Editorial: Democracy and Obscenity

The nation braces itself for yet another round of moral indignation against moral indignation. The first indignation is that of publishers, booksellers, and sundry civil libertarians in a state of alarm about the second group of indignants who are doing battle against smut. The first indignants howl . . . . Continue Reading »

The Transcendent in the Mundane

Ordinary Time by a. g. mojtabai doubleday, 223 pages, $17.95  A.G. Mojtabai’s nonfiction work, Blessed Assurance, won the 1986 Lillian Smith Award for the best book about the American South. Now, in her fifth novel, Ordinary Time, in prose as clean and spare as the landscape which is its . . . . Continue Reading »

Graham Greene as Moralist

Trust the tale and not the teller.d. h. lawrence How can one tell the dancer from the dance?w. b. yeats Graham Greene is a marvel. As long ago as 1966, on the publication of The Comedians, Evelyn Waugh could write: “What staying power you have. It might have been written thirty years ago and . . . . Continue Reading »

Glimpsing the Transcendent

Real Presencesby george steiner university of chicago press, 236 pages, $19.95  Of the major literary critics of our period there is, apart from Northrop Frye, but one other whose work requires us to reach toward such a term as “greatness,” and this is George Steiner. The shocking . . . . Continue Reading »