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my neighbors \(and yet, can I be other than Do others solve such dilemmas by simply being unaware of themor by being sufficiently enthralled by the world of themselves that they never seriously consider entering any other? Could Faulkner have been serious: “The `Ode On A Grecian Urn’ is worth any number of old ladies”? What is a work of art worthor a single human life? If Shakespeare saw suffering and pain and famine all around himand did not lift a finger to alleviate it but kept on writing instead: was he justified in doing so since it turned out that he was, indeed, Shakespeare? Had Christ possessed the talent of a Keats or Shelley, what would he have donefed the multitudes or written sonnets about them? It Sometimes I think sex and books will send me to near madness. it I can feel life; it is palpable. What to others is a general condition they can describeperhaps vaguelywith words is to me something corporeal, something that has a pulse. It is as though I am tied to life by an invisible umbilical cord. t On brothers: it seems that brothers seldom really know each other because just being involved in such a strong relationship as brotherhood throws too much emotion in the eye and destroys perspective \(brothers spend most of their lives simply tt I don’t think I am interested in God as such ; it’s just that, having a mind, I feel logically compelled to find Him. It’s like being involved in reading a fine book: a tremendous desire arises in you to know who wrote it and to stare into his face. But all the while, despite the looking, it is the thing that he did you are attached to \( : creator can never match his creation, if it What is the psychology of aloneness and the writer? Do you have to feel utterly alone, utterly withdrawn, before feeling sufficiently free to write, before reflection and fancy are able to invest themselves in you? Does the most minimal commitment stop up the pores of creativity? Does writing involve such a continuous inner reflection, such incessant pondering, that any sense of commitment shuts off the feeling of freedom and thus the desire . to write? Does truth ever matter when you are content? Can the critical processes stay in gear when you are wholly satisfied? \(But surely there does not have to be this kind of antagonism: the writing about life or the living of it. Surely the two can be reconciled. Surely the necessary atmosphere for writing is not aloneness forever ELROY BODE Political Intelligence Yarborough: Try a Truce in Vietnam 10,10 Sen. Ralph Yarborough, D.-Tex., has broken his long silence on Vietnam. In an astonishingly under-reported statement Dec. 23, Yarborough commended Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield’s call for an extension of the Christmas truce in Vietnam 30 days, to Jan. 21. “I think,” Yarborough said, “that a 30-day truce would give the combatants an opportunity to explore avenues looking to a permanent peace in Vietnam. I believe a 30-day truce would be welcomed by the whole world.” Yarborough also said he believed that it “is time for the Senate . . . to speak up in this matter.” Yarborough told the AP in Austin that the communists might refuse such a truce offer, and that “If they do, all the blood shed in that time would be on their hands and not on ours.” The senior and Democratic senator from President Johnson’s state was thus taking his position for an extended truce with Mansfield and for congressional debate on Vietnam with Senator Robert Kennedy, D.N.Y. \(Kennedy said Dec. 5 that before the Administration made any significant increase in its military involvement in Vietnam, there should be a thorough discusSpeaking before the University of Houston Young Democrats earlier this month, Yarborough was asked his opinion about U.S. policy in Vietnam, and the Houston Chronicle quoted him as responding: “I think the Congress is enjoying the involvement about as little as the men over there. 4 The Texas Observer When you get into wars, you get into questions of national survival rather than abstract principles.” The Houston Post, not directly quoting him, said he observed that he saw no better course than the one the President is following. Yarborough has been urged by some in Texas who are concerned about Vietnam to speak out on it. He sided with Kennedy on stopping the spread of nuclear weapons, but heretofore did not discuss Vietnam. It had been his position that he was not a member of the foreign policy committee and that effective foreign policy authority is vested there and in the executive branch. On one occasion that has been brought to the Observer’s attention, Yarborough was sent views critical of the U.S. Marines’ role in the Dominican Republic and responded, without committing himself, by enclosing Sen. William Fulbright’s scathing criticism of that role in the Senate Sept. 15. I/ Returning from Vietnam, Sen. John Tower, R.-Tex., and a member of the armed services committee, \(which, he said, posed: “Additional American manpower on the ground.” Sending GIs in Vietnam “the new M-16 riflea rifle far better suited to jungle combat that the older rifle many of our men haye now.” \(The M-16 is a highvelocity rifle, the effect of which has been compared to that of dum-dum bullets. The “American airpower must be utilized to attack pin-point military targets in the Hanoi area. And, I think we must close the Haiphong harbor. This would deny the communists the war supplies and anti-aircraft missiles now being landed in Haiphong.” Tower said the U.S. in Vietnam has kept the place from being overrun by communists. He said American GIs are fighting bravely and are also “building schools, teaching local leaders how to govern, teaching about sanitation, giving out soap and food, tending sores and wounds and tropical diseases.” Amplifying these views in a press conference in Washington, Tower, according to press reports, also wants a looser rein on U.S. military commanders. “Commanders should have more discretion about bombings,” he said. He envisioned a troop buildup approaching 300,000 U.S. men; he made it clear he wants a blockade of Haiphong harbor. “I don’t see a danger of Red China getting in,” he said. “They couldn’t supply enough divisions to prevent our winning. We have vast air superiority. . . . I think they feel now that we won’t give them sanctuary as we did before,” behind the Yalu in the Korean war. Sending in troops, Tower said, the Chinese “would face too great a risk of incurring retaliation on their country,” a view, he said, “the military” share. Tower opposed peace negotiations at this time. The U.S. is not winning yet and should not negotiate until it is, he reasoned. Tower’s attitude on demonstrations about Vietnamhostile before, but not abusive of the demonstratorshas also hardened further. “They are misguided fools at best,