27 APRIL 1956, Page 34

Cinder Heap

T. E. HULME had a genuine originality, even if it was limited and also somewhat objection- able in kind. His impact on the Pound-Eliot generation, and thus on all of us, came from a power to make new combinations of ideas seem cogent, and old familiar ones arbitrary. Bergson's attack on materialism bad no neces- sary link with evolutionary progress. A respect for fact, for the immediate realities of exper- ience, and for the language of ordinary life, could be fitted to a belief in original sin as the dogma of dogmas, and a demand for strict artistic discipline. At the same time he had a gift of metaphor in argument, colloquial yet telling, which is crudely reminiscent of Wittgenstein. Language is a chess-board spread over the cinder-heap of the world. 'All the ragged doubts seem suddenly to close up, like certain kinds of box-lids, with a click'. The second of these examples is from the 'Notes on Bergson': a quite outstanding, though in- complete, discussion of materialism. This essay, the 'Lecture on Modern Poetry' and Mr. Hynes's informative introduction are the chief things in Further Speculations, by T. E. Hulme, edited by Sam Hynes (University of Minnesota Press, 36s.). _Most of the pieces are slight or,. like the trench diary, personal. Hulme's measure of importance is established already.