5 JUNE 1964, Page 15

THE ACT OF CREATION SIR,-1 cannot complain of any lack

of courtesy in Professor Newth's review of my book; my only complaint is that though his review occupies a whole page, he evidently forgot to tell the reader what the book is about. He writes: '. . I would suggest that The Act of Creation might be sub-titled "dis- cursions in branches of biology and psychology which have interested me and should interest you."' This gives the impres Jn that the book is a collec- tion of disjointed essays on diverse subjects, whereas it is in fact an attempt to present a single, integrated Psychological theory, and to follow it in its varied ramifications. Put in a nutshell, the theory proposes that the conscious and unconscious processes under- lying artistic originality, scientific discovery and comic inspiration have a basic pattern in common, which it attempts to define. Professor Newth's re- view gives no indication of this. A reviewer has the sacred right to praise or to condemn, but he also has the obligation to tell his readers what kind of product it is that he praises or condemns—whether it is a novel or a collection of poems, a steak or a goulash. In this case it is a steak—perhaps on the tough side and rather underdone.