does not exhort, it is fearful. And maybenit also teaches that the Odyssey is anfearful work.nSinyavsky’s silence about camp detailsnmeans: we all know what it is likenby now—you know what it is like. Itnmeans, this has now become j)^o«r worldnas much as ours:n”Notions like ‘human dignity’ or ‘theninviolability of the person’ are to mynmind a kind of gobbledegook, part ofna generally accepted jargon or codenserving the same sort of practicalnconvenience as exclamatory phrasesnsuch as ‘you don’t say’ or ‘goodnessngracious’—which are all very well innpolite conversation, but make littlenreal sense and cannot be taken seriously.nAt bottom there is no suchnthing as ‘personal dignity.’ “nSinyavsky writes in the knowledgenof the weakness of people who resort tonforce, in the knowledge of their emptinessnat the center. They are for himnbeneath contempt; the less said aboutnthem the better. And it is witheringncontempt, not defensive contempt. Wenlive in a world where we learn thenaristocratic virtues not from our statesmennbut from men who have survivednthe camps. To my bewilderment Sinyavsky’snbook reminded me more thannonce of La Rochefoucauld, but of anLa Rochefoucauld who leaves it up tonhis reader to be witty—if he dares.nv-