Literary essays by the author of Studs Lonigan, who feels that writing today must break with commercialized culture, the bankruptcies of the past. He reviews the period through the '30's, going back to Mark Twain and the Russians, and forward to Hemingway, James Joyce, Lewis Mumford, the imagery of Dahlbrg, sterility in Hollywood. There are pieces on literature and politics, on the writing of Studs Lonigan, on the problems of those who want to become writers. An analysis of techniques, cults, esthetic theory and the anatomy of literature; the retrogression or progress of social consciousness; the part revolutionary writing and assimilation of human emotions, feelings and change play in the development of literature. Controversial and debatable arguments and conclusions -- for the specifically literary market.