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February 21, 1968 - Image 2

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1968-02-21

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PAGE TWO

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

WEDNESDAY.--- -,FEBRUARY.-- a21. 989

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poetry and prose
'Generation' Moves Toward Literary Vein

By EDMUND CREETH
Dept. of English
The current issue of "Gen-
-tation" is generously given
over to literature,, some of
which is first-class, almost
none of which for once could
be called cliquish or dull. There
are but three drawings, pleas-
antly decorative, and, in con-
nection with one of the es-
says, some photographs of Pi-
casso's great steel head (surely
it is of a mandrill!) in the
plaza of the Civic Center in
Chicago. The result confirms
my opinion that "Generation"
should abandon the inter-arts
idea and be our local literary
magazine.
A pervasive theme of the is-
sue is that of tradition and
change, and it is beautifully
stated in the first and finest of

the stories, Joyce Winslow's
"Benjamen Burning." Cleanly
told, with its rich resources al-
ways under control, this long,
story rises steadily from the
touchingly amusing to a climax
that is something else. The
narrator's style remains un-
affected, even when it picks up
some Jewish syntax from the
Brooklyn neighborhood of the
characters or, more riskily,
edges toward stream of con-
sciousness in moments of ex-
citement. The story has both
charm and power and would
grace any magazine.
At some opposite pole lies
"Faces in Water" by Peggy
Brawce, very murky, very soap-
opera, very odd indeed. With-
out apparent motivation and
in a style well abreast of the
Victorian era, the chief char-

acter. Melissa, unexpectedly
hauls cff and delivers a mono-
logue unmatched since Coi-
rad's unwinded narrator Mar.
low - but to a more obscure
purpose. Ultimately the very
"shadow of the lake," what-
ever that may be, iC "deluded
I do not pretend to understand
the cryotic ending but fear the
wort
The remaining fiction, Wil-
liam Du Charmes' "Colo ml
Hell aid Farewell." is modern
even unto harshness. Told
skillfully from the point of
view of an incomprehending
boy taken to church school be-
fore his colonel father leaves
for Viet Nam, the story is
marred only by cleverness. To-
ward the end the tenses begin
to wobble in a way that I sup-
pose is intended to signify

something but that is only an-
noying.
First-class among the poets
of the issue is one new to me
but obviously highly accom-
plished in the art, Prof. John
Kolars, of the geography de-
partment. By comparison one
has to damn the single poems
by Judy Stonehill, Michael
Leimer, and Michael Madigan
with faint praise and say that
they cre promising. Kolars has
the virtues of simplicity and
effor'Tess technique - if I may
quote unfairly from his own
iem riscence of Roethke qs
teacher includes in the maga-
zine, of "structure, rhythm,
meter, rhyme." Of the six
poems I like "Jack O'Lantern"
best, which sinks in slowly but
deeply. (Unhappily the second
line appears to be misprinted.
"And in the child unmasked"
scans wrongly and doesn't
make sense. Certainly the -line
should read: "And the child
unmasked.")
The issue is rounded out by
two stimulatihg essays and an
irreverent South American
fable, the latter attributed to
Jan Geasler. Martin Zimmer-

man's illustrated essay on the
Chicago Picasso seeks to arrive
at a more adequate view of
such a controversial piece than
that of either academician or
pragmatic layman. Ronald Ro-
senblatt supplies a very well
written account of an experi-
mental film that I have not
seen, "Chappaqua," though his
attack on the Engl sh novel in
the second oaragraph seems a
bit gratuitous.
Manifestly ,here is editorial
judgment at work these days
In the editorial offices of "Gen-
eration," and faculty and stu-
dents both should take the op-
portunity to submit their work
(by March 1) to be considered
for the final i sue, even thon- n
there is still no (ecrresponding
eviaence of the existence of a
d:rtionary or a proofreader in
those same offices. I am pre-
pared to supply a list of a doz-i
en misspellings, and typos in
Miss Winslow's fine story alone
("versus" for "verses"! "shep-
arded" for "shepherded"! "ge-
filite" for "gefilte"! etc., etc.).
A magazine of any pretensions
to distinction owes better serv-
ice to its authors.

