port” to the liberal policies he endorses,nas he himself recognizes. His discussionnoffers us no means to weigh thengood and bad consequences of the variousnmeasures he proposes. Thus, all henis really entitled to say on utilitarianngrounds is that he does not knownwhether his program of sexual reformnwill be beneficial. But this does not stopnhim; Sweden, with its “morally indifferent”nattitude toward sex, beckons.nSex and Reason leaves me astonished.nThe combination of assiduous readingnwith preposterous errors, poor reasoning,nand moral blindness is in my experiencenunique. Yvor Winters’ descriptionnof Ezra Pound applies with muchnmore justice to Posner; he is a barbariannloose in a museum.nDavid Gordon is a senior fellow of thenLudwig von Mises Institute.nBambino andnMinotaurnby Jeffrey MeyersnIntellectual Memoirs: New Yorkn1936-1938nby Mary McCarthynForeword by Elizabeth HardwicknNew York: Harcourt Brace ]ovanovich;n114 pp., $15.95nThe philosopher Ludwig Wittgensteinnonce mentioned the self-punishingnlimitations of his projected butnnever written autobiography: “I cannotnwrite my biography on a higher planenthan I exist on. And by the very fact ofnwriting it I do not necessarily enhancenmyself; I may therefore even make myselfndirtier than I was in the first place.”nMary McCarthy, paraphrasing Orwell’snessay on Salvador Dali, agrees that thisngenre demands a devastating honestynthat often forces the writer to portraynherself in a negative light: “an autobiographynthat does not tell somethingnbad about the author cannot be anyngood.”nMcCarthy was the American equivalentnof the English bluestocking, RebeccanWest. She was an extremely intelligentnLatinate stylist, subversive satirist,nand skeptical observer of social nuance;n38/CHRONICLESna novelist, travel writer, literary and theaterncritic who was passionately interestednin politics and ideas. This memoir—nmore sexual than intellectual—is thin,ngossipy, fragmentary, and clearly unfinishedn(many obscure friends are notnidentified). And the striking anecdotesnare rarely developed into serious and significantnevents. Nevertheless, this is anruthlessly self-critical and tantalizinglyninteresting book.nThis brief work is organized aroundntwo conflicts: political and personal. Itnbegins two years after McCarthy hadngraduated from Vassar, when she was beginningnher literary career by writing severenreviews in the Nation and New Republic.nThough only slightly attracted toncommunism, she drifted into the PartisannReview circle and was caught up,nduring the purge trials, in the fanaticnideological wars between the Stalinistsnand Trotskyites. Her mentors on Partisannwere passionately pro-Trotsky, butnshe was far too intelligent to swallow thenparty line. As Scott Fitzgerald (tonwhom McCarthy bore a remarkablenphysical resemblance) observed of EdmundnWilson’s politics in the laten1930’s: “A decision to adopt Communismndefinitely, no matter how good fornthe soul, must of necessity be a saddeningnprocess for anyone who has ever tastednthe intellectual pleasures of the worldnwe live in.”nThe young and beautiful McCarthynwas also torn between husbands andnlovers. She leaves her first husband,nJohnsrud, but does not know why, andnloses interest in her lover John Porter—nwhose main function was to dissolve hernmarriage—for equally vague reasons.nEollowing the advice of an old teacher,nshe tried hard to “come to real love freenof any neediness.” But, having been orphanednas a young child, she never succeedednin reaching this pure state andnbecame quite miserable when poor,nloverless, and lonely.nHer innumerable lovers included thenoriginal of the hero of her story “ThenMan in the Brooks Brothers Shirt” whonworked for a plumbing company innPittsburgh, and an earnest communistnactor who wore lifts in his shoes. Mc­nCarthy once had three different loversnwithin 24 hours. But she neglects tonmention how she organized the logisticsnor what she did between sleeping withnthem. The main difficulty, however,nwas choosing between two high-powerednliterary critics: the gruff and ran­nnncorous Russian-Jewish Philip Rahv, whonhad dark lustrous eyes and “the look of anbambino in an Italian sacred painting,”nand the pop-eyed, pink-skinned, short,nstout, and breathy Edmund Wilson,nwho stole her away from the passivenRahv. The first time she went out withnWilson, whom she called the minotaurnand savagely portrayed as Miles Murphynin A Charmed Life, McCarthy got veryndrunk, passed out, and woke up in anstrange hotel room with every reason tonfear the worst. But she found herselfnnext to her companion of the previousnevening, the vain and dumpy MargaretnMarshall, literary editor of the Nation.nAt their second meeting, though notnsexually attracted to Wilson, McCarthynallowed him to make drunken love tonher. Still unclear about what she wanted,nshe absurdly agreed to marry him,nagainst her inclinations, as punishmentnfor having gone to bed with him.nThough the marriage was over just afternthe wedding night, she remainednwith Wilson for seven more years. It isnastonishing that McCarthy’s penetrating,nanalytical mind had so little insightninto the motives that influenced the crucialnemotional decisions of her life.nJeffrey Meyers writes from Kensington,nCalifornia. His latest book is EdgarnAllan Poe: His Life and Legacyn(Scribner’s).nBad by Designnby Gregory McNameenTurn Signals Are the FacialnExpressions of Automobilesnby Donald A. NormannReading, Massachusetts:nAddison-Wesley; 205 pp., $21.95nAfew months ago 1 went out intonthe Arizona desert to take photographsnfor a book of natural history Inam writing. I had with me an expensive,nlate-model Japanese camera thatnmight be advertised as “idiot-proof,” hadnthe manufacturer been less guarded innthe tone of its publicity. In fact, thencamera turned out to be, if anything,ntoo idiot-proof; it refused to allow me tonoverride its settings to underexpose orn