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retained a reasonable standard of wages, farmers would have been compelled to farm better in order to pay their way. Finally-and this too is a very serious matter-the best results of research are not reaching the rank and file of farmers. There is not and never has been efficient machinery for propaganda at the Ministry of Agriculture; and the little money allowed is not spent to advantage. In short, the chief defects of the Intelligence work are that it has ignored the farm-worker and that it has not reached the rank and file of farmers. If the Journal of the Ministry were handled on popular lines it would not be run at a loss, and it would appeal to more than 5 per cent. of the farmers and small-holders of this country. The profits would enable more extensive propaganda to be conducted without cost to the State.

Had there been no world-war to reduce the national wealth and multiply the national needs, it would be possible to hail the progress of education and research in agriculture with a satisfaction that would minimise criticism. The splendid efforts of men and women, who work with tireless diligence and single aim in our Colleges and Institutes, could be held to safeguard a remote future. Unfortunately our needs are immediate. Advocates of our present drifting policy point out that grass-land accumulates stores of nitrogen that enable it to be ploughed with advantage. They forget wireworm; they forget also that our war-plough policy, carried out with fine, ruthless insistence by Lord Lee, was hampered by lack of ploughs, drills, and other machinery that no grass farm carries. Another war,

with a perfected submarine blockade, would starve us out; another generation must arrive before the present teaching has been assimilated and brought into practice. This is why our progress, excellent of its kind though it be, leaves the agricultural problem much where it stood before the Agricultural Act, now in main part repealed, reached the Statute Book.



1. Du Côté de chez Swann, Grasset, 1913; A l'Ombre des Jeunes Filles en Fleurs, 1918; Le Côté de Guermantes I, 1920; Le Côté de Guermantes II, Sodome et Gomorrhe I, 1921. Editions de la Nouvelle Revue Française.

2. Les Intermittences du Cœur (Nouvelle Revue Française, November 1921).

THE most apparent phases in the evolution of literature are marked by a twofold change-in the intelligence and in the sensibility that find expression in it. The writers of a new period seem to know and to feel more than the writers of the period before them; and these separate developments are bound together in the mesh of a continual interaction. They feel more because they know more. A man who has absorbed the aimless principle of Natural Selection develops a new nerve of sensibility which perceives, isolates, and emphasises the aimless quality in all experience. Similarly, a man who has assimilated the Freudian psychology will respond with a new awareness to every manifestation of the sex impulse in the life before his eyes. Every atom of new knowledge that is really apprehended and digested by the mind serves, if not positively to enlarge, at least to rearrange the mechanism of the sensibility. In life we look for that which we know, and feel that for which we are prepared. The logicians assure us that it is impossible to know or feel anything besides.

But these precisely epoch-making changes in the intelligence and the sensibility, though they mark the historical advance of one period upon another, and serve to distinguish phases of the general consciousness and of the literature in which the general consciousness is reflected, do not necessarily mark an advance in the quality of the literature itself. The changed sensibility will respond to many elements in experience which have hitherto passed unnoticed; it will emphasise, and may easily overemphasise, them. It will be induced to fasten upon a new truth of fact—as, for example, the ubiquity of the sex impulse under the strangest disguises-and to neglect old truths of fact which are not less true because they are familiar-as, for example, that the disguises

which the sex impulse is compelled to assume are one of the essentials of civilisation. So that when we leave the historical or evolutionary aspect of literature for literature itself, the significance of a change in the general intelligence and sensibility becomes dependent upon the degree of comprehensiveness that has been reached after the change. An extension of the sensibility has in itself no literary value; and, even when the alchemy of art has intervened, the complete expression of a new emotion will be far less significant than the complete expression of a comprehensive attitude to life, into which the new perceptions have been absorbed.

