chance. Anything else is evasion, mythologynor self-deception,—get all spiritualityninto it. ” Good is in man and is notnto be found anywhere else. His ownnidentity was such a precarious thing, henwas afraid of losing it in Catholicism.nMuch is revealed by his intense hatred fornT.S. Eliot: why, for instance, did he considernhim “a demonic anti-selP’?nLiooking now at the whole of hisnachievement, I can say that many of thenvirtues perceived earlier were real. It wasna gracious work; the writing was elegant.nThe gentility of the man of letters, so likenRuskin, was reflected in it. It was a confidentnwork, not marred on the whole bynannoying mannerisms. And it was seriousn, almost ponderous with the passagenof time, but American literature needednto be treated seriously then. Unfortunately,nhis limitations now appear as evidentnas his virtues. He disliked the newncriticism, which became the most importantncritical movement of the first half ofnthe century, principally because he resentednits success and influence. It was anchallenge to the acceptance and appreciationnof his own work. In his own work henfailed to understand and to distinguishnbetween major voices that transcend annage and minor voices that only bespeaknan age. Not understanding this madenevery writer seem to be of approximatelynthe same importance. Nevertheless, henhad favorites, but could not justify themnsince they were picked on the basis ofntheir being either especially American ornespecially spokesmen for Brooks’ s values.nTheir literary merits were of little consequence.nFor reasons already suggested hencould not understand what was going onnin the work of the important writers ofnthe 20th century, and, as a result, hencould not be fair to them. His criticismnwas all too creative when he put togethernvarious writers’ work with his own, sometimesngiving the reader a misleading impressionnof the point being made. Withnrespect to the artistic value of Americannwriters, he chose the wrong side in whatnNelson calls “the mortal combat” betweenn”Tory and democrat.” His con­nfused liberalism aged badly. He couldnnot understand or adequately respond tonthe writer who wrestled with evil as a necessarynaspect of the human condition.nThe past filled with the half-truths henconstmcted from his bias was not such anusable past after all. It did not even tellnthe more important part of the storynsince it failed to recognize the tragic viewnof life, the view which is, after all, at thenbase of the great literature of the West.nAin’t He Sweet?nTom Wolfe: From Bauhaus to OurnHouse; Farrar, Straus & Giroux,nNew York.nby Leopold TyrmandnSubstituting the adjective “sweet”nwith the word “right” touches thenessence of Mr. Wolfe’s minitract, ormaxipamphlet,nthe past season’s best-selling,npassionately discussed, reviewed, admirednand denounced book on feelingsnabout modern architecture. It is alsonabout the manipulation of architecmralncreeds and aesthetic ideologies, theirnfratricidal warfare, personal hatreds andnholy conflicts of opinion. Is he right, Mr.nWolfe, about what he believes in andnpronounces with his usual ingratiatingnflair? Actually, tightness is beside thenpoint. An immutable value resides in hisnvery divagation, in the methodology andndialectics with which he treats the naturenof an intellectual dialogue (monologue?)non the state of the arts, their contemporaryninteraction with daily life, socialnquestions and the cultural climates of ourntime. Thus what Mr. Wolfe performs isnan act of speculative vibrancy whichnresults in the unmistakably Wolfe-ishnreportorial intellectuality that ringsncharmingly and possesses an inimitablentightness of tone. Right or wrong aside,nMr. Tyrmand, editor o/Chronicles ofnCulture, studied architecture briefly atnI’Academie des Beaux-Arts in Paris.nnnIt is proper for Professor Nelson tonhave wfitten this book and for E.P. Button,nBrooks’s long-time publisher, tonissue it. Brooks is, paradoxically enough,npart of a usable past. The biography canndo nothing, however, to reconstruct hisninfluence or to make his theory betternthan it was. He was lucky that he had asnmuch influence as he did for over 30nyears. That will have to be enough. It is.nhe is sweet, Mr. Wolfe, to my ears, andnhe flavors my reaction to his assumptionsnand inferences—many of which seem tonme downright /’^correct—with intensenpleasure. In the end, as one reads him itnmakes little difference if he’s misleadingnor inaccurate—some mysterious qualitynin his approach restrains us from makingneven those distinctions.nIn spite of all these powers of appeal, itnmust be said that this time Mr. Wolfe,nour favorite nonconformist, has notnscored a Volltreffer, a direct hit, as he didnwith The Painted Word, where his centralnconcern was irrefutable. In thatnbook, the audacity of his idea wasngrounded in a strong tradition of a coupnde grace meted out to the quite-obviousnnakedness of a dimwitted emperor. Butnarchitecture and the arts ate not exactlynthe same: the former is art and somethingnmore—an ingredient that seems tonelude Mr. Wolfe in his soliloquy. Architectureningrains itself differently intonperceptive sensitivities, and it lends itselfnless to the coining of interpretations thatnare divorced from its fiindamental stayingnpower (which is unmeasurable bynshort-term standards). Mr. Wolfe’snjudgments of Le Corbusier may prove tonbe correct a hundred years from now, butnthey also may be seen as totally obsolete;nwe just do not know. Insisting too stronglynon an accuracy of opinions is andangerous intellectual game: one maynwind up looking like a literary stand-upncomic, something far below Mr. Wolfe’snH H H M H S 3nJuly^agustl98Sn