Mr. Heller, whatever his achievements,nis a sort of unfinished writer:nmuch of his glory is well-earned, hisnlasting contribution to colloquial English,nfor example; there is detectable,nenduring finesse in his prose; but there’snalso a lack of a larger moral or cognitivenpurpose in his work, which is an ingredientnthat can make writers of even lessntalented people. Good Soldier Svejk,nthe century’s quintessential antiwarnhero, found wisdom in existential contradictions.nYossarian, Heller’s celebratednmilitary antihero, found in themnsmartness, or, as the liberal claque contends,nthe art of survival. Of the threennovels Mr. Heller has written, onenvoices his outrage against the war, thensecond—against the antihumanism ofnmodern American life, and the last—nagainst undeserved Jewishness. He convenientlynprefers to forget that but fornthe Allied victory in 1945, to which hisnYossarian refused to contribute, JosephnHeller might have ended up a cake ofnsoap; that his career contains all thencharacteristics that he encouragesnAmericans to loathe; and that Jewishnessnis seen by many as a source of pridenwhich may, perhaps, justify rejection asnan alternative passion, but makes pettynsnickering disgusting. Thus, Good AsnGold becomes less than a novel andnmore of a literary potpourri replete withnliterary gossip (about both real and fictionalncharacters) in lieu of literary substance.nCleverness cannot be the paramountnambition of a writer, yet readingnMr. Heller, one has a perpetual sense ofnhis searching for cleverness rather thannfor the nature of things. The cuttingnedge of wit, even introspection, conjuresnneither sincerity nor depth, even if usednin the best of faith; Angsts and foiblesnare too trifling a proposition to seriouslynfuel daily antagonisms between racesnand denominations. In Something Happened,nhis second and by far most impressivennovel, Mr. Heller was out tondemolish native social structures andnwound up with old-fashioned sin asnthe source of evil—a conclusion henhimself seemed to despise. In Good AsnS4inChronicles of CulturenGold, he dissolves Jewishness into sleazynand repulsive poses; he intends to discreditnsomething without convincing usnthat he knows exactly what. Ethnic selfhatrednmay be a subject of either tragedynScreennSo-What’s New?nThe Warriors; Directed by WalternHill; Written by David Shaber andnWalter Hill; Paramount Pictures.nMovie, Movie; Produced and Directednby Stanley Donen; Written bynLarry Gelbart and Sheldon Keller;nWarner Brothers.nA movie about youth gangs openednin the theatres from sea to shining seanand within a couple of weeks threenyoung people were killed in rumblesnwhich even Time admits were “inspired”nby it. What’s new in this? From the beginningnof cinema, it was noticed thatnfilm had a metaphysical capacity tonembellish everything — cruelty, uglinessnand vice included. Violence, evennwhen portrayed in the most naturalisticnway and meant to repel, never in factnrepelled, but rather attracted and mesmerizednpotential imitators with uncannynforce. The impact was evenngreater when violence was made intonglamour, stylization, an amoral ingredientnof pseudorealism. Three quartersnof a century of cinema as popular artnand mass entertainment vaguely attestnto a rather corny supposition that onlynviolence condemned by the storyline, ornused for even naively idealistic or melodramaticnreasons, does not breed instantnemulation. Violence uncondemned isnsimply promoted, and there’s smallnwonder that The Warriors, a movienwhich makes physical abuse detachednfrom any perceptible motivation as alluringnas a mocha torte, or a sunbath,nwill gross millions—leaving behind anbloody trail. Every decade a movie ornnnor grotesquerie, but it becomes tiring asna stuffing for triple-entendres. So, Mr.nHeller winds up with a semiotic novelnin which assorted signs vainly try tonbecome a unified message. Dntwo comes up which ritualizes the sleazinessnof the big city youth gang subculture,nand some dead bodies are left innthe parking lots and drive-ins as tributento the romanticized violence.nThe general and continuous declinenof American movies to the level of anmere provider of impulses reaches annincredible depth in Warriors. The movie’sndeparture point is a mythical (thoughnimmensely colorful, on the order ofnvegetative colorfulness) meeting of NewnYork City gangs somewhere in thenBronx; the personality who has convenednall of them is a grotesque cultnfigure by the name of Cyrus; his speechncontains a bare vestige of mental activity—heninforms the gathering that therenare 60,000 organized gangs in the BignApple, but only 20,000 policemen,nwhich, to his mind, is enough of annargument for the “street people” to takenover the city. Other reasons for such annaction are not given, neither by him,nnor by the director or the scriptwritern—which in itself is a classic example ofnliberal Hollywood’s contempt for thenhuman, even if criminal, brain. Cyrusngets killed by a bad gang (no explanationnis given why; in contemporary liberalnHollywood killing has been reduced tonthe function of burping or scratching anpimple. A good gang—the Warriorsisnwrongly accused of this killing andnhas to make its way home amidst thenmurderous vengeance of all other gangsnin the city. This proves to be not toondifficult, as it depends less on any mentalneffort than on switchblades, baseballnbats, exploding gasoline, crowbars, etc.,nwhich are the ultimate achievements ofn