co4ne away from The Spike having feltnthe real an^er and injustice that an abstractnargument can never convey. Fictionnbrings immediacy. As Coleridgenpointed out, imagination can yield logicalnconclusions much faster than painstakingnreason can deduce them.nAlthough The Spike is now perchednnear the top of the best-seller lists, fewnof the country’s major newspapers havencarried reviews of the book. Perhaps thisncan be explained by the same reasoningnthat prompted King David to send Uriahn. . . but How IneptniVlay we take the liberty to respectfullyndisagree with our reviewer.” Wensee his point. Like so many of us, Mr.nLawler longs for a conveyance of truthn—which, for decades, has been so obviousnto him and to ourselves^to thenlargest possible number of people. Henbelieves that literature, fiction, theater,nart can best do the job, that they arenable to dramatize truth in a way thatnmakes it generally accessible and embraceable.nHe is correct—but only onnthe nonnegotiable condition that it isnliterature, not “literature,” art, notn”art.” Truths, whatever their Tightnessnand depth, that are expressed in the DicknTracy style live only as long as we haventhem in our field of vision. It is certainlynunfair to compare The Spike tonDick Tracy, but Mr. Lawler, in order tonsubstantiate his unequivocal apology ofnthe former, invoked King Lear, Orwellnand The Grapes of Wrath, which seemsnto us also slightly off the mark. However,nhe quite rightly notes that no majorn(liberal) newspaper has reviewed ThenSpike. No surprise—those who dislikenthe novel’s message find it all too easynto dismiss it as miserable pulp, whichnabsolves them from dealing honestlynwith what the authors legitimatelynvvanted to establish as unshakable truth.nLet’s not be misunderstood: we fullynand wholeheartedly agree with whatnMessrs. de Borchgrave and Moss havento say. It’s the way they say it that wenout to the front lines; one does not likento confront reminders of one’s own corruption.nThus The Spike is getting thenspike; truth and fiction merge. Thennovel does reach a full and satisfyingnconclusion, yet the action continuesnoutside the book. By implication we arenall actors in the drama indicated by denBorchgrave and Moss. In the fictionalizednversion, the conspiracy is unveiled.nBut in real life.’ That question is stillnunanswered, and so the plot is unfinished.nThe Spike is Living Theatre. Dnbewail. We believe that a grand opportunitynto make a momentous statementnhas been wasted. Here we have twonhighly respected journalists, expertsnon the contemporary political scene,nwho are able to make a fateful announcementnthat could influence historicalnevents, and whose minds and heartsnare in the rightest possible place. Yet toninfluence the thinking of people bynmeans of one novel, one must impress,nconvince, or at least attract the attentionnof those who feed the minds of thenmasses on a daily basis. One must involventhem in a dispute. For literaturento do such a thing it must be either inspirednby an extraordinary talent or armorednwith impeccable seriousness.nThere are novels in the history of literaturenthat have done just that. The Possessednweakened the reigning faith innpolitical radicalism. So did Conrad’snThe Secret Agent. Conrad’s UndernWestern Eyes changed the Englishspeakingnworld’s perception of Russia.nOrwell and Silone did more to dissolvencommunism’s sway over the post-WorldnWar II intelligentsia than tons of learnedntreatises and the most authentic researchndocuments could have done.nKoestler’s Darkness at Noon is creditednwith doing more damage to the cohesionnof the Communist Party cadres’ spiritnall over the world than any factual politicalncatastrophe. Graham Greene’snThe Power and the Glory did more fornnnthe social renaissance of Catholicismnthan the Church would like to admit.nWhat sorely disturbs us is that rarelynin the current history of the writtennword have we witnessed a more stunningnsymbiosis of correctness of moralnpremise and cognitive thesis, rooted innaccurately dissected political reality,nwith such ineptness of literary form andntechnique. Messrs. de Borchgrave andnMoss obviously desired to tell us thatnwe are disarming ourselves morally andnmentally, thus enabling our archenemies,nthe Soviets, to pervert our entirenapparatus of state, society and culturenby some abysmally convoluted manipulationsnof a vital contemporary socialndevice—information. To convey thisnto us, they chose the novel as theirnvehicle. But a novel, to be effective,nmust notice the complexity of humannreality, on the side of both right andnwrong. Even cheap novels must somehownreflect this complexity, at leastnthrough melodrama that suggests somensemblance of the human condition.nSomeone once said that every intelligentnperson can write one passablennovel; this distinguishes him or hernfrom a novelist, who can write many.nMessrs. de Borchgrave and Moss arentwo intelligent persons, and we expectednfrom them something more than fromnone average, intelligent person. True,nthey are journalists and, as such, theirnforte is noticing, not interpreting andnanalyzing, facts. But literature hasnthrived on intelligent journalism sincenthe time of Defoe, if not before. Bynchoosing the novel as their form, thenauthors took upon themselves an obligationnthat remains largely unfulfilled.nWe might not expect from themnGraham Greene’s mastery, SomersetnMaugham’s sophistication or even lenCarre’s dreary craftsmanship, but justnexercising their own prodigious knowledgenand intelligence would help. Controllingnthe literary taste a bit wouldnbe in order. And it would probably donthe job. Why did they choose to releasentheir work in this shape.’ Haste.’ A be-nSeptember/October 1980n