34 / CHRONICLESnment”; it is scarcely even criticism.nFloyd researched and annotatednO’Neill’s hitherto unavailable “idea”nnotebooks in Yale’s Beineke Library fornEugene O’Neill at Work (Ungar, 1981),ntwo years after having edited a collectionnof critical essays on O’Neill for thensame publisher. Her close familiaritynwith her subject is obvious; it makesnpossible her latest book’s particular virtues.nBut her “assessments” are thensame old inflated impressions ofnO’Neill’s accomplishment prior to hisn1930’s withdrawal-and-return, and thensame old biographical biases, by whichnthe early and middle plays are gradednaccording to the degree in which theyn”reveal” O’Neill’s own family, to thatnextent “prefiguring” his late masterpiece.nLong Day’s Journey Into Night.nFloyd, it is true, employs othern—albeit rubbery—yardsticks of value,nbut the one thing they never measure isnthat which most needs measuring andnwhich is, by sensitive critical acumen,nmeasurable: the adequacy of a play’sn”language” (including its visual signs) tonits evidently intended meanings and tonits temporal and affective design. Thisnhas always been the O’Neill problem,noften noted, rarely addressed. It comesnas no surprise that Floyd, in her ownnbanal, repetitious, and cliche-cloggednprose, turns out to be unequal not onlynto the effort but even to locating thenproblem. For that, I recommend JeannChothia’s Forging a Language (Cambridge,n1979). The book is not entirelynsuccessful, but it remains the best trynsince Francis Fergusson (in a Houndnand Horn essay of January 1930) articulatednO’Neill’s difficulty in the starkestnterms.nBut all that this means, finally, is thatnFloyd’s book is mistitled. As, say. ThenPlays of Eugene O’Neill: An InformationalnSurvey, it is still well worthnhaving.nRaymond /. Pentzell is chairman ofnthe department of theater and speechnat Hillsdale College.nAn Untimely EndnFamily and Nation by Daniel P.nMoynihan, New York: Harcourt,nBrace, Jovanovich; $12.95.nThere used to be two Daniel P. Moynihans.nOne wrote interesting essays onnthe foibles and pitfalls of crafting publicnpolicy. While seldom mistaken for anrigorous social scientist, this Moynihannhad a gift for translating the esotericnfindings of the research sociologists intonthe vernacular. He saw through thenpretentions of political hubris and couldnalways be counted on to acknowledgenand work from raw reality, howeverndistasteful it might be to progressivensentiments. At times, he even exhibitednconsiderable moral courage, as his pursuitnof the truth led him to unpopularnconclusions (e.g., the famedn”Moynihan report” on the breakdownnof the “Negro family”).nThe other Moynihan was a DemocraticnSenator from New York. ThisnMoynihan regularly caved in to thenstandard pressure groups that bedevilnthe modern Politicus Democraticus.nWhen not on a legislative binge, thisnMoynihan, with all the gloomy sinceritynof a man with a hangover, would fallnback on the pieties of moral relativism:njudge not, lest ye be judged. ThisnMoynihan turned with particular vehemencenon social conservatives, whondared give moral and political preferencento traditional institutions.nIn Family and Nation, Mr. Hyde hasnwon out over Dr. Jekyll; the politicalnbeast has triumphed over the moral,nempirical man. Moynihan clearly acknowledgesnthe ongoing tragedy of familyndisintegration in America and outlinesnthe chilling consequences. In thenend, though, he surrenders his soul tonthe behavioral and feminist harpies.nTheir victory is America’s loss.nThe Eyes of Adamnby Carl C. CurtisnGiacometti: A Biography by JamesnLord, New York: Farrar, Straus &nGiroux; $30.00.nAlberto Giacometti was almost a livingncaricature oiThe Modern Artist. Such anjudgment would strike his biographer asnunfair, but it cannot be helped. Thenpopular mind has formed some definitenideas about how an artist behaves: he isnabove all shabby—wearing clothes henmight have slept in, spattered withnpaint (or caked with dust), badly in neednof a haircut and a good night’s sleep; hendrinks and smokes too much, andnwhores with reckless abandon; he livesnin rat- or roach-infested quarters thatnshould have been razed years ago; he isnas lazy as he is untalented. Giacomettinnot only looked the part of the 20thcenturynartist, his spindly sculpturesnwould strike most casual observers asnsomething a talented kindergartenernwould make out of Play Dob.nI do not know whether we can dis­nnnmiss this popular conception on thengrounds that the hoi polloi do notnunderstand great art; sometimes theynunderstand it much better than artncritics would like to admit. At the samentime it would be a mistake to simplyndismiss Giacometti as another examplenof modern art’s apotheosis of the worthless.nFor one thing, he was a man ofnconsiderable integrity. He broke awaynfrom the Surrealist movement at a timenwhen he might have become one of itsnpresiding figures, because he did notnbelieve Surrealism served his vision ofnart any longer. It hardly mattered tonhim that he ran the risk of being excommunicatednfrom the Parisian art community;nhe insisted upon pursuing hisnnew purpose, to paint truthfully fromnnature (a goal abhorrent to thenSurrealists).nThis same unwillingness to compromisenled him to end his agreement withnthe art dealers Aime’ and GuiguitenMaeght at the height of their successfulnassociation, after they had humiliatednLouis Clayeux, Giacometti’s friend andnthe prime mover of their operation.nAnd though his adherence to a code ofnshabbiness often provokes laughter, hisnstance is preferable to the humbuggerynof some of the other giants of 20thcenturynart and literature who cashed innon their fame while pretending to disdainnbourgeois morality (one thinks ofnPicasso and Sartre). Giacometti lived innthe same ill-heated and poorly plumbednstudio at Montparnasse for 35 years,nuntil his death in 1965.nThen there is his art. Despite hisncurrent high reputation, it will be thentask of future generations to decide thenvalue of his work. Whatever that decisionnmay be, Giacometti pointed thenway for other artists to concentrate theirnattention on the human figure. He wasnno preacher and never would havendreamed of founding a new school; butnhis example is there for those who willntake it. All in all this was a healthyndevelopment.nFor all that, one cannot shake thennagging sense that there is somethingnwrong with Giacometti, something defectivenin his deepest motives. Lordnmakes the point over and over againnthat Giacometti’s post-Surrealist goalnwas “to look at nature as if art had notnexisted, to see reality with an eye innocentnof preconception,” as it were, withnthe eyes of Adam. Lord admits that thisnis impossible and that Giacometti knewnit, but he never appears to have thenslightest notion that such an endeavornmight be perverse. No man can see asnAdam saw because no man, exceptnAdam, can be first; each succeedingn