world, God gave the Torah, “it hasnbeen told you, humanity, what is good,nand what the Lord requires of you,”n”you shall not murder,” “you shall notnbear false witness.” These and othernfoundations of the moral conduct ofncivilization stand firm. And up is notndown, west is not east, white is notnblack, either.nAnd for us Jews, the commandingnvoice of Auschwitz sets forth this commandment:nthat anti-Semitism is nevernto be trivialized. It is not to be excusednbecause “so many did it,” Hartman’snfrightening conclusion: “We can accusende Man of lacking foresight orncivil courage or of underestimating thenruthlessness of the Nazi regime. . . .nDe Man’s ‘dirty secret’ was the dirtynsecret of a good part of civilized Europe.”nOnly a literary theory that relativizesnand “contextualizes” language out ofnall meaning can permit Hartman thenself-serving luxury of separating DenMan’s thought from his life, allowingnhim to conclude that: “De Man’sncritique of every tendency to totalizenliterature or language, to see unitynwhere there is no unity, looks like anbelated, but still powerful, act of conscience.”nNo Jew can admire Hartmannfor writing this way about a viciousnanti-Semite and Nazi collaborator.nAnd no person who cares for thenintegrity of language — the foundationnof civilization — can admirenHartman’s use of language to defendnhis friend, colleague, and teacher, nownrevealed to be the Waldheim ofnacademia.n—Jacob NeusnernWALKER PERCY never tired ofnasking a simple question: why are peoplenhappy in circumstances that oughtnto make them miserable? It was anquestion he set for himself in his firstncollection of philosophical essays. ThenMessage in the Bottle, and in one waynor another his best novels — ThenMoviegoer, The Last Gentleman, Lovenin the Ruins — are his best attempts atnproviding an answer.nPercy may have been America’snmost beloved serious novelist. This wasnnot so much because of his manifestnliterary gifts as for the bemused sympathynhe extended to his characters and,ntherefore, to his readers. He was a kindnman, who was well-known for answeringnletters and telephone calls fromnperfect strangers. A friend of mine wasnonce forced to call Dr. Percy, whomnshe did not know at all, on behalf of anvery disturbed man who claimed to benthe novelist’s friend. He could not havenbeen kinder, and did what he could tonhelp in a very difBcult situation.nI began reading Walker Percy as ancollege student but only made hisnacquaintance on the occasion of then1988 Ingersoll Prizes. As a recipient henwas both modest and amusing. Afternmeeting several of our contributingneditors who had a Chapel Hill connection,nhe exclaimed, “Tom, what kind ofnmagazine are you running? It looksnlike a Chapel Hill conspiracy.” Ofncourse, he too was a Tarheel.nAfter the banquet we continued toncorrespond occasionally, about his projectednbook on the heresies of the socialnsciences, about possible articles, andnabout our own little difficulties. Afternall these years of counting on hisnwisdom and his humor, it will be hardnfor Walker Percy’s readers to realizenthat he is no longer here, there are nonmore books. It is a little like the situationnof poor Will Barrett at the end ofnThe Last Gentleman, waiting for Dr.nSutter Vaught to explain things to him.nnnHe never does. The important thing, Inthink Dr. Walker Percy would say, is tonask the right questions, as he did. It isnup to us to look for the answers.n— Thomas FlemingnTHE NEA IS BROKEN, SO lets fixnit. What has gone wrong in the debatenover the National Endowment for thenArts is that the extremes have crowdednout the middle, and the NEA, like thenNEH, should be a consensus-buildingnagency. The one side invokes an apocalypticnvision of censorship, and thenother side lists the things publicly fundednart should not say or do. But bothnare wrong.nWhere can we locate the middlenposition? The answer is that we have anwall-to-wall consensus, from SenatornHelms to Senator Pell, RepresentativenYates to Representatives Armey andnHenry and Gunderson — and I respectnall whom I have named. This is thenconsensus that encompasses nearly thenentire political community: 1) yes tonthe arts, 2) yes to the Endowment, 3)nno to censorship, and 4) no to payingntaxes to help support what an enormousnpopulation in this country findsnrepulsive. Last summer Senator Pellnissued a news release in which henSEPTEMBER 1990/9n