contemporary is your only point of departure.n” No matter what we are like, itnis “a delicious world.” Beilow-Cordendoes not give up because “His motive…ncame out of what is eternal in man.” Thennovel contains, like Dickens’s Talenthough not so prominently, the resurrectionntheme. Toby Winthrop at OperationnContact dies and is reborn in order tonsave those who are left (meant) to die. Inna bitterly cold and uncongenial Bucharest,nthe cyclamen thrive like anything,neven at the crematorium. A candle isnlighted for Valeria, a believer, whosendeath is a way to life. The “sheltered,nwarm” Mission is visited before they gonto Mount Palomar. At first the icy scientificnambiance of Mount Palomar repelsnhim with “its power to cancel everythingnmerely human.” Corde is reminded ofnValeria’s funeral at the repugnant Bucharestncrematorium. However, the coldnessnof the death house is not to be comparednto the coldness of Mount Palomar.n”Here the living heavens looked as if theynwould take you in … to find their realnbeing in your own.” (This ending is onenof the great scenes in all of Bellow.) Thenhuge dome parts and Corde goes up intonMean Anthropologyn& Intellectual StripteasenMarvin Harris: America Now: The Anthropologynof a Changing Culture;nSimon & Schuster; New York.nA. Bartlett Giamatti: The Universitynand the Public Interest; Atheneum;nNew York.nby John C. CaiazzanJYly son is three years old and, likenmost parents, my wife and I count on thentelevision to act as a babysitter for himnonce in a while. Thus I have become ac-nDr. Caiazza is an administrator for thenUniversity of Massachusetts at Boston.n12 inChronicles of Cttltttrenthe eye of the mighty telescope. Withneverything overhead in equilibrium, henbegins to feel his real being. “Free!” henaies three times as he approaches thensteady stars. It is cold, this going up intonthe sky. Does he mind it, he is asked.n”The cold? Yes. But I almost think Inmind coming down more.” But notnquite. Minna can be his representativenamong the bright things, so thick andnclose. He must come down to a mixednworld in which cyclamen bloom andnAfrican violets die. It is only in the profanenthat the sacred can be found. That isnwhy St. Augustine said that love calls usnto the things of this world. Corde sacramentalizesnthe huge, technical, scientificninstrument, so like a church in its structure.nThe cold can be bracing, even prophetic.nDecember, the darkest time ofnthe year, is cold and a time for waiting,nand also a time when the Light comes.nThe death (December 24) and funeraln(December 26) of Valeria take place atnthe height of the Christmas season.nFrankly, I cannot be absolutely sure whatnBellow means by all this, but my guess isnthat resurrection means at least as muchnto him as it did to Dickens. Dnquaintcd with various children’s televisionnshows, especially Sesame Street andnCaptain Kangaroo (now Wake Up). Inhappen to prefer the Captain becausen”his” film clips are longer and less jumblednthan those on Sesame Street. Thatnis, Sesame uses the technique of patchingnbrief swatches of film together to constitutena quick succession of scenes that arenset to quick-tempoed music. This isnguaranteed to keep a child’s interest, butnit also tends to deny a sense of continuitynand coherence to the subject matter.nThus, I prefer the somewhat longernscenes and less frenetic pacing used in thenfilms that appear on the Captain’s showsnsince I can actually make sense of what isnnngomg on.nIt has frequendy been noted that thentotal experience of modern man is disconnected.nThe staccato discordances ofncontemporary film technique are merelyna reflection of the general fact that ournlives are divided up into discrete portionsnwith no internal relation. Our lives seemnto consist of brief segments of experiencenthat are jammed together in chronologicalnsequence; no other pattern is visible.nThe rigors of the commute in the morningnare merely the discordant prelude tonthe succession of scenes we enact on ournjobs, be it the dreary routine of the assemblynline or a succession of businessnmeetings that eat up our day, our patiencenand our good humor. Then therenis the evening commute during which wenare serenaded by our car radio with itsnown quick, discordant succession of commercials,npop tunes, traffic and weathernreports and news (itself no more than anrapid summary of a succession of calamities).nThen home, a haven in whichnspouse and kids and a further set of homenresponsibilities present their rapid claimsnon our dwindling time. Entertainmentnand art only reflect this discordance ofnour lives and can offer no reassurance ornhope.nThis succession of discordant eventsnunderlies man’s lack of cohesion and inabilitynto perceive unity and harmony innlife. It is the interconnectedness ofnthings, after all, which is the source notnonly of feelings of peace and serenity, butnalso of our sense of values and morality. Ifnone cannot detect cause and effect betweennindividual effort and its intendednresult, then one cannot apportion blamenor merit. “All coherence is gone,” is thenleitmotif of our times and the conditionnof modernity. This condition of disconnectednessnhas been noticed by MarvinnHarris and A. Bartlett Giamatti, and it isnthe purpose of both their books to restorenour sense of it, Harris from the point ofnview of cultural anthropology, Giamattinfrom the vantage of the presidency ofnYale University.nHarris’s America Now is an attempt tonexplain the recent, nearly disastrousn