341 CHRONICLESnMontgomery calls a “second generationnFugitive-Agrarian”) have termednNominalism. Montgomery concludesnthat the Southerner is “by nature annantinominalist,” demonstrating hisnantinominalism no more plainly thannwhen he begins his recipe for possumnwith the instruction: “First, catch anpossum.” But this antinominalism isnnot merely the result of a desire fornprecise instruction in the doing of anthing. Antinominalism — as the referencento the naming of the animalsnsuggests — is the result of a sense of anthing’s being-ness, what Montgomeryncalls “the mystery of our peculiarnpossumhood.” Again, he is not beingnentirely playful, for it is exactly thentension between “being” and “doing”nthat gives rise to consciousness andnlanguage.nMontgomery would have us understand,ntoo, that there is no way to talknof nominalism or antinominalism ornany of a broad range of philosophicalnconcerns without establishing a theologicalnposition. Both nominalism andnantinominalism derive from respectivenpositions as to the nature and efEcacynof a creator. Montgomery implies thatnthe nominalist is one who has, like thenoriginal animal namer, “become perverselyngnostic through eager presumptuousness.”nWe labor still, he tells us,nunder this same presumptuousness,nmanifest in New Deals, New Souths,nand other plans aimed at social perfection.n”I am able becomes dominant,”nMontgomery writes. “Lost is its complement,nI am enabled.” And in thisnloss an Eden turns to Babylon.nAnother ingredient in Montgomery’snreceit is tradition. Of course,nhe is careful with his use of the word,nmindful that misappropriation of thenword and a manipulation of the recordn”dries the stream of history, leavingnresidually mint julips and hoop skirts.”nHis care is shown, for example, whennhe quotes T.S. Eliot’s famous distinctionnbetween the words tradition andnorthodoxy, from Eliot’s own lectures atnthe University of Virginia (which werenpublished in 1933 as After StrangenGods). Eliot writes that tradition “mustnlargely be . . . unconscious; whereasn. . . orthodoxy is a matter which callsnfor all our conscious intelligence.”nEliot holds tradition to be of a lowernlevel than orthodoxy, saying that traditionn”is of the blood . . . rather than ofnthe brain.” Montgomery, who agreesnwith Eliot in most matters, takes exceptionnwith him here:nThe point of our attention tonAfter Strange Gods is tonsuggest that for thenFugitive-Agrarians, andnespecially for Davidson andnTate, there is an orthodoxy inntradition itself, requiring thenintellect’s discovery of a validitynin tradition deeper than merelynits presence “in a social group.”nTo have been “Southern-born”nwas to have had a laying on ofnhands by tradition . . . affectingnboth blood and brain.nSo for the Fugitive-Agrarians and, presumably,nfor Montgomery himself, traditionnand orthodoxy are, if not one, atnleast “of a piece.” Montgomery attributesnEliot’s slowness to grasp this truthnto his “Unitarian nee Puritan familynorigins” which left him “hard-pressednto discover any meaning to existence.”nDonald Davidson, on the other hand,nhad by virtue of his Southern birthn”inherited a community of understandingnabout man, nature, and Godnless desperately engaged than byn[Eliot’s] New England intellectualism.”nIt is worth noting at this point thatnjust as not all those born in NewnEngland are victims of “New Englandnintellectualism,” neither are all thosenborn south of the Ohio and east of thenMississippi (or the Pecos) “Southerners.”nWhich is to say, too, that catchingna Southern-born critter is not a necessaryningredient for Montgomery’snreceit for possum. “I have argued,” henwrites,nfor Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn as an”Southerner.” I have pointed ton”Southern” concerns in peoplenas diverse as Ezra Pound in thenCantos and William CarlosnWilliams in Paterson. … Inhave argued “Southern”nconcerns in Hawthorne no lessnthan in Faulkner, in HenrynAdams no less than in WilliamnAlexander Percy. There is anconcern in the English-poet . . .nDavid Jones . . . that makesnhim companionable to bothnnnAllen Tate and DonaldnDavidson. For Jones, too,nattempts through art to recovernto us anathemata, i.e., “thenblessed things.”nReducing Montgomery’s receit to a fewnkey ingredients in no way does justice tonPossum’s intent to “bring together St.nPaul, St. Thomas, Yeats, Weaver, EricnVoegelin, Eliot, Davidson, Tate, and anhost of others past and present in anresistance to the corrosive presence ofngnosticism in community.” It isnenough to say that he is to a remarkablendegree successful in his attempt, andnanyone who would “explore . . .nprinciples . . . vital to any community,nwhatever the state or country or date innhistory” might find in Possum a nourishingnmeal indeed.nWarren Smith edits North Fultonnmagazine.nPlay It Again, Algernby Terry TeachoutnRecollections of a Life by AlgernHiss, New York: Henry Holt.nAfter 40 years, Alger Hiss is still hard atnit. Recollections of a Life, his secondnbook, combines a pale, noncommittalnaccount of Hiss’s pre-1948 career asnitinerant paperpusher (Justice Holmes,nthe New Deal, Yalta, the CarnegienEndowment) with yet another rehashingnof the old, old story. WhittakernChambers was crazy. I’m an honestnman. I will be vindicated. The touchynspots are evasively skirted, the familiarnrefrains resung. Who cares? Thenfriends of Alger Hiss will buy it out ofnyawning habit. Others will stay farnaway.nThe main difference between thenreception oi Recollections of a Life andnIn the Court of Public Opinion, Hiss’snprevious book, is that the climate ofnopinion regarding the Hiss-Chambersncase has shifted profoundly in thenensuing years. In intellectually respectablencircles it used to be easy enough tonavow a belief in Hiss’s innocence withoutnbeing hooted out of the room. Thenpublication of Allen Weinstein’s Perjurynchanged all that. Perjury was annextraordinarily detailed factual examinationnof the Hiss-Chambers case writ-n