And whether we should decide that a persistent reliance on commerce and property for concepts of value is the habit of Jane Austen's mind, the very grain of her imagination, or that it is a special novelistic intention, is for the moment irrelevant."" The tone of scholarly exactitude the exquisitely genteel phrasing which is heard throughout Mark Schorer's book, a collection of essays written over the last twenty years, is very close to that of Lionel Trilling and the revival of Arnoldian humanism during the late Forties. Like Trilling (though Schorer has not much use for Freudian insights), Schorer places the artist within both a social and cultural domain where artistic and ethical values are seen as closely related keys to the literary personality and the particular spirit of a work. Schorer is more impressionistic than Trilling and his essays are less intellectually rewarding. But he has a better sense of the dramatic possibilities of criticism, and his thoughts on Lawrence, Sinclair Lewis, Ford, the disjointed camaraderie of Stein and Anderson, Fitzgerald and Hemingway--to mention only the most compelling pieces--often take on the color and amplitude of biographical sketches while retaining a good eye for symbol and technique and the way theme and sensibility complement each other. A sturdy assemblage.