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The final purpose of literature remains to see life steadily and see it whole'; but the definition is insufficient because it may equally be applied to the man of science and the philosopher. The writer sees and recreates the quality of life as a whole, the quality of experience being precisely the element which is ignored by philosophy and science. Only in so far as the extension of the sensibility which comes with an advance in knowledge is made to serve the perception of the quality of experience can it have a positive literary value. By the aid of the new psychology we may be able to detect the working of the sex impulse in an incident of life where we did not previously suspect it; but this power is useless to the writer unless it enables him to seize more completely the exact and unique quality of the incident, as it were to compass its particularity on another side and so make his previous grasp of it firmer. If he imagines that this new side is the whole of the incident, he is merely indulging in the simplification of science. An extension of the sensibility has positive literary value only when it is a means towards the fuller penetration of the material of literature, which is the quality of our experience. We perceive this quality in a new relation; but this new relation does not supersede the old familiar ones, it only helps to complete them. When a young

man of eighteen suddenly develops a passion for exquisite clothes and beautiful ties, to say it is a manifestation of the sex impulse is true; it may indeed be for the biologist a complete truth, but for the writer it is a fragmentary and untransmuted fact. Unless he combines it with a hundred other perceptions--of the

quality of the boy's desire to be beautiful, to be unobtrusive, to be independent, to be ideal-so that it endorses and intensifies them, he is an inferior man of science instead of (as he fondly imagines) a superior writer. But if the new faculty of perception is brought into harmony with the old ones, if the new relation in which the quality of experience is perceived does complete and not merely supersede the familiar relations, it changes them all; and when this new complex of perceptions is expressed in a work of literature, the work will be unfamiliar, however great may be its comprehensiveness and truth. Only as we persevere with it and accustom ourselves to the mechanism of the sensibility contained in it will its strangeness begin to disappear.

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Whatever may have been our final judgment on the strange novel of M. Marcel Proust, Du Côté de chez Swann,' which appeared in the year before the war-and the book at least had this obviously in common with a great work of literature, that it lent itself to judgment on many different planes-the persistent element in all our changing opinions was that it marked the arrival of a new sensibility. We were being made aware in new ways, induced to perceive existence in new relations. We seemed to be drawn by a strong and novel enchantment to follow the writer down the long and misty avenues of his consciousness to the discovery of a forgotten childhood. And it was not as though his compelling us to enter into and share the process of his self-exploration was accidental; it was most deliberate. Whatever might be his underlying purpose, M. Proust was not in the least like an artist who in making a sketch should leave all his tentative and abandoned lines upon the paper.

The book opened with a description of the hypothetical writer (who might be more or less than M. Proust himself, but whom we shall for brevity's sake identify with him) asleep and waking in the night. In the effort to recognise the room in which he is, he passes through a series of memories awakened by the sensation of that effort, and he proceeds to describe what is for him the archetype of that sensation— namely, his anxiety when a child at going to bed without his mother's kiss. From this central point he

explores the past and discovers the figure of Swann, a friend of the family, whose presence at dinner it was which prevented him from having at all, or having fully, the kiss without which sleep was impossible. He explores all the avenues of memory until they are exhausted, and he has given us a picture, vague in some places and astonishingly exact in others, of a childish universe in which Swann is the mysterious hero and his mother and grandmother the guardian angels. That picture, like the vision of the robber Golo which came from the magic-lantern given him to keep his night-terrors away, disappears abruptly, and the grown man appears again. He is in his home in Paris, dipping a madeleine into a cup of tea. Again the sensation, as he puts the cake into his mouth, is mysteriously familiar. He tries to empty his mind of everything else and to leave his consciousness free for the memory concealed in the sensation to emerge. It returns from the past; it is the taste of the sop of madeleine which his aunt used to give him. He remembers the moment; he remembers the room; and gradually he begins to recreate another aspect of the past-his aunt Léonie's house at Combray, Françoise the faithful servant, and, above all, his walks 'du côté de chez Swann,' on that side of the town where the road skirted Swann's park. The other side, the other hemisphere of his world, is 'du côté de Guermantes,' where the road, never followed to its august destination, leads eventually to the château of the Duc de Guermantes, the great notable of the countryside and one of the greatest aristocrats in all France. Most of the boy's walking is done on Swann's side, however, though most of his dreaming is concerned with the other. Nevertheless, chez Swann' is hardly more accessible than the mysterious Guermantes; for Swann has made a scandalous marriage, since which the boy's parents have never visited, nor allowed him to visit, the house. Only one day, when Swann and his family are supposed to be away, he and his father and grandfather take the short cut which runs through Swann's park; and the boy sees a freckled girl-Swann's daughter-who puts her finger to her nose. He also hears her called 'Gilberte!'

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Again there is an abrupt change in the narrative. The story of Swann's love for the mistress he has

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