sober, sensitive, hurt face. "-because," she wept, smiling, "be-
cause I have a date with Spencer Tracy at the Egyptian."
"It's about time," he said tenderly and relieved. He gave her a
possessive little shake, and went to the frigidaire looking for some-
thing to eat.
62]
SAN ORA BABO
"Go home;' she said, and went to the little closet where he kept
his things. She tossed his tennis racket OntO the couch.
He was still laughing.
His tennis shoes landed on the carpet near him with a warning
final thud.
"And don't come back!"
His laughter hesitated, 'Stopped and began again, but now he
looked to her like Don Quixote, or a lanky Irish setter, absurd and
lovable, and a little unsure. His laughter came to an end.
"Why?"
She walked to the middle of the room with as much aSStuance
as the French gid, and then she began to cry. She still felt wounded
by his infidelity, but the anger DOW was with her tears.
"Because-" She would tell him now, everything she resented, and
he would nOt forgive her or understand, and it would be an end to
this long and indefinite love. Perhaps it was JUSt as well. She looked
at his sober, sensitive, hun face. "-because," she wept, smiling, "be-
cause I have a date with Spencer Ttacy at the Egyptian."
"It's about time," he said tenderly and relieved. He gave her a
possessive little shake, and went to the frigidaire looking for some-
thing to eat.
RIGHT FACE

GENTLEWOMAN'S AGREEMENT
"To Christianity we owe the very concept of 'gentleman,' and may
our country and what is left of the West never see what it means to be
ruled by those who have in them no trace of a gentlemanly 'preju-
dice' ."- Dorothy Thompson in LOOK.
BEG PARDON?
Decrying the "foul rumor spread around, often by well-intentioned
people" that Truman's loyalty probe is a witch-hunt, attorney Morris L.
Ernst says that "people who shot off their mouths with prophecies as to
what the FBI will do, will now desire to write di gnified and fulsome
apologies to the FBI."
(FULSOME, adj.--0ffensive; disgusting; esp., offensively excessive
or insincere.- Webster's Collegiate Dictionary.)
GUILDING THE LILY
"Frieda was obsessed with one burning desire-MONEY! Mo ney
could buy love, could buy she wanted, and she was determined
to get it at any price! How easy it was to discover that a new dress, and
a corset, could transform a gawky and unattractive adolescent into a se-
ductive beauty! What a few precious yards of silks and satins could do
for a figure in the first blush of womanhood. How tawny tresses could
look when brushed to fiery richness. How eyes could beckon . . . how
lips could promise! WHAT FOOLS MEN WERE! You could lie to them-
cheat them--marry and betray them . . . and if you were smart, they
gave you everything!
ttyou may not admire Frieda, may even be shocked by her conduct-
but you will remember this stirring story of a wo man who sacrificed
decency, honest y, love and FOUR HUSBANDS to win the independence
she wanted in life!"-From an advertisement of the Literary Guild of
America, Inc., for Woman of Property by Mabel Seeley.
FOR ADULTS ONLY
Richard T. G. Miles, British political adviser, has proposed the adop-
tion by the UN Atomic Energy Commission of "A convention enjoin-
ing world scientists not to engage in the manufacture of toy at omic sets,
which might prove very dangerous in the hands of our young."
W E IN VITE READERS' CONTRIBUTIONS T O THIS DEPARTMENT.
ORIGINAL CLIPPINGS ARE REQUESTED WITH EACH ITEM.
63
RIGHT FACE
-
GENTLEWOMAN'S AGREEMENT
'70 Chmtianity we owe the 'fiery concept of 'gentleman,' ana may
Ollf' country and what IS left of the W B.ll never see what ;1 means to be
ruled by those who have in them no trace of a gem/emanly 'preiu-
dice'."-Dorothy Thompson in LOOK..
BEG PARDON?
Decrying the Hloul rumor Jpread ",.ound, often by welJ-intentioned
people" that Tru.m.an's loyalty probe is a witch-hunc, attorney Morris L.
Ernst says that "people who shot 00 thei,. mouths with prophecies as to
what the FBI will do, will now desire to write dignified and julsome
apologies to the FBI."
(FULSOME, 1Idj.--Qffensive; disgusting; esp., offensively excessive
or insincerc.-Webllers Collegial. Diuionary.)
GUILDING THE LILY
"Frieda was obseued with one burning deswe-MONBY! Money
could buy love, could buy anything she wanted, and she was determined
10 get ;t at any price! How easy it was to diuove" that a new d"eH, and
a conet, could t"an$foNn a gawky and unattractive adolescent into a se-
ductive beat"y! What a few precious ya"ds of silks and salim could do
for a figu"e in the fi"st blush of womanhood. How tawny t"esses could
look when brushed to fiery richneH. How eyes could beckon ... how
lips could promise! WHAT FOOLS MEN WERE! You could lie to them--
cheat them--marry and bet"ay them . .. and if you wet"e mUl"t, they
gllVe you everything!
"You 'ma'J not admi"e Frieda, may even be shocked by her CondIlCt--
but yOIl will "enumber this stirring story of a woman who sacrificed
decency, honeuy, love and FOUR HUSBANDS to win the independence
she wanted in lifer-From an advertisement of the Literary Guild of
Ametica, Inc., for Woman of P"operty by Mabel Seeley.
FOR ADULTS ONLY
Richard T. G. Miles, British political adviser, has proposed the adop-
tion by the UN Atomic Energy Commission of "A convention enjoin-
ing wodd scientists not to engage in the manufactu"e of toy atomic sets,
flJhieh might prove very dangerous in the hands of ou" young."
WE INVITE READERS' CONTRiBUTIONS TO THIS DEPARTMENT.
ORIGINAL CliPPINGS ARE REQUESTED WITH EACH ITEM.
63
c!
D A N ~ '-.\
DIES BY CLAIRE MAHL
D A N ~ , ~
OlES BY CLAIRE MAHL
Prague
T
HE cultural life of this capital; stricken during the long years of
Nazi occupation, steadily gathers strength as the work of rebuild-
ing the nation moves ahead. Reconstruction--economic, political, cul-
tural-still absorbs the energies of many of our leading writers. A
number of them hold central administrative posts. The nationalized
film industry, for example, is supervised by V. Nezval, who in the
Twenties launched an influential movement in Czech poetry called
"Poetisrn," a surrealist form tempered by folklore and popular ballad
tradition. Another poet, F. Halas, heads the book publishing depart-
ment of the Ministry of Information, while Ivan Olbracht, our out-
standing novelist of the older generation, directs the state-owned radio
(which happily bars private advertising programs).
Egon Hostovsky, whose novels have appeared in the U.S., has re-
turned after nearly ten years of exile to work in the Ministry of For-
eign Affairs; V. Clementis, who founded the literary review Dav
(Masses), is Under Secretary in the same ministry; A. Hoffmeister,
who during the war directed the Czech radio programs of the OWl
in New York, is now in charge of the cultural relations division of
the Ministry of Information.
A few of these writers have managed to publish books while en-
gaged in government work. Olbracht has written a life of Cortez,
based on Prescott's classic, a ~ d Halas continues to publish new poems.
But the absence of so many writers from the literary field has caused
serious gaps in artistic production. Plans for "creative leaves" for a
number of writers in government office are being discussed but will
probably not go into effect before the Two-Year Plan is completed
at the end of this year.
Nevertheless, the yearly output of books is above the pre-war level.
A large part consists of non-fiction titles: memoirs, reportage, docu-
65
klt,.r /rolll "b/v"t!
Prague
T
HE culruraJ life of this capital; stricken during the long years of
Nazi occupation, steadily gathers strength as the work of rebuild
iog the nation moves ahead. Reconstruaion---economic, political, cul-
tural-still absorbs the energies of many of our leading writers. A
number of them hold central administrative posts. The nationalized
film industry, fOr example, is supervised by V. Nezval, who in the
Twenties launched an influential movement in Czech poetry called
"Poetism:' a surrealist form tempered by folklore and popular ballad
tradition. Another poet, F. Halas, heads the book publishing depart-
ment of the Ministry of Information, while Ivan Olbracht, Our out-
standing novelist of the older generation, directs the state-owned radio
(which happily bars private advertising programs).
Egan Hosrovsky, whose novels have appeared in the U.s., has re-
turned after nearly ten years of exile to work in the Ministry of For-
eign Affairs; V. Oementis, who founded the literary review DtJv
(Masses), is Under Secretary in the same ministry; A. Hoffmeister,
who during the war dirttted the Czech radio programs of the OWl
in New York, is now in charge of the cultural relations division of
the Ministry of Information.
It. few of these writers have managed to publish books while en-
gaged in government work. Olbrachr bas wrinen a life of Cortez.
based on Prescott's classic, and Halas continues to publish new poems.
But the absence of so many writers from the literary field has caused
serious gaps in artistic production. Plans for "creative leaves" for a
number of writers in government office are being discussed but will
probably nor go into effect before the Two-Year Plan is completed
at the end of this year.
Nevertheless, the yearly output of books is above the pte-war level.
It. large part consists of non-fiction tides: memoirs, reportage, docu
65
66] RUDOLF HRUBY
mentary works. Many translations are appearing (remember that
small nations have to translate much more than big ones). Indeed,
the hunger of the public for foreign books forbidden during the occu-
pation seems insatiable. American, Russian, Polish, French, Yugoslav
authors have a large audience in Czechoslovakia. Novels by Caldwell,
Steinbeck, Upton Sinclair lead the American list. But there is also an
enthusiastic though very different audience for Gone With the Wind,
The Valley of Decision and a couple of Louis Bromfield's novels, which
satisfy an appetite for slick magazine tales.
Among the documentary and reportage books, accounts of the figh t
against the Nazis continue to interest a considerable section of the
reading public. Julius Fuchik's Notes from the Gallows is printed
in ever new editions, and his earlier book on the Soviet Union, The
Country Where Tomorrow Is Already Yesterday, has been reissued
together with two of his studies of Czech poetry. The first volume
of President Benes' Memoirs has recently had a big sale. Also in de-
mand is a new edition of Pictures from Czech History, by V. Vancura,
one of our most prominent novelists, shot by the Nazis in 1942.
Poetry has always been the most important branch of Czechoslo-
vak letters. In 1918, with the birth of the Czechoslovak Republic, a
phalanx of new poets emerged. First there was the "Proletarian Poetry"
of J. Walker, J. Seifert and others; then came the "Poerisrn" of Nezval
and Halas. Similarly, after the liberation, a new generation of poets
has made its appearance, many of them influenced by an anthology
of American poetry in translation as well as by Rilke and by Polish
poets such as Tuvim. There is as yet no definite trend, no "school" of
new poetry. Surrealist elements are still present, but there is a trend
toward simplicity, popular motifs, expressions of our new life.
The novelists have not yet turned to postwar themes. Partly this is
because they feel they do not have enough "epical distance" (to quote
one of the younger novelists, M. Fabera, author of an historical
novel about medieval Mongolia) and partly because postwar develop-
ments move so swiftly and lend themselves more to a reportorial than
a novelistic approach. Among the promising new novelists is V. Rezac,
whose A Mirror for ]indrich will soon be published in America.
This is still a period of transition, but we shall no doubt soon have
new novels about life in the Third Republic. In discussing new
themes for the novelist, the young writers attending forums of the
66] RUDOLF HRUBY
memary works. Many translations are appearing (remember that
small nations have to translate much more than big ones). Indeed,
the hunger of the public for foreign books forbidden during the oecu
patico seems insatiable. American, Russian, Polish, French, Yugoslav
authors have a large audience in Czechoslovakia. Novels by Caldwell,
Steinbeck, Upton Sinclair lead the American list. But there is also an
enthusiastic though very different audience for Gone With the lVind,
The Valley of DedJion and a couple of Louis Bromfield's novels, which
satisfy an appetite foc slick magazine tales.
Among the documentary and reportage books, accountS of tbe fight
against the Nazis continue to interest a considerable section of the
reading public. Julius Fuchik's Notes from the Gallows is prinred
in ever new editions, and his earlier book on the Soviet Union, The
Count,.y WhMe Tomo,.row b AI,.eady YutMday, has been reissued
together with twO of his studies of Czech poetry. The fust volume
of President Benes' Memoi,.s has recently had a big sale. Also in de-
mand is a new edition of Pictu,.es from Czech History, by V. Vancura,
one of oUt: most prominent novelists, shot by the Nazis in 1942.
Poetry has always been rhe most important branch of Czechoslo-
vak letters. In 1918, with the birth of the Czechoslovak Republic, a
phalanx of new poetS emerged. First there was the "Proletarian Poetry"
of J. Walker, J. Seifert and others; then came the "Poetisrn" of Nezval
and Halas. Similarly, after the liberation, a new generation of poets
has made its appearance, many of them influenced by an anthology
of American poetry in translation as well as by Rilke and by Polish
poetS such as Tuvim. There is as yet no definite trend, no "school" of
new poetry. Surrealist elements are still present, but there is a trend
toward simplicity, popular motifs, expressions of oW' new life.
The novelists have not yet tufned to postwar themes. Partly this is
because they feel they do not have enough "epical distance" (to quote
one of the younger novelists, M. Fabera, author of an historical
novel about medieval Mongolia) and partly because postwar develop
ments move so swiftly and lend themselves more to a reportorial than
a novelistic approach. Among the promising new novelists is V. Rezac,
whose A Mi,.,.o,. fo,. Jindrich will soon be published in America.
This is still a period of transition, but we shall no doubt soon have
new novels about life in the Third Republic. In discussing new
themes for the novelist, the young writers attending forums of the
Letter From Abroad: Prague [67
Associat ion of Czech Youth have mentioned the former Sudeten
territory with its dramatic new settlement story, the voluntary recon-
structi on effort of the youth brigades at Most, the changed situat ion
in the nat ional ized mining fields , the problem of readjustment to
peaceful l ife after homecoming from concentration camps or exile.
I
N TEREST in the theatre, which was extraordinarily great during the
occupation when the classics became a source of consolation and
confidence to an oppressed people, has partly slackened now with
the revival of so many other cultural, political and social activities.
Voskovec and Werich, the two famous comedians who returned from
their Amer ican exile to take over again their theater in Vodickova
Street, play before capacity audiences, but the character of the audi-
ence has changed. As one critic put it: "Voskovec and Werich are still
going agai nst the wind according to their best-known song, but the
wind has turned 180 degrees. " They appeal now to the same kind of
people who, before the war, were the target of their political satire:
paunchy conservatives, heroes of the black market, disgruntled rem-
nants of the upper crust of the old days, American correspondents,
etc.-a sampling of the opposition to the new people's democracy.
Voskovec and Werich have maneuvered themselves into an un-
happy position which drains their creative energies. Unable to pro-
duce a new original play, they have so far merely remodelled an old
show from 1938 and put on The Ma n Who Came to Dinner.
Their old rival, E. F. Burian, who introduced a new vitality to the
modern Czech theatre, has unfortunately entangled himself in formalis-
tic experiments; he plays before a half-empty theatre. But a young
group of actors in the experimental theatre Disk with an adaptation
of Aristophanes, another young group on the stage of the Satirical
Theat re with a rather crude anti-war comedy, T.he King Does Not
Eat Beef; and the Realistic Theatre with Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men
and Sirnonov's The Russian Question attract large audiences.
An entirely new feature is the "Village Theatre" created by the
Ministry of Agriculture under the energetic leadership of Julo Duris,
the Communist minister, who is also pressing his program of "Cul-
tural Houses" with state subsidies, in rural settlements. These homes
of culture have a regular stage, a motion-picture apparatus, a library,
a meeting hall, a medical room, etc.
Letter From Abroad: Prague [67
Association of Czech Youth have mentioned the former Sudeten
with its dramatic new settlement story, the voluntary recon
StrUction effort of the youth brigades at Most, the changed situation
in the nationalized mining 6e1ds, the problem. of readjustment to
peaceful life alter homecoming from concentration camps or e:ri1e.
I
NTEREST in the theatre, which was exuaordinar:ily great during the
occupation when the classics became a source of consolation and
con6dence to an oppressed people, has partly slackened now with
the revival of so many other cultural, political and social activities.
Voskovec and Werich, the twO famous comedians who returned from
their American exile to take over again their theater in Vodickova
Srreet, play before capacity audiences, but the character of the audi-
ence has cranged. As one critic put it: "Voskovec and Werich are still
going against the wind according to their best-known song, but the
wind has turned 180 degrees." They appeal now to the same kind of
people who, before the war, were the target of their political satire:
paunchy conservatives, heroes of the black market, rem-
nanes of the upper crust of the old days, American correspondents,
etc.-a sampling of the opposition to the new people's democracy.
Voskovec and Werich have maneuvered themselves into an un-
happy position which drains their creative energies. Unable to pra-
duce a new original play, they have so far merely remodelled an old
show from 1938 and put on The Man Who Came to Dinnn.
Their old rival, E. F. Burian, who introduced a new vitaliry to the
modern Czech theatre, has unfortunarely entangled b.imsaf in formalis-
tic experiments; be plays before a baU-empry theatre. But a young
group of actors in the experimental theatre Disk with an adaptation
of Aristophanes, another young group on the srage of the Satirical
Theatre with a rather crude antiwar comedy, T"he King Doe$ Not
Eat Beef; and the Realistic Theatre with Steinbeck's Of Mictl and Men
and Simonov's The Russian Question anract large audiences.
An entirely new feature is tbe "Village Theatre" created by the
Ministry of Agriculture under the energetic leadership of Julo Duris,
the Communisr minister, who is also pressing his program of "Cul
tural Houses" with state subsidies, in rural settlements. These homes
of culture have a regular stage, a motionpicru.re apparatus, a library,
a meeting hall, a medical room, etc.
68] RUD OLF HRU B Y
A letter about the literary life in Czechoslovakia today would be
incomplete without mention of the Union of Czech 'W ri ters and its
Slovak equivalent. These unions, whose aim it is to provide mater ial
and technical help to their members (about 1,800), to bring li tera-
ture t o the people, to provide cheap books and to make culture
available to everyone, have managed to improve vastly the condi-
tion of writers. Aided by the new people's democracy, which regards
the author as occupying a very responsible position in soci ety entitling
him t o specific privileges, the union has concluded a collective agree-
ment with the Federation of Publishers providing for minimum
royalties, quick reprints, etc.
Czech and Slovak writers also have their castles! Putmerice n ear
Bratislava and Dobris near Prague, once seats of feudal families but
now state owned, serve as recreation and discussion centers for the
country's men of letters. - R U DOL F HRUBY
"Clare , have you met Miss Thompson?"
68] RUDOLF HRUBY
A letter about the literary life in Czechoslovakia today would be
incomplete without mention of tbe Union of Czech Writers and its
Slovak equivalent. These unions, whose aim it is to provide material
and technical help to their members (about 1,800), to bring litera-
Nre to tbe people, to provide cheap books and to make culture
available to everyone, have managed to improve vastly the condi
tion of writers. Aided by the new people's democracy, which regards
the author as occupying a very responsible position in society entitling
him to specific privileges, the union has concluded a col1ective agree-
ment with the Federation of Publishers providing for minimum
royalties, quick reprints, etc.
