36 / CHRONICLESndecadence, of the American poetrynscene.nThe truths lost on these professorpoetsnare that success in academianrequires acceptabihty, whereas successnin art requires individuahty that risksnunacceptabihty, and then that successnin the former does not guarantee successnin the latter. This second truthnaccounts for why so many professorpoetsnnowadays are embittered aboutnthe lack of commensurate success forntheir poetry. Isn’t this bitterness anoth­ner sign of decadence?nGiven Stephen Berg’s evident easenin marshaling uniformity, it is notnsurprising that he neglects other partsnof his editorial task. In the bio notes,nhe writes that Galway Kinnell “nownruns the Columbia University GraduatenWriting Program,” whereasnKinnell actually teaches at NYU.nElsewhere the reader finds a RobertnPenn Warren sentence that suffersnfrom a missing word: “The scene is annevening picnic of college in a distantnThe Sheriflf and the Goatmann”May not a man have several voices . . . as well asntwo complexions?”n—Nathaniel HawthornenGeorge Garrett: An EveningnPerformance: New and SelectednShort Stories; Doubleday; New York;n$18.95.nPeter Taylor: The Old Forest andnOther Stories; Doubleday; NewnYork; $16.95.nIn George Garrett’s stories the conflictnoften arises between a wild lonenOutsider and a generally conscientiousnbut insecure Establishment figure; innPeter Taylor’s stories the conflict isnlikely to take place between generations,nthe revolt of the young againstntheir elders.nThe conflicts are similar in somenrespects, for in neither case is there antotal rejection of values on either side.nGarrett’s establishment figures oftennrecognize the better qualities in theirnopposing loners, the desire for adventure,nthe strange angry pride and fiercenrefusal of society’s ordinary comforts.nTaylor’s youths will often agree withnthe basic tenets of their parents andngrandparents, but are impatient withnthe smug manner in which these customsnare presented and with the hypocrisynby which they are maintained.nThe old values are quite clear in emo-nFred Chappell is a novelist andnco-winner of the 1985 BollingennPoetry Prize. His most recent book isnI Am One of You Forever (LSU).nby Fred Chappellntional outiine; in “The Scoutmaster”nTaylor represents many of them in ansingle figure:nHe stood before us like annnwoodland.” In the preface, Bergnclaims, “These poems and essays arenalso a substantial introduction to whatnis happening in American poetryntoday.” Now a careful editor, especiallynof such a narrow-minded book,nwould have removed that sort of disingenuousnclaim that was initially made,none suspects, to impress commercialnpublishers (and their sales managers).nReprinted here, a puff so false becomesnoutrageous and, need I say,ninfuriating. ccngigantic replica of all the littienboys on the benches, halfnridiculous and half frighteningnto me in his girlish khakinmiddy and with his trousersndisappearing beneath heavynthree-quarter woolen socks. Innthat cold, bare, bright room henwas saying that it was one ofnour great misfortunes to haven