colorful cussing, who shelved it. BasicnEnglish was never heard of again, butnHitchens believes it inspired GeorgenOrwell’s “Newspeak.”nHitchens sees U.S. English as thenlatest example of Anglophilia, and onenwith clear designs on U.S. immigrationnpolicy. He traces the group back to thenPioneer Fund of 1937 to study appliedngenetics in Germany, and uncovers anprivate organization called WITAN,nfrom the Anglo-Saxon “Witenagemot,”nor “conclave of wise men,”nwhich he hints is up to no good. Thisngets a bit darkling but it is still a far crynfrom full-throttled Groucho Marxism.nHitchens has written a controlled andnvery witty book that often takes on thenflavor of Gore Vidal and William F.nBuckley. He might not consider that ancompliment but it is meant as one.nFlorence King’s most recent book isnLump It or Leave It, reviewed in thenAugust issue.nAlone as ChildrennEver Arenby James W. TuttletonnRandall Jarrell: A Literary Lifenby William H. PritchardnNew York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux;n338 pp., $25.00nIn one of his most moving poems,n”The Woman at the WashingtonnZoo,” Randall Jarrell (1914-1965) presentsna woman of no particular accomplishmentnwho — feeling her life drabnand colorless — looks at the caged animals,n”these beings trapped / As I amntrapped but not, themselves, the trap.”nGiven the banality of her life, it is hernforeknowledge of impending death thatnpreoccupies the poet. The routine, thenordinary, the humdrum have becomentoo much for her. She seeks deliverance,neven at the price of some imaginednviolence. In the end, thinkingnabout the vulture, tearing at “the whitenrat that the foxes left,” she begs it tontransfigure itself and step down to hern”as man.” And the poem concludes,n”You know what I was, / You see what Inam: change me, change me!”nThis longing for change is Jarrell’snmost emotionally intense, most highlyncharged theme. To transformation, tonmetamorphosis, even to transmogrificationnin its more grotesque forms Jarrellnreturned, again and again, in poem afternpoem. That in some profound way henwas always dissatisfied with himselfnseems inescapable. And the shockingnnews, in October 1965, that this disHnguishednpoet had been struck by annautomobile on a dark highway in ChapelnHill, North Carolina, raised an ambiguousnquestion as to whether it hadnbeen an accident or whether he hadnthrown himself in front of the speedingncar. I shall return to this question in anmoment, and to the sense of the eventnas given by William H. Pritchard in hisnnew biography, Randall Jarrell: A LiterarynLife.nBut first it is worth rememberingnthat, as a poet, Randall Jarrell had thengood luck to have gone to Vanderbiltnand to have taught at Kenyon Collegenduring the first flowering of the Agrariannpoets and critics and to have knownnclosely John Crowe Ransom, AllennTate, Robert Penn Warren, CleanthnBrooks, Robert Lowell, and Peter Taylor,namong others. His education lednhim into a career of teaching, whichnwas interrupted by World War II, innwhich he served as an airman. Afterward,nwith the publication of his impressivenvolumes Blood for a Strangern(1942), Little Friend, Little Friendn(1945), Losses (1948), The Seven-nLeague Crutches (1951), and SelectednPoems (1955), he won several prizesnfor poetry, attained national recognition,nwon a Guggenheim Fellowship,nand gained appointment to literarynposts at the Nation and Partisan Review.nHis novel Pictures from an Institutionn(1954) was a hilarious satire onnprogressive education as offered by anschool like Sarah Lawrence, where henhad taught in the late 1940’s, beforenmoving on to the Women’s College ofnthe University of North Carolina atnGreensboro. Setting aside some scathingnliterary criticism — collected in Poetrynand f/ze Age (1953), A Sad Heartnat the Supermarket (1962), and ThenThird Book of Criticism (1969) — asnwell as some children’s books andnanthologies, Jarrell is perhaps best rememberednfor the surprising power ofna pair of late volumes of verse. ThenWoman at the Washington Zoonnn(1960), which won the National BooknAward, and The Lost World (1965).nI had the good luck to meet RandallnJarrell in Chapel Hill in 1961. Evennbefore these final two volumes, however,nit was apparent to me that Jarrell—na splendidly bearded yet trim,nfit, and athletic figure — was transfixednby the sensibility of the child, whosenprimitive terrors he knew and understoodnso well. Many of his World WarnII poems had made him seem the bestnof the war poets, and his most wellknownnpoem — “The Death of thenBall-Turret Gunner” — has been sonfrequently anthologized that it virtuallynstands for a whole generation’s warnverse. But it was Jarrell’s vignettes ofnchildhood — the oppression of thenmother, the confusion about whatnadults thought and did in secret, thenfear of getting lost, the rage to runnaway — these poems, always invokingnthe atmosphere of Grimm’s fairy talesnas seen through the Oedipal lens ofnFreud, that seemed his strongest or atnleast most characteristic. It was as if hisnsensibility lived in the world of Hanselnand Gretel; thus it came as no surprisento me, but it was in fact a discovery, tonlearn from Pritchard that Jarrell hadnMaurice Sendak do the illustrations fornhis children’s books, which I had notnseen. Oddly enough, Jarrell never hadnany children himself, though he appearsnto have been a splendid stepfathernto the two daughters of his secondnwife, Mary von Schrader Jarrell (whonedited his letters in 1985).nToward the end of his life, in 1962,nJarrell’s mother returned to him thenletters he had written her during anchildhood period he had spent in Californianwith his grandparents. Out ofnthese come the remarkable ubi suntnpoems of The Lost World, where evil isnfirst encountered in childhood andndeath most terrifyingly discovered. Mr.nPritchard is loath to agree with otherncritics that these poems slide into sentimentality,nand he is fain to point outnthat, if Jarrell’s poems are grim, his lifenand his correspondence were generallynupbeat and genial. But I am inclined tonthink that these childhood letters, returnednto him just as age came uponnhim most unexpectedly, must haventriggered the depression and the suicidenattempt that landed him in thenhospital at Chapel Hill. At the timenJarrell went out onto the highwaynOCTOBER 1990/43n