Czech and Slovak writers also have their castles! Purmerice near
Bratislava and Debris near Prague, once seats of feudal families but
now state owned, serve as recreation and discussion centers for the
country's men of letters. -RUDOLF HRUBY
"Chtr6, hav6 'you met Miss Thompson?"
rn r eview books

!Me
- D:Il2!'I"--- -----.....--- --- --
The Sources
of Poetry
ILL USION AND REALITY, by Christo-
pher Caudwell. International. $4.50.
"ILLUSION AND REALIlY" is
not only for those with a
particular interest in poetry and
lit erature;. its significance is not
only that it suggests a solution to
problems in esthetics. Its basic
theme is a matter of vital impor-
tance to the whole people. For the
condi tion of Caudwell's new un-
derstanding of poetry is his vision
of change, of the advance to com-
munism. That vis ion enables him
to see poetry as a means to win-
ni ng the freedom, as being its elf
a form of the fre edom, which com-
munism will enlarge and extend.
The bourgeoisie cannot reach this
understanding of poetry, because
for them progress stopped when
they reached the height of their
power. They cannot see the con-
tent of hi story which is the con-
tent of poetry: man's advance to
"conditions that are truly human."
The consciousness and conviction
of this 'advance is the basis of
Illusion and Realit y; the main les-
son to be learned from it is to
gain the same quality of vision.
"Poetry is something econom-
ic." That is the foundati on of the
argument of the book. But if we
are to understand it aright, we
must always be conscious of the
for ward movement of man's ad-
vance to freedom. Otherwise we
shall think of economic activity,
not as man's economic activity,
but as something static, and we
shall think of its relation to poetry
as something mechanical and
dead. Such a conception would
falsify the whole book.
Caudwell always emphasizes
that economic activity is activity
through which man makes him-
self. And he has to make him-
self; for there is no creator. By
his own activity, through work,
through the use of tools, and co-
operation in labor, he has raised
himself from the level of ani-
mals who blindly use nature to
the level of man who masters
nature; and through this activity
he has developed his powers of
thought, speech _and expression.
There is a passage in Capital
(Vol. I, Ch. VII) which is very
relevant to Caudwell's argument :
"Weare not now dealing with
those primitive instinctive forms
of labor that remind us of the
mere animal. . . . We presuppose
labor in a form that stamps it as
exclusively human. A spider con-
69
ill reView books

----------------
ILLUSION AND RBALlTY, by ChriJJo-
ph" Caudw6lt. International. 14.50.
The Sources
of Poetry
"ILLUSION AND REALITY" is
not only for those with a
particular interest in poetry and
literature;,' its significance is not
only chat it suggests a SOlution to
problems in esthetics. Its basic
theme is a matter of vital impor-
tance to the whole people. Foe the
condition of Caudwell's new un-
derstanding of poetry is his vision
of change, of the advance to com-
munism. That vision enables him
to see poetry as a means to win-
ning the freedom, as being itself
a form of the freedom, which com-
munism will enlarge and extend.
The bourgeoisie cannot reach this
understanding of poetry, because
for them progress stopped when
they reached the height of their
power. They cannot see the con-
tent of hisrory which is the con-
tent of poetry: man's advance to
"conditions that are truly human."
The consciousness and convicrion
of this advance is the basis of
lUruion and Reality; the main les.
SOn to be learned from it is to
gain the same quality of vision.
"Poetry is something econom
ic." That is the foundation of the
argument of the book. But if we
are to understand it aright, we
must always be conscious of dle
forward movement of man's ad
vance to freedom. Otherwise we
shall think of economic activity,
nOt as man's economic activity,
but as something static, and we
shall think of its relation to poetry
as something mechanical and
dead. Such a conception would
falsify the whole book.
Caudwell always emphasizes
that economic activity is activity
through which man makes him
self. And he has to make him-
self; for there is no creator. By
his own activity, through work,
through the use of tools, and co-
operation in labor, he has raised
himself from the level of ani
mals who blindly use nature to
the level of man who maSters
nanl.te; and through this activity
he has developed his powers of
thought, speech and expression.
There is a passage in Capital
(VoL I, Ch. VII) which is very
relevant to Caudwell's argwnent:
"Weare not now dealing with
those primitive instinctive forms
of labor that remind us of the
mere animal.... We presuppose
labor in a form that stamps it as
exclusively human. A spider can
69
,
70]
ducts operations that resemble
those of a weaver, and a bee putS
to shame many an architect in
the construction of her cells. But
what distinguishes the worst arch-
itect from the best of bees is t his,
that the architect raises his struc-
ture in imagination before he
erects it in reality. At the end of
every labor-process, we get a re-
sult that already existed in t he
imagination of the laborer at its
commencement. .
When Caudwell says t hat poet-
ry is something economic, we must
always remember t hat there can
be no economic activity without
work, and that work is a process
by which man changes the world
into what he wants it to be, mak-
ing it a human world, and thereby
changes himself. That poetry is
something economic means, first,
-thar without the attainment
through work of the power to con-
ceive purposes and realize them
in work, poetry would be unthink-
able.
But there is als o a more imme-
diate relation. Caudwell stresses
that economic activity is conscious
activity, not instinctive. The in-
stincts provide energy for work
only through a long process of
change in man, in the course of
which instincts are transformed
into emotions, and emotions are
associated with t hought and the
aims of consciousness. This trans-
formation of man's energy from
the instinctive into t he consci ous
is .an inseparable part of eco-
A LI CK W E S T
nomic actrvity; it is accomplished
through economic activity and is
at the same time its indispensable
condition.
Poetry is something economic
in the sense that it actually is this
transformation of instinctive en-
ergy into conscious energy.
To illustrate this idea, Caud-
well discusses the function of the
harvest song in a primitive society,
before the division into classes.
The ground must be prepared for
sowing. This demands the service
of man's inst inct ive energy, but
no instinct t ells him to give it. "I.
is necessary to harness man's in-
stincts to the mill of labor, to col-
lect h is emotions and direct them
into the us eful , the economic chan-
nel." T hat is t he function of the
harvest song. It portrays in fan-
tasy the sowing and the growing
of the corn, t he granaries burst-
ing with grain, the pleasures and
delights of the harvest. The aim
for which the instinctive energy
has to be mobilized is r epr esented
as already achieved.
Since men now feel what t heir
work is for, their energy is freed
to do it. "The poem adapts the
heart to a new purpose."
The poetry not only spurs men
on by portraying in fantasy the
real harvest which has not yet
been gathered. Through the col-
lective emotion which it arouses
and which it actually is, the poetry
heightens that human solidar ity,
the power t o work together for a
common ai m, which is achieved
70]
duos operations that resemble
those of a weaver, and a bee puts
to shame many an architect in
the consuuction of her cells. But
what distinguishes the worSt arch-
itect from the best of bees is this,
that the architect raises his struc-
ture in imagination before he
erects it in reality. At the end of
every labor-process, we get a re-
sult that already existed in the
imagination of the laborer at its
commencement. .
When Cauclwell says that poet-
ry is something economic, we must
always remember that there can
be no economic activity without
work, and that work is a process
by which man changes the world
into what he wants it to be, mak-
ing it a hwnan world, and thereby
changes himself. That poetry is
something economic means, first,
that without the attainment
through work of the power to con
ceive purposes and realize them
in work, poetry would be unthink-
able.
But there is also a more imme
diate relation. Caudwell stresses
that economic activity is conscious
activity, nOt instinctive. The in
stincts provide energy for work
only through a long process of
change in man, in the course of
which instincts are transformed
into emotions, and emotions are
associated with thought and the
aims of consciousness. This trans
formation of man's energy from
the instinctive into the conscious
is an inseparable part of eco-
ALICK WEST
nomic activity; it is accomplished
through economic activity and is
at the same time its indispensable
condition.
Poetry is something economic
in the sense dlat it actually is this
transformation of instinctive en-
ergy intO conscious energy.
To illustrate this idea, Caud-
well discusses the function of the
harvest song in a primitive s o c i e t y ~
before the division into classes.
The ground must be prepared for
sowing. nlis demands the service
of man's instinctive energy, but
no instinct tells him to give it. "Ir-
is necessary to harness man's in
stincts to the mill of labor, to col-
lect his emotions and direct them
into the useful, the economic chan-
neL" That is the function of the
harvest song. It portrays in fan-
tasy the sowing and the growing
of the corn, the granaries burst-
ing with grain, the pleasures and
delights of the harvest. The aim
for which the instinctive energy
has to be mobilized is represented
as already achieved.
Since men now feel what their
work is for, their energy is freed
to do it. "The poem adapts the
heart to a new purpose."
The poetry not only spurs men
on by portraying in fantasy the
real harvest which has nat yet
been gathered. Through the col-
lective emOtion which it arouses
and which it actually is, the poetry
heightens that human solidarity,
the power to work together for a
common aim, which is achieved
Sources Of Poetry
through economic activity. "Just
because poetry is what it is [i.e .,
the arousing and directing of col-
lective emotion-A.W.}, it ex-
hibits a reality beyond the reality
it brings to birth and nominally
portrays." It exhibits not only the
harvest, but the new collective
human life which the harvest will
sustain. "For poetry describes and
expresses not so much the grain
in its concreteness, the harvest in
its factual essence . . . but t he
emotional, social and collective
complex which is that tribe's rela-
ti on to the harvest." The poem
not only helps to gather in the har-
vest; it also helps to make society.
That poetry is something eco-
nomic means that poetry is eco-
nomic activity become articulate :
it expresses the real content of
the work that often seems so la-
borious-that it is work that
changes the world and changes
ourselves. Poetry and economic ac-
tivity are inseparable from one
another, part of the same proc-
ess. Through both together,
through neither alone, man makes
himself human and the world a
human world. That is the basic
human activity, and thereby man
advances to freedom.
lie becomes free to the extent
that. he recognizes objective neces-
sity in the world of nature-the
ground must be prepared and
plowed for the sowing, the grow-
ing crops must be tended; and
through recognizing necessity in
the forces of nature, he is abl e
[ 71
to make these forces serve him.
lie becomes free to the extent that
he recognizes necessity in him-
self, the necessity of transforming
instinctive energy into conscious
energy, available for the aims he
consciously sets. Poetry, says
Caudwell, is the recognition of
the necessity of the instincts, and
is itself the transformation of the
instincts. It is a means to free-
dom, and a form of freedom. "Art
is one of the conditions of man's
realization of himself, and in its
turn is one of the realities of man."
THE discussion hitherto has been
concerned with poetry in class -
less society. Of the funct ion of
poetry in class society (repre-
sented by England under capital-
ism) Caudwell appears to me to
give two different interpretations.
According to the first and the
more prominent, poetry is still a
means to freedom, but the free-
dom is illusory. It is the illusion
of Rousseau: Man is born free
and is everywhere in chains. In
reality, man is born unfree and
only wins freedom through l iving
struggle. Their 'ill usion about
freedom springs from the histori-
cal . role of the bourgeoisie. The
bourgeois class abolishes all the
restrictions of feudalism, and
creates the free market and free
competition; but free competition
leads to trusts. The bourgeois
class abolishes feudal rule-and
creates t he strongly centrali zed
bourgeois state. Bourgeois free-
Sources 0/ Poetry
through economic activity. "Just
because poetry is what it is (ie.}
the arousing and directing of col-
lective emotion-A.W.l, it ex-
hibits a reality beyond the reality
it brings to binh and nominally
portrays." It exhibits not only the
harvest, but the new collective
human life which the harvest will
sustain. "For poetry describes and
expresses nOt SO much the grain
in its concreteness, the harvest in
irs facrual essence ... but the
emotional, social and collective
complex which is that tribe's rda-
tion to the harvest." The poem
not only helps to gather in the har-
vest; it also helps to make society.
'Illat poetry is something eco-
nomic means that poetry is eco-
nomic activity become articulate:
it expresses the real content of
the work that often seems so la-
boriou.s---that ir is work that
changes the world and changes
ourselves. Poetry and economic ac-
tivity are inseparnble from one
another, part of the same proc-
ess. 'IllCough both together,
through neither alone, man makes
himself human and the world a
human world. That is the basic
human activity, and thereby man
advances to freedom.
He becomes free to the extent
that,he recognizes objective neces-
sity in the world of nature-the
ground must be prepared and
plowed for the sowing, the grow-
ing crops must be tended; and
through recognizing necessity in
the forces of nature, he is able
[71
to make these forces serve him.
He becomes fett to the extent that
be recognizes necessity in him
self, the necessity of tranSforming
instinctive energy into conscious
energy, available for the aims he
consciously sets. Poetry, says
Caudwell, is the recognition of
the necessity of the instincts, and
is itself the transformation of the
instincts. It is a means to free-
dom, and a fonn of freedom. "Art:
is one of the conditions of man's
realization of himself, and in its
tum is one of the realities of man."
THB discussion hitherto has been
concerned with poetry jn class
less society. Of the function of
poetry in class society (repre
seoted by England under capital-
ism) Caudwell appears to me to
give twO different interprerations.
According ro the first and the
more prominent, poetry is still a
means to freedom, but the free-
dom is illusory. It is the illusion
of Rousseau: Man is born free
and is everywhere in chains. In
reality, man is born unfree and
only wins freedom through living
struggle. Their illusion abour
freedom springs from the histori-
cal role of the bourgeoisie. The
bourgeois class abolishes all the
restrictions of feudalism. and
creates the free marker and fett
competition; but free competition
leads to rruSts. The bourgeois
dass abolishes feudal rule--and
creates the strongly centralized
bourgeois state. Bourgeois free
72]
dom turns out to be the negation
of freedom, an illusion.
This contradiction is expressed
in bourgeois poetry. Just as the
bourgeois sees himself as the in-
dividualist battling against all the
social relations which fetter the
natural man, so "the bourgeois
poet sees himself as an individual-
ist striving to realize what is most
essentially himself by an expan-
sive outward movement of the en-
ergy of his heart, by a release of
internal forces which outward
forms are crippling." And the
bourgeois poet also finds that his
freedom is an illusion. "He finds
the loneliness which is the con-
dition of his freedom unendurable
and coercive... . He ejects every-
thing social from his soul, and
finds that it deflates, leaving him
petty, empty and insecure."
But there is no escape from the
contradictions of bourgeois free-
dom except new socialist freedom;
and so long as poets are bour-
geois, they can only fly from real-
ity, as Keats did, upon "the view-
less wings of poesy" to a shadowy,
enchanted world which is "defiant-
ly counterposed to the real world" :
"Beaut y is truth, truth beauty"
-that is all
Y e know on earth, and all ye
need to know.
Pay no heed to the world and
its happenings, Keats is saying;
be content to contemplate such
timeless beauty as that of the
Grecian Urn, knowing that beauty
ALICK WE S T
is the only truth that matters.
According to this interpreta-
tion, then, bourgeois poetry is the
expression of the false illusion of
the bourgeoisie and of the reac-
tion of the bourgeoisie to its fal s-
ity. The bourgeois poet "speaks
for the bourgeoisie," as Caudwell
says of Shelley, whose Prometheus
he calls "fit symbol of the machine-
wielding capitalist."
But in another passage Caud-
well says that the illusion in bour-
geois poetry is "begotten of the
tension between productive forces
and productive relations," the ten-
sion which drives on not merely
the bourgeoisie, but the whole of
bourgeois society to future reality.
He also says that the individual-
ism of bourgeois poetry does not
express merely the individualism
of the particular poet; "it expresses
the collective emotion of its era."
Bourgeois poetry "focuses all the
emotional life of society in one
giant 'I' which is common to all."
According to this interpreta-
tion, bourgeois poetry is not bour-
geois in the sense that it speaks
only for the bourgeoisie; Shelley's
Prometheus is not only "fit symbol
of the machine-wielding capital-
ist." Bourgeois poetry is bour-
geois in the sense that it is the ex-
pression of bourgeois society; not
of one class only, but of the com-
munity made up of warring
classes, the capitalists and the
workers.
The first interpretation implies
that bourgeois poetry can never
72]
dam turDS our to be me negation
of fcelom, an illusion.
This contradiCtion is expressed
in bourgeois poeuy. JUSt as the
bourgeois sees bimself as the in-
dividualist banling against all the
social relations which fetter the
natural man. so "me bourgeois
poet sees himself as an individual-
ist striving [0 realize what is most
eutmliaJ/.y himself by an expan-
sive outward movemem of the en-
ergy of his heart. by a release of
internal forces which outward
fOrms are crippling." And the
bourgeois poet also finds that his
freedom is an illusion. "He finds
the loneliness which is the con
clition of his freedom unendurable
and coercive.... He ejects every-
thing social from his soul, and
finds that it deBates, leaving him
petty. empty and insecure."
But there is no escape from the
contC':1clietions of bourgeois free-
dom except new socialist freedom;
and so long as poets are bour-
geois, they can only fly from real-
ity, as Keats did, upon "me view-
less wings of poesy" to a shadowy,
enchanted world which is "defiant
ly counterposed to me real world":
"Beauty is t,.uth, tNith beauty"
-that ;s all
Ye know on ea,.th, a,u/. all ,6
need to know.
Pay no heed to the world and
its happenings, Keats is saying;
be content to contemplate such
timeless beauty as thar of the
Grecian Urn, knowing mat beauty
ALICK WEST
is the only truth that matters.
Accotding to this interpreta.
tion, then, bourgeois poetry is the
expression of the false illusion of
the bourgeoisie and of the reac-
tion of the bourgeoisie to its fals
ity. The bourgeois poet "speaks
for the bourgeoisie," as Caudwell
says of Shelley, whose Prometheus
he calls "fit symbol of the machine-
wielding capitalist."
But in another passage Caud
well says that the illusion in bour-
geois poetry is "begotten of the
tension between produCtive forces
and productive relations," the ten
sian which drives on not merely
the bourgeoisie, but the whole of
bourgeois society to future reality.
He also says that the individual
ism of bourgeois poetry does not
express merely the individualism
of the particular poet; "jt expresses
the collective emotion of its era_"
Bourgeois poetry "focuses all the
emotional life of society in one
giaot 'I' which is common to :ill....
According to this interpreta.
tion, bourgeois poetry is not bour-
geois in the sense that jt speaks
only for the bourgeoisie; Shelley's
Prometheus is nOt only "fit symbol
of the machine-wielding capital-
ist:' Bourgeois poetry is bour-
geois in the sense th:u it is the ex-
pression of bourgeois society; not
of one class only, but of the com
munity made up of warring
classes, t\le capitalists and the
workers.
The firSt interpretation implies
that bourgeois poetry can never
Sources Of Poetry
transcend the . bourgeoisie's false
illusion. The second interpreta-
tion implies that it can foresee
what bourgeois society is creating
against the will of the bourgeoisie;
in T he T empest Shakespeare had,
says Caudwell, a prophetic glimpse
of communism. The illusion of
bourgeois poetry is then not the
false illusion of bourgeois freedom
only, but, as in primitive poetry,
it is a foreshadowing of what so-
ciety is going to create through
economic activity- a new, a real
and a h igher freedom.
