mean that 129,000 are charging theirnclients for what amounts to injuringntheir cases. Mr. Cohn beHeves that thennumber of incompetents is even highernthan half of all the lawyers in practice.nBeing a top-notch lawyer himself, Mr.nCohn refuses to use fuzzy examples ornto water his arguments by makingnsweeping societal observations. Hisnview of human nature, as befits a courtroomnlawyer, is that people under pressurendo not behave in the reasonable andnethical manner they assume in idle conversation.nThe sway of self-interest andnthe rise of emotion strip most legal situationsnof niceties. In effect, what Mr. Cohnnsays is that our society has become a legalnjungle where every citizen must walk notnonly with care, but with his fists ready tonfight. A more terrible indictment of thensystem created by our millions of lawsnBoring Adolescencenof Untalented WritersnJoel Agee: Twelve Years: An AmericannBoyhood in East Germany; Farrar,nStraus & Giroux; New York.nAnthony Bailey: America Lost andnFound; Random House; New York.nby Richard VigilantenA. friend of mine, not an American,nonce asked me if he should read Hemingwaynin English, or would he find itndisillusioning, having already read thencorpus in his mother tongue. (My friendnwas fresh from a great disappointment.nIn his homeland he had treasured antranslation of Oliver Twist. He thoughtnit read like Kafka, only better, and henhad been looking forward to readingnDickens in English. He started withnOliver Twist again. He was crushed. Itnread, of course, like Dickens.) He ex-nMr. Vigilante writes his essays in Alexandria,nVirginia.n16nChronicles of Culturenand hundreds of thousands of lawyersnwould be difficult to find.nNot once in this fairly long volumendoes Mr. Cohn attempt to draw conclusionsnfor the reader, but those who arenaware of his anticommunist activitiesnand subsequent legal difficulties willnread his work with mental bifocals. Onenshould not forget that Roy M. Cohn isnan individual whom powerful politiciansnsought to destroy. That they did not succeednis due not to any surge of outsidensupport, but to his own raw courage,ndetermination and wit. Therefore onencan rely on his advice to stand up andnfight; it comes from one who did. In anlarger sense, no matter how grim he maynoutwardly appear, I am convinced thatnMr. Cohn’s life has been the sweeternfor having followed his own advice—nand for having won. Dnplained that the principal attraction ofnHemingway, at least in translation, isnthat the books have a tremendously appetizingnquality, and he would be verynsad to find that that delightful effectnwas lost in the original.nFortunately it is not. Not only arenHemingway’s better books like a relishnfor all sorts of vital experiences, mynfriend’s observation is also true in thensimplest sense. Reading Hemingwaynmakes one hungry—for the very simplenreason that he frequently shows us thenpleasure that his (justifiably hungry)ncharacters get from eating. It is one ofnthe principal pleasures of his books. Inwill go further. It is one of the principalnvirtues of those books. In a very realnsense all that is good about those books,nall their “meaning,” can be derived fromnthe pleasure with which his charactersneat. If the editors of this country’snmajor publishing houses could, for thennext 15 years, discipline the writers onntheir lists by requiring that all the sexnnnscenes in their books be replaced bynscenes of equal length in which the charactersneat, they would be able to savenAmerican literature from its presentnlimpness.nI don’t make this suggestion out ofnprudery. I make the suggestion becausenthe modern clinical sex scene is a crutchnfor the worst tendency in modern highculturenwriting: the mindless recordingnof rather banal, mediocre and quite unexceptionalnexperiences without anynattempt to give them meaning or derivenmeaning from them.nLiterary traditionalists often complainnthat contemporary high-culturennovels are boring because they lack plot.nNonsense. The Idiot has less plot developmentnper page than the majority ofncontemporary novels. Books are boringnwhen they lack meaning. After all, wenare having experiences all the time. Wenturn to the writer to condense that experiencenfor us and expose it in a meaningfulnway. But many contemporarynwriters seem to think that writing isnsimply a matter of listing experiencesnand events. (These are held to be especiallyninteresting if they are the author’snvery own experiences.) If thenreader will allow me the immodesty ofnoffering an explanation, these peoplenwrite this way because they live in anculture which glorifies observations ofnfact but shuns judgments of value. Suchna stance encourages both observationnand wild speculation. But it discouragesnthought. Liberal culture is committednto the idea that the way to understandnthe world is to list all the facts. Thisnis not only very inefficient, it is alsonpainfully boring.nI wish that the defenders of “values”nin literature would give up the selfrighteousn”defenders of the innocents”napproach. Value judgments are importantnto literature because they make itninteresting, because it is only throughnsuch judgments that the writer canncomprehend the world.nBut enough of this levity. Let’s getnback to serious subjects. Why replacensex with food.” Because the sex scenen