sary—^to the intellectual stimulation of anmetropolis.nCommitment to children does notnappear much stronger or more satisfyingnin these novels than do ties to spouses.nThe mountaineeress oi Beyond thenMountain has none. The career womannof Turtle Beach ignores hers as much asnpossible and totally baffles the reader byndeciding in the conclusion to fight forncustody of them. (If the sensible readernwere allowed to serve as the judge in thencase, he would rule against her.) Thenwriter in The Ivory Siving does stay withnher scholar husband, first in Ontario thennin southern India, largely because of ansense of duty to^vard her children;nhowever, she is imaginatively preoccupiednwith the attractiveness of othernalternatives and with the difficulty of hernown self-martyrdom. Not surprisingly, innthe end she’s not at all sure she can keepnup the emotional trapeze act shenimagines herself as performing with hernhusband and offspring: “Will we touchnon the next iaward arc? Or will we miss?”nThis kind of performance, necessarilyndone without a safety net, can easilynreduce femilies to horrid splatterings innthe public arena.nAll three authors and their transparentncreations do perceive the need for somenkind of self-sacrifice and participation inna community. D’Alpuget’s central characternis haunted by a “sense of moralnemptiness” and responds with dumb-n14inChronicles of Culturenfounded admiration when a Vietnamesenwoman feels strongly enough about hernchildren to commit suicide for them.nHospital’s Canadian author grudginglynacknowledges the need to stay with hernchildren and at times experiences a kindnof epiphany in her experiences withnthem in nature. Arthur’s climber, anWestern half-Buddhist, faces “the ultimatenof fears, to be committed to something,nsomeone, anything at all” whilennearly freezing to death atop anHimalayan peak and consequentlynintuits a mystical union with everyone.nBut societies and homes built belown20,000 feet can rest neither uponnabstract commitment to anything nornupon mystical union with everything,nregardless of how satisfying these airynsubstances may be to light-headed pantheisticnmonks and feminist writers.nClearly, the characters in these novelsnare deeply committed to certain thingsn—a mountain, freedom, professionalnaccomplishment, the advancement ofnwomen and humankind. Their attachmentnto specific people in specificnplaces, especially the people they livenwith, are much more superficial andnimpermanent. Despite all the grief andnuncertainty that invariably accompanyntentative half-commitments within thenfamily, these women are not willing tonIn the forthcoming issue ot Chronicles of Culture:nOur Pluralismnan increasing number of Americans that the people who rulentheir countr’ are not entirely under their control. Bureaucraciesnentbrce regulations no legislature ever passed;nlegislatures enact laws no voter ever wanted; judgesnpronounce decisions foreign to law and conscience; and thenmass media express opinions no one else ever thouglit…. Innthe l;ist generation certain key positions in the national elitenhave been unduh- and rather crspticalh’ influenced orncaptured by elements of an alien and hostile ideologicalnfaction. Tliis movement of’coercive Utopians’ harbors anprofound hatred tor the American establishment and tor thenmainstream of American life.”n—from “Americans, Operatives & Apparatchiks”nbv Samuel T. FrancisnOpinions & Views—Commendables—^Waste of MoneynIn Focus—Perceptibles—^The American ProsceniumnJournalism—Notables—Screen—Music—^ArtnConfluences—^A Prudent Progressive—Liberal Culturennn