Brezhnev had good reason to boast at anmeeting of Communist Parties innPrague in 1973, at the height of thenNixon-Kissinger detente policy:nWe have been able to achievenmore in a short time withndetente than was done for yearsnpursuing a confrontation policynwith NATO Trust us,nComrades, for by 1985, as anconsequence of what we arennow achieving withndetente … we will be able tonextend our will wherever wenneed to.nJoseph Stalin was able to win prestigiousnrecruits worldwide to his Stockholmn”Peace” Campaign. The namesnwhich in 1948 and 1949 graced thenStockholm peace petitions were worldfamous.nKhrushchev enlisted hisn”peace” battalions in the West despitenthe 1956 Hungarian massacre, the BerlinnWall, and the missiles of October.nBrezhnev proclaimed “peace” despitenthe Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.nAndropov sent dissidents to psychiatricnhospitals and shot down a civilian Koreannairliner, but to the US media he wasnknown to be a lover of Scotch, thentango, and American novels.nThe Madness of Art by James W. Tuttletonn”In relation to Gauguin, Van Gogh and Rimbaud,nI have a distinct inferiority complex because theynmanaged to destroy themselves. . . . I am morenand more convinced that, in order to achievenauthenticity, something has to snap.”n— SartrenManic Power: Robert Lowell andnHis Circle by Jeffrey Meyers, NewnYork: Arbor House; $17.95.nIn “Resolution and Independence,”nWordsworth lamented that “WenPoets in our youth begin in gladness, /nBut thereof come in the end despondencynand madness.” This observation,nas well as Sartre’s in the epigraph,ntestifies to the self-destructive risk to thenwriter who may be drawn to poetry as anmeans of expressing, rather thannobjectifying and controlling, the anarchynof feeling that occasionally threatensnto erupt. In any case, since the timenof Wordsworth, we have had a long,nunbroken Romantic literary traditionnmarked by the idealization and indulgencenof feeling, especially despondencynand madness—at the expense ofnreflective thought. Some years ago,nWinfield Scott remarked that “Ournsaddest stories are biographies of 20thnCentury America writers, ThomasnWolfe, Hart Crane, Vachel Lindsay,nJames Tuttleton is professor of Englishnat New York University.nnnNow we have Mikhail Gorbachevnand Raisa and her American ExpressnGold Card. Chernobyl, what’s that?nNick Danilov frame-up? Forgotten.nWatch the great detente drama in thenKremlin between the forces of light andnglasnost and the forces of darkness andnblack reaction, between the superhawksnlike Ligachev and the superdoves likenYeltsin and hardheaded detentists likenGorbachev. What a script, what a plot.nGuess who’s going to win? The magicnof detente is that with it you can donanything — even make a wilderness andncall it peace.nNOVEMBER 1988 / 27n