Of these two interpretations
the second seems to me the truer,
according better with the funda-
mental ideas of the book. We
must now read and study bour-
geois poetry with the question in
our minds: In what way does
bourgeois p oetry ar ouse and direct
collective emotion toward the
necessarily impossible reali zat ion
of the bourgeoisie' s illusion of
freedom? In what way does it at
the same time arouse and direct
collective emotion toward the
real freedom of the future?
Clearl y t hese questions must be
approached historically, since the
bourgeois illusion of freedom
changes its significance and loses
its value as the bourgeoisie ceases
to be revolutionary. But I believe
that at all periods t he significance
and value of our bourgeois poetry
Comes from the fact that it is an
expression not only of the bour-
, geoisie, but of bourgeois society,
of the nation as a unity of oppo-
[73
sites. I n order to know our cul-
rural and national tradition as a
living force and to lead the people
in its defense, it is imperative
that we should think these ques-
tions out.
The key l ies in the fundamental
ideas of Caudwell' s book-the in-
terpretation of poetry as some-
thing economic, as part of man's
activity of changing the world and
changing himself. We must apply
to poetry that Marxist understand-
ing which makes Illusion and Real-
ity an important work not only
for the study of poetry, but also
for the immediate political strug-
gle.
Caudwell's work heightens class
consciousness. When we see work
reflected in poetry and find in the
poetry t he real purpose of work
-to make ourselves and the world
human-then we know better how
to hate and fight capitalism, which
fr ust rates the purpose of work and
exploits the workers for its own
inhumanity. For we understand
that the workers ar e robbed not
only ~ f the surplus value they pro-
duce, but of the world their work
should make, and of themselves.
The beauty of poetry is the meas-
ure of that horror.
I believe our politics will be
wrong unless we understand and
make actively our own the spirit
of poetry as Caudwell has re-
vealed it. Our politics will be
wrong because we shall underes-
timate our forces; we shall think
too low of humanity and the peo-
Sources 0/ Poetry
transcend me bourgeoisie's false
illusion. The second interpreta-
tion implies that it can foresee
what bourgeois society is creating
against me will of the bourgeoisie;
in The Tempeu Shakespeare had,
says Caudwell, a prophetic glimpse
of communism. The illusion of
bourgeois poetry is then not the
false illusion of bourgeois freedom
only, but, as in primitive poetry,
it is a foreshadowing of what so-
ciety is going to a:eate through
economic activity-a new, a real
and a higher freedom.
Of mese twO interpretations
the second seems to me the truer.
according better wi.th the funda-
mental ideas of the book. We
must now read and study bour-
geois poetry with the question in
our minds: In what way does
boutgeois poetry arouse and direct
collective emotion toward the
necessarily impossible realization
of the bourgeoisie's illusion of
freedom? In what way does it at
the same time arouse and direct
collective emotion toward the
real freedom of the future?
Oearly these questions must be
approached historically, since the
bourgeois illusion of freedom
changes its significance and loses
its value as che bourgeoisie ceases
to be revolutionary. Buc I believe
that at all periods the significance
and value of our bourgeois poet:ry
COmes from the fact that it is an
expression not only of the bour-
geoisie, but of bourgeois society,
of the nation as a unity of oppo-
[73
sites. In order to know our cul-
tural and national tradition as a
living force and to lead the people
in its defense, it is imperacive
that we should think these ques-
tions out.
The key lies in the fundamental
ideas of Caudwell's book-the in-
terpretation of poetry as some-
thing economic, as part of man's
activity of changing the world and
changing himself. We must apply
to poetry that Marxist understand-
ing which makes Iltusion and Real-
ity an important wotk not only
for the study of poetry, but also
for the immediate political strug-
gle.
Caudwell's work heightens class
consciousness. When we see work
reflected in poetry and find in the
poetry the real pUtpose of work
-to make ourselves and tbe world
human-then we know better how
to hate and fight capitalism, which
frustrates the purpose of work and
exploits the workers for its own
inhumanity. For we understand
mat the workers are robbed nor
only of the surplus value they pro-
duce, but of the world their work
should make, and of chemselves.
The beauty of poetry is the meas
UIe of that horror.
I believe OUI politics will be
wrong unless we understand and
make aCtively our own the spiric
of poetry as Caudwell has re-
vealed it. Our politics will be
wrong because we shall underes-
timate our forces; we shall chink
tOO low of humanity and the peo-
74]
pIe. The content of the people's
work-the activity by which they
change the world and themselves
-is so high and great that only
in great poetry does it become ar-
ticulate; only great poetry can re-
veal the people's creative energy.
ALICK WEST
What Price Movie?
THE BOILING POINT, by Richard
Brooks. Harper. $2.75.
N
OT until such books as The
Grapes of Wrath and To-
bacco Road became best sellers
were the businessmen of art con-
vinced that the social conscience
of the American people could be
exploited like any foreign mar-
ket. Their conviction produced
the pocket edition, the play ver-
sion and the scenario. Willy nilly,
and with varying results, the seri-
ous writer was able to reach out
to those in whose name he spoke.
And already such a writer must
face an inevitable and critical
choice. His relations with mo-
nopoly have acquired an ambigu-
ous character. Whereas he could
once sell his product outright, to
be delighted or distressed by the
treatment it received on stage or
screen, he is now being tempted
to suggest the future handling of
his theme in his own work. As the
contract lures the author, the book
leans lovingly toward the script.
Richard Brooks, the author of The
CHARLES HUMB O L D T
Brick Foxhole and now of The
Boiling Point is an example of
what happens when the romance
leads to an engagement.
The Brick Foxhole, dehydrated
of its self pity and its somewhat
punch-drunk style, was converted
into the excellent film, Crossfire.
This was accomplished by moving
the incidental theme of anti-Sem-
itism into center focus. Movie ex-
ecutive Dore Schary, asked wheth-
er he would make so "controver-
sial" a film in these troubled times,
stated, "1 certainly would make it.
Even if 1 had no convictions in
the matter, 1 would make it as a
business venture because it is ap-
parent that such subjects are of
interest to audiences."
"Even if I had no convictions
. . ." Mr. Schary has let slip a hint
of the price the novelist will
henceforth pay for citizenship in
Little Golden America. Does he
want his book to become a movie?
He must retain his theme, alas-
"such subjects are of interest to
audiences"-but he has to sweet-
en it with cheesecake; he can keep
his old characters, though he
should falsify their relationships;
he may describe class struggle if
it is allayed by magic or abstracted
from normal class interests; he
may raise issues as long as his hero
sees no way to resolve them; and
he may even' introduce Commu-
nists, provided he baits them. In
other words he may, like Mr.
Brooks, write a pseudo-social
novel.
74]
pIe. The content of the people's
work-the aCtiviry by which they
change the world and themselves
-is so high and great that only
in great poetry does it become lU-
riculace; only great poetry can reo
veal the people's creative energy.
ALIa WEST
What Price Movie?
THE BOILING POINT, by Rub"ra
BrooJtJ. Harp,". $2.75.
N
OT until such books as The
Grapes 01 Wrath and To-
bacco Road became best selJers
were the businessmen of art con-
vinced that the social conscience
of me American people could be
exploited like any foreign mar-
ker. Their conviction produced
the pocket edition, the play ver-
sion and the scenario. Willy ailly,
and widl varying results, the sai-
DUS writer was able to reach out
to those in whose name he spoke.
And already such a writer muse
face an inevitable and aioc:a1
choice. His relations with mo-
nopoly have acquued an ambigu-
ous character. Whereas he could
once sell his product outright, to
be delighted or distressed by the
treatment it received on stage or
SCteen, he is now being tempted
to suggest the future handling of
his theme in his own work. As the
contract lures the author, the book
leans lovingly toward the script.
Richard Brooks, the author of The
CHARLES HUMBOLDT
Bnck Foxhole and now of The
Boiling Point is an example of
whar happens when the romance
leads to an engagement.
The Brick Foxho18, dehydrated
of its self pity and its somewhat
punch-drunk style, was converted
inco the excellenr film, Crossfire.
This was accomplished by moving
the incidental theme of anti.sem_
itism inco center focus. Movie ex-
ecutive Dore Schary, asked wheth-
er he would make so "controver-
sial" a film in these troubled times,
srated, "I certainly would make it.
Even if I bad no convictions in
the matter, I would make it as a
business venture because it is ap-
parent that such subjects are of
interest to audiences."
"Even if I had no convictions
.. ." Mr. Schary has Jet slip a hint
of the price the novelist will
henceforth pay for citizenship in
Little Golden America. Does be
want his book to become a movie?
He must retain his theme, alas-
"such subjects are of interest to
audiences"-but he has to sweet-
en it with cheesecake; he can keep
his old characters, though he
should falsify their relationships;
he may describe class struggle if
it is allayed by magic or abstracted
from normal class interests; he
may raise issues as long as his hero
sees no way to resolve them; and
he may even introduce Commu-
nistS, provided he baits them. In
other words he may, like Mr.
Brooks, write a pseudo-social
novel
What Price Movie?
The Boili ng Point purports to
be, and is in small part, the story
of the conflict between liberal
and fascist forces in a small South-
western town.
It has what at first seems an
acceptable cast : on one side the
slavish newspaper publisher, the
rotten Congressman, the cynical
politician, who represents the in-
terests of "the owner of the state,"
the uniform-loving fascist tool;
on the other, the enlightened
young opponent of the Congress-
man, the organizer sent down from
New York to help in his cam-
paign, the attractive but emotion-
ally insecure heiress who identifies
herself with the cause of the ex-
ploited and confused sharecrop-
pers, the timid old Soci alist who
tries to redeem himself by a ter-
rorist act against the Congress-
man, the sharecropper's son who
is murdered in reprisal for the
attempted assassination, and fi-
nally, the protagonist, a healthy
animal whose selfish ambition is
tamed in the arms of the heiress.
He spurns her money but her
beauty leads him toward a kind of
social-democratic understanding of
society. Over all these broods the
figure of the stainless sheriff who
philosophizes in a language half
colloqui al, half formal, reminis-
cent of Cooper's Natty Bumppo.
So far so fair. Now what of
the roles assigned to these char-
act ers? The negati ve ones, with
the exception of the fascist, are
cliches of corruption familiar to
[75
moviegoers who have been taught
to prefer an honest thief like old
banker Thrortlefisr to an enemy
of the people like the heroin sales-
man from Detroit. Brooks ' version
of the fascist is more interesting.
He is a veteran and an organizer
of veterans. However, his outfit
is not a Legion post, as it might
well be. His taking over of the
town seems intended to recall the
spontaneous rising o f the veterans
in Athens, Tennessee, last year;
but the way in which that incident
has been appropriated is both op-
portunist and perverse. An act
aimed to restore democratic pro-
cedure is equated with one aimed
to crush it. The purpose is clear:
to instil a distrust of political ac-
tion or a sense of its futility.
The treatment of the so-called
positive char acters exemplifies this
most sharply. Let us look at only
t wo of them.
The organizer from New York:
let him open his mouth, and the
reader hits the jackpot in plati-
tudes. His wife taunts him wi th
being too fat in the pocketbook,
too worried about income taxes
and his paid-up home at the beach.
(What beach, Coney Isl and?)
This furriner from New York
naturall y hat es the sta te and irs
people and turns eagerly from its
problems to discuss Picasso, Ma-
ti sse and Braque with his fellow
revolutionists. "America has no
cultural background," he avers,
thereby setting in motion a bril-
li ant debate: "Were a people
What Price Movie?
The Boiling Point purports to
be, and is in small part, the StOry
of the conBict between liberal
and fascist forces in a small South-
western town.
It has what at first seems an
acceptable cast: on one side the
slavish newspaper publisher, the
rotten Congressman, the cynical
politician, who representS the in-
terests of "the owner of tbe state,"
the un.iform-loving fascist tool;
on the other, the enlightened
young opponent of the Congress-
man, the organizer sent down from
New York to help in his cam-
pa.ign, the attractive but emotion-
ally insecure heiress who identifies
herself with the cause of the ex-
ploited and confused sharecrop-
pers, the timid old Socialist who
tries to redeem himself by a ter-
rorist aCt against the Congress-
man, the sharecropper's son who
is murdered in reprisal for the
attempted assassination, and fi-
nally, the protagonist, a healthy
animal whose selfish ambition is
tamed in the arms of the heiress.
He spurns her money but her
beauty leads him toward a kind of
social-democratic understanding of
SOCiety. Over all these broods the
figure of dle stainless sheriff who
philosophizes in a language half
colloquial, half formal, reminis-
cent of Cooper's Natty Bumppo.
So far so fair. Now what of
the roles assigned to these char-
acters? The negative ones, with
the exception of the fascist, are
cliches of corruption famil.iar to
[75
moviegoers who have been caught
to prefer an honest thie! like old
banker Thronlefisr to an enemy
of the people like the heroin sales-
man from Detroir. Brooks' version
of the fascist is more interesting.
He is a veteran and an organ.izer
of veterans. However, his outfit
is not a Legion post, as it might
well be. His taking over of the
town seems intended to recall the
spontaneous rising 'of the veterans
in Athens, Tennessee, last year;
but the way in which that incident
has been appropriated is both op-
portunist and perverse. An act
3imed to restore democraric pro-
cedure is equared with one aimed
to crush it. The purpose is clear:
to instil a distrust of polidcal ac-
tion or a sense of its futility.
The treatment of the so-called
positive characters exemplifies this
most: sharply. Let us look at only
two of l ~ e m .
The organizer from New York:
let him open his mouth, and the
reader hits the jackpot in plati-
tudes. His wife taunts bim with
being too fat in the pocketbook,
tOO worried about income taxes
and his paid-up home at the beach.
(What beach, Coney Island?)
This furriner from New York
naturally hates the state and itS
people and turns eagerly from its
problems to discuss Picasso, Ma-
tisse and Braque with his fellow
revolutionists. "America has no
cultural background," he avers,
thereby setting in motion a bril-
liant debate: "Were a people
76]
based on culture? Or a culture
on people?" Mr. Brooks modestly
omits the discussion.
But the organizer is als o two
other kinds of a rat. He tries to
win The Hero's girl, even to t he
extent of unbuttoning his pant')
in vain on a lonely country road.
After The Outlaw, why not try
again? But this tasteless scene is
evidently still not enough to fin -
ish him off for the audience.
When The Hero is framed on a
charge of murdering his best
friend, the organizer proposes that
the progressives, whose cause The
Hero has been supporting, should
disown him. He even wants to
phone "the central committee"
in New York to back his propos-
al. Lastly, it turns out that our foe
in friend's clothing is a coward
who would sooner give up a m a ~
to be killed than fight to defend
him.
And who is our Hero, what is
he? Well, he is a kind of existen-
tialist philosopher in the rough.
"Suckers, thought Roy. The world
was full of suckers . . . the world
was full of saps" and so on. Two
hundred thirty-four pages later
Roy is still developing his interest-
ing idea. "Every little man was
going to have his one big fling.
He'd live off the fat of the land.
That's what everybody was trying
to do."
Roy believes in people, in in-
dividuals, but not in the move-
ments that they organize, nor in
CH AR L ES H UMB O L D T
any leader they may choose. He
resists every move to dramat ize
the plight of the cr op pers who
have been evicted for supporting
the progressive candidate. He
objects to photos being taken of
their emergency camp. "H ow's
it going to [not 'gonna' th is ti me]
help to make fun of folks who
haven't got a place to live?" If
the farmers want to fight, i t is
only because they are being used
by dark outside forces, to whom
political expediency always means
a few broken heads.
Roy is no more a character than
the other stereotypes, whom it was
superfluous to name. He is the
fake innocent hero of a myth con-
cocted in the slicks and studios :
the know-nothing whose very
ignorance leads him to the deepest
insights. That these insights r e-
semble the thinking of Wall
Street on all important matt ers
merely confirms God's mysterious
way in human affairs. And now
we know who Roy, our Hero,
really is. He is Gary Coop er.
If Mr. Brooks protests that his
literary merits have been ignored
here, let him account for an el e-
gant passage like this: "He kissed
her throat and arms. If only he
could hold God in his arms like
this. Was it possible that God was
People?"
This is what the Big Money has
done to one young artist.
CHARLES HUMBOLDT
76]
based on culture? Or a culture
on people?" Mr. Brooks moclesclr
omits the discussion.
But the organizer is also twO
other kinds of a rat. He tries [0
win The Hero's girl, even to the
extent of unbuttoning his panr>
in vain on a lonely country road.
Alter The Out14w, why DOt tty
again? But chis taSteless scene is
evidently still nor enough to fin-
ish him off for the audience.
When The Hero is framed on a
charge of murdering his best
friend, the organizer proposes that
the progressives. whose cause TIle
Hero has been supporting, should
disown him. He even wants to
phone "the central commhree"
in New York to back his propos-
al. Lastly, it turns our dlat our foe
in friend's clothing is a coward
who would sooner give up a man
to be killed than fight to defend
him.
And who is OUI Hero, what is
he? Well, he is a kind of existen-
tialist philosopher in the rough.
"Suckers, thought Roy. The world
was full of suckers ... the world
was full of saps" and so on. Two
hundred thirty-four pages l:lter
Roy is still developing his interest-
ing idea. "Every little man was
going to have his one big fling.
He'd live off the fat of the bnd.
That's what everybody was trying
to do."
Roy believes in people, in in-
dividuals, but not in the move-
ments that they organize, nOr in
CHARLES HUMBOLDT
any leader they may choose. He
resists every move to dramatize
the plight of the croppers who
have been evicted for supporting
the progressive candidate. He
objectS to photos being taken of
their emergency camp. "How's
it going to [not 'gonna' this time]
help to make fun of folks who
haven't gOt a place to live?" If
the farmers want to fight, it is
only because they ace being used
by dark outside faeces, to whom
political expediency always means
a few beaken heads.
Roy is no more a character than
the other stereotypes, whom it was
superfluous to name. He is the
fake innocent hero of a myth con-
cOcted in the slicks and studios:
the know-nothing whose very
ignorance leads him to the deepest
insights. That these insights re
semble the thinking of Wall
Street on all important marters
merely confirms God.'s mysterious
way in human affairs. And now
we know who Roy, ow Hero,
really is. He is Gary Cooper.
]f Mr. Brooks protests that his
literary merits have been ignored
bere, let him account for an ele-
gant passage like this: "He kissed
her throat aDd arms. If only he
could hold God in his arms like
this. Was it possible that Gad was
People?"
This is what the Big Money has
done to one young artiSt.
CHARLES HUMBOLDT
Two American Poets
TO WALK A CROOKED MILE, by
Thomas McGrath. The Swallow
Prese and William Morrow. $2. 00.
THE GREEN WAVE, by Muriel Rukey-
ser. Doubleday. $2.50.
T
HOMAS McGRATH and Muriel
Rukeyser have presented us
with twO outstanding groups of
poetry. McGrath's collection of his
work is rich and provocative and
reveals him as one of the first-rate
poets working in English. Rukey-
ser's volume testifies to her contin-
uous growth and vitality in this
di fficult season when so many of
the leading poets fall, with loud
creaking, into old age.
