house, mother to mother, town to city,nMorris managed to maintain what hencalls “abundant optimism” in his ownnfuture. In his raising of himself, in hisncreation of himself as an artist, he producednhis greatest achievement. In overcomingnthe mpture in his life betweennWords that Would Not ComenNadine Gordimer: July’s People; ThenViking Press; New York.nby Fred G. Wacker, UInIN adine Gordimer’s latest novel is ansignificant departure from her earlier literarynachievements. Quite differentnfrom her complex treatment of attitudesntoward apartheid which she filterednthrough the biased visions of ThenConservationist, or such intricate psychologicalnanalyses as she conducted in AnSoldier’s Embrace or in Burgher’snDaughter, mjuly ‘s People Gordimer hasndeveloped something which can bentermed a new simplicity. The novel willnno doubt occupy an important place innthe author’s now-sizable portfolio as annexample of her more mature style.nBy saying new simplicity, I do notnmean that Gordimer has moved awaynfrom her characteristic examination ofnmodern human beings in a complicatednmodern world; rather, like Michelangelo’snpartial revelations of form in thenstruggling “Slaves,” Gordimer choosesnto show us only sketchy fragments ofncharacter and action. The reader mustnchip away the remaining unworked stonenin order to find the answers to the difficultnquestions that Gordimer poses.nJuly’s People takes place deep in thenSouth African bush in 198O. Iris the storynof a white family, the Smaleses, forced tonflee from their predominantly Caucasian,nwell-to-do urban environment,nwhich has been recently decimated bynMr. Wacker is a recent graduate ofnPrinceton University.n28;nChronicles of Cultorenthe past and the present, he recovers (likena good Protestant) that original vision ofnunfallen man living in harmony with nature.nYet there is also an acceptance ofnthe Fall, an awareness that man is corruptnand limited and that salvation is uncertainnand individual. Dnblack revolution. The Smaleses are takennin by their long-time house servant, July,nwho shelters them in his native junglensettlement, far from the dangers of thenincreasingly frequent urban riots. Gordimernheightens our discomfort with thisnsituation by setting the story in the present.nNot only are we deprived of thatnsubtle alleviation of tension and uneasinessnwhich the distance of time can provide,nbut also our perspective on thesenquite-proximate events is further limitednby Gordimer’s persistent suggestionsnthat the past has no meaning at all to thenSmaleses in their new, primitive surroundings.nEach individual in the Smales familynattempts to apply things of the past tonthe strange jungle lifestyle, but all suchnattempts are in vain. The children do notnadjust at first, and the parents are able tonsee these problems of adjustment in theirnchildren but not in themselves. BamnSmales seems to be more concerned withnreceiving muddled information over hisnradio about the revolution rather thannactively seeking for ways to protect hisnfamily. Mauteen, his wife, is a prime examplenof a character with severely limitednperspective. Although she takes inventorynof such minor things brought alongnin the hasty escape as “a gadget for takingnthe dry cleaner’s tags off clothes withoutnbreaking your nails,” she seems unawarenof the irony of her presenr plighr:nThere was no nail-file; often she satnexamining her broken nails, takingnthe rind of dirt from under themn. . . with a piece of fine wire, anthorn, whatever presented itself innthe dust around her.nnnShe worries about contracting malarian(she even supplies herself and her husbandnwith preventive pills), but thenSmales’s sordid living conditions demonstratenMaureen’s conspicuous lack ofnattention to the hygiene of both herselfnand her children. Maureen can “namenthe variety of thorn trees—dichrostachysncinerea, sekelbos” that she sees at thenriver’s edge, but it does not occur to hernthat her refined botanical knowledge isnessentially useless in the savage bush.nWhat is one to make of such seeminglynminor details? It is precisely these bitsnof scattered information which cumulativelynform our conceptions of Ms. Gordimer’sncharacters. She relies on thisnfragmented presentation of details innorder to prevent the Smaleses from becomingntoo human in an environmentnwhich denies their very humanity. Thenwhite people July welcomes into thisnworld undergo a visible process of dehumanization—Gordimernseems dedicatednto making this fact absolutely clear.nWhen Maureen announces to her husbandnthat she “caught Royce wiping. . .nwith a stone” it is apparent that thenchildren’s habits are quickly becomingnmore primitive. And the children’s fatherngradually is more and more victimizednby this unfamiliar, unpleasant lifestyle;nany formally ordered daily activitiesnhe once enjoyed are now reduced ton”days . . . roughly divided into categoriesnof work and rest,” but in truth thenopportunities for Bam actually to worknare minimal. In July’s world, he findsnhimself ever more dependenr on thenman who used to work for him: wheneverna question arises, the answer seemsnto be, “askJuly.” The consistent ebb ofnhis authority takes its toll on Bam’s consciencenand character: “he lay down . . .nand at once suddenly rolled over onto hisnface, as the father had never done beforenhis sons” in a poignant act of self-effacement.nEven Maureen is forced to acknowledgenthe changed social positionnthat results from their new status asnrefugees.n’Anyway, I don’t want the othern