Drift and mastery

Horace Traubel’s review of Walter Lippman’s Drift and Mastery, in The Conservator, October 1914:

Lippmann dont quite approve the vagaries of people who love in spite of love. He dont quite agree to having us as ignorantly loyal as we are knowingly courageous. He rather wants us to always understand what we’re about. But sometimes when I’m about the best things I know nothing. And other times when I’m about the worst things I know much. I say for all in all: Dont drift. And I say for all in all: Do master. But then I add a qualifying imbecility. Drift all you must. Master all you can. Master all you must. Drift all you can. I want to be in the stream. I want the big stream to be in me. I want to take account of everything. I want everything to take account of me. I want life so orbic I can put my arms about it in an embrace of revelation. Yet I also want life so atmospherically liberated I couldn’t include it in any finite definitions. I dont want any man or woman to be all hashed up into meaningless inconsecutiveness. Neither do I want any man or woman tied into an all-consistent knot. I want reason. But I dont want too much logic. I want order. But I dont want too much system. Lippmann says: “To own things in common is one of the most educating experiences in the world.” I say so too. I also say: To be something in common is to inherit the earth.