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1967 - Image 15

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I 4 4



The Novel Now: A Guide to Con-
temporary Fiction, by Anthony
Burgess. W. W. Norton & Co.
by James Rutherford
For those on your Christmas list who I
are semi-illiterate, in constant need of ;
names to drop at cocktail parties, or I
just entering an eighth-grade English I
class, The Novel Now will be a welcomed I
Continued fron page seven
are very different one from the 1
other, and, further, that I can not be-
lieve in passive acceptance.
to his view one year later:
Joyce's mind has beendeprived of
Joyce's eyesight for too long. You
cannot say it is closed altogether,
but Joyce knows very little of life as
it has been in the large since he fin-
ished "Ulysses."
and finally to his fascistically-arranged
view of 1937:
The reader, who bothers to think,
may now notice that in the new pai-
deuma (Pound's "experiment in de-
fining culture as what remains fixed
in the mind and has become almost
part of one's nature") I am not in-
cluding the monumental (here mean-
ing not only Finnegans Wake, but
Ulysses as well), the retrospect, but
only the pro-spect (i.e., what was
called the "totalitarian synthesis").
Pound, convinced of the genius of Hit-
ler and Mussolini and of the decadence
and poverty of Joyce's artistic vision,
assumed his role as the beacon for the
"synthesis," writing letters and tracts
for international publications and broad-
casting over the Italian radio. For his
own part, though "politicality" was hard-
ly a relevant question anyway, Joyce
was most certainly apolitical, distressed
by Pound's "change of attitude" but de-
finitely intent upon completing Finne-
gans Wake, in which he cryptically por-
trays Pound in several places. Following
Joyce's death in 1941, Pound reiterated
that literature was indebted to Joyce for
Ulysses (but also to e.e. cummings for
eimi and to Wyndham Lewis for Apes
of God). This occupies Mr. Read's final
section, covering the years 1939-1945.
From Pound/Joyce one arrives at the
conclusion that in the still vastly un-
charted field of Joycean hermeneutics
Pound was a first rate pioneer. In 1913
he had a mind sharp enough and a will
strong enough to advance truly great
writing into public hands. Yet the irony
is that Pound was genuinely uncertain
about his own place in modern poetry
and about the worth of his most impor-
tant endeavor, The Pisan Cantos.
Looking at the matter in such a way,
this volume of correspondence and criti-
cism illustrates how Pound finally
"made up his mind" to some degree of
fixity (as opposed to the notion of
"changing his mind" from one state to
another) as he approached the thirties.
That Pound "came of age" in such an
unusual fashion and climate as that af-
forded by the rise of Italian fascism will

remain one of the most intriguing
biographical phenomena of our century.
Mr. Houston is a fourth-year student
in philosophy and political science at
the College of Wooster.

sides c
Not only is this little masterpiece of
literary criticism poorly written, it has
absolutely nothing to say. Mr. Burgess
has taken upon himself the impressive
feat of evaluating some three hundred-
plus works of literature in the mere span
of 198 pages. Unfortunately, most com-
ments are confined to a one-line
The first chapter is entitled "What is
a Novel?" and we learn many things.
For instance, we find that all types of
people, from taxi-drivers to housewives,
write novels and sometimes they are in-
deed difficult to classify. Mr Burgess al-
so states that this particular book will be
a discussion on only those authors who
have written since the second World War,




Montessori's declaration
of independence



whereupon the next chapter is devoted
to an evaluation of Proust, Henry James,
and Thomas Mann. The author sprinkles,
for added enjoyment, clever little com-
ments such as "There are two sides of
the coin" or, "This is sad but true"
throughout the work.
Let us look, for a moment, at some of
Mr. Burgess's criticism. Of the National
Book Award winning work, From Here
to Eternity we merely find that it is "a
very bulky novel" containing "sex at its
grossest." - Of Joyce Cary's beautiful
work Charley Is My Darling, we find
only that "it depicts the life of working-
class children during the evacuation-per-
iod of World War Two" and that's
enough said about Charley.

Of Herzog, we are told that it is:
A flood of words, rich and dialectical,
celebrates the dignity of man: man the
victim complains perpetually, but iron-
ically, comically, with great self-
awareness but no self pity. Herzog is
not what America would call a success,
but he is very much alive.
There are several other interesting
points worth mentioning such as learn-
ing that The Carpetbaggers was a big
best-seller, but I believe enough com-
ments have been already mentioned.
If one is feeling depressed over a crit-
ique he is writing, The, Novel Now will
certainly uplift the spirits; but the same
effect can probably be attained by pick-
ing up a fifth of booze instead.
Mr. Rutherford will leave Valparaiso
University to pursue graduate work
in the Department of Dramatic Art at
the University of North Carolina-
Chapel Hill, in January.