To Walk A Crooked Mile is the
work of a poet who has staked his
vis ion on the proposition that cap-
italism is dying and that socialisrn :
is being born. This is McGrath's
or ientat ion throughout the vol-
ume and the route of the human
journey he charts in his poetry.
Yet, since the life which the poet
reflects is not simple and the roads
in it not nearly so smooth nor so
di rect as Fifth Avenue, McGrath
cautions us in his first poem, "The
Seekers," that :
Every directi on has its attendant
devil,
A nd their safaris weren't con-
ducted on the bosses' t ime,
For what t hey were hunting is
certainly n ever tame
A nd, for the poor, is us ually
illegal.
[77
Maybe with maps made going
would be faster,
But the maps made for the tour-
ists in their private cars
Have no names for brotherhood
or justice, and in any case
We'll baoe to walk because
we're going farther.
In his work McGrath is an ex-
plorer who knows where his jour-
ney will end but who must fill in
"the naked maps" with the roads
and the crooked miles which he
will put behind him. In poems
like "Epithalamion: Little Rock
Getaway," "Legend," "Like The
Watchman In Agamemnon," he
connects tributary roads to the
main arteries of his map. These
pieces are tightly written in vivid
imagery and employ surrealist
techniques, though the subjects
and themes are quite real ( else-
where in the book McGrath deals
with similar subjects and themes
more directly and in those he at-
tains, I feel , a greater quality of
sensuousness and a profounder
emotional effect ). In the group of
poems just named, and in some
others, varied symbols are offered
too rapidly and in too small a
frame to be either fully compre-
hended or fully effective. For
example:
T he survivors, arri ving, did n ot
know each ot her
Ex cept as heroes. But all held
the k eys
T o unlock the compass of the
fifth season. Depart ing,
Two American Poets
TO WALK A CROOKED MILB, b1
Tbo1/'J4$ M,Grarb. Th. SwtJ}qw
PrU6 lind William Mon"olV. $2.00.
THB GRUEN WAVB, by Muriel Rui'1.
s.,.. DOllbledllY. $2.'0.
T
HOMAS McGRATH and Muriel
Rukeyser have presented u.s
with two outStanding groups of
poetry. McGrath's collection of his
work is rich and provocative and
reveals him as one of the first-rate
poecs working in English. Rukey-
ser's volume testifies to her contin-
uous growth and vitality in chis
difficult season when so many of
the leading poets fall, with loud
creaking, inco old age.
To Walk A Crooked Mile is the
work of a poet who has staked his
vision on me proposition that cap-
italism is dying and that soc.ialism
is being born. This is McGrath's
orientation throughout the vol-
ume and the route of the human
journey he chartS in his poetry.
Yet, since the life which the poet
reflects is nOt simple and the roads
in it nOt nearly so smooth nor so
direct as Fifth Avenue, McGrath
cautions us in his first poem, "The
Seekers," that:
Every direction has its attendant
devil,
And their safaris wernlt con-
ducted on the bosses' time,
For 1uhat they were hunting is
cartai"ly never tame
And, for the poor, is usually
illegdJ.
[77
Ma-ybe with maps made going
would be faster,
But the maps made lor the tour-
ists in Iheir priVllJe CMS
HQtle f'W names lor brotherhood
" or ;usli&e, and in any case
We'tl have to wdJlt because
we're going farther.
In his work McGram is an ex.
plorer who knows where his jour-
ney will end but who must 611 in
"the naked maps" with the roads
and the crooked miles which he
will put behind him. In poems
like "Epithalamion: Little Rock
Getaway," "Legend," "Like The
Watchman In Agamemnon," he
connects tributary roads to the
main arteries of his map. These
pieces are tightly written in vivid
imagery and employ surrealist
techniques, though tbe subjectS
and themes are quire real (else-
where in the book McGrath deals
with similar subjects and themes
more directly aDd in those he at-
tains, I feel, a greater quality of
sensuousness and a profounder
emOtional effect). In the group of
poems JUSt named, and in some
others, varied symbols are offered
tOO rapidly and in roo smaIl a
frame to be either fully compre.
hended or fuUy effective. For
example:
The survivors, arriving, did not
know each other
Except as her06J. But all held
the keys
To unlock the compasJ of the
filth season. Depa,.ting,
78]
They kissed in an avalanche of
A B C's.
( From "Lege nd" )
Some of the ideas, images and
symbols which the poet renders in
this manner are carried along into
other poems where they become
more integrated, meaningful and
gain in force. Thus in "Blues For
Warren," a stirring and powerful
poem, we find
The Angel of the Fifth Season
with his red flag .. .
In "Blues for Jimmy" (which ap-
pears in this issue of Masses &
Mainstream but is not included
in the volume) McGrath's idea of
the "fifth season" ( socialism) is
found in a broader framework in
which it is more readily under-
stood and in which it loses ab-
stractness and achieves a rounded
beauty in which idea, symbol, and
passion become united.
It is import ant to mention
McGrath's wit, which tempers his
poems with both laughter and fine
irony:
Lovers in ladies' magazines
(Tragedies hinted on the cover)
Avoid T ime's nets and part no
more
Than from one slick page to
anoth er.
(From "Song")
McGrath's fine feeling for the
American language and its psy-
chological nuances, his broad lit-
MILTON BLAU
era ry and technical knowledge,
and finally, the width, depth and
par tis anship of his thoughts, make
him a poet of rare value.
T he Green Wave is also a
splendid volume, warm and rich
in its belief in man and his future.
In this, Muriel Ruke yser 's latest
book, the poet engages in a stern
struggle against those pressures
which are destructive of people
and art. Her songs, for Rukeyser
is certainly one of the very impor-
tant lyricists, are pitched sharply
in opposition to the modish death-
cultists, the cynics, the non-mate-
rialists:
My questions are my body. And
among the glowing, this sure,
this fact, this mooncolored
breast, I make memorial. . . .
My body is set against disorder.
Risen among enigmas,
time and the question carry a
rose of form,
sing a life-song.
( From " Private Life
Of The Sphinx")
In reading this poem one may
recall Stephen Spender's "Spiritual
Explorations" ( in his recent
Poems Of Dedicat ion) . Spender
and Rukeyser set out in these
poems to examine the reasons
which motivate their lives and
works. Spender, who has retro-
gressed so much in the last decade,
swims in the seas of mysticism
and has become imbued with the
idea of death:
78]
They kiued in an avalanche 01
A B Cr.
(From "Legend")
Some of the ideas, images and
symbols which the poet renders in
this manner are carried along inco
other poems where they become
more integrated, meaningful and
gain in force. Thus in "Blues For
Warren," a stirring and powerful
poem, we find
The Angel of the Fifth Seamn
with his red flag . ..
In "Blues for Jimmy" (which ap-
pears in this issue of Mauer &
MaimtTeam but is not included
in the volume) McGrath's idea of
the "fifth season" (socialism) is
found in a brooder framework in
which it is more readily under-
stood and in which it loses ab-
stractness and achieves a rounded
beauty in which idea, symbol, and
passion become united.
It J5 important to mention
McGrath's wit, which tempers his
poems with both laughter and fine
irony:
Lovef's in Wier magazines
(Tragedies hinted on the cover)
Avoid Time's nets and pMt no
1nore
Than from one sUck page to
another.
(From "Son8")
McGrath's nne feeling for the
American language and its psy-
chological nuances, his broad lit-
MILTON BLAU
erary and technical knowledge,
and finally, the width, depth and
partisanship of his thoughts, make
him a poet of rare value.
The Green Wave is also a
splendid volume, warm and rich
in its belief in man and his future.
In this, Muriel Rukeyser's latest
book, the poet engages in a stern
struggle against those pressures
which are destructive of people
and art. Her songs, for Rukeyser
is certainly one of the very impor-
tant lyricists, are pitched sharply
in opposition to the modish death-
cultists, the cynics, the non-mate-
rialists:
M,.. questions are m,.. bod,... And
among the glowing, this sure,
this fact, this mooncolored
breaJt, 1 make memorial. ...
M,.. bod,.. is seJ. against disordtJ1'.
Risen among enigmas,
time and the question carry a
rose of fONn,
sing a life-song,
(From "Private Life
Of The Sphinx")
In reading this poem one may
recall Stephen Spender's "Spiritual
Explorations" (in his recent
Poems Of Dedication). Spender
and Rukeyser set out in these
poems to examine the reasons
which motivate their lives and
works. Spender, who has retro-
gressed SO much in the last decade,
swims in the seas of mysticism
and has become imbued with the
idea of death:
Two American Poets
Each circular life gnaws round
its little leaf
Of here and now. Each is tied
within its kind.
M ortals . . . have only bodies
and graves.
Such ideas have reduced Spender
to the role of an onlooker to
whom life becomes increasingly
mechanical and mysterious. Ru-
keyser, on the other hand, is aware
that nobody can be merely an
onlooker and write poems of
importance.
Rukeyser's "Nine Poems (for
the unborn child)" makes a won-
derful group to read. Here the
poet celebrates her womanhood
wi th the intelligence and joy of
a person who has discovered her
self and has est ablished a relation-
ship with the continuously ex-
panding community of people
movi ng toward freedom.
Thomas McGrath in "Blues For
Warren":
... we have given hostages to
the shadowing future
(You Warren, and my brother,
and the comrades in a hun-
dred countries-
In the casualty lists all names
are manifestoes)
and Muriel Rukeyser In "His
Head Full Of Faces":
He saw the enemy. His head
full of faces-
the li ving, the brave, a pure
blazing alone
[79
Examine these
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MATISSE
A SOCIAL CRITICjlUE
by ALEXANDER ROMM
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cri tic, covering Matisse's li fe, artistic
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MARRIAGE A LA MODE
& OTHER ENGRAVINGS
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Four Stages of Cruelty. etc. Authentic
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------------------------
Two American Poets
Each cHcula,. Ule gna1U$ ,.ound
its Utile leal
01 here and now. Each is tied
within its kind.
Mo,.tals ... have anI'} bodies
and graves.
Such ideas have reduced Spender
co the role of an onlooker co
whom life becomes increasingly
mechanical and mysterious. Ru-
keyser, on the other hand, is aware
that nobody can be merely an
onlooker and write poems of
importance.
Rukeyser's "Nine Poems (for
the unborn child)" makes a won-
derful group to read. Here the
poet celebrates her womanhood
with the intelligence and joy of
a person who has discovered her
sell and has established a relation-
ship with the continuously ex-
panding community of people
moving toward freedom.
Thomas McGrath in "Blues For
Warren":
... we have given hostages to
the shadowing luture
(You War,.en, and my b,.other,
and the comrades in a hun-
dred coumries-
In the ca.rualty Usts all names
are manifestoes)
and Muriel Rukeyser in "His
Head Full Of Faces":
He SaUl the 8n81'n'J. His head
full of ftUes-
the living, the b,.ave, a pure
blazing alone
[79
Examine these
fine editions
FREE
Famous works of social
criticism by and
about great artists
MATISSE
A SOCIAL CRlTl9UE
by ALEXANDER ROMM
An odllinal and p;:n..."'tin8 ManiSI
cvaluuion b, a SoYi... an
critic, coverinll Malissc's life, anistic
orillins, ."d e'lthetic Jitinciple'l. 6'
rqwod.."tionl, 2 in I I ,,010', man,
ftom the Moxow Mu.seum of We'ltetn
Art. $J.n
THE FANTASY OF
PIETER BRUEGHEL
4' f ..I1."" p/.,., of bo's ";Judd "..
V.!,,"&I, with Brueshel', f...tutic s,m
bohsm and true social sisnifiCllnce
explained fot 'he /itSl ,ime by PROP.
A. 1. BARNOUW. 8*" Jl 11", ".00
HOGARTH
MARRIAGE A LA MODE
" OTHER ENGRAVINGS
44 plates by one of the Bleat socia.!
SStillStS of an time. indudins The
HadOl's PrOStess, The Rake's P'OBlCSS,
FOUt Stolles of Cruelty, de. Authe"cie
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them for full ,n 10 days.
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(Pos. Free) (PostaBe &tn)
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Address .
City ZOOe Slale 5A
80]
BEN FIELD
to fight a domination to the
end,
And now he sees the rigid ter-
rible friend
inert, peopled by armies, win-
ning. Now
he has become one given his
life by those
fighting in Greece forever under
a star
and now he knows how many
wars there are.
MILTON BLAU
speak for people and their real
aspirations.
-
L
"A Superb Book
"
I.'ide Rea Ing .
WWl U ton Sinclair
-p
AMERICAN REBEL
A collection of His Social Writ-
ings with an extensive study of
the man and his times.
Edited by PHILIP S. FONER
Welsh Comedy
VENUS AND THE VOTERS, by Gwyn
Thomas. Little, Brown. $2.50.
"In the literature of protest in America
from John Woolman to Richard Wright,
the writings of Jack London must occupy
a place very near the top. . . These
make us realize how near London IS to
that rara avis, a craftsman who has become
a classic." -N. Y. Times
"Dr. Foner has done a good service, at
this time in digging London's rebellious
works out of the obscurity in which they
have too long been hidden. At a time when
the creative writer, for the maga zines or
the moving pictures, is faced with many
of the same choices that J ack London
came up against, London's heroic efforts
have an especial potency. These are the
works he wrote because he had to, not
because he wanted a new yawl. Their sin-
cerity and militancy make them part of
the American literary heri tage."-Newsweek
At all bookstores $3.50
or order from
120 East 25th Street
New York \0, N. Y.
T
H IS, THE SECOND of Gwyn
Thomas' novels, carries for-
ward the activities of the four
workers to whom we were intro-
duced in The Dark Philosophers.
The philosophers are Ben, Walter,
Arthur and the unnamed narrator
of both stories, unemployed coal
miners of the great Rhondda Val-
ley of Wales during the depres-
sion between the two world wars.
In the first novel the four sat
evenings in a confectionery shop
refreshing themselves with talk
about everything under sun and
moon. In Venus and the Voters
they resume their places on the
brick wall in the yard and con-
tinue their wry commentary on
80]
"A superb Book
"
lA/ide Rea mg .
."1 U ton Sinclaor
-p
Jack
London-
AMERICAN REBEL
A collection of His Writ-
ings with extensive study of
the men end his times.
Edited by PHILIP S. FONER
"In li",n.turc of PI"OlI!':lC ;0 Amuia.
from Jobn Woolman 10 Richud W,iahr.
<be .,i,iGMI of lad< Loodoo mus< oupy
pw:e YCO'J' DCU lOP... Thne
maJ<c, I'<!Illix bow DCU 1.oc>doo IS 10
that ..is .. aalomaa .ho ha$ becooDe
.. claWc." -N. Y. TI.....
'Dr. Foac:r has dofte .. Ioen'ia,
thi, lime in dia:ina: Loc>don'. nbdliow
worb <lUI of <he obIcu,ity ill which thcy
have too lOOj; bidden. AI .. when
,be creative writer, for ,hO' map.ines 0.
du: movinl piCNta, i. faced with ....nJ
of <he .-me cho't th.. Jack London
0Jne up ....ins., London', heroic doni
haw an espU.l Th_ arc the
works be WfOlC ba.uoe he had 10. DOl
ba"", be ....nted. .. ..- ,awl That aiD-
Olriry and miliClflC'p ..-ke them pan of
the A.rr:>uiQllli.eruy bl:ti<a&'l'.-N._.......
At .11 boohtol.' $3.50
or orele. from
120 Ent 25th St,t
N..... Yor. 10, N. Y.
BBN FIBLD
10 figbJ is domination to th.
end.
And now he .lees the rigid
,;ble fNend
inert, peopled by armies, win-
ning. Now
he has become om gWen his
life by thou
fighting in &eece !Metler under
II slar
and now he knows bow 11I4ny
wars ther'B are.
speak for people and their real
aspirations.
MILTON BLAU
Welsh Comedy
VENUS AND THB VOTERS, by
Tho11JQ.S. Linle, Brown. $2.'0.
T
HIS, THE SECOND of Gwyn
Thomas' novels, carries for
ward the activities of the four
workers to whom we were intfO-.
ducc:d in The Dark Philosophers.
The philosophers are Ben, Walter.
Anhur and the unnamed narrator
of both stories, unemployed coal
miners of the great Rhondda Val-
ley of Wales during the depres-
sion between the cwo world wars.
In the first novel the four sat
evenings in a confectionery shop
refreshing themselves with talk
about everything under sun and
moon. In VenlU and the Voters
they resume their places on the
brick wall in the yard and con-
tinue their wry commentary on
Welsh Comedy
the world. Their talk is weighted
and purposeful, for these dry, dark
thinkers have political passions
and a concern for people, and so
when another crisis hits their min-
ing town they hop off the wall
and swing into action.
The crisis of the novel revolves
around the girl Eurona Morris,
ragged, neglected and beautiful,
although if you look close enough
you see a white patch on her jaw
which comes from underfeeding.
The four philosophers try to save
Eurona from an unworthy passion.
Their efforts to help her are com-
plicated by their peculiar attitude
toward love, which is to them only
a means of keeping the voters
warm; they are too old, plain or
politically preoccupied to be in
the running for any love that
might be knocking about.
Walter is a "very cold subject
except about the brain." Ben is
married. Arthur has stomach
trouble. There is nothing wrong
with the narrator; his stomach is
in order, he is single, but "women
to him never seemed to be much
more than just him all over
again a bit quicker to become
mothers...." And so though they
cannot understand why men and
women should go to such "pain
and endure 'so much bother over
a Iittle issue like deciding the des-
tination of their genitals," the four
dark philosophers turn the town
upside down to keep Eurona from
the claws of Rollo Watts, the
pretty boy bus conductor, whose
[81
stormtrooper social philosophy
they hate.
Venus and the Voters runs over
with talk which hits you with the
flat of the blade and then pierces
h---- -
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_ l\IUrray HIlI 2-6154 _ _
Welsh Comedy
the world. Their talk is weighted
and purposeful, for these dry, dark
thinkers have political passions
and a concern for people, and so
when another crisis hits their min-
ing town they hop off the wall
and swing inra action.
The crisis of the novel revolves
around the gid Eurooa Morris.
ragged, neglected and beautiful,
although jf you look close enough
you see a white patch on her jaw
whidt comes from underfeeding.
The fout philosophers try to save
Eurooa from an unworthy passion.
Their efforts to help her are com-
plicated by their peculiar attitude
towaed love, which is to them only
a means of keeping the voters
warm; they are too old, plain or
politically preoccupied to be in
the running for any love that
might be knocking about.
Walter is a "very cold subject
except about the brain." Ben is
married. Arthue has stOmach
trouble. There is nothing wrong
with the narratOr; his stomach is
in order, he is single, but "women
to him never seemed to be much
more than just him all over
again a bit quicker to become
mothers... :' And so though they
cannot understand why men and
women should go to such "pain
and endure' so much bother over
a little issue like deciding the des-
tination of their genitals," the four
dark philosophers ruen the tOwn
upside down to keep Eurona from
the claws of Rollo Watts, me
pretty boy bus conductor, whose
[81
stormtrooper social philosophy
they hate.
