ary” for obtusely assuming that farmersnare invariably “yokels and provincialnboors.” Later he asserts that he has “nondesire to be one of the elect draggingnthe masses by force to Utopia”; and hensuggests—quite daringly, given hisnresidence in Berkeley and the tempernof those times—that “youth broughtnup in affluence, masquerading in beggars’nclothing and revolutionary ideas,ncommands less of my respect thannhardworking lumberjacks, miners, busndrivers, and bricklayers, whose mentalitynarouses scorn in the young.”nIndeed, at one point, Milosz skewersna student, a “young idiot” whononce quite seriously asked him “hownlife in Sacramento differed from life inna concentration camp.” This dolt, observesnMilosz, “had never faced starvation,nhe took a bath every day, drove ancar, an old one but his own; he couldntake the works of Lenin and MaonTse-tung from the library.” In short,nhe took his freedom and his cozynwell-being for granted; and, like mostnsuburban statists, was woefully ignorantnof the way in which “planned”nsocieties are really run. “Collectivenadministration,” observes Milosz elsewherenin Visions From San FrancisconBay, “only works in a few cases, becausenpeople have only enough energynand interest for a couple of weeks ofnrevolutionary elation, after which thenprofessionals, the bureaucrats, takenover the onerous study of making decisions.nAnd how to control them so thatnthey defend the workers’ interests, andnIndigestionn14/CHRONICLES OF CULTUREn111 get the tlmor 1)1 i.atiiii^ loyi-ZZ/iY:nRecollect ion a & Reeifics b l.,illi;ninI k’llinaii and IVtcr I’ii’bUni.iii : I .ittie.nBrown; Boston;, hi-gin with thenwanilering reminiscences and aimlessn£;()urmaiidi/ing of one rich andnwitlcly acclaimed i)la\righl, reccntKndeceased. dd the diat;alioMsnanil cookerv ol licr muchn()nngcr hul likewise wcll-hcclcdnanti worldh-wisc nowMst friend.nSkim off all but the most tlectinc;nrelercnccs to arnish willi elitistneomments about the eulinar diflieultiesneiieoiintcrcd when “servantsnwho will cook or remain until midnight””ncannot be found. Servesnthousands when properK puffed upnl)’ a major iiiiblisher. riij i.^’ I lammernand water, well mixed, com-n|ilelc the repast. ei’nnn—meditations that are replete withnallusions to writers, some of themnquite eccentric, who are virtually unknownnoutside Central Europe. ThenLand of Ulro, he adds, is “my rebellionnagainst the reasonableness of mynessayistic prose, in which I felt muchnmore constrained than in my poetry.”nMilosz is not kidding. In the firstnhalf of The Land of Ulro he eithernfocuses on or alludes to the works of,namong others, Jerzy Wyszomirski,nWitold Gombrowicz, Adam Mickiewicz,nNikolai Chernyshevsky, and hisnown distant cousin, Oscar Venceslasnde Lubicz Milosz. In the second half,nhe manages to analyze—or at leastnmention—Freudianism, Socinianism,nChristian mysticism, scientific materialism,nand secular humanism, whichnhe describes as an “utter failure.”nAlong the way, Milosz outlines thenhistory of “our modern ‘obscure’ poetry.”nHe discusses the accomplishmentsnof Samuel Beckett (whom henrather admires) and Simone Weiln(whom he admires considerablynmore). Weil—who died in 1943 at thenage of 34—brooded intensely and intelligentlynon the nature of God andnthe purpose of man, laying “particularnstress,” as Milosz notes, “on existencenas pain.” Because of her “lucidity ofnthought and style,” Weil, Milosz suggests,n”towers above those Christiansnacceding to the ‘demands of the age.'”nAll the name-dropping, all the expositoryntwisting and turning does notnin the end ruin The Land of Ulro,nbecause throughout this idiosyncraticnwork Milosz does address himself tonthe sort of questions that are not generallynbroached by writers who shoot fornthe sort of big sales and celebrity thatnMilosz shuns. Among them: Whatnought to be the aim of the ChristiannChurch in these utterly secular times?nWhat ought to be literature’s aim in anworld that is in many ways as spirituallynmoribund and as cheerless as thenLand of Ulro that William Blake depictsnin Milton and The Four Zoas?nMilosz, a Roman Catholic, says henfeels “a profound gratitude that there isnUna Sancta Catfiolica Ecclesia.” Butnas he makes clear in The Land of Ulro,nhe is far less grateful for the process ofnliturgical reform and theological liberalizationnthat have in the postwar yearsnutterly transformed and perhaps innsome ways trivialized the character ofn