is not so indignant with sin ihe knowsnits origins and its wiles) as witl:! errornand foolishness, so he tends to turn hisntexts into catechisms, as a way of rectifyingnsloppy thinking, psychologicalnmisconceptions, vision deflected by appetites,nand erratic behavior.nIn a number of essays, Sayers succumbsnto the catechetic style. In onenof them. “The Dogma is the Drama.”nshe outlines a countercatechism (shencould not know that a decade after herndeath, the Dutch clergy would approvena far more perverse one), in order tonillustrate people’s wrong understandingnof what Christianity is about. In twonother essays, “Christian Morality” andn”The Other Six Deadly Sins,” the catecheticnstyle is further utilized, and,nparticularly in the latter, Sayers luxuriatesnin the pleasure of explaining thenmechanism of how sins are promptednand go unresisted. Come to think of it,nC. S. Lewis often turns to similar devicesn(the catechetic approach), evennin his masterpiece. The ScrewtapenLetters.nI am not saying this approach yieldsnbad literature, only that didacticism oftennseems inseparable from what somencall the Catholic style of writing. Tonmy taste, only Mauriac and Bernanosnsucceeded completely in avoiding thisntrap: Mauriac. because his Catholicismnwas of the Jansenist type where sin isninevitable: Bernanos. because in threennovels. The Diary of a Country Priest.nThe Joy. and The Impostor I but particularlynin the first of these), he managednthe impossible: write crediblenfiction about sainthood.nIf we further analyze the malaisenof the reader confronted with some ofnthe writings of Sayers, Lewis, Claudel,nEliot, et al.. we find that they oftennamount to disguised apologetics (Bernanosnkept clear of this threat to allnliterature)—again because these writingsnare addressed to a public which,nbeliever or not, lives in an ambiencenof devastating secularism. Instead ofnbeing militantly denied as in SovietnRussia, the “religious'” is just one ofnthe “dimensions” of the liberal/secularizedn(lib/sec.-^) world—which maynbe the reason why Russian Christiannwriters today do not feel compelled tonuse the catechetic approach, whereasnWestern Christian writers often do.nParticularly in Anglo-Saxon countries.nCatholic literature is tempted to offerna whitewashed hygiene of the soul andnadopt the tone of puritanic pudeur. Althoughnnot excusable, this is at leastncomprehensible since as an advertisementnin the New York subway instructsnus, religion is the way “people worshipntoday: nutritional programmes for oldernpeople, nursery schools for childrennof working mothers, transponation ofnsenior citizens, countless activities . . .nBecome active through your church ornsynagogue. Find yourself—with peoplenwho worship.” No wonder that excellentnwriters like Lewis and Sayersncannot resist the urge to (re-) catechizenthis marshmallow he Sayers volume becomes excellentn(not just edifying) reading in thenlonger essays of literary scholarship:non allegory, where she brilliantly arguesnthe causes which made the science ofnthree centuries reject it and the presentnage, for example psychoanalysis, readmitnit; on Dante; on the Oedipus myth; thenFaust legend. It is a delight to watchnher demythify Freud’s false myth aboutnOedipus and give the theme its paradigmaticnscope. Or. in ”Creative Mind,”nwatch her explode the scientist’s effortnto render a precise scientific descriptionnof reality out of words which must alsonserve—such is the nature of languagen—the humanities. This essay ought tonbe the right antidote to whoever hadningurgitated C. P. Snow’s Two Cultures,nthe in-thing two decades he Faust legend presents her withnan occasion to blend scholarship, deepnfaith, and literary vision, as she examinesnthe Devil figure in Marlowe,nMilton, Goethe and Byron. Here, likenin other essays, her special quality isnto show the parallels between thenchanges of Christian sensitivity and thenliterary expression. It is the last essaynof the volume, so the end is appropriate:nMiss Sayers turns once more, in a departingngesture, to the poet she placesnhigh above all others, “the greatest poet,nthe most exact theologian, the mostnadult intellect”—Dante. DnBooks in the MailnA Hymnal: The Controversial Arts by William F. Buckley, Jr.; G. P. Putnam’s Sons;nNew York. A collection of William F. Buckley, Jr.’s recent writings.nThe Relevance of Edmund Burke edited by Peter J. Stanlis; P. J. Kenedy and Sons;nNew York. Analyses of Burke’s concepts of Natural Law in relation to contemporary issues.nAmerican Cause Special Reports by Charles J. V. Murphy and James Angieton; AmericannCause; Washington, D.C. A limited edition devoted to various U.S. policies.nThe Servile State by Hilaire Belloc; Liberty Fund, Inc.; Indianapolis. A new editionnof Belloc’s classic 1913 forecast of capitalism’s transformation into today’s welfare, or “servile,”nstate.nEnergy Perspectives edited by Milton R. Copulos; The Heritage Foundation; Washington,nD.C. A series of articles which addresses the major controversies surrounding thenenergy debate.nFisher’s Concise History of Economic Bungling by Antony Fisher; Caroline HousenBooks; Ottawa, Illinois. An overview of economics through history and suggestions on hownAmerica can avoid the economic decline of Britain.nThe Machinery of Freedom: Guide to Radical Capitalism by David Friedman; ArlingtonnHouse; New Rochelle, New York. A libertarian approach for doing away with big government.nThe Inflation Crisis, and How to Resolve It by Henry Hazlitt; Arlington House; NewnRochelle, New York. An explanation of the mechanics and remedies of inflation.nThe Politics of Prosecution: Jim Thompson, Marje Everett, Richard Nixon & ThenTrial of Otto Kemer by Hank Messick; Caroline House Books; Ottawa, Illinois. Annaccount of the people and events behind the Otto Kemer trial.nnn11nChronicles of Culturen