Venu$ and the V oten runs over
with talk which hits you with the
Bat of the blade and then pierces
82]
deep, and you double up with
more than laughter. It is eloquent
talk, full of the imagery and con-
ceits of traditional English poetry,
DON'T MISS--
POLITICAL
AFFAIRS
February Contents
Organized Labor and the
Marshall Plan
William Z. Foster
The Communist Manifesto Lives
Harry Martel
Mr. Truman's Glove and
the Mailed Fist
Max Gordon
The Activities of the
Central Committ ee of the
Communist Party of the
Soviet Union (Bolsheviks)
Georgi M. Malenkov
New Tasks and Realignments
in the Struggle for the
Jewish State in Palestine
Alexander Bittelman
From the Treasury of Marxism:
The Labor Movement
in America
Frederick Engels
Economic Review of 1947
Labor Research Association
On Changes in the Economy
of Capitalism as a Result of
the Second World War
(A Critique of Eugene Varga's
Changes in Capitalist Economy
Resulting from the Second World
War.) I. Gladkov
Single Copy 2 5 cents
Subscription $2. 50
NEW CENTURY PUBLISHERS
832 Broadway, New York 3, N. Y.
BEN F I E L D
ironic, digging hard as in t he use
of the label "voter" for the men
and women who have the right
to vote and the right to starve. It
is talk which comes from wells of
deep compassion and understand-
ing, reflecting sharply and beauti-
fully the world around them, rich
with the innermost salts of these
advanced workers.
The free rein which the author
allows his humor and imaginat ion
helps unhorse all within reach of
the dark philosophers, and in the
process they themselves are some-
what shaken. What a job is done
on the pompous bureaucrats in
charge of relief, the fat- romped
charity ladies, the sanctimonious
church, the lard-hearted mine
owners. One of the most hilarious
chapters is the conversation the
four philosophers engage in with
the parents of Rollo, former ser-
vitors of the rich, who have the
"bends" from which all the pres-
sure chambers of the world cannot
save them.
Venus and the Voters has
sharper character delineati on,
broader and more spontaneous
humor, and a richer plot than The
Dark Philosophers. The earl ier
book should also be read because
it has an abundance of Gwyn
Thomas' gifts and starts us with
the history of its fantastic, yet
down-to-earth philosophers who
carry on the noble tradition of
Wat Tyler, William Cobbett and
William Morris.
BEN FIELD
82]
deep, and you double up with
more than laughter. It is eloquent
talk, full of the imagery and con-
ceits of traditional English poetry,
DON'T MISS--
POLITICAL
AFFAIRS
February Contents
Organized Labor and the
Marshall Plan
WiJium Z. POJltw
The Communist Manifesto Lives
Harry Martel
Mr. Truman's Glove and
the Mailed Fist
M4X Gordon
The Activities of the
Central Committee of the
Communist Party of the
Soviet Union (Bolsheviks)
Georgi M. Malenko'IJ
New Tasks and Realignments
in the Struggle for the
Jewish State in Palestine
Alexandn Biltelman
From the Treasury of Marxism:
The Labor Movemenc
in America
PredBl'klt. Engels
Economic Review of 1947
U1bor Research Auocimion
On Changes in the Economy
of Capitalism as a Result of
the Second Wodd War
(A Critique of Eugene Varga's
Changes in Capila/is, Economy
Resulting from Jhe S e ~ o n d W01'ld
Wa1'.) I. GJadkotl
Single Copy 25 cents
Subscription .. $2.50
NEW CENTURY PUBLISHERS
832 Broadway. New York 3. N. Y.
BEN FIELD
ironic, digging hard as in the use
of the label voter" for the men
and women who have the right
to vote and the right to starve. It
is talk which comes fcom wells of
deep compassion and understand.
ing. reflecting sharply and beauti-
fully the world around them, rich
with the innermost salts of these
advanced workers.
The free rein which the author
allows his humor and imagination
helps unhorse all within reach of
the dark philosophers. and in tbe
process they themselves are some
what shaken. What a job is dane
on the pompous bureaucrats in
charge of relief. the fat-rumped
chariey ladies. the sanctimonious
church, the lard-hearted mine
owners. One of the most hilarious
chapters is the conversation the
fOur philosophers engage in with
the parents of Rollo. former ser-
vitors of the rich, who have the
"bends" from which all the pres-
sure chambers of the world cannot
save them.
Venu.! and the Vater.! has
sharper character delineation,
broader and more spontaneous
humor, and a richer plot than The
Dark Philosopher.!. The earlier
book should also be read because
it has an abundance of Gwyn
Thomas' gifts and starts us with
the history of its fantastic, yet
down-to-earth philosophers who
carry on the noble tradition of
Wat Tyler, William Cobbett and
William Morris.
BEN FIELD
films
The Hitchcock Case
by JOSEPH FOSTER
W
ITH I N THE PAST DECADE ment in picture making. Because
every new Hitchcock film of this he was able to elevate the
has brought cries that the master melodrama, the most abused of all
of melodrama was losing his touch. film forms, to its proper dramatic
Now, with The Paradine Case, he level. He was able to create genu-
is being consigned to the bone ine terror, shock and suspense out
yard of the once-great to keep of the ordinary aspects of human
company with Lang, Rene Clair, behavior. In order to build persua-
Ford, Lubitsch. But if "touch" sive contrasts between apparently
means the tight control of mate- everyday behavior and its con-
rials, the ingenious application of comitants of violence, it was nee-
the gimmick, then Hitchcock dis- essary to create believable human
plays as much talent as he ever beings, people with whom the
did. audience could at once identify
To my mind it is not so much itself.
that he is losing his grip as that Hitchcock once stated that the
his peculiar skill, unsupported by average film lacked genuine char-
adult story material or realistic acter development. Therefore, he
character portrayal, becomes less always concerned himself with the
impressive with each demonstra- character's background, his home
tion. Hitchcock still uses with in- life, what he did for a living, how
comparable flair all the tricks and he felt about his neighbors and
techniques that earned him his his country's leaders, in short,
brilliant reputation, but today, con- the mass of detail that defines
fronted by a Hitchcock-wise audi- common living.
ence, they become tricks with no His early British films reflected
purpose beyond satisfying his this side of his film making. It
device-hungry appetite. was present in Woman Alone, The
There was a time when Hitch- Man Who Knew Too Much, The
cock regarded a realistic approach Girl Was Young. It was even ap-
to character as an important ele- parent in the spy story, 39 Steps.
83
films
The Hitchcock Case
by JOSEPH FOSTER
W
ITHIN THE PAST DECADB ment in picrure making. Because
every new Hitchcock film of this he was able to elevate the
has brought cries that the master melodrama, the most abused of all
of melodrama was losing his touch. film forms, to its proper dramatic
Now, with The Paradine Care, he level. He was able to create genu-
is being consigned to the bone ine terror, shock and suspense out
yard of the once-great to keep of the ordinary aspectS of human
company with Lang, Rene Clair, behavior. 10 order to build persua-
Ford, Lubitsch. Bur if "touch" sive contrasts between apparendy
means the right control of mate everyday behavior and its con-
cials, the ingenious application of comitams of violence, it was nee-
the gimmick, then Hitchcock. dis- essary to create believable human
plays as much talent as he ever beings, people with whom the
did. audience could at once identify
To my mind it is not so much itself.
that he is losing his grip as that Hitchcock once stated that the
his peculiar skill, unsupported by average film lacked genuine char-
adult story material or realistic acter development. Therefore, he
charactet ponrayal, becomes less always concerned himself with the
impressive with each demonstra- charaCter's background, his home
tion. Hitchcock still uses with in- life, what he did fat a living, how
comparable flair all the tricks and he felt about his neighbors and
techniques that earned him his his country's leaders, in shan,
btilliant reputation, but today, can- the mass of detail that defines
fronted by a Hitchcock-wise audi- common living.
ence, they become uicks with no His early British films reflected
purpose beyond satisfying his this side of his film making. It
device-hungry appetite. was present in Woman Alone, The
There was a time when Hitch- Man Who Knew Too Much, The
cock regarded a realistic approach Girl Was Young. It was even ap-
ro character as an important ele- parent in the spy Story, 39 Steps.
83
84]
The argument has been ad-
vanced that character alone has
not been responsible for the
Hitchcock method; that the tech-
nique of the chase-within-the-
chase, directorial devices add plot
manipulation were even' more
important. Of course other ele-
ments of the film art are neces-
sary, but the above, as argument,
can be easily refuted. I need se-
lect only one example. In Woman
Alone, the climax depends upon
a closeup of the leading woman
character's hands as she plays
nervously with a bread knife. In
this treatment, the full horrify-
ing relationship between the man
and woman is sharply revealed,
the terror and suspense of the ac-
tion evoked.
In the current Paradine Case
Hitchcock stages his final fadeout
by focusing on the woman's hands
as she caresses her husband's chin.
It is true that such a finale is su-
perior to the average ending '
wherein the director concentrates
on the heroine's face, her eyes
slowly closing from the insup-
.por rable weight of her passion-
clogged lids. But once Hitch-
cock's superior imagination is
granted, the trick, in this in-
stance, is nothing more than a
cute and empty gesture as de-
void of feeling as the relation-
ship it symbolizes. For in the
Paradine Case, the carefully sten-
cilled speeches and canned facial
expressions, so dear to Hollywood
picture making, have replaced the
J OS E PH F O S T E R
honest character relationships of
his first films, and the differ ence
is obvious.
Hitchcock's early Hollywood
products, such as Suspicion, Re-
becca and Shadow of a Doubt still
contained some of the virtues that
made his British films outstand-
ing. In these he showed a basic
interest in people, their surround-
ings and actions. In Shadow of a
Doubt he emphasized the evil
quality of the main character by
contrasting it with the morality
of a small American town and its
naive acceptance of appearances.
In these films the tensions and an-
tagonisms of the characters carried
the action in convinci ng fas hion.
But the films exhibited increas-
ingly what Hitchcock himself calls
commercialism, the slick device,
the pat situation.
It may seem like a paradox,
but in his subsequent films H itch-
cock has gone Hollywood more
rapidly and completely than many
a man with lesser talent. To begin
with, he was always the lover of
the gimmick, a taste that Holly-
wood indulges as no other place
can, because here the trick and
the gag are the chief props to any
successful career. Again, even in
his heyday, Hitchcock films were
never distinguished for mature
ideas. Once his interest in peo-
ple as people wanes, the thinness
of his material becomes appar-
ent. To the charge that he lacks
seriousness, he has answered, "N o
one is critical of Dreiser for not
84]
The argument has been ad
vanCN that cha.caeter alone has
om been responsible for the
Hitchcock method; that the tech-
nique of the chasc-within-rne-
chase, directorial devices and plot
manipulation were even morc
impoma.nt. Of course other de-
mc-Des of the film an are neces
sary. but the above, as argument,
can be easily refuted. I need se-
lea only one example. In Woman
Alone, me climax depends upon
a closeup of the leading woman
character's hands as she plays
nervously with a bread knife. In
this treatment. the full horrify-
ing rehtrionship between the man
and woman is sharply revealed,
the terror and suspense of the ac-
tion evoked.
In the current Pa,.adine Case
Hitchcock stages his final fadeout
by focusiog on the woman's hands
as she cuesses her husband's chin.
It is true that such a finale is su-
perior to the average ending
wherein the director concentrates
on the heroine's face, her eyes
slowly dosing from the insup-
portable weight of her passion.
dogged. lids. But once Hitch
cock's superior imagination is
granted, the crick, in this in
stance, is nothing more than a
cute and empty gesmre as de
void of feeling as the relation-
ship it symbolizes. For in the
Pa,adi,uJ CMe, the carefully sten
cilled speeches and canned facial
expressions, so dear to Hollywood
picture making, have replaced the
JOSBPH FOSTBI.
honest character relationships of
his fust films. and the difference
is obvious.
Hitchcock's early Hollywood
products. such as SlISpicion, Re
becca and Shadow of a Doub: still
contained some of the virtues that
made his British films outstand
ing. In these he showed a basic
interest in people, their surround-
ings and actions. In Shadow of a
Doub: he emphasized the evil
quality of the main character by
contrasting it with the morality
of a small American town and its
naive acceptance of appearances.
In these films the tensions and an-
tagonisms of the characters carried
the action in convincing fashion.
But the films exhibited increas-
ingly what Hitchcock himself calls
commercialism, the slick device.
the pat simation.
It may seem like a paradox,
but in his subsequenr films Hitch-
cock has gone Hollywood more
rapidly and completely than many
a man with lesser talent. To begin
with, he was always the lover of
the gimmick, a taste that Holly-
wood indulges as no other place
can, because here the trick and
the gag are the chief props to any
successful career. Again, even in
his heyday, Hitchcock films were
never distinguished for mature
ideas. Once his interest in peo-
ple as people wanes, the thinness
of his material becomes appar-
ent. To the charge that he lacks
seriousness, he has answered, "No
one is critical of Dreiser for not
Films: The Hitchcock Case
writing in the vein of Edgar Al-
lan Poe." ' .
This is a feeble defense. No one
is asking him to give up his
"vein." What is wanted is a
little more valuable ore out of it.
Crossfire is . just as much melo-
drama as any Hitchcock film and
yet it has something important
to say. The informer, as melo-
drama, is infinitely more memor-
able than anything Hitchcock has
ever made, or ever will make un-
less he reconsiders his values. As
a matter of fact the all usion to
Dreiser sounds suspiciously simi-
lar . to the arguments used by his
less gifted confreres who talk
about films as "entertainment
only."
Like these gentry Hitchcock is
also given to using an idea to-
ward reactionary ends, innocently
or deliberately. I have in mind
Spellbound in which he con-
tributes to the impression' that
psychoanalysis is used only in con-
nection with murder, ins anity and
general forms . of violence; Life-
boat, which spreads the notion
that N azi discipline produces a
superior moral fibre and intelli-
gence; Foreign Correspondent ,
which nurtures the idea that mat -
ters l ike war and peace are deter-
mi ned by cr ackpots and newspaper
men.
Each of these productions was
made not to add t o the public
understanding of the questions
involved, but to exploi t already
existing interest for the sake of
[85
box office--an objective not un-
known to Hollywood.
If the advance notices of his
next film are to be believed, his
I preoccupati ons with mechanics
over content seem to be growing
even mor e disproportionate. This
film, Rope, will be made in ten
days, ostensibly to cut a consid-
erable amount from the produc-
tion costs.
But I don't think Hitchcock is
worried by the cost problem.
What he wants is to establish
some kind of record for other di -
rectors to shoot at. How will he
manage it? By the aid of me-
chanical contrivances. He plans
to eliminate the closeup which re-
quires the resetting of lights,
cameras, and scenery. He will
shoot in continuous action, es-
chewing the cut except where ab -
solutely necessary. How can this
be done, how can he shoot around
walls to follow the characters? He
has figured out a way, of course.
The walls will be so constructed
as to provide automatic and con-
tinuous backgrounds needed for
the action. Very ingenious.
Hitchcock will be Hollywood's
man more than ever after this.
But aside from establishing a new
method for saving timer in scenery
moving, what will all this con-
tribute to the person out front?
It will result in another familiar
Hitchcock thriller, containing
less magic because more familiar,
to be forgotten twenty-four hours
after being seen.
#
Films: The Hitchcock Case
writing in the vein of Edgar AI
ian Poe."
This is a feeble defense. No one
is asking him co give up his
"vein." What is wanted is a
little more valuable ore OUt of it.
c,.ossfi,.e is just as much melo-
drama as any Hitchcock film and
yet it bas something important
to say. The Jnformer-, as melo-
drama, is infinitely mace memor-
able than anything Hitchcock has
ever made, or ever will make un-
less he reconsiders his values. As
a matter of faa the allusion to
Dreiser sounds suspiciously simi-
lar to the arguments used by his
less gifted confreres who talk
about films as "entertainment
only:'
Like these gentry Hitchcock is
also given to using an idea to-
ward reactionary ends, innocencly
at deliberately. I have in mind
Spellbound in which he con-
tributes to the impression' that
psychoonalysis is used only in con-
nection with murder, insanity and
general forms of violence; Life-
bOaJ, which spreads the nodon
that Nazi discipline produces a
superior moral fibre and intelli-
gence; For-eign Co"espondent,
which nurtUres the idea that mat-
ters like war and peace are deter-
mined. by crackpots and newspaper
men.
Each of these productions was
made not to add to the public
understanding of the questions
involved, but to exploit already
existing interest for the sake of
[85
box oflice--an objective not un-
known to Hollywood.
If the advance nOtices of his
next film are to be believed, his
preoccupations with mechanics
over contenr seem to be growing
even more disproportionate. This
film, Rope, will be made in ten
days, osrensibly to CUt a consid-
erable amount from the produc-
tion costs.
But I don't think Hitchcock is
worried by the COSt problem.
What he wants is to establish
some kind of record for other di-
rectors to shoot at. How will he
manage it? By the aid of me-
chanical contrivances. He plans
to eliminate the closeup which te
quires the resetting of lights,
cameras, and scenery. He will
shoot in continuous action, es
chewing the' CUt except where ab
solutely necessary, How can this
be done, how can he shoot around
walls to follow the characters? He
has figured out a way, of course.
The wa1ls will be so constructed
as to provide automatic and con-
tinuous backgrounds needed for
the acrion. Very ingenious.
Hitchcock will be Hollywood's
man mace than ever after this.
But aside from establishing a new
method fat saving timIT in scenery
moving, what will aU this con-
tribute to the person out front?
It will result in another familiar
Hitchcock thriller, containing
less magic because mate familiar,
to be forgotten twenty-four haws
after being seen.
T
H E FLIGHT from reality, rever-
sion to primitivism and bitter
subjectivism which characterize so
much of contemporary thinking
are nowhere more vividly spot-
lighted than in the realm of paint-
ing. Many talented individuals, as
well as brash opportunist s, have
gone over to the new mysticism,
encouraged by t he commercial art
ga lleries, the Museum of Modern
Art, the Whitney Museum and the
Chicago Art Institute.
The new cult may be broken
down into several cat egor ies. First,
there is the concern with tribal
art, making pictorial use of a
whole stock of totemic, ritualistic
symbols. A closely allied group
deals in botanical imagery and
seeks to evoke strange overtones
of animal life. The bird, most
often used, may be the perfect
vehicle for their non-stop flight.
Secondly, there is the "intui-
tive," "subjectivist" school which
believes that the inner urge is the
only valuable asset in art and sets
out to prove it by an orgy of tex-
ture, a wraith of lines or a few
slashes of brill iant color, all appar-
ently indicating an atomic burst
of "pure" emotion. Along with
this grouping may be listed an
art
TOTEM and TATTOO
by JOSEPH SOLMAN
abstracted form of surrealism,
wherein, the corpse having been
removed, the putrescence alone
remains, as in the sickly little ex-
plosions of Enrico Donati.
