TOTE MICHIG&N fDAILY
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PAY, Vl:lVtSr;tt'~!,6, 1967
poetry and prose-
New American Review: Exciting, Various
By MARVIN FELHEIM
Professor of English
"The New American Review,"
t(New York, 1967, No. 1, 95 cents)
resumes after a lapse of some
years where "New World Writing"
(1952-1959) left off. Like its
predecessor, the Review is a dis-
tinguished collection (its format,
too, .is that of a paper-boundI
book) of stories, essays and verse.
Its editor, Theodore Solotaroff,
'53, has enunciated a principle of
catholicity of taste (which he ap-
propriately labels "hospitality")
which has guided the selection of
materials for the new venture
and has been responsible for its
variety and, I believe, its quality.
For this issue is good; it is ex-
citing; it is various.
The .pieces which first attracted
me were the essays: the range of
topics which they coverrand the
high quality of the, prose, the
style, in which they are written-
these are their most significant
Subject matter is all inclusive:
Stanley Kauffmann's most inter-
esting account of his stint as
Drama Critic for the New York
Times (he will be the regular film
critic for NAR) and Richard Gil-
man's provocative discussion of
"MacBird!" - both pieces are,
most informative - establish a
high-level of honesty and percep-
tion; these arenreasonable, but
persuasive, examples of argumen-
Neither essayist blurs; each
goes to the very heart and bones
of the issues raised. Benjamin De
Mott and George Dennison con-
front. complex and controversial
problems - homosexuality in the
arts, the sense of "urgency" in
the works and in the "legend" of
Genet - with clarity and insight;
they do not oversimplify the con-
cerns, yet they isolate the essen-
tial ethical values and the social
I especially appreciated Theo-
dore Roszak's penetrating obser-
vations about the academy and Delicacy and precision seem to
its professionals. He reminds us me the essentials.
in the universities, in words that I liked especially John Okai's
are loaded without being over- "The African" (somewhat differ-
charged, of our "political" re- ent and strong), Anne Sexton's
sponsibilities, our heritage of com- "The Touch" (with its fine cli-
mitment and the possibilities of max) and Sister Madeline De
a dangerous loss of our only Frees' "An Elegy for God and the
meaningful tradition (that of:Widow Damascus" (the sharp,
"humanitarian meddling") if we'exact descriptive phrases).
fail to assume our proper role of Stanley Moss is the poetry edi-]
"citizenly service." tor. Now that he has established4
His is a timely reminder from I such a genuinely high standard,
inside; he writes with the author- perhaps he will welcome some(
ity of history and he conveys the even stranger voices, some more1
urgent sense of our immediate ;experimental styles. I trust, too,
situation. } that from his favored position he
will be able to tell us about thea
I seem to be prose bound. The j view.
poems are short (and, therefore, 1 Finally and gloriously there is
somewhat more available); there the fiction. Two special stories
are many of them in the Review make this first issue of NAR a
(19 by 14 poets); the voices range real collector's item. The first is
from the well known - Robert, Philip Roth's "The Jewish Blues".
Graves, Richard Eberhart, Anne Roth has a real talent for short(
Sexton et al. - to the newer fiction (demonstrated in "Good-(
sounds of Helen Chasin and bye, Columbus") and has shown a(
Louise Gluck and the more exotic certain awkwardness in his ex-
rhythms of John Okai from periences with the long novel. t
Ghana and the distinguished This story catches in its web
Russian, Anna Akhmatova, who several themes: the growing boy,
died in 1966. the Jewish home and its senti-
All the poems are lyrics; none mental partisanship, the pain
of them is particularly difficult; and the ecstasy of aloneness and1
forms are more or less conven- togetherness, the overpowering
tional. These poets are observers parents and the precisely terrible
and remarkers; as poets have al- as well as uniquely special trial of
ways done, they see, feel, relate.; one individual, adolescent boy.
The other story is more flam-
boyant. The first published short
work by William Mathes (his first The University's MUSKET tour
novel has also just been issued),
"Swan Feast" is a macabre ac- will return to campus Oct. 30 and
count of a hunting trip (from not today, as printed in yester-
Faulkner's "The Bear" to Nor- day's Daily. The group will per-
man Mailer's recent "Why Are form in Hill Auditorium on
We in Vietnam?,. Nov 1
Like Roth's, this is a first- *
person narrative, but more imme-
diately dramatic. A tour de force, The annual Second Congres-
the story builds to a violent but sEional DcCar at which Sen.
expected climax, filled with wan- ugene y wi appear,
ton destruction. The swans them- wion ins ead i une chgearn
selves, as they have for Eudora .
Welty and Kay Boyle, serve as it has been in the past and was
brilliant symbols, but here they reported in yesterday s Daily. The
are plundered; their beauty be- date for the dinner is Nov. 10.
comes part of the wonder of this
symbolically contrived story, so The Ann Arbor Civic Ballet will
directly, so explicitly, so power- perform together with the Toledo
fully told. Ballet in the opening concert of'
The publication of Mathes and I the Toledo Ballet Association's
of other "firsts" (Victor Kolpa- 1967-68 season on Sunday, Oct.
coff, Norman Martien) as well as 29 at Mary Manse College in To-!
of other young writers is a praise- ledo. The two groups will present
worthy feature of NAR. The prac- "Les Sylphides," "Graduation
tice augurs well for the next is- Ball," the "Pas de Quatre" from
sue which, one insider tells me, "Grape Festival" and the "Gayne
will be even better. Ballet Suite."
SHORT: Chapter 6
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