March 26, 1934
Roark Bradford's "Kingdom Coming": a weird picture of the hopeless condition of the early days of negro emancipation. Where in the world can an author get material for such a work? Imagination must have played a big hand, but he made it real enough. For me it served the purpose of relieving the tedium of Beveridge's realities.
Similarly Ford's "The Honorable Peter Sterling", provided variety. If that characterized Cleveland (it boasted of being an historical novel) that gentleman was too good to live. This novel smacks of "David Harum".
Wayne waxed almost eloquent, for him, in his Heaven and Hell sermon yesterday. He finds rewards and penalties as we go. He expounded the philosophy of old Pop Berger of Germantown Annex days: the law of compensation. God keeps accounts which are ultimately balanced. Some children are born "in the red"; others start with a credit balance. Communism is the antithesis of justice. You reason clearly, Wayne, but I see a lack of hopefulness in your talks; possibly that will develope, now that you have established the cold groundwork.
The smaller a man's job is, the more sensitive he becomes of petty details. The substation crew are profoundly jealous, for instance, of who shall wipe this equipment, and whose sacred duty it is to sweep that floor. The simple process of grabbing a broom and cleaning up a mess of coal dirt, a process requiring ten minutes work, is carefully left for a certain man. Such pettiness is not confined to the working man, for I fully expect to resume the guard against professional jealousies next week, when I get rid of my present grind, and assume a more fitting grind in the office.
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