lbs literary

The Notebooks for "The Idiot"
Fyodor Dostoevsky
Edited and with an introduction
by Edward Wasiolek; translated
by Katherine Strelsky
"These notebooks are extraordi-
narily interesting. They arealso
wholly necessary to any study of
the complicated development and
functioning of Dostoevsky's art."
-Ernest J. Simmons, N.Y. Times
Book Review. Dostoevsky went
through at least eight plans and
many variations for The Idiot,
which appeared in installments
in The Russian Messenger. They
show an author "feeling his way
in exasperation and bewilder-
ment." Still to beapublished are
The Notebooks for The Posssessed
and The Brothers Karamazov.
LC: 67-25513 272 pages, illus.,

The Absorbent Mind, by Maria
Montessori. Holt, Rinehart and
Winston. $6.95.
by Susan Phillips
Today's failure can console himself
that he was yesterday's frustrated child.
Many blame society for coldness, lack
of understanding, pushing the individual
until he has conformed or been broken.
The child never has an opportunity to
find himself, to form his own opinions
and to follow his own impulses into ac-
tions. As soon as he enters school, he is
forced to compete with his peers for
good grades, teacher approval, group
acceptance. These pressures, along with
parental pressures to perform well and
to fulfill ultimate potential, do not leave
the child enough strength to build him-
self in his own way. School and parents
want to teach the child what he needs
for life, to guide him in growing and to
show him the right way to success.
Rejecting most of the conventional as-
sumptions about childhood, Maria Mon-
tessori agrees that education is needed
for the "future reconstruction" of the
world but believes that modern educa-
tion puts too much emphasis on the mind
-instead of on the entire individual.
"The child is endowed with unkown
powers, which can guide us to a radiant
future. If what we really want is a new
world, then education must take as its
aim the development of these hidden
possibilities." The child can be taught
neither oral nor intellectual ideas; he
must learn by himself though parents
and teachers can help. As in the Platon-
ic myth, knowledge is in the soul-to be
uncovered by experience.
Therefore the learning games of the,
Guide to American Graduate
Schools by Herbert B. Livesey
and Gene A. Robbins. The Viking
Press. $8.50 hardbound, $3.95
The Random House Guide to
Graduate Study in the Arts and
Sciences, by E. R. Wasserman
and E. E. Switzer. Random House.
Publishers are no fools when it comes
to finding markets for quicky cut-and-
paste "guides," how-to-do-it books, etc.
As the sharply rising curves in the
graphs from the U.S. Office of Education
show, as printed in the Wasserman and
Switzer book, almost 115,000 graduate
degrees were awarded in the U.S. in
1964. The spate of books that started
coming out several years ago, purport-
ing to guide bewildered high school stu-
dents and their parents toward the
"right" college, is now, it seems, being
echoed on the graduate school level.
Surely, there exists a pressing need
for some rational means of guiding po-
tential graduate students to the "right"
school. Several studies on this problem
have shown what everyone long sus-

Montessori method are self-explanatory,
complete with checks for mistakes. For
example, a child learns geography by
use of a map with insets of different
countries. Since each shape will fit into
only one place, the child learns gradually
the location of each country. By doing
the puzzle correctly and often, he learns
the name of each country.
Since, according to Montessori the pri-
mary human virtue is independence, the
child must not be taught, because he
must not depend on anyone else. The
teacher is in a school to create an en-
vironment where the child can reveal
himself through his work and interests.
The most important quality leading to-
ward this independence is the child's ab-
sorbent mind "which receives all,. does
not judge, does not refuse, does not re-
act. It absorbs everything and incar-
nates it into the coming man."
All that will be in an adult is in the
child as a potential to be unfolded na-
turally. The child himself must learn to
gain concentration and perseverance.
To succeed, a man must have a clearly
defined aim and a strong sense of or-
ganization. Love for the child is shown
in helping to reveal his strength and in-
dependence, not in retarding his emo-
tional and spiritual growth by deciding
his future for him, Montessori believes.
In stressing achievement, however,
creativity can too often be stifled. The
creative genius cannot always achieve;
he must sometimes drift instead of ar-
riving at goals. Although, the child
does all his work himself instead of do-
ing certain 'things at certain times, he is
not working with products of his own
imagination. And though the teacher will
praise a work if the child wants praise,
Montessori sees no use in criticizing or


suggesting the child's work-even when
that includes showing him how he can
more clearly express his own ideas.
Unlike fixations on goals, creativity
does not bring regularity; often the art-
ist must be encouraged or left to drift
until he can focus. And though Montes-
sori allows children to drift around the
room until they have found a special pro-
ject and though there is neither mini-
mum nor maximum time limit put on
them, there is no special notice taken
of creativity. For example, the chil-
dren's pictures are displayed but no one
notes who did which one. The child is
thus free to create in himself whatever
he wants; he may feel badly if he does
not achieve a goal but will not feel a
loss if he has no special creative
The emphasis of Montessori is on what

