THE DIALOGUES OF ARCHIBALD MACLEISH AND MARK VAN DOREN by Warren V.- Ed. Bush

THE DIALOGUES OF ARCHIBALD MACLEISH AND MARK VAN DOREN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

When two poets who are also public figures (MacLeish invoked the Social Muse and has been privy to Washington councils; Van Doren is a celebrated Columbia educator- get together, what do they talk about? TV viewers already know, since parts of these dialogues once made a CBS Special; here now is the unedited original, all the talk that went on at Uphill Farm, the MacLeish home, site of the ""summit."" For the non-antenna type, then, the breakdown. The poets spoke of poets and of poetry, of the Greeks, Shakespeare, orvantes, and of Mother Coose which MacLeish found ""penetrating and unforgettable,"" after that, Paris and the Lost Generation, the 30's, disarmament, communism and Cuba, the two-culture conflict, New England as Eden, McCarthyism, Oppenheimer and Frankfurter, travel and teachings. Human values were stressed: friendship makes men equal, the gift to be simple is the true (democratic) gift. They are erudite but not too erudite (Van Doren thrilled by the originality of a line from Macleish's JB. both of them forgetting it's a mishmash rendering of an Eckhart aphorism), and sophisticated but not always (the embarrassing business about Thurber). Many will find it a splendid example of democratic communications, of our coming-of-age. A dissident few might note that it is insubstantial.

Publisher: Dutton