supply,” Baker writes, “the textbooksnand reading materials most of [thenschools] use; it is. very much in ourninterest, as business people as well asncitizens, to want to see an educatednpopulace that can read and enjoynbooks.” What cant. A glance at the restnof the issue suggests PW’s idea ofn”reading,” of “books,” and of thennature of literary enjoyment. After televisionnand the American public educationalnestablishment, the Americannpublishing industry has done more tonsubvert and destroy standards of taste,nliteracy, and intelligence than any otherninstitution in the national life. Forntwo decades at least, they have beennbusily “down-leveling” the textbooksnthey market to a captive school system,njust as they have worked deliberately tondegrade the so-called adult trade marketnto a standard largely of their ownncreation.nNow they are upset about the messnthat is public education in this country,nto which their answer is “an industrywidenprogram” to involve themselvesnin matters for which they have nonprofessional competence or experiencenwhatever. If only they could just getnback to the business of intelligent booknpublishing, they would be doing allnthat civic duty could possibly require ofnthem.n— Chilton Williamson, ]r.nHOWARD NEMEROV, one ofnour country’s titans of literature, diednlast July. He published his first booknshortly after Wodd War II, and duringnthe next 44 years a stream of 26 booksngarnered for him the country’s mostnprestigious awards. He won the NationalnBook Award and the Pulitzer inn1978 for his Collected Poems, thenBollingen Prize for Poetry in 1981,nand the National Medal for the Arts inn1987. Our third Poet Laureate for thenyears 1988-90, Nemerov was a consummatenman of letters who excellednin several literary genre.nHis essays range in subject matternfrom Dante and Shakespeare tonThomas Mann and Proust, from computersnto painting, and his exquisiteninsights have been happily free of thenself-isolahng jargon that has lately typifiednthis field. The body of Nemerov’sncriticism alone would be the envy ofnthose who solely pursue this activity.n10/CHRONICLESnHis achievement in poetry loomsnlargest in the public mind, and it wasnhis poetry that has been responsible fornmost of his awards. Of another poetnNemerov has written: “I prefer poemsnwhich want to be read hard and whichnrespond to the closest attention … itnis a matter rather of how you approachnone thought through another with anneffect of surprise; a matter of thensteepness of the gradient between thenimmediate and the inferred.” The gradientnof Nemerov’s own work is sometimesnsteep indeed, but the surprise atnthe end of the slope is partly whatndraws readers to him. He is a poet whonhas read widely and deeply and who isnaware of literary history and traditions.nUnlike some, he does not think that henhas invented himself There are realnpoets in our time who have been muchnless aware of certain modern dilemmasnand crises, but it is this added dimensionnof his work that greatly expandsnNemerov’s vision and, perhaps, excludesnsome of his audience: how cannthey respond if they are only vaguelynaware of such problems as the challengesnof scientism or of positivism?nDetractors have claimed that thenpoetry is “academic” and “over-intellectualized.”nIf the reader is looking forna response to the world in extravagantlynsensuous terms, he will be disappointed—nyet so many of Nemerov’snbest poems respond to “deep sayings”nfound in wild nature. That there mightnhave been a mixed response in thenromantic 60’s and 70’s could havenbeen expected. Nemerov is not promisingnapocalypse, or millennium; andnhe was no darling of the talk shows.nHe has noted in a poem entitled “Tonthe Bleeding Hearts Association ofnAmerican Novelists” that there arenwriters who “slop their ketchup in thenstatue’s wounds / And advertise thatnblood as from the heart.” He concludes,n”I like those masters better whonexpound / More inwardly the nature ofnour loss, / And only oflfhand let usnknow they’ve found / No better compositionnthan a cross.” It is the latternthat we have come to expect in his ownnverse.nNemerov’s fiction is no small accomplishment,neither, especially thenthree novels, Federigo, or the Power ofnLove, The Melodramatists, and ThenHomecoming Game, which has beennturned into a movie. Thomas Mannnnnpraised Nemerov’s fiction as work ofn”keen imagination.” All the novels hadnbeen out of print for some time, butnare now being reissued by the Universitynof Missouri Press.nOften a reader feels that Nemerov isnworking in a fashion analogous to subatomicnphysicists, tracking the illusive,nphantom-like trails of a world beyondnordinary sight, revealing the deepdownnthings while at the same timensharing these discoveries with wondernand humility. Above all, his work isnabout something. The poems and fictionnare not merely exercises in technicalnvirtuosity.nAbout Vermeer, another master,nNemerov has written: “Taking what is,nand seeing it as it is, / Pretending to nonheroic stances or gestures, / Keeping itnsimple; being in love with light.” So henhas done and been himself, which is nonmean epitaph.n— William MillsnW E ARE PLEASED to report thatnthe February 1992 issue of Chroniclesn— “Bread and Circuses: The Politicsnof Welfare” — was funded, in part,nthrough a special grant from the AlexnC. Walker Educational and CharitablenTrust of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Productionnscheduling prevented adequatenacknowledgment within thenpages of that issue.nO U R JANUARY ISSUE engenderednnumerous queries as to the availabilitynof books on and by PitirimnSorokin and James Burnham. TransactionnPublishers of New Brunswick,nNew Jersey, last year republished thenpopular one-volume edition ofnSorokin’s Social and Cultural Dynamics.nTransaction has also just publishednan edition of Adolf A. Berle and GardinernC. Means’ 1933 classic. The ModernnCorporation and Private Property,nwhich greatiy influenced James Burnham.nWe wish also to recommend thenAugust-November 1991 issue of thenChesterton Review. Edited by the ReverendnIan Boyd, this issue deals exclusivelynwith the life, works, and theoriesnof C.S. Lewis. The issue can be obtainednby writing the Chesterton Review,nSt. Thomas More College, 1437nCollege Drive, Saskatoon, SK, Canada,nS7N 0W6.n