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The Blue Swallows
Poems by Howard Nemerov
Marius Bewley, writing in Par-
tisan Review of an earlier collec-
tion of poems, compared Howard
Nemerov to Thoreau: "Poem
after poem in the present vol-
ume has sent me back to Walden,
and everywhere I have been im-
pressed by a similarity that is
not, certainly, parallelism, but
which exists in a serenity of
temperament, a water-clear and
air-cool vision of reality that
both writers share." LC :67-25516
116 pages, $4.50 October 31

Quests Surd and Absurd
Essays in American Literature
James E. Miller, Jr.
Included are essays on Flannery
O'Connor, Wright Morris, Saul
Bellow, J. D. Salinger, William
Faulkner, Willa Cather, Edith
Wharton,T. S. Eliot, Emily Dick-
inson, Walt Whitman, Herman
Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne,
Edgar Allan Poe, Henry David
Thoreau, and Ralph Waldo Em-
erson. The author offers "a quest
in the American tradition.
Whether it is 'surd' or 'absurd,'
the reader must decide for him-
self." LC: 67-25520 272 pages,
$5.95 December 26

Belief and Disbelief in
American Literature
Howard Mumford Jones
Mr. Jones asks what a reading of
some representative American
classics reveals about the reli-
gious faith or lack of faith on
the part of those who wrote them.
He discusses the deism of Tom
Paine, the implications of the
American landscape as inter-
preted by Irving, Bryant, and
Cooper, Emerson's Transcenden-
talism, Whitman's doctrine of
cosmic process and cosmic opti-
mism, the pessimism of Mark
Twain, and, finally, Frost's awe
of cosmic vastness. LC: 67-25521
188 pages, $4.95 October 31



uncharted 1

Reality and the Heroic Pattern
Last Plays of Ibsen, Shakespeare,
and Sophocles
David Grene
These stimulating essays view
the "last plays" of Sophocles,
Shakespeare, and Ibsen as form-
ing a series with certain common
features of plot and treatment,
and a similar theme - the estab-
lishment of meaning for the
events of a life, looking backward
from its conclusion. Ibsen sees a
way of nullifying one's mistakes
by a last act of atonement.
Shakespeare broadens the theme:
life is seen in terms of illusion.
In Sophocles, the human and the
divine represent a conflict be-
tween two realities. The essays
will send readers back to the
plays with new understanding
and pleasure. LC: 67-25519 216
pages, $5.00 November 28

Paradise of Snakes
An Archetypal Analysis of
Conrad's Political Novels
Claire Rosenfield
In this analysis of Nostromo, The
Secret Agent, and Under West-
ern Eyes, the author shows how
Conrad's use of traditional ar-
chetypal motifs intensifies the
irony of his particular vision.
The book opens with an impres-
sive essay on the nature of myth.
Albert Guerard has called this
introduction "the clearest, sanest
summary of the subject that I
have read . . . a genuine contri-
bution to the history of ideas."
The title of the book, taken from
Nostromo, is a prophecy of the
constant threat of corruption
over the Conradian universe.
LC: 67-25522 205 pages, $6.50
October 31

pected-there's a hardening of the art-
eries of the communications lines from
the graduate schools which offer cer-
tain types of programs in certain fields
to the student who is interested in a par-
ticular topic for study.
Neither Random House nor Viking
has done much to solve the problem.
The Viking edition, touted as "the first
comprehensive guide .to graduate and
professional study inthe United States,"
suffers from its organization. It simply
lists each institution, from Abilene Chris-
tian College to Yeshiva University,
which offers anything on the post-bac-
calaureate level.
Under each institution's listing are no-
tations on any special library or re-
search facilities which may be relevant
for graduate study, some cursory at-
tempt to indicate how hard it is to get
into a given division, information on fel-
lowship aid, and listing of degress avail-
able in each department.
About 16 pages in the front are devoted
to superficial explanations of what grad-
uate schools are, along with some handy
tips on what to look for.
The Random House guide is much
more ambitious. It has chapters on all
sorts of things, from a brief review of

the history of graduate study in the U.S.
to an up-to-date summary of this year's
draft legislation, which, ironically,
threatens to take away many of the
people who might buy the book and di-
rect their studies toward more militar-
istic matters. (It does not, however,
cover professional schools such as law
and medicine; Viking does.)
The core of the Random House book is
organized by field of study. Very brief,
not overly informative sections introduce
chapters devoted to the humanities, so-
cial sciences, and natural sciences. With-
in each chapter, sections explain what
sort of study is available in each specif-
ic field of study, and the schools offer-
ing Ph.D. programs in each field are
listed in tables which also contain infor-
mation on numbers of degrees granted
and students enrolled.
Basically, the format of the Random
House guide seems to be more useful.
There's not too much that's really im-
portant in the Random house guide
that's not also in the Viking guide, but
most students are likely to know gener-
ally what field they're interested in and
what to know what schoolstoffer it.
That's what the Random House guide
tells them.
A note of warning: both volumes use

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8 " CHICAGO LITERARY REVIEW * December, 1967

December, 1967 " CHICAGO L

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