The few tenets underlying these
groups may easily be summed up.
In setting irrationality over reason,
urge over concept, symbol over
representation, and in making in-
tuition the sole guiding pri nciple
of design, they feel they are "fr ee-
ing" man's latent, primitive in-
stincts, hitherto inhibited and
negated by civilization. Tradition
becomes a drawback, our devel-
oped ideas of design serve only as
a block to our deepest emotions.
They adopt a "world I never
made" attitude-a world they re-
gard as being without meaning.
Their standards for judging art
operate on the same mystic level
as their creating. The painting
must evoke some kind of subcon-
scious response, which may be
akin to Ger trude Stein's "hearing
bells" whenever she met a man of
genius. B. B. Newman, one of the
spokesmen for "the modern coun-
terpart of the primitive art im-
pulse" sums up the artist's prob-
lem: "The basis of an esthetic act
is the pure idea. But the pure idea
86 .
art
TOTEM and TATTOO
by JOSEPH SOLMAN
T
HE FLIGHT from reality, rever- abstracted form of surrealism,
sion to primitivism and biuer wherein, the corpse having been
subjectivism which characterize SO removed, the putrescence alone
much of contemporary thinking remains, as in the sickly little ex-
are nowhere more vividly spot- plosions of Enrico Donati.
lighted man in the .realm of paint- The few tenets underlying these
ing. Many talented individuals, as groups may easily be summed up.
well as brash opportunists, have In setting irrationality over reason,
gone over to the new mysticism, urge over concept, symbol ovec
encouraged by the commercial art representation, and in making in-
galleries, the Museum of Modern tuition the sole guiding principle
Art, the Whitney Museum and the of design, they feel they are "free-
Chicago An Instirute. ing" man's latem, primitive in
The new cult may be broken stinns, hitheno inhibited and
down imo several categories. First, negated by civilization. Tradition
there is the concern with tribal becomes a drawback, our devel
art, making pictorial use of a oped ideas of design serve only as
whole Stock: of totemic, titualistic a block to our deepest emotions.
symbols. A closely allied group They adopt a "wodd I never
deals in botanical imagery and made" attitude-a wodd they re-
seeks to evoke strange overtones gard as being without meaning.
of animal life. The bird, most Their standards for judging art
often used, may be the perfect operate on the same mystic level
vehicle for their non-stop Bight. as their creating. The painting
Secondly, there is the "intui- must evoke some kind of subcon-
tive;' "subjectivist" school which scious response, which may be
believes that the inner urge is the akin to Gertrude Stein's "hearing
only valuable asset in art and sets bells" whenever she met a man of
oue to prove it by an orgy of tex- genius. B. B. Newman, one of the
rure, a wraith of lines or a few spokesmen fOt "the modern coun-
slashes of brilliant color, all appar- terpart of the primitive art im
endy indicating an atomic burst pulse" sums up the artist's prob-
of "pure" emotion. Along with lem: 'The basis of an esthetic act
this grouping may be listed an is the pure idea. But the puce idea
86
Art: Totem And Tattoo
is, of necessity, an esthetic act.
Here then is the epistemologi-
cal paradox that is the artist's
problem."
Newman goes on to reject every
category of painting but the "ideo-
graph" picture, "the idea-complex
that makes contact with mystery-
of life...."
The totem worshippers, paint-
ers like Adolph Gottlieb and
Norman Daly, believe in an art by
incantation. They want, by a kind
of imitative magic, to feel they can
induce a work of art by using sym-
bols and design motives that had
meaning for an ancient art epoch.
. Gottlieb claims that the paint-
ing of nature and man has been
thoroughly exhausted in art. New
forms must be invented to give
art a second life. Twenty cen-
turies' recorded evidence of the
visual world renewing art is curtly
dismissed. But if the painter has
exhausted every possibility of
nature (could the scientist only
boast of this!) why, one asks,
must he turn back to an ancient
culture for new nourishment?
The totem painter's answer is
that certain primitive fears and
inhibitions have remained con-
stant in a changing world. Rather
than face the conflicts and emo-
tional crises of our time in order
to acquire an understanding of
the disorder underlying this soci-
ety, these men prefer to adopt a
fatalism with just a touch of the
occult in it to make it interesting.
In so doing they have erected a
new taboo--Man himself. Their
[87
emotional anxreries are projected
on the superstitious plane of an
"escape from evil" (Gottlieb).
Jackson Pollock is one of the
leaders of the abstract-expression-
ist group, and along with Hans
Hofmann has been called the only
important signal post among
American painters by Clement
Greenberg, art critic of The Na-
tion. Pollock is the misanthrope
of the group. He scatters gobs of
pink and yellow paste over vast
areas of canvas diffusely and with
tremendous fury, or, as in his last
show, winds continuous whirl-
pools of black lines, interspersed
with an occasional tiny color spot.
The emotion, being jet-propelled,
cannot be allowed to catch itself
in the stranglehold of design. Pol-
lock prefers death by suffocation.
Pollock's "intuitive freedom"
becomes a curious inhibition-the
inability of man to confront him-
self or the face of nature. This
work can only be termed an abor-
tive expressionism since it never
passes through the crucible of an
idea or experience.
Hans -H ofrna nn's work brings
to mind the painter waiting for
The Great Revelation in front of
his tall white canvas. The Message
is always too great for a small
surface. Finally the moment of
contact arrives, the painter runs
to the palette and a liberal swab
of magenta dolls up the face of the
canvas. A few subtle afterthoughts
of bright vermillion and sharp>"
emerald green follow. The unfin-
ished shapes clearly indicate the
Art: Totem And Tattoo
is, of necessity, an esthetic act.
Here then is the epistemologi-
cal paradox that is the artist's
problem."
Newman goes on to reject every
category of painting but the "ideo-
graph" picrure, "the idea-complex
that makes contaCt with mystery-
of life... :'
The totem worshippers, palOt-
ers like Adolph Gottlieb and
Norman Daly, believe in an art by
incantation. They want, by a kind
of imitative magic, to feel they can
induce a work of art by using sym-
bols and design motives that had
meaning for an ancient art epoch.
Gottlieb claims that the paint-
ing of nature and man has been
thoroughly exhausted in art. New
forms must be invented to give
art a second life. Twenty cen-
wries' recOtded evidence of the
visual world renewing art is curtly
dismissed. But if the painter has
exhausted every possibility of
nature (could the scientist only
boasr of this!) why, one asks,
must he turn back to an ancient
culture for new nourishment?
The totem painter's answer is
that certain primitive fears and
inhibitions have remained con-
stant in a changing world. Rather
than face the conflicts and emo-
tional crises of our time in order
to acquire an understanding of
the disorder underlying this soci-
ety, these men prefer to adopt a
fatalism with JUSt a touch of the
occult in it to make it interesting.
In so doing they have erected a
new taboo--Man himself. Their
[87
emotional anxietIes are ptojected
on me superstitious plane of an
"escape from evil" (Gottlieb).
Jackson Pollock is one of the
leaders of the abstract-expression-
ist group, and along with Hans
Hofmann has been called the only
important signal POSt among
American painters by Oement
Greenberg, art critic of The Na-
tion. Pollock is tIle misanthrope
of the group. He scaners gobs of
pink and yellow paste over vast
areas of canvas diffusely and with
tremendous fury, or, as in his last
show, winds COntinuous whirl-
pools of black lines, interspersed
with an occasional tiny color spot.
The emotion, being jet-propelled,
cannot be allowed to catch itseU
in the stranglehold of design. Pol-
lock prefers death by suffocation.
Pollock's "intuitive freedom"
becomes a curious inhibition-me
inability of man to confront him-
self or the face of nature. This
work can only be termed an abor-
tive expressionism since it never
passes through the crucible of an
idea or experience.
Hans Hofmann's work brings
to mind the painter waiting for
The Great Revelation in from of
his tall white canvas. The Message
is always tOO great for a small
surface. Finally the moment of
contact arrives, the painter runs
to the palette and a liberal swab
of magenta dolls up the face of the
canvas. A few subtle afterthoughts
of bright vermillion and sharp.......
emerald green follow. The unfin-
ished shapes clearly indicate the
88]
"primal force." Here is "pure"
emotion, no longer sullied by sub-
ject, motif, line, design or vis-
ible concept. Magenta is usually
the trumpeting herald. Perhaps
Whistler's definition of that color
might be an ideal comment on the
painter: "Magenta? Magenta is
just pink trying to be purple."
Stanley Hayter practices autom-
atism in art. An effect of grace-
fully entwined colored inks is the
result. His subconscious revela-
tions come perilously close at
times to the old-fashioned con-
struction drawings of George
Bridgeman (a teacher most artists
will recall) . No matter how hard
he rides his psychic Pegasus he
reaches the same safe spot.
Most often in the painting of
these intuitive fanrasists we find
soft blurred forms floating about
nostalgically in a filmy void, be-
coming more attenuated with each
attempt to contact the spirit
world. Here we have an art ped-
dling fads, fears and phrenology.
A wide gulf separates such
work from the paintings of Paul
KIee, who also worked in the
realm of fantasy. The gem-like
clarity of Klee's symbols, the sharp
HANANIAH
HARARI
Paintings
Feb. 28-March 12
LAUREL GALLERY
48 East 57th se., N.Y.C.
J OSEPH SOL MAN
linear diagram circumscribing his
motifs, the variety of his subject
matter, all surround his work with
visual excitement. KIee has cer-
tainly made fruitful study of
Egyptian, Copti c and primitive
art as well as of the drawings of
children. But he has invented a
cast of characters, sprites, demons
and troubled children who invest
the older myths with a new life.
Finally, we must make refer-
ence to a statement in Possibilities
(Winter issue, 1947-48), a maga-
zine devoted to the school of art
we have been discussing. The ed-
itors, Robert Motherwell and
Harold Rosenberg, set this sen-
tence down in a prefaced credo:
"Political commitment in our
times means logically-no art, no
literature." The final sentence in
this noble credo is an interesting
admission: "In his extremism
he [the artist] shows that he has
recognized how drastic the polit-
ical presence is." Indeed, the
works of men like Pollock, Hof-
. mann and Rothko reveal inversely
the dire impact of social forces
and depict, in effect, an hysterical
flight from reality, a wounded
psyche seeking some vague retreat
or revenge. The art of incantation,
tattooed confessionals and the
divine right of the irrational can
only lead to a rotting despair or
a pandering to those forces in our
society which would rather bind
the artist and intellectual to ob-
scurantism than help him promote
an age of enlightenment.
88]
"primal force." Here is "pure"
emotion, no longer sullied by sub-
jeer, motif, line, design at vis
ible concept. Magenta is usually
the trumpeting herald. Perhaps
Whistler's definition of that color
might be an ideal comment on the
painter: "Magenta? Magenta is
juSt pink trying to be purple."
Stanley Hayter practices aurom-
atism in art. An effect of grace-
fully entwined colored inks is the
result. His subconscious revela-
tions come perilously close at
times to the old-fashioned con-
struction drawings of George
Bridgeman (a teacher most a.etists
will recall). No matter how hard
he rides his psychic Pegasus he
reaches the same safe spot.
Most often in the painting of
these intuitive fantasists we find
soft blurred forms Boating about
nostalgically in a filmy void, be-
coming more attenuated with each
attempt to contact the spirit
wocld. Here we have an act ped-
dling fads, fears and phrenology.
A wide gulf separates such
work from the paintings of Paul
Klee, who also worked in the
realm of fantasy. The gem-like
clarity of Klee's symbols, the sharp
HANANIAH
HARARI
Pai1ttings
Feb. 28-March 12
LAUREL GALLERY
48 East 57th St. N.Y.C.
JOSEPH SOLMAN
linear diagram circumscribing his
motifs, the variety of his subject
matter, all surround his work with
visual excitement. Klee has cer-
tainly made fruitful study of
Egyptian, Coptic and primitive
art as well as of the drawings of
children. But he has invented a
cast of characters, sprites, demons
and troubled children who invest
me older myths with a new life.
Finally, we must make refer-
ence to a Statement in Pouibilities
(Winter iss4e, 1947-48), a maga-
zine devoted to the school of art
we have been discussing. The ed-
itors, Robert Motherwell and
Harold Rosenberg, set this sen
renee down in a prefaced credo:
"Political commitment in our
times means logically-no art, no
literature." The final sentence in
this noble credo is an interesting
admission: "In his extremism
he [the artist] shows that he has
recognized how drastic the polit
ical presence is." Indeed, the
works of men like Pollock, Hof-
mann and Rothko reveal inversely
the dire impact of social forces
and depict, in effect, an hysterical
flight from reality, a wounded
psyche seeking some vague retreat
or revenge. The art of inctntadon,
tatrooed confessionals and the
divine right of the irrational can
only lead to a rotting despair Or
a pandering to those forces in our
society which would rather bind
the artist and intellectual to ob
scuranrism than help him promote
an age of enlightenment.

m U Si C
Notes on Aaron Copland /
by S IDNEY FINKELSTEIN
I
N THE COMPETITION among
American composers for per-
formances of their work, Aaron
Copland has emerged a good
length ahead of anybody else. This
is not a nice way to put the situa-
tion, but the fact is t hat the Amer-
ican composer is not regarded as
a source of repertory in the con-
cert field. He is heard at special
recitals devoted to contemporary
music. Otherwise he gets only an
occasional nod from a concert
art ist willing to try a "novelty."
Because performances are so few,
they have to be striven for. The
composer has to be his own herald
and agent. His main reward is not
fina ncial, but the satisfaction of
kno wing that somebody is hearing
his work. Sometimes there is the
satisfaction of knowing that he is
under stood, but that is more in-
frequent, for an obvious reason.
To be understood, a composer
must be heard frequently enough
for his style to become familiar.
And no American, not even Cop-
land, has ach ieved the distinction
of becoming "repertory." This is
due not so much to the weakness
89
of the composers as to the com-
bination of addle-headed private
patronage and uncultured, safe-
playing concert management that
rules the performance field.
Copland has cajoled and fought
for performances. It is to his
credit that his music justifies
them. I have heard works of his
that seemed thin or uninspired,
but none that showed compromise
with sincerity and craftsmanship.
He is not as warmly human and
inventive a composer as Charles
Ives, nor as thoughtful and strong
a master of structure as Roger
Sessions. But of his generation,
those born in the first decade of
the century, he has best combi ned
originality of language and clarity
of form.
His works heard this season in-
clude the Piano Variations, dating
from the Twenties, performed by
Lucy Brown; the Piano Sonata of
1941, performed by Robert Gold-
sand in a series of three recitals
devoted to contemporary piano
music; the Violin Sonata of 1941,
performed both by Miriam Solov-
ieff and by the team of Angel

mUSiC
Notes on Aaron Copland
by SIDNEY FINKELSTEIN
I
N THE COMPETITION among
American composers for per-
formances of their work, Aaron
Copland has emerged a good
length ahead of anybody else. This
is not a nice way to put me situa-
tion, but the faa is tbat me Amer-
ican composer is noc regarded as
a source of repertory in the con-
cert field. He is heard at special
recitals deVOted to contem1Xlra.ry
music. Otherwise he gets only an
occasional nod from a concert
artist willing to try a "novelty."
Because performances are so few,
they h::ave to be striven for. The
composer has to be his own herald
and agent. His main reward is not
financial, but the satisfaction of
knowing mat somebody is hearing
bis work. Sometimes there is the
satisfaCtion of knowing that he is
understood, but that is more in-
frequent, for an obvious reason.
To be understood, a composer
must be heard frequently enough
fOr his style to be<:ome familiar.
And no American, nat even Cop-
land, has achieved the distinction
of becoming "repertory." This is
due not so much to the weakness
89
of the composers as to the com-
bination of addle-headed private
patronage and uncultured, safe-
playing concert management that
rules the performance field.
Copland has cajoled and fought
for performances. It is to his
credit that his music justifies
them. I have heard works of his
that seemed thin or uninspired,
but none that showed compromise
with sincerity and craftsmanship.
He is not as warmly human and
inventive a composer as Charles
I ves, nor as thoughtful and strong
a master of structute as Roger
Sessions. But of his generation,
those born in the firSt decade of
the century, he has best combined
originality of language and clarity
of foUD.
His works heard this season in
clude the Piano Variations, dating
from the Twenties, performed by
Lucy Brown; me Piano Sonata of
1941, performed by Robert Gold-
sand in a series of three redtals
devoted to contemporary piano
music; the Violin Sotlala of 1941,
pexformed both by Miriam Solov
ieff and by the team of Angel
90]
Reyes and Jacques de Menasce at
a League of Composers concert;
and the Third Symphony, com-
posed in 1946, performed by
George Szell and the New York
Philharmonic.
Copland's music is unmistak-
ably American. He has used popu-
lar idioms in many of his works,
such as the jazz of the Piano Con-
certo, Music for the Theatre, and
El Salon Mexico, or the cowboy
and mountain tunes of the ballets
Billy the Kid, Rodeo and Appa-
lachia1t Spring. He disdains, how-
ever, being classified as a "folk-
lore" composer. This attitude does
not make much sense, for a com-
poser has to draw his idioms from
somewhere. Even Schoenberg
drew upon Wagner, and Stravin-
sky on Russian folk song. Perhaps
Copland wants to draw a line be-
tween his practice and the super-
ficial use of folk songs in a bor-
rowed, romantic and academic
setting. Actually, the melodies of
the two slow movements of his
symphony, and the piano sonata,
have the same nostalgic feeling
and gentle curve as the folk melo-
dies of Appalachian Spring or the
Lincoln Portrait. The fast move-
ments have a jazz-like abandon of
bar lines, a free rhythmic counter-
point.
But if there is an American
flavor to his work, he has not used
folk or popular idiom as a key to
discover or describe the full
breadth of American life and the
American people. He speaks for
himself, as a lone thinker, rather
SIDNE Y FINKELSTEIN
than for a nation or a part of one.
There is always an unbroken
thread of genuine feeling in hi s
work. It is never formalistic. Bur,
to use a familiar phrase of critics
in the Soviet Union, there are few
"human images" in it.
Copland's orchestration I S
always masterful, and yet his
music is not always successfully
clothed in sound. This contradic-
tion is due to the fact that he is
a late romantic, an introspective
mind using an objective, neo-
classic style. He avoids the lush-
ness, the seemingly disembodied
mass of sound, of the romantic
composer. But he does not have
the extrovert character of a Bartok
or Prokofieff, a quality drawn
from folk music, in which the
instrument itself suggests the
musical line as if it were an ex-
tension of the human hand and
voice. His economy of timbre and
design is a discipline which he
forces upon himself and handles
well out of long practice. His
piano sonata, though a finely
worked piece of music and always
interesting in its development of
themes, suffers because the music
fights against the instrument. His
violin sonata is more successful in
this respect, employing fine con-
trasts of timbres with an enchant-
ing freshness. His symphony has
some awkward instrumental tran-
sitions, but also some sections
which sound magnificently, like
the poignant slow movement with
its thin-drawn lines of strings and
woodwinds.
