away a living fragment, to hide away anhuman relic, like the fingernail of a saintnThat explanation seems to fit Prokosch’sndescription of his journey throu^nlife as a search for the “artist as a hero, asnan enigma, as a martyr, and finally as anSegment of humanity.” I remain dubious,nhowever, about his description ofnthe enterprise. William H. Pritchard wasnmuch more accurate when he describednthis book as “a modest talent cuttingndown his betters.” When measured bynProkosch, the “great” are not nearly songreat as one would think. They revealnthemselves in ways so contrived bynProkosch that he can end up patronizingnthem. Bill Tilden is his hero, but he seesnTilden losing the Davis Cup. ThomasnWolfe with his “damp, bulging &ce” losesnhis battie with a pair of chopsticks. Therenis something “faintly sinister” about thencountenance of Wallace Stevens. “Anlonely and carnivorous little Forster’nlurks behind the public E. M. Forster.nErnest Hemingway has a sheen of “carnivorousnstupidity.” Walter Gieseking isn”lost and pathetic.” Prokosch senses “ansinister vacuum behind the curtain” ofnEzra Pound, “the crazy magician.” Terriblyninsecure about having won the NobelnPrize, Sinclair Lewis slides “into the bathroomnwith a heartbroken gurgle.” Hensuddenly fell in love with Dylan Thomas,n”with his bulging potbelly, his pathosnand pimples and his look of humiliation.”nBernard Berenson’s “small porcelainnface looked very lonely and derelict.”nVladimir Nabokov is “a lonely and sadnand disillusioned lepidopterist.” W. H.nAuden proves to be the most troublesome.nApparendy, Prokosch admired himnmore than the others and felt the mostnpain at having been excluded from hisncircle. Three times he tries to put himndown, but with little success, settlingnfinally for such a crude description asn”his massive drunken misery” on hisn”desolate journey downward.” It appearsnthat many old scores are setded in thesencontrived meetings. None seem to havenattained the tranquil joy in old age thatnProkosch has. “My voyage is at its end. 1nthink how glorious to grow old.” He getsnto be king of the hill, at last.n”rokosch was an enthusiastic lepidopterist.nNear the end of Voices he refersnto that hobby in what 1 take to be angraphic description of the method andnpurpose of Voices. The resonances arentoo perfect to pass by.nI had accumulated thousands of littlenwhite envelopes, and in each envelopenlay a butterfly. . . . On each envelopenwas written the name of the speciesnPreaching and ProbingnZoe Fairbaims: Stand We At Last;nHoughton MifiElin; Boston.nElisabeth Young-Bruehl: Vigil; LouisiananState University Press; BatonnRouge.nby Dennis Q. MclnemynJacques Maritain, besides being onenof the most important philosophers ofnmodern times, generally speaking, isnworthy of being singled out for specialnpraise for the contributions he made tonthe philosophy of art. Unlike those manynphilosophers who are part of the stilldominantnanalytical school of thought,nfor whom art is for the most part a peripheralnmatter, Maritain looked upon artnas something essential to the human experience.nGood Aristotelian and Thomistnthat he was, Maritain opted for the goldennmean. On the one hand, he rejected thennotion that art constituted a world untonitself, completely cut oflFfrom and independentnof the larger world of everydaynafiairs. On the other hand, he rejected asnwell the Marxian notion of art, whichnhas it that art is not in any way autonomousnand must at every turn serve thenends of the state.nIn treating the relationship betweennDr. Mclnemy is associate professor ofnEnglish at Bradley University.nnnand the place of capture. One by one Inlaid these specimens on the dampenednsand in a relaxing box and two daysnlater they’d be ready to spread onnboards. This I did with infinite care,npiercing the thorax with a pin andnopening the wings into immaculatensymmetry I pinned the butterfliesninto the cases with a hierarchicalnexactitude.nThe collection is now large enough, henjudges. “1 decided that day never to killnanother butterfly.” Amen. Dnthe artist and his work, Maritain showednhimself to be especially loyal to thenaesthetic thought of Aristode, not out ofna spirit of intellectual slavishness, but becausenhe was capable of appreciating thenfact that Aristotle’s ideas were intrinsicallynsound, resilient, and as applicablentoday as when they were first formulated.nOne of the most basic problems the aestheticnphilosopher, and after him the critic,nmust solve is best expressed in thisnquestion: Why does a particular work ofnart succeed—or fail to succeed? FornMaritain, as for Aristode, the sine quannon for success in artistic activity is thatnthe primary end of that activity must alwaysnbe the work of art itself The artistnmust be a single-minded human being. Ifnthe artist is a literary artist, say a novelist,nthen the number-one item on his ^endanmust be to create the best novel he possiblyncan. To the extent that the artistnkeeps his attention focused on that end,nthe work will prove successful.nConversely, the failure of artistic endeavornis explained by the fact that thenartist allows himself, for one reason ornanother, to be distraaed from the propernend of art. By way of expanding uponnAristode’s thought on this matter, Maritainndeveloped the notion of these, whichncan be translated reliably enough asn”thesis.” A these is something that intrudesnupon artistic activity, which eithernprohibits the concentration of the artistn17n^emberl983n