Page 4, 22nd April 1949

22nd April 1949
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Page 4, 22nd April 1949 — IN A FEW WORDS
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IN A FEW WORDS

Where Holidays Save Money A " VELLEITY " (good scholastic word indicating a will which you can never quite put into action) to leave the wilds of Kent and find a smaller suburban house (to save money and to ease educational problems) was rudely weakened still further by this year's Easter weather. Such weather. by the way, is a rere money-saver, if you do live in the country. While trains were full and cars succeeding each other on the distant highway, pouring money into tickets, petrol, hotels, restaurants, amusements, we found costless joy and peace in the sunbathed garden and surrounding country. our biggest efforts being a five-mile expedition to the curious rock formations near Eridge where climbers with ropes provide the illusion of being abroad. In this magic place wild anemones grew with a profusion I have never seen equalled. The hardier members of the family actually bathed in the Medway--at the cost, I must admit, of a pair of spectacles which remained on the nose of the young wearer as he plunged into the icy water and were never seen again. Mr. Bevan's bill or ours? Sketching. primitive cricket, trying to mark a tennis lawn, bees, and desultory gardening provided a rare break which makes any apnroach to suburbia seem infinitely distasteful. But what will one think when the English summer returns?

Yours for Church Discipline THOUGH we always honestly try a to print both sides of any controversy in the correspondence columns sometimes we are checked by the nature of the letters themselves. Thus in the "Fasting Communion " discussion we get an occasional letter on the other side. This is the sort of thing: " I was born in Ireland over 75 years ago. I have to lead a most active He, and am a member of most active societies for men. I am about 12 or 15 rninutes. walk from the church where 1 am at early Mass every morning. Most of the way I run to keep in good form. For the good of my soul and body I have no food two days every week. I could easily abstain from food every day till mid-day if necessary. The Church is wise in the precept of the Lenten and Communion fast, It can be done by both old and young. Youn for Church Discipline." Mr. Pickles ought to meet him.

Watercolours pRACTICALLY everyone begins A. to paint with water-colour. Th:s is inevitable, but really quite wrong. Water-colour is about the hardest medium there is, not the easiest. This belief of mine is reinforced by a visit to the Water-Colour Institute's show in Piccadilly. Not that the standard here is low. Technically, it is quite wonderful. Even so, there are few pictures which strike one as the really inspired water-colour—the sort of painting that could not possibly have been done better in oils. One looks for a looseness of texture, a luminosity, a lack of finish which nevertheless leaves the picture water colour and the straight, direct expression of an individual mind and feeling at first hand. Very rare are really good water-colours. Fairly common are techn:cally excellent paintings with 8 worried. overworked look. Legion are the amateurs' daubs.

David Jones "Penguin" LL of which leads to the magni ficent Penguin Modern Painters volume (3s. 6d.) on David Jones with a long introduction by Robin Ironside to the 32 reproductions (half in colours) which are a treasure in themselves. Robin lronside has very well understood the largely religious inspiration of David Jones* work—a religious inspiration expressed not so much in sacred themes, as in a Thornist-Gill-Maritain sense of the uniqueness and holiness of every thing in itself, thing in itself within the painting, as opposed to being merely an imitation of something else. The watercolour medium is the servant of David Jones' poetic and philosophic aesthetic sense, and it is therefore used as water-colour should be— for its own grace and delicacy.

"The Answer to Communism" I AM sure I need not do much by way of introducing Douglas Hyde's The Answer to Communism (Paternoster Publications, is. 6d.) to my readers. Many of them will

have heard him speak and practically all must have read him in this paper. In this little book he explains at some length the actual philosophy and practice of Communism as he experienced it during twenty years of party membership and increasing responsibility within the party. The " Answer " as he sees . it is summarised in the concluding pages. and I cannot do better than quote a paragraph on the last page but one:

" There is a tremendous need today for saints. Not just saints in their appropriate niches in the cathedral, nor the brightly coloured little plaster saints we have in the home, important as they are. I mean saints in the engineering workshops who are members of their appropriate trade unions, saints driving buses who are delegates to their local trades councils. Ordinary men, doing ordinary jobs, whose lives stand out as something so different, so superior to those around them that they are a living advertisement for the Faith which they proclaim."

The Answer to Communism is an impressive summing-up on the basis of more than a year's intimate contact with the Catholic Faith. We must look forward to a full-length autobiography as soon as Douglas Hyde has had time to sit back, rest and meditate—an opportunity that looks like being long deferred if our Catholic societies and organisations have their way, for he is now surely the most popular Catholic speaker that ever was.

The New Era in Eire mR. Eamon de Valera Did not welcome the new Era; But there was plenty of noise From the girls and the boys.

—ALFRED GROSCH.

Origin of "Unconditional Surrender" THE second volume of The White House Papers of Harry L. Hopkins (Eyre and Spottiswoode, 25s) is as fascinating as the first, and it throws much light on critical periods of the war. For example. we learn from it that " Unconditional Surrender " was a phrase thrown out by Roosevelt at Casa blanca apparently impromptu, though Robert E.. Sherwood who has put the book together believes that Roosevelt had carefully thought it out. In any case, Churchill was not responsible and has stated that be would not have used the words himself, even though he stood by the President in their use and adopted them.

Shakespeare's "Hamlet" I PAID my first visit to the " Bed ford " in Camden Town the other evening to take a School Certificate student to see Hamlet. Joseph O'Connor's Hamlet was exactly right for this purpose. It was the Hamlet of fire and action with the lines rapidly and beautifully spoken and the death of Polonius at least well accounted for. I am sure. despite all the philosophers, that it was Shakespeare's theatrical idea for Hamlet. The play simply whizzed along, resting for a minute or two to give us Donald Wolfit's own grand little study of the gravedigger. I should have liked to see the theatre fuller, for Donald Wolfit is doing a real and selfsacrificing work to bring authentic Shakespeare to the people.

Theology in Moscow

MORE amusing in the theological

aspect of conversation in Moscow between the " Big Three." Thus Stalin, commenting on the plans for a Second Front, exclaimed " May God help this enterprise to succeed! " and Hopkins was told that Stalin, because of his early education in a religious seminary, often invoked God. Later Stalin took a realistic view of the use of Darlan In Algiers, and in this occasion took the Devil into account: "The military diplomacy must be able," he said. " to use for military purposes not only Darien. but even the Devil himself and his grandma."

All in all, the inner history of the relations between Stalin an Churchill and Roosevelt suggests that Stalin w a s personally a far more human person than Molotov and the other and the other Communist leaders.




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