Pessimism, that variety which is collectively contagious, is a disease which affects primarily the highly developed parts of a society—the sensitive and the educated—and there are today certain groups of Americans who seem to be most susceptible.
The Knight in the Tiger's Skin By Shot'ha Rust'hveli New York: International Publishers. 347 pages. $4.50. Tariel, the sunlike, the cypress-formed, may be inferior, spiritually and intellectually, to his Western brethren, King Arthur's knights, but, otherwise, he puts them rather into the shade. Matched with this mournful, moaning, "mad-minded" rover, great Lancelot of the Lake would seem almost perky, and romantic Sir Tristram a very lukewarm lover.
Serge Diaghilev: An Intimate Biography By Serge Lifar New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. 413 pages, $5 The Russian Renaissance is a curiously lovely thing to look back at over one's shoulder, blending as it does priceless artistic magic with a touch of eerie futility and the pathos of its impending doom.