Transformation 4. Edited by Stefan Schimanski and Henry Treece. (Lindsay
Drummond. 8s. 6d.)
THE theme of this fourth issue of Transformation is "the power within us "—the title of a book on Nufiez Cabeza de Vaca, a sixteenth- century Spanish gentleman, who, shipwrecked on the shores of America and deprived of all contacts with civilisation, found he possessed strange powers of healing. Writers with varying back- grounds—Canon Demant, Henry Miller, Dr. Martin Johnson, the physicist, and others—comment on Cabeza de Vaca's journey. There is an essay by Berdyaev on the conscience of the Russian people, a section on Saint Exupery, discussions on French, Russian, Spanish and American literature, recent French (translated) and American verse, and at the end a fiction section including a sketch by Saroyan. Indeed, there is a vast amount to read—much of it only vaguely connected with the " theme," The miscellany suffers from a certain • pomposity—one essay begins, " There is no dualism in the cosmos " —and gives the impression that to some of the contributors words are valuable for their own sakes apart from anything they have to convey. Hence there are some pretentious gymnastics. A certain heaviness also cannot be avoided when so much is translation ; even Guillaume Apollinaire is flattened out. Saroyan, of course, keeps his wide-eyed humour ; and there is a good deal of solid thinking, especially in the first part of the book.