The ripe commentaries of R. P. Blackmur collected here from several years' sowing provide goodly reaping for the litterateur. His concern is for the place and state of the artist and his works, the scholar and the critic. His essays range from discussion of the craft of Melville to the meaning of expatriatism in artists. He examines the nature of Eliot's criticism, of Henry James', of Dante's -- and considers criticism as intermediary between audience and artist. He comments on the artist as hero, the artist in a society without a dominating class but with economic pressures. Notes on rereading Irving Babbitt involve a search into humanism and symbolic imagination; Trilling's The Liberal Imagination leads into the politics of human power. There is a good deal about Henry Adams and a good deal about Henry James. Whatever the artist or work of art discussed, there is always a view to the deepest relevance in the life of mind and art in society. There is always a search for the ""modus vivendi"", for man who falls between the numen and moha that are of his being. Gourmet's delicacy.