most lasting influence on Vanessa wasnthe Post-Impressionists, who shockednthe Edwardians when they viewed thenmajor show arranged by Roger Fry inn1912. What appealed to her was the usenof color and of underlying form tonconstruct space and bring out relationships.nMost of Vanessa’s early work isnclearly derivative, employing the stocknsubjects, such as bathers or haystacks.n1 he horror of World War I causednBritish artists to forsake abstraction andnto return to representational art. But thenwar hardly touched Bloomsbury: thenmen became farm laborers to avoidnconscription, and simply ignored thencarnage. Vanessa’s personal life in thenfollowing years was to manifest annemotional uncertainty that is reflected innher paintings. Her marriage to Clive BeUnwas soon over: essentially a lightweight,nimpresario of art, he could not holdnVanessa’s attention. A short affair withnRoger Fry, a more intellectual impresario,ncould not be sustained because hisnaggressive, fast-paced life conflictednwith her desire for a static existence. Hernlove for the homosexual artist DuncannGrant could never be returned, but shenclung to him and looked up to him as anMaster, all the time deprecating her ownntalents. Ultimately, this apparentlynunperturbable matriarch was a deeplyninsecure woman, emotionally dependentnon her children and the man whomnshe considered a genius.nVanessa BeU and the other Bloomsburynartists illustrate T. S. Eliot’s conceptnof the “dissociation of sensibility,” thendisjunction between head and heart.nVanessa practiced the Bloomsburynpenchant for “detachment,” a coroUarynof its supposed freedom from illusions.nOne of the results of this is evident in anpainful, late self-portrait which revealsnthe unfulfilled old woman.nIn addition to painting, Vanessa’snother achievement is in the decorativenarts, stemming from her work withnRoger Fry’s Omega Workshops and hernlifelong collaboration with DuncannGrant. Here again, Bloomsbury para-nIfi the MailnChristianity and Philosophy by Keith E. Yandell; Wm. B. Eerdmans; Grand Bapids, MI.n”An exercise in the philosophy of rellglon.”i!iii;erc«e Is the right wordnWiat You Have at Stake in the 1984 Election by Guy Vander Jagt; Green Hill; Ottawa, IL.nCertainly, President Reagan has “protected your dollar’s purchasing power,” but how can wenaccount for this not-well-made, 90-page book that costs 13.50?nHow to Get Off Drugs by (he Editors oiRoUing Stone; Simon & Schuster; New York. Theneditors make a grandiose assumption; that the target audience is literate.nAn American Idol: Emerson and the “Jewish Idea” by Robert J. Loewenberg; UniversitynPress of America; Washington, DC. The author is probably correct on at least one count: “Incannot suppose that a book critical of liberalism, and especially of its greatest American spokesmannand patron, Emerson, will be well received by academic intellectuals.”nDecision Making in the Supreme Court of the United States: A Political andnBehavioral View by Joseph F. Menez; Utiiversity Press of America; Washington, DC.nAlthough the footnotes and other bibliographical equipment take up at least as much of the booknas the prose, the vignettes themselves are more engaging than the title might suggest.ndoxes abound: the socially progressivenset practicing the most bourgeois of artnforms, decorating fabrics, dinnerware,nand the walls of the well-to-do. In thesendesigns “detachment” is thrown to thenwinds: they are light and rhythmic, oft:ennin soft pastel colors—an obvious reactionnagainst the heavy reds and blacks ofna late-Victorian childhood. The OmeganWorkshop, in effect, is the direct ancestornof the sheet and pillowcase departmentnat Bloomingdales.nVanessa Bell had a simple dignitynabout her, so that even in her gypsy-like,ncasual appearance, she carried herselfnwith a natural grace. Alma Mahler wasnalways a sophisticate by comparison,n”the most beautiful girl” in turn-of-thecenturynVienna, when it was the culturalncapital of the world. Alma Mahler hadnsomething of the “grand lady” about hernthroughout her life. Except for a fewnsongs written while she was a musicnstudent. Alma Mahler produced no art.nBut like Vanessa Bell, she was drawn tonartistic circles and provided an atmospherenof feminine hospitality and stimulationnwhich made her company itselfndesirable. The subtitle of Karen Monson’snbiography reveals the book’s raisonnd’etre: “Muse to Genius.” The story ofnAlma Mahler would, it seems, be aboutnnnthe grand lady of culture, whose beautynand vivacity inspired a dozen of Europe’sngreatest artistic geniuses, and whosenpassions and sufferings are a testament tonan intensely lived existence. Unfortunately,nwhen the fects are presented, thenreality is rather more sordid.nJLIaughter of the successful landscapenpainter J. E. Schindler, Alma had aUnthe advantages of Leslie Stephen’sndaughters. She was an industrious musicnstudent who managed to captivaten(though not through music) the directornof the Vienna Opera, Gustav Mahler,nwho pursued and won her. Mahler’snsingle-minded devotion to music wasnhard on Alma, though later in theirnmarriage he recognized this and made angallant effort to make amends. Sadly,nAlma never understood her husband’snmusic, and during their marriage shenbegan a lifelong habit: convincing herselfnthat she would be happy with some mannother than the one she was with. AfternMahler’s death the painter Oskar Kokoschkanbecame her lover, and when shenbecame pregnant by him, she abortednthe child. She sought out the architectnWalter Gropius, the founder of thenBauhaus—^whom she had been temptednto have an affair with while stiU marriednil3nNovember 1984n