of color and fascination with the linearndo not lend glamor to the hideous, butnat the same time do not strip uglinessnof dignity—we do not know, but it isnall there. The demi-chanteuses andndemi-mondaines, coarse and human,nrepelling and alluring, and their patrons,ntop-hatted and sallow, compose themselvesninto a panorama of an era whichnwe have agreed to call beautiful, thoughnwe do not know why, but we know thatnthe adjective may be correct—thanks tonM. Toulouse-Lautrec. And no longernis the beauty submerged in the impressionisticnfuzz that was present in Toulouse-Lautrec’snearly paintings. It seemsnclear and distinct in the inimitablenbrushstrokes that look like strokes ofncrayon. Toulouse-Lautrec’s consistencynof tone amidst a visual abundance ofnforms and hues is unique—La Gouluensuddenly becomes a Shakespeareannpresence, Jane Avril’s cancan unexpectedlynunveils the future of modern graphics,nthe tyrannical role of lithographynand poster in the world to come afternshe and her art have become but a memory.nIt’s stunning to see the AristidenBruant placard and discover how muchnCorrespondencenbetter it is in the original print thannin even the most refined reproductionsnof Skira and Abrams. The stunted, sicklyncripple grows into a giant, the first, per­nThe Freedom of Self-ExpressionnBefore Manhattan “artist” Jo Romanncommitted what she called hern”self-termination” with an overdosenof Seconal, she spent her last nightndrinking farewell toasts with friendsnand family, who—knowing what shenwas about to do—did nothing to stopnher.nMs. Roman decided that suicide isnan art form, “taking command ofnlife’s brushstrokes,” as she said. Wenhave traveled far from the time whennart was supposed to raise men’snhearts and minds to a sense of whatnis majestic and noble, dignified andndivine. We came thus from Dostoevsky’sndepictions of human scum tonHitler’s pornography to AndynWarhol’s drug-art—to Jo Roman. Ifnlife is absurd, as Camus believed, thenLetter from Italy: The Loveliness of Timelessnessnby Thomas MolnarnA year ago, Mgr. Lefebvre, labeledn”controversial” because the liberals innthe Church did not like orthodoxy, gavena lecture in Rome at the palace of thenCountess Pallavicini—with loudspeakersncarrying his voice to hundreds onnthe street. Daughter of a merchant familynfrom Genova (Medici by name butnunrelated to the Florentines), thencountess married the Marquis of Pallavicini,nnow dead. Stricken by paralysisnsome twenty years ago and now in anDr. Molnar teaches French and literaturenat Brooklyn College.n36inChronicles of Culturenwheelchair, she has been active in “integrist”nCatholic circles. When CardinalnPoletti expressed indignation that shenwould organize a Lefebvre “event”nwithin earshot of the Vatican (Paul VInwas still alive), the outspoken lady wrotenback suggesting that Poletti mind hisnown business.nThe palazzo is on the Quirinale (onenof the Seven Hills), a hundred stepsnfrom the residence of the president ofnthe Republic. It has vast gardens, innumerablenhalls, chambers and corridors,nand those majestic staircases innwhich Italian architects always excelled.nThe Volpe Foundation’s Seventh InternationalnCongress was held, on thennnhaps, to create a linear poetry of art andnimbue it with an instinct for color whichnwe now savor like succulent fruit.n(CO nnonly choices are stoicism, animalismnand suicide. Camus embodied thenstoic, and won the Nobel Prize, butnnever sorted out the vague palpitationnin his logic, that is, the possibilitynthat someone else’s view of realitynmight be closer to the truth than his.nSo it is with Ms. Roman: she and hernfriends believed she was an artist tonthe end; others believe she, and they,nwere insane. But a distinction isnnecessary. It is one thing to diagnosena suicide as schizophrenic, anothernto allow one to proceed. Those whonknew of Jo Roman’s impending drugnoverdose, yet did nothing to stop her,nare connoisseurs of Jo Roman’s kindnof “art.” To us, they are carriers ofnthe foremost disease of our time.n(Ejw) nnCountess’s invitation, in a grand, allmarblenroom with a Pallavicini pope’snred-and-gold woven emblem behind thenpodium.nThe Volpe encounters, always heldnin April when Rome is sunny but stillncool, have three outstanding features:nthe intellectual, the musical and thenmundane. The latter, because soon afternthe ladies—wives, daughters, friendstakentheir seats, a spring fashion paradensoftly underlines the reasoning of scholarsnfrom the rostrum. On the secondnevening a choir performs. This time,n”The Passion” according to St. John,nby Francisco Corteccia, a 17th-centuryncomposer, for me a discovery. The topicn