90]
Reyes and Jacques de Menasce at
a League of Composers conceit;
and the Third Symphony, com-
posed In 1946, performed by
George Szell and me New York
Philharmonic.
Copland's music is unmistak-
ably American. He has used popu-
lar idioms in many of his works,
such as the jazz of the Piano Con-
certo, Music tOf' the Theatre, and
El Saton Mexico, or the cowboy
and mountain tuDes of the ballets
Billy the Kid, Rodeo and Appa-
lachian Spring. He disdains, how-
ever, being classified as a "folk-
lore" composer, This attitude does
not make much sense, for a com
poser has to draw his idioms from
somewhere. Even Schoenberg
drew upon Wagner, and Stravin-
sky on Russian folk song. Perhaps
Copland wants to draw a line be
tween his practice and the super-
ficial use of folk songs in a bor-
rowed, romantic and academic
setting. Actually, the melodies of
the two slow movemems of his
symphony, and the piano sonata,
have the same nostalgic feeling
and gentle curve as the folk melo-
dies of Appalachian Spring or the
Lincoln Portrait. The fast move-
ments have a jazz-like abandon of
bar lines, a free rhythmic coumer-
poim.
But if there is an American
Bavor to his work, he has not used
folk or popular idiom as a key to
discover or describe the full
breadth of American life and the
American people. He speaks foe
himself, as a lone thinker, cather
SIDNE Y FINKELSTEIN
than for a nation or a part of one.
There is always an unbroken
thread of genuine feeling in his
work. It is never formalistic. But,
ro use a familiar phrase of critics
in the Soviet Union, there are few
"human images" in it.
Copland's orchestration IS
always masterful, and yet his
music is nor always successfully
clothed in sound. This contradic-
tion is due to the fact that he is
a late romantic, an introspective
mind using an objective, neo-
classic style. He avoids the lush-
ness, the seemingly disembodied
mass of sound, of the romantic
composer. But he does not have
the extrovert character of a Bartok
or Prokofieff, a quality drawn
from folk music, in which the
instrument itself suggests the
musical line as if it were an ex-
tension of the human hand and
voice. His economy of timbre and
design is a discipline which he
forces upon himself and handles
well OUt of long practice. His
piano sonara, though a finely
worked piece of music and always
interesting in its development of
themes, suffers because the music
fights against the insrrument. His
violin sonara is more successful in
this respect, employing fine con-
trasrs of timbres with an enchant-
ing freshness. His symphony has
some awkward instrumental tran-
sitions, but also some sections
which sound magnificently, like
the poignant slow movement wirh
its thin-drawn lines of strings and
woodwinds.
Music: Notes On Aaron Copland
[91
Of all American composers,
Copland is most respected and
followed by other composers, and
for good reason. He has helped
others. He has organized hearings
for American music, and fought,
if unsuccessfully, for a composer's
living wage. He has brought to
our attention many of the ad-
vances made in composition
abroad, appraising new findings in
European harmony and instru-
mentation for their value to
American music. His standards of
absolute economy in expressing a
musical thought have been a
worthwhile discipline for young
composers.
But Copland's influence has not
been wholly positive. His modern-
ism has been weighted too much
on the Stravinsky and Boulanger
schools. It could have profited
from the addition of the richer
emotions of Schoenberg and Web-
ern, and from the more expansive
human imagery of Bartok and
Prokofieff. His faults have been
made into virtues, so that his nar-
row range of emotion, a personal
limitation, has become in his dis-
ciples a restriction to an academic
studio music, composed as if its
dominating emotion were the fear
of being thought vulgar.
The Third Symphony should
become a permanent part of or-
chestral repertory and be put on
records, for it is one of the best
American symphonic works. But
Copland should be relieved of the
burden, unsought by him, of being
considered "the" American com-
poser. It is time that others of his
generation, and earlier, were ex-
tensively performed and recorded:
Ives, Sessions, Ruggles, Riegger,
Cowell. Not to know these men
is like pretending to know Amer-
ican painting while ignoring
Ryder, Bellows, Homer, Hartley
and Marin, or American literature
and ignoring Stephen Crane, Hart
Crane, Dreiser and Sandburg. We
are not the most musical of coun-
tries, but we have a music. The
failure of this music to be better
known .is due to the fact that of
all the arts today music is most
ridden by snobbery and cultural
ignorance, least available to the
American people. Here one sees
the disastrous results when culture
is allowed to be run like a profit-
making and monopoly industry,
combined with a feudal-aping
patronage system. These are hard
times for composers, and there is
but one solution to their problem.
If they will take part in the strug-
gle to restore and expand Ameri-
can democracy, they will be able
as well to restore some democracy
in our musical culture.
Musi&: Notes On Aaron Copland
[91
Of all American composers,
Copland is most respected and
followed by other composers, and
for good reason. He has helped
others. He has organized hearings
for American music, and fought,
if unsuccessfully, for a composer's
living wage. He has brought to
our attention many of the ad-
vances made in composition
abroad, appraising new findings in
European harmony and instru-
mentation for their value to
American music. His standards of
absolute economy in expressing a
musical thought have been a
worthwhile discipline for young
composets.
But Copland's influence has not
been wholly positive. His modern-
ism has been weighted tOO much
on the Stravinsky and Boulanger
schools. It could have profited
from the addition of the richer
emotions of Schoenberg and Web-
ern, and from the more expansive
human imagery of Bartok and
Prokofieff. His faultS have bttn
made into virtues, so that his nar-
row range of emotion, a personal
limitation, has become in his dis-
ciples a restriction to an academic
studio music, composed as if its
dominating emotion were the fear
of being thought vulgar.
The Thi,.d S']mphony should
become a permanent part of or-
chestcul repertOry and be put on
records, for it is one of the beSt
American symphonic works. But
Copland should be relieved of the
burden, unsought by him, of being
considered ..the" American com-
poser. Ir is time that others of his
generation, and earlier, were ex-
tensively performed and recorded:
Ives, Sessions, Ruggles, Riegger,
Cowell. Not ro know these men
is like pretending to know Amer-
ican painting while ignoring
Ryder, Bellows, Homer, Hartley
and Marin, or American literature
and ignoring Stephen Crane, Hart
Crane, Dreiser and Sandburg. We
are nOt rhe most musical of coun-
tries, but we have a music. The
failure of this music to be better
known is due to the fact that of
aU the arcs today music is most
ridden by snobbery and cultural
ignorance, least available to the
American people. Here one sees
the disastrOus resultS when culture
is allowed to be run like a profit.
making and monopoly indm.try,
combined with a feudal-aping
patronage system. These are hard
times for composers, and there is
but one solution to their problem.
]f they will take parr in the strug-
gle ro restore and expand Ameri-
can democracy, they will be able
as well to restOre some democracy
in our musical culture.
theatre
THE TWO
by HARRY GRANICK
GALILEOS
W
ITH the prevailing timidity
of the commercial theatre,
it is not surprising that twO of the
most notable plays of the season
should have to be presented off
Broadway. The Experimental
Theatre produced the first, Charles
Laughton's adaptation of Benoit
Brecht's Galileo; New Stages pre-
sented the second, Barrie Stavis'
Lamp at Midnight, also about Gali-
leo.
Both plays focused on the his-
toric conflict between Galileo and
the Catholic Church over the ad-
missibility of the Copernican
theory to the level of fact. But.
while the material was the same,
even to particular scenes, and
while the writers were, in one case,
a world renowned artist of solid
accomplishment, and in the other,
a younger man, a true craftsman
and a brilliant writer, the plays
were utterly disparate in depth
and dramatic power. In my opin-
ion, this was due to the different
approaches. For to the conflict
stated above and common to both
plays, Stavis added another: the
conflict in personality; the conflict
not only outside Galileo but inside
92
him, and in much the same terms,
for Galileo was both a scientist
and a devout Catholic; and the
conflict outside the Pope as well
as within him, for the Pope was
also torn between respect for ob -
jective truth and his responsibility
to uphold Catholic-Aristotelian
dogma, Brecht's decision to pre-
sent the material in epic theatre
form robbed it of the possibility
of extension in depth through
personality and forced it to move
on the horizontal plane of chrono-
logical action.
What is epic theatre? In the
words of Piscator and Brecht, who
invented the form, it is "teaching
theatre." Arising in the years of
theatre
THE TWO
by HARRY GRANICK
GALILEOS
W
ITH the prevailing timidity
of the commercial theatre,
it is not surprising that two of the
most notable plays of the season
should have to be presented off
Broadway. The Experimental
Theatre produced the fuse, Charles
Laughton's adaptation of Bertolt
Brecht's GaliJeo; New Stages pre-
sented the second, Barrie Stavis'
Lamp at Midnight, also about Gali
100.
Both plays focused on tbe his-
toric conflict between Galileo and
the Catholic Church over the ad-
missibility of the Copernican
theory to the level of faCt. But
while the material was the same,
even to particular scenes, and
while the writers were, in one case,
a world renowned artist of solid
accomplishment, and in the mher,
a younger man, a true crafesman
and a brilliant writer, the plays
were utterly disparate in depth
and dramatic power. In my opin-
ion, this was due to the different
approaches. For to the conflict
stated above and common to both
plays, 8tavis added another: the
conflict in personality; the conflict
not only outside GaWeo but inside
92
him, and in much the same terms,
for Galileo was both a scientist
and a devout Catholic; and the
conflict outside the Pope as well
as within him, for the Pope was
also torn between respect for ob-
jeCtive tcuth and his responsibility
to uphold CatholicAtistotelian
dogma. Brecht's decision to pre-
sent the material in epic theatce
form robbed it of the possibility
of extension in depth through
personality and forced it to move
on the horizontal plane of chrono-
logical action.
What is epic theatre? In the
words of Piscator and Brecht, who
invented the forID, it is "teaching
theatre." Arising in the years of
Theatre: T he Two Galileos
intensifying warfare between the
Nazis and the working class of
Germany, the form was frankly
political: a people's weapon.
Through it, Brecht and Piscator
sought to explain the issues of
the day with open didacticism
while employing every theatrical
art to enliven the proceeding. But
while the form is eminently suited
to the depiction of conflict be-
tween forces, the protagonists of
the conflict can have only the bar-
est internal movement, for their
function is to represent the war-
ring sides.
Thus, in spite of Hanns Eisler's
music, particularly his brilliant
streetsingers' ballad, and in spite
of all the other interesting ele-
ments of production-the chorus
of three boys, the picture stills
projected on the back wall, the
use of dance and pageantry-
Galileo achieved no emotional in-
tensity or curve. Though uniform-
ally charming and entertaining, it
remained an over-simplified intel-
lectualization of a titanic conflict.
Indeed, Brecht's choice of style
with its limitation of purpose
caused him to avoid the dramatic
peaks of the story and present
Galileo both humorously as a bit
of a foxy grandpa and as a man
whose intellectual drive is so
single as to deprive him of a feel-
ing of common humanity even to-
ward his daughter.
Brecht's style caused him to
present the meeting between Gali-
leo and the Pope in terms of a
[93
passage at witticism; it forced him
to explain Galilee's recantation on
the bare ground of fear of physical
torture. In one point only did
Brecht's loose epic form give him
advantage over the tightness of
dramatic structure demanded by
realistic theatre. It permitted him
to include the wonderful ballade
singers and the market-place fete,
presenting the levering force of
Galilee's concepts on the Catho-
lic discipline of the common peo-
ple. This Stavis was able only to
describe but not to portray.
Also constructed fluidly, and in
many scenes, Stavis' play not only
pits force against force, but man
against man; and above that and
inside man, opposing those fero-
cious considerations of necessity
between which he must choose for
final glory or defeat. In contrast
to the epic .form, Stavis seeks out
the most decisive and intensely
moving moments of the real drama
and meets its challenge with the
utmost intellectual and emotional
force at his command. Step by
step, we follow Galileo along his
anguished Calvary, watching the
Church scourge him from Station
to Station even as its founder was
scourged in another time.
We are with him at that ter-
ribly dazzling moment when, first
of all mankind, he beholds the
Copernican heavens; we are with
him when the schoolmen, in the
name of the Church and philo-
sophical idealism, refuse to look
through his telescope at the facts
Theatre: The Two Galileos
intensifying warfare between the
Nazis and the working class of
Germany, the form was frankly
political: a people's weapon.
Through it, Brecht and Piscator
sought to explain the issues of
the day with open didacticism
while employing every theatrical
an to enliven the proceeding. But
while the form is eminently suited
to the depiction of conflict be-
rween forces, the protagonists of
the conflict can have only the bar-
est internal movement, for their
function is to represent the war-
ring sides.
1.1lUS, in spite of Hanns Eisler's
music, particularly his brilliant
streetsingers' ballad, and in spite
of all the other interesting ele-
ments of production-the chorus
of three boys, the picture stills
projected on the back wall, the
use of dance and pageantry-
Galileo achieved no emotional in-
tensity or curve. Though uniform-
ally charming and entertaining, it
remained an over-simplified intel-
lectualization of a titanic conflict.
Indeed, Brecht's choice of style
with its limitation of purpose
caused him to avoid the dramatic
peaks of the StOry and present
Galileo both humorously as a bit
of a foxy grandpa and as a man
whose intellectual drive is so
single as to deprive him of a feel-
ing of common humanity even to-
ward his daughter.
Brecht's style caused him to
present the meeting between Gali-
leo and the Pope in tenus of a
[93
passage at witticism; it forced him
co explain Galileo's recantation on
the bare ground of fear of physical
torture. In one point only did
Brecht's loose epic form give him
advantage over the tightness of
dramatic strucru.re demanded by
realistic theatre. It permitted him
to include the wonderful ballade
singers and the market-place fete,
presenting the levering force of
GaliJeo's concepts on the Catho-
lic discipline of the common peo-
ple. This Stavis was able ooIy to
describe but nOt to portmy.
Also constructed fluidly, and in
many scenes, Stavis' play not only
pits force against force, but man
against man; and above that and
inside man, opposing those fero-
cious considerations of necessity
berween which he must choose for
final glory or defeat. In contrast
to the epic ,form, Stavis seeks out
the most decisive and intensely
moving moments of the real drama
and meets its challenge with the
utmOSt intellectual and emotional
force ar his command. Step by
step, we follow Galileo along his
anguished Calvary, watching the
Church scourge him from Station
to Station even as its founder was
scourged in another time.
We are with him at that ter-
ribly dazzling moment when, fust
of all mankind, he beholds the
Copernican heavens; we are with
him when the schoolmen, in the
name of the Church and philo-
sophical idealism, refuse to look
through his telescope at the facts
94]
of the universe; we are with him
in Rome while the Churchmen toy
with his magical glass and he gets
the first warning of ecclesiastical
opposition from Cardinal Barber-
ini, himself a scientist; and we
are with him when Cardinal In-
quisitor Bellarmin commands Gal-
ilea as a loyal Catholic to abandon
a concept that might well destroy
the Church, and Galileo, horrified
at having to choose between two
sides of his being which had here-
tofore been an entity, cries out,
"Oh, my Lord, you have just
started a civil war inside me
which will end in my destruc-
tion!"
Bellarmin argues that the com-
mon people are not ready for the
truth; they must be deceived for
the protection of the Church.
"When will they be ready for
it?" asks Galileo. Bellarmin equiv-
ocates. "Sometime in the future."
"But the future can be now!"
cries Galileo-and it rings in the
heart of the audience, "The future
can be now!"
Nevertheless, Galileo promises
to obey the dictum of the power
that stands between his soul and
God and is then granted the right
to project his scientific discovery
as a hypothesis, since, in this form,
few will" mark it except as an eso-
teric theory. It is a galling defeat
for Galileo and all the forces of
reason.
Then the scientist-cardinal be-
comes Pope, and again hopeful
and with revived confidence in his
HARRY GRANICK
Church, Galileo hurries to Rome
to beg Pope Barberini to help
him establish the truth about the
nature of the universe. But the
Pope orders Galilee's books con-
fiscated and unleashes Father Fi -
renzuola of the Inquisition to pro-
ceed against the rebellious son.
Later the Pope's tormented con-
science forces him to seek out
the aging Galileo in order to jus-
tify his behavior in defense of
dogma rather than of the living
truth which he fears may destroy
the Church: "Galilea," he cries,
"you have placed my soul in jeop-
ardy of eternal damnation." When
he departs, with an irony that finds
the heart, Galileo kneels and prays
for the sick soul of the Vicar of
Christ.
But in the Inquisition chamber,
a false document, the double-talk,
the physical terrorization confuse
and frighten Galileo until he
curses his years of study. Alone
with the psychological torturer,
Firenzuola, he hears himself de-
nounced as anti-Christ, as one pre-
pared to hurl all mankind into
chaos because of pride in a "few
words." When Firenzuola com-
pels him to recite the dread prayer
of the dead, Galileo, already strick-
en by the priest'S injection into
him of "the shadow of the shadow
of a doubt" regarding his facts
in the face of God's awful wrath,
cries for mercy and signs the ab-
juration.
Now the Pope assembles the
College of Cardinals to approve
94]
of the universe; we are with him
in Rome while the Churchmen toy
with his magical glass and he gets
the firSt warning of ecclesiastical
opposition from Cardinal Barber-
ioi, himself a scientist; and we
are wich him when Cardinal In-
quisitor Bellarmin commands Gal
ilea as a loyal Catholic to abandon
a concept tbat might well destroy
the Church, and Galileo, horrified
at having to choose between twO
sides of his being which had here-
tofore ~ n an emiry. cries out,
"Oh, my Lord, you have just
started a civil war inside me
which will end in my destruc-
tion!"
Bellarmin argues that the cam-
mon people are nOl ready for the
truth; they must be deceived for
the protection of the Church.
"When will they be ready foc
it?" asks Galileo. Bellannin equiv-
ocates.. "Sometime in the future."
"But the furore can be nOw!"
aies GaJileo-and it rings in the
heart of the audience, ''''Ibe f u ~
can be now!"
Nevertheless, Galileo promises
to obey the dicrum of the power
rhar srands between his soul and
God and is then granted the right
to project his scientific discovery
as a hypothesis, since, in this form,
few will mark it except as an eso-
terie theory. It is a galling defeat
fot Galileo and all the forces of
reason.
Then the sdemist-cardinal be-
comes Pope, and again hopeful
and with revived confidence in his
HARRY GRANICK
Church, Galileo hurries to Rome
to beg Pope Barberini to help
him. esrablish the truth about the
nature of the universe. But the
Pope orders Galileo's books con-
fiscated and unleashes Father Fi
ttnzuola of the Inquisition to pro-
ceed against the rebeUious son.
Later the Pope's tormented con-
science forces him to Sttk out
the aging Galileo in order to jus-
tify his behavior in defense of
dogma rather than of the living
truth which he fears may destroy
the Church: "Ga1ileo," he cries,
"you have placed my soul in jeop-
ardy of eternal damnation:' When
he departs, with an irony that finds
the hean, Galileo kneels and prays
for the sick soul of the Vicar of
Christ.
