and demonstrate how Perkins, asrnboth editor and friend, aided Wolfernin solving them. They set thernrecord straight.rnPerkins, who worked with a variety ofrnwell-known writers — Hemingway andrnFitzgerald, Caroline Gordon, NancyrnHale, and Marjorie Kinnan Rawlingsrnamong them—seems to have concernedrnhimself chiefly with questions of structurernand point of view. Thus, the fundamentalrndifferences between O Lx>st andrnAngel are structural and depend on limitingrnthe point of view, as much as possible,rnto the consciousness of the protagonist,rnEugene Gant. O Lost was clearlyrnintended by Wolfe to be a much more inclusivernand omniscient narrative. Certainlyrnthe book, though composed ofrnmuch of the same autobiographical materialsrnas Angel and Of Time and the River,rnis a different novel and one well worthrnthe expense and effort of resurrection.rnWliether or not it is, as the editors assert,rna “better” novel than Look Homeward,rnAngel is a judgment call: It all depends.rnWhat is certain, though, is that, as a firstrnnovel by a new and unknown writer, itrnwould not likely have been published byrnScribner’s (or anyone else) except inrnsome kind of cut and rearranged form.rnNot that O Lost was, by any serious standards,rntoo long or too experimental.rnOnce Loo^ Homeward, Angel had beenrnpublished and had achieved considerablerncommercial and critical success,rnlength and size were less of a problem, asrnwitness the next novel — Of Time and thernRiver.rnIn combination, O Lost and To LootrnMy Life Clean serve to answer some longstandingrnquestions, even as they raise others.rnAfter them, Wolfe has to be taken asrndemonstrably a more assured craftsman,rnpossessed of a larger and more complexrnvision than he has usualK’ been consideredrnto have had. Perkins was uniformlyrnhelpful and sympathetic, especially inrnthe making oi Of Time and the River, butrnWolfe was always his own man. “Realrnlife” was somewhat more complicated,rnhowever. Driven bv a fierce hunger forrnfame (something more than “celebrit}'”),rnWolfe was often difficult and disingenuous;rnoften, in Perkins’ word, “turbulent.”rnLike Hemingway and P^itzgerald, hisrnpresence on the Scribner’s back list ultimatelyrnearned the publisher a fortune.rnWolfe, however, had serious moneyrnproblems: Scribner’s was considerate,rnbut niggardly. With full appreciation ofrnthe venture of the Universitv of SouthrnCarolina Press, one must wonder if thernpresent-day Scribner’s were not the appropriaternpublisher of these books. Wernare also left wondering why it took so longrnfor all this to matter—that is, why Wolfe’srnliterary reputation suffered after his untimelyrndeath and in spite of his imdeniablernachievement. The Perkins myth,rnoverturned by these books, is part of it.rnHeart Murmurrnbv Gail Whitern”That little murmur wasn’t there before,”rnthe doctor says, folding his stethoscope.rn”The valves are stiffening a bit with age.rnIt’s natural.” So is the hangman’s rope.rnI know my joints are losing that young-roeupon-rnthe-mountain suppleness I thoughtrnwould last forever 20 years agorn(much like the blue t’oyota that I bought).rnThe once-unheard of word cholesterolrnis now a lively presence in my blood.rnDiets have been advised, and exercise,rnand other boring measures meant for good.rnBut Nature’s way is best. I don’t expectrnto live forever, or to nurture clones,rnnor hold my breath waiting to resurrectrnmy fat-free, sugar-free, all-natural bones.rnSo is politics. The 1950’s version of politicalrncorrectness was, if anything, evenrnmore obnoxiously obstreperous than therncurrent one.rnFinally, there is the aesthetic factor.rnThough Wolfe was much admired byrnreaders and many other writers, he wasrnan original, a romantic, not easily to bernunderstood or honored by modernist andrnpostmodernist critics. Nevertheless, hisrnworks have remained in print and his influencernon three generations of Americanrnwriters seems undiminished.rnGeorge Garrett is professor emeritus ofrnEnglish at the Vniversity of Virginia.rnWar and Peace,rnand Politicsrnby Thomas FlemingrnThe Red Horsernby Eugenio GortirnSan Francisco: Ignatius Press;rnWIS pp., $29.95rnE ugenio Gorti is one of the greatestrnChristian writers of the past halfcentury.rnAlthough he is virtually unknownrnto the anti-Christian literar)- establishmentrnin Italy, he is revered not onlyrnby conservative Italian Catholics but byrnstraight-thinking Protestants in France,rnSwitzerland (Jean-Marc Berthoud), andrnthe United States (Douglas Kelly). Hisrnliterary output includes a magnificentrnplay {The Trial and Death of Joseph Stalin),rna memoir of his military service onrnthe Russian front during World War IIrn(published by University of MissourirnPress as Few Returned), and —amongrnother works of fiction —his magisterialrnthree-volume novel, // Cavallo Rosso —rnThe Red Horse.rnThis translation has been a long timernin the making, and its checkered historyrnwill someday make an amusing tale.rnRussell Kirk (inspired by his Italian translator,rnMario MarcoUa) arranged for anrninitial version to be done over ten yearsrnago. This version was corrected first byrnan Italian expert in English literature andrnsubsequenriy revised by me. The miraclernof the stor}’ (whose complexity I havernonly hinted at) comes at the end, whenrn26/CHRONICLESrnrnrn