buried beside him. One must havernfaith, but haunting me is the endlessrnjourney, faster than the speedrnof Hght, of the soul into infinit)-.rn(There is still much speculation aboutrnwhether Alan Clark converted to Catholicismrnjust before he died; he was anrnunexpectedly religious man, who oftenrnmentions God in the Diaries.)rnHis book ends on a high note, withrnClark vTiting of his October 1982 visit tornthe Falklands, which he describes as “thernmost memorable and invigorating experiencernof my entire Parliamentary career.”rnSuch moments of unadulterated delightrnwere all too rare in a career full of caresrn(usually self-inflicted), conspiracies (usuallyrnunsuccessful), and compromisern(usual). Yet, when he was out of Parliamentrnbetween 1995 and 1997, all herncould think about was how to get back in.rnBv then, he had long since given up anyrnidea of doing anything; he just wantedrnone more go at playing the “game.”rnDerek iunier is the editor of Right Now!,rnpublished in London.rnFrankly, My Dearrnby J.O.TaternThe Wind Done Gonernby Alice RandallrnNew York: Houghton Mifflin;rn208 pp., $22.00rnThe publication of Gone With thernWind in 1936 was a major event inrnpublishing —if not literary —history,rncompounded by the overblown movie ofrn1939 and by worldwide sales that continuernto this day. Margaret Mitchell wasrnoverwhelmed b’ the reaction, which wasrncomplex and multifold. The novel wasrnread bv people on both sides in the SpanislirnCiil War, and Mitchell received allrnsorts of letters showing she had struck arnnerve. One German thought that shernhad intuited his experience of WorldrnWar I and the economic skmip that followed,rnand a French town wanted tornmake her a citizen. The resistance tornGone With the Wind seems to have comernmostly from the Nazi Party, the CommunistrnPart}’, and American liberals—a suggestivernconvergence. Faulkner’s Absalom,rnAbsalom!, perhaps the greatest novelrnever written by an American, was passedrnover for the Pulitzer Prize, swamped byrnthe massive phenomenon of GW7W.rnDissenters did object to the novel onrnracial and historical grounds: the stereotypingrnof blacks and the “Southern” renderingrnof Reconstruction.rnThe whole matter is of considerablerninterest, embracing as it does the problematicsrnof writing and representation asrnwell as controversial episodes in Americanrnhistory; still, we must admit that it isrnlimited by the passing of the years. Thererncomes a point when Scarlett O’Hara (orrn”Scarla O’Horror,” as she is referred to inrnJohn Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy ofrnDunces) seems as quaint as Beck Sharp,rnon whom she was modeled. Been there,rndone that—though I must concede that Irnhave met four women who were, or are,rnobsessed with Scarlett O’Hara. Three ofrnthem thought she was a great “femalernrole model,” which shows some of therndepth of the book’s insidious perversity’.rnThe poison in the heart of Scarlett O’Hararnremains a challenge for some, giving usrninsight into the obsessive contaminationrninherent in this massive narrative aboutrnobsession.rnCashing in on GWTW is big business,rnthat’s for sure. Acting in the spirit ofrnScarlett O’Hara —if not of MargaretrnMitchell —the Mitchell estate authorizedrnthe inert Scarlett by Alexandra Ripleyrnin 1991 and has since had tiouble arrangingrna sequel to that sequel. Thisrnyear, Mitchell’s heirs went to court tornblock the publication of Alice Randall’srnThe Wind Done Gone on the groundsrnthat it was an invasion of copyright; theyrnlost when the judge upheld the publishers’rnclaim that the book is a parody —rn”The Unauthorized Parody,” as the dustrnjacket blares. That may be slick lawyering,rnbut The Wind Done Gone is no parody’.rnIt is rather a rip-off and a revision, andrna feeble and mechanical one at that.rnNow, there’s nothing wrong with arnparody, if indeed The Wind Done Gonernwere one. And the tradition of revision isrnindeed the “inadvertent epic” that LesliernFiedler has brilliantly claimed to be therncore of the American tradition of sadomasochistic,rnracially inflamed melodrama,rnfrom Uncle Tom’s Cabin to ThernClansman to GWTW to Roots. Thoughrnthere was much of mawkishness, therernwas no parodistic sense in that progressionrn—quite the opposite, since a sense ofrnhumor would have ruined all the hokeyrnsolemnity and seriousness. Revision requiresrnstrength, imagination, and conviction,rnnone of which are to be found inrnThe Wind Done Gone.rnAlice Randall’s little squib is fatally dependentrnon the monumental model thatrnit affects to invert. The bookette is the diaryrnof Cynara, the mulatto half-sister ofrnScarlett (“Other”), by Mr. O’Hara out ofrnMammy. Cynara is the mistress of “R”rn(guess who!), the Dreamy Gentlemanrn(guess again) is gay, and Cynara goesrnwith a black senator to Washington. Therndiary form, obviously adopted to avoidrnthe work of creating a narrative, is disastrousrnto the novel; and though this bookrncan be downed in one sitting, there is nornreason to do so, the revisionary’ work havingrnbeen done so man times—and betterrn—by authors black and white. MissrnRandall was laboring not only in thernshadow of Faulkner but of Robert PennrnWarren [Band of Angels), not to mentionrnMargaret Walker Alexander Qubilee),rnFrank Yerby, and so on. And tlie recentfilmrnAdanggaman by Roger Gnoan M’Bala,rnportraying blacks enslaved by blacks inrn17th-century Africa, is a powerful andrnprovocative treatment of a subject thatrnhas been dealt with all too gingerly.rnIt makes sense that our history shouldrnbe reinterpreted fictionally. But ifrnCWrW is “offensive,” then revision ofrnthat offense will require more than AlicernRandall has given. If Gone With thernWind is a still a “problem,” our nationrnmust be in better shape than I had daredrnto hope.rn].0. Tate is a professor of English atrnDowling College on Ijong Island.rnMOVING?rnSend change of address and the mailing labelrnfrom your latest issue to:rnCHRONICLESrnSubscription Dept.rnP.O. Box 800,rnMount Morris, IL 61054rnDECEMBER 200V33rnrnrn