But in the Inquisition chamber,
a false document, the double-talk,
the physical terrorization confuse
and frighten Galileo until he
curses his years of study. Alone
with the psychological tonurer,
Firenzuola, he hears himself de-
nounced as anti-Chrisc, as one pre-
pared to hurl all manlcind into
chaos because of pride in a "few
words." When Fuenzuola com-
pels him. to recite the dread prayer
of the dead, Galileo, already strick
en by the priest's injection into
him of "the shadow of the shadow
of a doubt" regarding his factS
in the face of God's awful wrath,
cries for mercy and signs the ab-
jUr:ldon.
Now the Pope assembles the
College of Cardinals to approve
Dance: Anna Sokolow
the Inquisitorial decree for a pub-
lic recantation. Three refuse-and
this is history. Challenged as to
why he himself dares not be one
of the signatories, the Pope an-
grily declares that papal infalli-
bility must be safeguarded against
the day when Galilee's concepts
may become accepted truth. And
indeed, the Pope's refusal to sign
is today the apologia of the
Church.
And now we witness the recan-
tation: the man on the cross. With
dance
[95
the great Galileo bowed to his
knees, reciting the abjuration, we
feel we have lived through the
passion play of our time, an in-
tellectual, scientific as well as a
spiritual passion. And when, in
the last scene, Galileo, searching
his long-tortured faith, cries out,
"I swear by my Lord and Savior,
the earth does move!" it is like
the resurrection: the affirmation
of the indestructibility of truth
and a promise that, properly de-
fended, it will save us all.
Anna Sokolow
S
INCE 1935-36, when the group
dances "Strange American Fu-
neral" and "War Is Beautiful"
received their first performances,
Anna Sokolow has been consist-
ent in her approach to her me-
dium. At that time she brought
the full pressure of her artistry
to bear on the influential left-wing
dance movement. She refused to
accept the facile patterns of literal
symbolism and choreographic
"slogans" which some people ac-
cepted as the sale means of reach-
ing worker audiences. She had a
large share in shaping and broad-
ening the artistic horizons for a
whole generation of young danc-
ers whose coming-of-age coin-
cided with the social ferment of
the late Thirties. In the present
ebbtide of experimentation and
exploration along the lines of so-
cial content in dancing, Anna So-
kolow has continued her fruitful,
deeply thought out work in this
field. This was particularly evi-
denced in her recital, February 1,
at the Teresa Kaufmann Auditor-
ium in New York.
At Bennington, where Miss So-
kolow had a fellowship in 1937,
she produced "Facade," an anti-
fascist dance. In "Sing For Your
Supper" (1938), her "Last Waltz"
dealt with the entry of Hitler into
Vienna. Her solo "Slaughter of
the Innocents" ranks as one of the
Dance: Anna Sokolow
the Inquisitorial decree for a pub-
lic recantation. Three refuse-'<lnd
this is history. Challenged as to
why be himself dares not be one
of the signatories, the Pope an-
grily declares that papal infalli-
bility must be safeguarded against
the day when Galileo's concepts
may become accepted truth. And
indeed, the Pope's refusal to sign
is today the apologia of the
Church.
And now we witness the recan-
tation: the man on the cross. With
dance
[95
the great Galileo bowed to his
knees, reciting the abjuration, we
feel we have lived through the
passion play of our time, an in-
tellectual, scientific as well as a
spiritual passion. And when, in
the last scene, Galilee, searching
his long-tortured faith, cries out,
"r swear by my Lord and Savior,
the earth does move!" it is like
the resurrection: the affirmation
of the indestructibility of truth
and a promise that, properly de-
fended, it will save us all.
Anna Sokolow
S
INCB 1935-36, wben the group
dances "Strange American Fu-
neral" and ''War Is Beautiful"
received their fust performances,
Anna Sokolow has been consist-
ent in ber approach to her me-
dium. At that time she brought
tbe full pressure of her artistry
to bear on tbe inBuentialleft-wing
dance movement. She refused to
accept the facile patterns of literal
symbolism and choreographic
"slogans" which some people ac-
cepted as the sole means of reach-
ing worker audiences. She had a
large share in shaping and broad-
ening the artistic horizons for a
whole generation of young danc-
ers whose coming-of-age coin-
cidCd with the social ferment of
the late Thirties. In the present
ebbcide of experimentation and
exploration along the lines of so-
cial content in dancing, Anna So-
kolow has continued her fruitful,
deeply thought OUt work in this
field. This was panicularly evi-
denced in her recital, February 1,
at the Teresa Kaufmann Auditor-
ium in New York.
At Bennington, where Miss So-
kolow had a fellowship in 1937,
she produced "Facade," an anti-
fascist dance. In "Sing For Your
Supper" (1938). her "Last Waltz"
dealt with the entry of Hitler into
Vienna. Her solo "Slaughter of
the Innocents" ranks as one of the
96]
most beautiful and moving dances
on Spain. The persecution of the
Jews in Europe inspired a whole
series of dances, including an-
other masterpiece, "The Exile."
During a stay in Mexico (1939-
1941) Sokolow, working with
native artists, created seven bal-
lets. Visits since then have re-
sulted in the moving dances,
"Mexican Retablo" and the splen-
did "Lament for the Death of a
Bullfighter."
Sokolow's power of dramatic
evocation is astonishing despite
the economy of means, the limited
dance movement, used to achieve
it. Physically a small person, she
moves with great dignity and in-
tensity on the stage. She can shift
from the passionate and large di-
mensioned "Lament" to the brittle
fragility of "Our Lady" or "The
Bride" with no loss of emotional
depth. She can be brutal and yet
sympathetic in "Case History" or
SHORT STORIES WANTED
UP TO 3. 000 WORDS
Nom inal payment on accepta nce
En close self -addressed and
stamped envel ope
A ddress:
SHORT STORY EDITOR,
The Worker.
50 East 13 St., New York 3, N.Y.
MASSES & MAINSTREAM
SPEAKERS BUREAU
For inforInat ion write to
Af asses
Box 115, Cooper Station
New York 3, N. Y.
. EDNA OCKO
sardonically comic in "Life Is a
Fandango," yet never over-em-
broider the emotional textures to
lapse into histrionics or cuteness.
Where her new dances do not
quite hit it off, as in "Ballad in a
Popular Style No.2" and "Debo-
rah," one feels that she will either
rediscover her theme and build it
to its proper proportions next
time, or discard it altogether with-
out regrets. Her artistic courage,
combined with a disciplined and
purposeful mind, make her one of
the most serious artists in the
modern dance.
It is to be regretted that, ex-
cepting her work in "Street Scene,"
Sokolow has not yet been given
the opportunity to make her full
contribution as a choreographer
for the American stage for she
is : a rounded artist who can
greatly enrich the medium of
group choreography.
EDNA OCKO
For the Discr iminating Li stener
CUSTOM BUILT PHONOGRAPHS
and
RADIOPHONO COMBINATION
By an Expert Radi o
and Sotmd Engineer
ULRIC J. CHILDS
295 Ft. Washington Ave.
New York 32, N.Y. WA. 77187
For Advertising Rates
in
MASSES & MAINSTREAM
write to
Advertising Dept., Box 115
Cooper Sra., New York 3
96]
most beautiful and moving dances
on Spain. The persecution of the
Jews in Europe inspired a whole
series of dances, including an-
other masterpiece, "The Exile."
During a stay in Mexico (1939-
1941) Sokolow, working with
native artists, created seven bal-
lets. Visits since then have re-
sulted in the moving dances,
"Mexican Retablo" and the splen-
did "Lament for the Death of a
Bullfighter."
Sokolow's power of dramatic
evocation is astonishing despite
the economy of means, the limited
dance movement, used to achieve
it. Physically a small person, she
moves with great dignity and in-
tensity on the stage. She can shift
from the passionate and large di-
mensioned "Lament" to the brittle
fragility of "Our Lady" or "The
Bride" with no loss of emotional
depth. She can be brutal and yet
sympathetic in "Case HistOry" or
SHOIlT STOIlIES WANTED
UP TO 3.000 WORDS
Nominal paymen. on acecp<ance
EndO$<! $elf.addressed and
$12mped en"elope:
Addr""
SHORT STORY EDITOR,
Tile Worller.
50 East 13 St New Yorll J. N.Y.
MASSES & MAINSTREAM
SPEAKERS BUREAU
For information write to
Masses fS Mainstrea-m
Box 11 5, Cooper Station
New York 3, N. Y.
EDNA OCKO
sardonically comic in "Life Is a
Fandango," yet never over-em-
broider the emorional rextures to
lapse into histrionics or cuteness.
Where her new dances do nOt
quite hit it off, as in "Ballad in a
Popular Style No.2" and "Debo-
rah," one feels that she will either
rediscover her theme and build it
to its proper proportions next
time, or discard it altogether with
out regtets. Her artistic courage,
combined with a disciplined and
purposeful mind, make her one of
the most serious artists in the
modern dance.
]t is to be regretted that, ex-
cepting her work in "Street Scene,"
Sokolow has not yet been given
the opportunity to make her full
contribution as a choreographer
for the American stage for she
is a rounded artist who can
greatly enrich the medium of
group choreography.
EDNA OCKO
For the DiKriminating Listener
CUSTOM BUILT PHONOGRAPHS
...
RADIO-PHONO COMBINATION
By <In Exp"1 R<ldio
,m" SOllnd 1 ! . " B i n ~ "
ULRIC J. CHILDS
295 Ft. Wasll1ngton Avo.
How York 32. N.r. WA. 17J87
For Advertising Rates
in
MASSES & MAINSTREAM
UlTite to
Advertising Dept., Box 115
Cooper Sta., New York 3
STATEMENT OF THE OWNERSHIP, MANAGEMENT, CIRCUL ATION, ETC. ,
REQUIRED BY THE ACT OF CONGRESS OF AUGUST 24, 1 912, AS
AMENDED BY THE ACTS OF MARCH; 3, 1933, AND JUL Y 2, 1946, 0F
MAINSTREAM, p ublished Quart erly a t N e w York, N. Y., f or Oetobe r I, 1947.
State of New Yor k }
Cou n t y o f New Yo rk ss,
Before me, a N otary Puhlic in and f or the State and county aforesaid,
persona lly appe ared .Ioae p h F'el shIn, w ho. h aving be en duly sworn accordi ng t o
law, deposes a n d s ays t hat he is the Business Manager of the MAINSTREAM,
a n d t h at the following is , to t he best of h is knowledge a n d b e li ef, a true s tate-
m ent of the ownership, m anag ement ( and If a daily. w e ekly , semiweekly or
t riwe ekly newspaper. t h e circu lation), etc., o f the aforesai d p ublication for the
d ate s h ow n in the above caption, r e q u i r e d by the act of A ugust 24, 1912, a s
amen ded by the acts of March 3, 1933, a n d J ul y 2, 1946 (section 6a 7, P osta l
Laws a n d R egul ati ons) , print ed on the re vers e o f this r orrn, t o wi t:
1. 'rhat the names a nd a dd resses of the publi sher, . e d i t o r, m anaging editor,
a nti busin ess m a n a g ers are:
Name of publi sher. M a l nat r e n m As s oc iat e s. Inc. P ost office address , 832
B r oa d way, New Yo rk, N. Y. Editor, Samuel Sillen. 832 Broadway, New York 3,
N . Y. Man a.g lrrg e d i t or, none . B usi ness m a.n n g e r , J os eph F' e ls h f n , 832 Broadway.
New York 3, N. Y.
2. Tha t t h e owner is: (It owned by a corporation, its name a n d address mus t
be stated a nd also irrun ediat e ly thereun<.l er the names and addresses of s tock-
hoiders owni ng 01' holding one p e rce n t o r m ore of total a m o u n t o f stocle. If n o t
owned by a c or po ra t io n, the n a m es a nd a d d r eaaes of the individua l owners m ust
be given. It owned by a finn, compa.ny, or other uni ncorporated concern, it s
name a nd addre ss. as well a s those of each individua l m ember, m ust be gi v en.)
Mnl n st rea m Associat es, I nc ., 8 3 2 Broadway, New York 3, N . Y.
Samuel Sll1 en, 8a2 Broadwa y, New York a. N. Y.
V. J. Jerome, 8a 2 B roadway, New York 3, N. Y.
Jos eph Felshin, 832 Broadway, New York 3, N. Y.
3. T h a t the k nown bondholders, mortgage es, and ot her securi ty h olders
owning or h ol d i n g 1 p ercent or more of total amount o f bon ds, mor tgages, or
other s ecu riti es are: (If ther e a r e none, s o state.) N one.
4. T hat the two p aragraphs n e xt a b ove, giving t he n a m e s of the o wners,
stockholders, and s ecurity h ol d e r s , if a ny, cont ai n not on ly t h e li st o f s tock -
holders and security h ol d e r s as t h e y a p p ea r u p on the books of t he company but
a l s o, i n cases w h e r e the stockholder or s ecurity h ol d e r appea rs u pon t he b ooks
of the compa ny as trustee or in a n y o t her fidu ciary relation, t he n a m e of the
person or corporation for whorn such trustee is a c t i ng , is g iven; a l s o that the
s a id two paragraphs contai n s t a t e ment s embr-a.cl ng affiant's f ull k n owl e d g e and
bellef as to the circumstanc es a n d c onditi on s under w hich stockholders a n d
security holders who do not a p p ear upon the books of the company as truste es.
h old stock a n d s ecurities In a capacit y other than that of a bona fide owner ;
a nd this affi ant has no r ea son to beli eve that any other person, association, or
c orpor a tion h a s a ny int erest dir ect or indirect i n the s aid stock, bond s, o r other
s ecu riti es tha n as so st ated by h i m .
5. That the a verag e number of co p ie s of each issue of t h is p ublication sol d
or di stribut ed. through t h e malls o r oth e r w ts e, to paId subscribe rs d uri ng t h e
t w e l v e months pr eceding the date s how n a bo ve is .
(This i nformation Is r equ ired from d ally, we el<1y, semiweekly, and trI we e kl y
n ewspapers only.)
,JOSEPH FELSHIN, Busi ness Ma nager.
Sworn to a n d s u bsc r ibed b efore m e this lIth d a y of Sept ember, 1 947.
lII A X K I T Z E S, Notary Public.
(SEAL) (My commission expires 1Ii a r ch 30, 1949.)
STATEMENT OF THE OWNERSHIP, MANAGEMENT, CiRCULATION. ETC..
R.:QUTRED D\' THE ACT 01" CONOllESS 0 ..' AUOUST U. 1912, AS
AMENDED BY THE ACTS OF MARCHi 3, 1933. AND JU'L<Y 2, IH8, Col"
MAINSTREAM. publl.hed Quarterly at New York, N, Y.. tor October I, 1941,
State ot New York }
County ot New York n.
Before me. a Notary Public In and lor Ihe State and eOunlY afore.ald.
penonally appeared JOlICph .'.Iahln. who, hll.vlng been duly .worn according to
law, dep08". and aa)'a that he la the Bu.lne... Man..&"er of the )IAINSTREAM,
lind that the tollowln&, la, to the beal ot hi. knowled&,e and beUet, a UU<l .tat<l-
m<lnt ot the ownenhlp, manag<lment (and tf .. dally, weekly, eemlweekly or
triweekly n<lwapaper. the clrcul .. tlon). <lte.. ot the alore..ald pubJlcaUon lor the
,I.. te ahown In the ahov<l caption. requlr<ld by the act ot AugURI H. 1912, .. a
"mended by th<l actB 01 March 3, 1933. and July 2. 1946 (aecllon 537, Po.. t,,1
l.alva nnd Hegul .. t10nB), I,rlnted On the rever"e ot thla form. 10 Wit:
1, That th<l name. and Ilddre."eD or Ihe pHblleher. editor, managing edllor,
and bUBlneBa ",,,nager.. are:
Name 01 Jlubll.. her, Maln.tream AaBoclnte.. Inc. Poat ornce "ddreea, 832
Bre,,,lwny, New York. N. Y. Samuel Sillen. 832 Droadway, New Yorl< 3,
N. Y. M"n"glng editor. none, DUBlne", mannger, JoBel'h .'elahln, 832 Broadw..y,
New York 3. N. Y.
2. That Ihe ownor I.. : (If owne,l by " corporation. It" nRme and a,ldre... mu.t
be .. t.. ted and al.o Immediately thereunder the nllme" .. nd addreaae" of Block_
holdorll ownIng or holdIng ono percenl Or moro Of 10Iai amount ot Dtock. It not
ownod by .. corporation. the and addre....oe 01 the Indlvldu..1 ownen must
I>e &,Iven. Jr owned I>Y a Orm, company, or other unincorporated concern, H"
n"mo and addre........ well .. " tho.o of e..ch Individual member, mUllt ba glvon.)
It.. ln''tream A""oclalOf. lnc., 832 B,oallway. New York 3, N. Y.
Samuet Slllen. 832 Broadway. Now York 3. N. Y.
V. J. Jerome. 832 Broadway. New York 3. N. Y.
Joeeph Fel"hln. 832 Bro.. dway, Now York 3. N. Y.
3. That the known bondhOlder". morlgageeB. and othor "ecurlty holdore
owning or holding 1 percent or more of tOlal amount ot bond". mortg..gu. or
other "ecurltlu are: (tt there ar<l none. "0 atate.) Nono.
4. Thnt Iho two paragr.. ph" next ..bove, gIving Ihe name. of Ihe ownen.
Btockholden. and "ecurlly holder... It any. contain not only the IIBt ot "tock-
holderB and aecurHy bolden .... th"y appear Ul,on the books of the comp"ny but
"IBO. In ca.es whero the Block holder or "ecurlty holder nppo.. ra upon the hook"
Of tho company a .. tr""tee or In any other nduclary relation. tho namo of lhe
peT80n or corpor.. llon for whom Buch tru"tee la acUn&". I.. &,lven; aloo that the
.... Id Iwo par!>.grapha contaIn elntement. embracln&, amant'" full knowledge and
bellof a. to the clrcum.tanC<l" and con,lltlo"" under which .. tockho](10r" .. nd
""curHy holder. who do not .. ppear uvon the bookB or Ihe company .. a truoteu.
hold otock and "ocurltieB In a capacity other Ibnn thnt of a bonll. nd<l owner:
nnd thia am"nt haa nO rea"on to believe tbo.t any olhor perlIOn. anoclntlon. or
corpor.. Uon haB any IntereBt direct or Indirect In the ..aId Btock, bond., or olher
.ecurltle.. than ......0 atated by him.
6. That Ihe Il.verll.ge number of coplea ot each IMUe 01 thla publlcatloo eold
or dlBtrlbulod. through the m.. lI" or otherwl"", to paid "ub"crlber" during lh<l
twelvo month.. preeedln&, the dille .hown abo,"e I"
(ThIB Informatlon I" required trom dnlly. weekly. "emlweekly. and triweekly
new.papen oroly.)
JOSI'."'PIl FI':LSffIN. BUBlne.. Mao.. ger.
Sworn to .. n,' .ub..crlbed beforo mo thlB 11th day of September. 19n.
JIIAX KIT7.ES. Notory Public.
(SEAT.) (My cornmlulon expire. March 30. l'U.)
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