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CAMILLE
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THIS WEDNESDAY NITE, 8:30 P.M.
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HIP GROOVERS ONLY!!!!!!

"

Mahier's 9th To Be Aired

By JENNY STILLER
Beethoven, Bruckner, Schubert
,and Mahler died after completing
their, ninth symphonies. Mahler,
who postdated the other three
composers, knew- about the curse
and tried to avoid it, but he. died
soon afterward- anyway.
Nonetheless, Mahler's Ninth,
which the University Symphony
will perform tomorrow under the
direction of Josef Blatt, proved to
be one of the greatest and least-,
performed of the Viennese mas-
ter's works.
Tomorrow's performance of the
70-minute symphony will be the
first ever given in Ann Arbor,
and, to his knowledge, the first in
Michigan, Blatt said.I
Blatt sees Mahler as "a rather
tragic figure tormented by his
quest for perfection." In the com-
poser's later years, Blatt said, "he'
was obsessed with the thought of
death."
And with good reason. Bruno
Walter, one of his favorite pupils,
recalled a moment during a re-
hearsal of "Lohengrin" in 1904
when Mahler suddenly "stopped,
motionless and deathly pale, hand
pressed to his heart. I presume
that at that moment he had, for
the first time, felt the insufficien-
cy of his heart."
Mahler's heart condition was a
serious one. Aware that he was
dying, the composer tried to avoid
writing the "cursed" Ninth Sym-
phony which would, he felt,
shortly precede his death.
In order to put-off producing a
"Ninth Symphony," therefore,
Mahler named the symphony
which followed his Eighth "Das
Lied von der, Erde." This "Sym-
phony in Songs," .considered by
many to be Mahler's masterpiece,
was based on poems by Li Po
and centers around the theme of
life and death.
IWhen Mahler finally did begin
his Ninth Symphony, he started
work on his Tenth at the same
time. The Ninth was completed
first, in 1909, preceding the com-
poser's death by two years. True
to the "curse," it proved to be his
last symphony, for the Tenth was
never completed..
Mahler, called by many the
greatest conductor of his time,
never even rehearsed his Ninth
Symphony. Instead, his pupil
Bruno Walter directed the pre-

miere performance in Vienna in
1912.
Despite the fact that. all of his
own works were symphonic, Mah-
ler's conducting reputation was
made during his years as the di-
rector of the Vienna Court Opera
(now the Vienna State Opera).
When he left Vienna in 1905, he
spent some time traveling around
Europe as a guest conductor be-
fore coming to New York to as-
sume the directorship of that
city's newly-formed Philharmon-
ic. Besides Walter, conductors
George Szell and Otto Klemperer
were among his pupils.
byMahler's Ninth is an extreme-
lcomplex work calling for a
large but not unusual orchestra.
"It is a very beautiful but very
difficult piece," Blatt said, "one
calling for real understandnig on
the part of a conductor."
Blatt was awarded the Mahler
Medal of the Bruckner Society
after a performance of the Sec-
ond Symphony in 1958.
"The Ninth is a large work, as
were most of Mahler's sympho-
nies," Blatt explained. "He was a
philosopher-composer, for whom,
music was not just form, but had
a content. For a completely in-
strumental piece, such as this one,

the content, of course, can only
be guessed."
The .Ninth Symphony seems to
express "a sense of farewell -
especially in the first and last
movements," Blatt continued.
"The second movement seems to
be a kind of bizarre dance of life,
alternating between the lovely
and earthy, and the grotesque."
The third movement, a "Ron-
do Burlesk," consists of a number
of fugues, Blatt said. "It seems to
be a statement of artistry, of art-
ists' endeavor."
Blatt said he thought that may-
be one reason that the Nirth
Symphony is performed so infre-
quently is "because of the death
resignation in it." At any rate,
he added, the composer seems to
have become popular only in re-
cent years.
"During his life he was very
much attacked and hated by the
profeesional mediocrities among
the singers and instrumentaliscs,"
Blatt said. "Of course, he was
loved by the really great artists.
He never spared himself or any-
body else, whether he was com-
posing or conducting."
Tomorrow's concert at Hill Aud.
will begin at 8:30 p.m. Admission
is free.

TONIGHT at 7-9 P.M.
DIAL 8-6416

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Co-STARR IN G
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