women to find food for my family. Inmust do it myself.’—But here theynboth knew the illusion of that statementn. . . she and her family were fednby them, succoured by them, hiddennby them. She looked at her servant:nthey were their cteatures, like theirncattle and pigs.nEvery character mJuly’s People isncreated with this technique of scatteringnfragmented information throughout thentext. Moving away from the dense psychologicalnexamination of character thatnshe employed in her earlier writing, Gordimernseems at last to have expressednwhat Hardy called the “ache of modernism.”nHer method of presenting fragmentedndetail is appropriate for a novelnin which people search for order in a universenof disorder. The Smales’s automobilen”would mst and be stripped tonhulk unless it made the journey back,nsoon”; Ms. Gordimer likens it to a lostn”ship that had docked in a far country.”nMaureen becomes aware of a similar lacknof direction in her new life, not knowingn”where she was, in time, in the order of anday as she had always known it.” (Nearnthe end of the novel we find that hernwatch is broken—Gordimer wants to bensure we do not miss the point.) Maureennsuffers the typical plight of many protagonistsnof 20th-century fiction, feelingnthat “shock, that drop beneath the feet,n[which] happens to the self alone.”nFinally, when Gordimer tells us thatnMaureen “was not in possession of anynpart of her life . . . the background hadnfallen away . . . she had gained no establishednpoint of a continuing presentnfrom which to recognize her own sequence,”nthe author lays to rest anyndoubts we may yet have as to high modernism’sninfluence on her writing. W.B.nYeats’s cry in “The Second Coming” is,nwithout question, the prototype for Gordimer’snpassage:nTurning and turning in the wideningngyrenThe falcon cannot hear the falconer;nThings fall apart; the center cannotnhold . . .nIn The Broken Center, his criticalnstudy of the relationship of theology tonmodern literature, Nathan Scott hasnstated that many modern artists havenbeen faced with the problem of steeringn”lonely, separate courses through thenspiritual void of our time.” According tonScott, the modern artist has deeply neededn”systems of value … in which hisnart will find a principle of order and unity.”nReading Gordimer in the light ofnthis statement, I must conclude thatnJuly’s People is a difficult novel—not sonmuch because of its disjointed narrativenstyle and dislocated time sequence, butnbecause of the ultimate absence of anynsuch “systems of value” or “principle ofnorder.” To be sure, the modern novelist’snworld is one in which “the center cannotnhold”; Gordimer is right when she likensnthe white family’s insignificant existencento a “pocket torch held under the blanketnof the universe” and, elsewhere, isnperfectly correct in endowing the staticnwhich the family hears over the radionwith symbolic portent—“a cosmic sigh;nthey heard the sough of time and space,nthe wave poised over everything.” ButnMs. Gordimer gives the reader no answers;nwe are left hanging at the end of anslender thread. Furthermore, if we recallnat this point an earlier key passage, thennovel’s end, as well as its ultimate message,nstand out in bold relief as unresolvednissues.nHe struggled hopelessly for wordsnthat were not phrases from backnthere, words that would make thentruth that must be forming here, outnof the blacks, out of themselves . . .nBut the words would not come . . .nThe words were not there; his mind,nhis anger, had no grip.nBam Smales’s inner turmoil here isnstrikingly similar to Gordimer’s choosingnnot to tell us anything conclusive. Indeed,nperhaps such a choice was nevernreally available to her; perhaps she feltnthat in the final moments oijuly ‘snPeople we are all helpless spectators, leftnonly with the inability to act in July’s en­nnnvironment. The language with whichnBam Smales is so unable to express himselfnis the same language that Gordimernuses to tell her distressing story; we seenthat for both people “their words sankninto the broken clay walls like spilt bloodn. . . buried here.” Nadine Gordimer isncertainly gifted with the capability to expressndramatically the imbalance innSouth African black-white relations; thenbulk of her work to date attests to this.nHowever, July’s People demonstratesnthat any sort of decision on the author’snpart to resolve this serious conflict withinnher fictional world has yet to be explored.nComments by RonaldnEdwin J. Feulner, William F.nBuckley, Jr., Jacques Barzun,nMilton Friedman, Russell Kirk,nWiilard C. Butcher, Plillip IM.nCrane, Tom Wolfe and more…n… in Tiie Rockford Institute’sn1981 annual report of progress.nSend us your name andnaddress and we’ll send you ancomplimentary copy of ournfifth anniversary report.nSEND ME A COMPLIMENTARY COPY OFnTHE ROCKFORD INSTITUTE’Sn1981 ANNUAL REPORT OF PROGRESSnMall this coupon to:nThe Rockford Instituten934 North Main StreetnRockford, IL 61103nNamenAddressnCity State ZipnMay/June 198Sn