a stroke victim is the impossibility, or at best the appalling difficulty of communication, which so suddenly cuts them off from the world. "This muddiness of mind," of which Sir Walter Scott spoke so despondently, is far the greatest affliction to anyone formerly of high and free-ranging intelligence,
But it is by no means the only one, and Guy Wint describes some of the others: like constant pain; the unceasing feeling of concussion; the dreadful nausea and dislike for food, becoming suddenly tasteless; the acute awareness of un pleasant (though often non-existent) smells; the horror at mass, size and numbers.
Perhaps more than all these physical sufferings and even more than the patient's hopeless awareness of his own ability to communicate—and on this, as other things, "a stroke leaves the patient abnormally sensitive"— is the deep melancholia in face of the prospect of a desperately slow and never complete return to anything like mental and physical perfection.
That in the face of this suffering—and "an essential part of it is sheer inconvenience"—The Third Killer should be an outstanding book is an enormous tribute to Mr. Wint's courage (Chatto & Windus, 30s.).
It is far more than just a brilliant autobiographical case history. Passages on comparative religion, on "the watershed in public affairs" marked by 1960, when so many things so swiftly changed, especially the astonishing refurbishing of the Catholic Church (the most surprising revolution of our age alike by its tnagnitude and the speed and unexpectedness with which it happened), the delightful portrait of K. M. Panniker, the case histories of many historic stroke patients, comments on the relative ineffectiveness and psychological unhelpfulness of medical research and treatment, the record of the sights, sounds and personalities met on previous far-flung travels—all these are bonuses to a brave book which will help both those who will be and those who will have contact with stroke sufferers.
Mr. Wint says: The extreme use of the imagination cannot create in the healthy body an intimation of the stare of mind of the stroke victim, but this book and a few which he mentions by other victims who succeeded in communicating their feelings can do very much to bring to sympathetic imaginations the understanding necessary to share and so to reduce the suffering caused by the third, and perhaps the cruellest, of civilisation's killer illnesses.
Mr. Wint finds that Christianity, whatever its merits, is a less satisfactory religion than Buddhism to equip one for the experience of crippling illness. Clare and her husband, James Davidson Ross, who wrote her biography, did not (Hodder & Stoughton, /is.). Both were physically handicapped by serious illness—we learn quite incidentally that he was the holder of an R.A.F. 100 per cent disability pension—and neither was a Christian by upbringing or environment. Their own fundamental goodness, the moving death of Clare's beloved young sister and their mutually centred but out-going love were among the factors that brought them to the love of God, without any ulterior motives of cure-seeking.
Indeed, as Mr. Ross says: II we turn to God seeking only physical healing, only relief from our sufferings, and only to try and he rid of that which we do not want to bear, then we are disorientated from God.
This book is an affectionate and eminently practical account of a hard-won and deeply rewarding relationship with God. Mr, Ross' reflections on prayer are outstandingly practical and will be of great assistance to those who find they are too earthbound to get much realistic guidance from books on mysticism and yet share the Apostles' need to be taught what prayer is, and above alt how to pray, Dr. Tom Dooley. loved God by loving his neighbour even more than himself and concentrated this practical love and his boundless energy on the inhabitants of large areas of South-East Asia. A life of brilliant promise and high-power performance was cut short by his death from cancer at the age of 34, and Before I Sleep, edited by James Monahan, is a moving account of the last 17 months of that meteoric life (World's Work, 6s.).
It worried him not at all that, though universally loved, he was not unanimously so. He was a man in a hurry, knowing better than most under similar death sentences how brief his time would be and how agonising, and into those last months he packed what would for most men have been a lifetime of travelling, organising. fund-raising. healing and, finally, delegating—a practical saint in a very great hurry.
This book, though maybe unnecessarily avoiding the spiritual side of this great young man, certainly conveys his sense of ru isNion and urgency and perhaps will inspire other people to take up his torch.
Dr. Dooley's patients were mostly inhabitants of a world broken by poverty, ill-health and the savage onslaught of Communism. Dr. Tournier's patients are from a (?) higher level of civilisation.
He has found as physician, psychologist and scholar that, with less material deprivation to cope with, their sufferings are caused at a deeper less conscious level, and he sees the undefined malaise of contemporary society as being largely caused by the repression of the spiritual and of conscience and "the depersonalisation of industrial society".
Even those who would agree with Dr. Tournier's diagnosis and prescription will find The Whole Person in a Broken World a scholarly but turgid book, and determined materialists will be repelled only by the end-to-end quotations (Collins, 21s.).
Medicine minded girls may find inspiration in They Dared To Be Doctors by Mary St. J. Fancourt, a palatable re-telling of the stories of the two pioneers, Elizabeth Blackwell and Elizabeth Garrett Anderson (Longmans, 13s. 6d.).
The first 75 pages of Linguistics, Language and Religion (Burns and Oates, 9s. 6d.) arc entirely devoted to a discussion of linguistics. Only then does the main theme — that the way we use language may hinder the transmission of ideas to other people because of hidden presuppositions of speaker and listener — begin to appear. The same point was made, it must be said, with more brevity by Newman in On Consulting the Faithful in Matters of Doctrine. In the last part of the book Mr. Crystal deals with the connection between language and philosophy. In particular he mounts an attack on Logical Positivism. This part of the book is nol successful. A large amount of the argument is redundant, since the only refutation needed for the logical positivist position is the one he does at last quote, that its own arguments render its premises meaningless, On certain points. too, he is misleading, in particular in implying that the early work of Wittgenstein was more important than the rater work which he hardly mentions. That Logical Positivism is not a widely held philosophical view today is largely due to the work of Wittgenstein, and this book adds little to its destruction.
A minor irrilat'on is the very large number of footnotes to the pages, not merely references, but also matters of substance, which Gould better have been written into the text. It is not clear why some references have been put in footnotes and others in the bibliography (which is large and satisfactory). The idea of a book to discuss the relation between language usage and meaning of religious language is a good one. It is a pity that this book does not quite pull it off,
Glyndebourne by Spike Hughes (Methuen. £4 4s.) has come out at lust the right moment. The opera season is in full swing, and in this lavishly illustrated volume the history of this Tudor manor house and its theatre built in 1934 is traced with loving care. A "must" for opera addicts.
To many Fred Perry is merely a name. In Behind the Scenes at Wimbledon (Collins, 30s.), Duncan Macaulay recalls not only his three singles championships there. but the fights and tribulations of a host of other players. An ideal book to read this month on the way to the Centre Court.
Paperbacks on European painting abound, but here at last is one by H. D. Molesworth on European Sculpture (Thames and Hudson, Nis.). It ranges over the centuries from Romanesque carvings to the work of Rodin. There Is a lively text to go with the 277 pictures.
Small Boat in Southern France is a delightful holiday book in which Roger Pi lk ngton 30s) continues his journey down the sleepy Saone to the Mediterranean, and then northwards via Toulouse to Montauban. Learning is worn lightly: there are asides on Albigensians. the bridge at Avignon. and the aromatic pink brown wine called Muscat de Frotignan.