Page 3, 7th July 1944

7th July 1944
Page 3
Page 3, 7th July 1944 — Criticism
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Criticism

Herbert Read

Herbert Read; An Introduction to his Work. By Various Hands. Edited by Henry Treece. (Faber, 10s. 6d.) Reviewed by W. J. IGOE THIS work serves as an admirable introduction to the work of one of the most important and representative men of our age, Herbert Read, poet, critic, teacher and philosopher is offered from the hands of men who are obviously his disciples. They are apt to be a little starry-eyed, a trifle cola/Using (they have as many tongues as they are men) but their book has the quality of its subject and demands attention.

Read is the eternal infantry officer refusing to let the horrors which descended upon him destroy him. He has been as intransigeant with himself as with the aftermath of the war which beat him down to risc again. When others took the easy way out, the way to the sheeplike solace of the herd, the mass mind,. Socialism, and the submerging of the soul in the material, he held fast He made a God of the human spirit. As such Catholics will not accept him as an arbiter; but we can learn much from him as a teacher by the way. Too many of us look rather shabby in professions of our oreed beside a man who holds a foreshortened version, but holds it and lives by it. If his anarchy may lead to madness; our timidity may lead to decay.

In the work of one of the few outside the Church who have lived by the spirit, even myopically, we may find aribther sorely needed example. On education. art, industry, in his poetry, and in his records of the sufferings of the simple, maddened by the whips of the devil, be has found and offered the world part of the message of Christianity, the message of the Unknown God.




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