In the early 1930s, Julian Bell was a charming, intelligent, and discontented young man. He meant to do a great deal, possibly overmuch in too many directions, although his only formal commitment in these years was to the University and the academic community. Julian wanted to do everything, and specifically wanted to critically study the Pope, at which he worked hard through the early 1930s. Constantly, he was being troubled away from it by other things that he wanted to do, and was never able to give it the single-minded concentration which was needed to bring it to a successful conclusion. Julian had been leading a poetic, academic, literary-critical, philosophic, political, and romantic existence. It was all very crowded, everything contemporaneous and exciting for that reason, but for the same reason not entirely satisfactory in any of its aspects.
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