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-iday, February 20, 1970


Page Hve

iday, February 20, 1970 THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Bulletin of the Atomic Sci-
nitists, China After The Cultural
Revolution, Random H o u s e,
$7.95; Vintage Paperback, $1.95.
There has been so much non-
sense written about the Cultural
Revolution in China since 1966
hat it was a pleasure to come
across this volume of essays. The
quality of the individual con-
tributions varies, of course, but
on the w h o 1 e it is distinctly
above average. One preliminary
caveat: this book originally ap-
eared as a special issue of The
'Bulletin of the Atomic Scient-
ists, in February, 1969; it has
taken a year to be published in
hardcover version, and no up-
dating has been effected. An
index has been added.
The introductory essay by
Dick Wilson (whose own admir-
4able book, Anatomy of C h i n a,
first published in 1967, is now
available in pdperback) is es-
pecially good. He notes, briefly
but perceptively, the essence of
many issues of domestic a n d
foreign policy which other writ-
ers discuss in more detail. There
is much wisdom in his short re-
marks; for example, he notes
that there has not really been
that much which has been so
extraordinary and surprising
about the Cultural Revolution
and its revelations except the
spectacle of Mao himself attack-
*ing the structure of his o w n
Party to somehow restore its
pristine purity.
Of the three essays dealing
with politics, I found that by
W. A. C. Adie, "China's 'Second
Liberation' in Perspective," to be
the most valuable. It may be
* rather rough going for the lay-
man, because o fthe scope of
time, issues, and persons cov-
ered. Yet I think that Adie's
basic presentation of the Cul-
tural Revolution as a threefold
or trilevel phenomenon is quite
useful. In his words the Cultural
Revolution was "an enigmatic
multiple power struggle, wrap-
ped in a crusade, and super-
imposed on a scattering of more
or less spontaneous, more or less
politicized student riots, strikes,
peasant uprisings, mutinies, and
palace coups."
Moreover, Adie's analysis of
the results of the Cultural Re-
volution, in general power terms,
still holis true today. T h r e e
rival hierarchies have emerged
from the turmoil to coexist in an
uneasy but not necessarily un-
stable balance: the Army, un-

der Lin Piao's Military Com-
mittee of the Communist Party
Central Committee (though the
loyalty of many Army command-
ers to Lin is uncertain) ; the
fairly small Cultural Revolution
Group led by Chen Po-ta and
Chiang Ching (Mao's wife),
which may still direct some Red
Guard (students) and Red Re-
bel (workers) units; and t h e
government machine under Chou
En-lai and the State Council.
The long-delayed 9th Congress
of the Chinese Communist Par-
ty, finally held in the spring
of 1969, does not seem to have
changed this state of affairs;
it by no means succeeded in re-
storing either the revolutionary
purity of the old Party or its pri-
macy on the political scene.
One interesting and import-
ant feature of this book shows
a direct clash of views reflect-
ing the continuing debate which
has gone on in mainland China
'over the crucial question of eco-
nomic development strategy. On
one side stands Robert Dern-
berger, Professor of Economics
and Associate of the Center for
Chinese Studies at the Univer-
sity of Michigan, who is pro-
bably representative of m o s t
American China experts on this
issue. He believes that, on the
basis of economic factors alone,
the "technologists" (or "revis-


Penguin s


of chortling reporters on how
the "Thought of Chairman Mao"
has supposedly improved the
proficiency of workers, athletes,
and even egg-laying chickens.
This popular impression of hy-
steria and impossibly wild
schemes is a gross distortion
when taken out of context, i.e.,
the realities of present and po-
tential Chinese resources.
The other side of the pic-
ture is presented very adequate-
ly in this volume by two Brit-
ish scholars, Jack Gray and
C. H. G. Oldham. Gray, in par-
ticular, shows howeMao's devel-
opment ideas may in fact fit
China's needs very well. He
notes that many. Western an-
alysts are coming to appreciate
"non-economic" factors such as
ingrained social attitudes a n d
general public apathy in the
development problems of poor
nations. These are precisely the
areas where "Maoism" is most
effective, or at least tries to be.
The issue may not be resolved
by the interchange in this vol-
ume, but both sides are
thoroughly aired.
It is probably safe to say that'
China will never be -quite t h e
same after the Cultural Revo-
lution. There were long-fester-
ing and divisive issues which
eluded the attention of most
Western China watchers, who
were fooled by the deceptive sur-
face unity of leadership. There
were, we know now, important
segments of the population as a
whole which felt somewhat
shortchanged by the first two
decades of the regime. These
groups responded eagerly to
Chairman Mao's call to "rebel"
in 1966 and early 1967, and were

largely responsible for the un-
controlled chaos which erupted
in some parts of the country.
These were what John Gittings,
in his essay, calls the "have
nots" - "the unemployed s t u-
dents, contract laborers, unskill-
ed workers, and others who had
had the worst deal so far." Once
mobilized, these groups could
be, and by now have been to a
great extent, suppressed, b u t
they can never be expected to re-
turn to their old quiescence.
The case of the students is a
good one. As Ray Wylie writes
of his own student acquaint-
"They had been taught to
respect and obey the Com-
munist Party, not to question
its policies or treat its au-
thority lightly. Consequently,
they had little understanding
of the actual political pro-
cess . . . The Cultural Revo-
lution has changed all this
appreciably. These same stu-
dents have experienced a gi-
gantic struggle which will af-
fect them for the rest of their
lives. Boys and girls organized
themselves for political action,
openly challenged the Party's
authority, pulled officials from
their high positions, and en-
gaged in heated debate on
the question of China's fu-
I have not dealt w i t h the
several essays concerning fore-
ign affairs mainly because they
are now a bit obsolete. Since
they were. written (late 1968),
the heightened tension of 1969
on the Sino-Soviet border, in-
deed (in ,the opinion of some)
the acute danger of ,a Soviet
pre-emptive attack on Chinese
nuclear facilities, has changed
the international position of
China considerably.

ionists") associated with the
now-fallen Liu Shao-ch'i would
have a better chance of solving
China's development problems
than the "radical ideologues" as-
sociated with Mao Tse-tung. And
even though he is willing to
admit the socio-political ramifi-
cations of the matter, Dernberg-
er still 'thinks Mao is a bad
sociologist as well as a bad
economist because of his rejec-
tion of material incentives.
This view of Maoist develop-
ment strategies has been re-
flected at, a cruder level of the
mass media in recent years by
countless tongue-in-cheek stories

Penguin Modern Poets 15, Alan
Bold, Edward Brathwaite, Ed-
win Morgan, Penguin Books,
Baltimore, Maryland, 1969,
In Jarry's Ubu Cocu, Pere Ubu
speaks to Achras of the Egyp-
tian mumy, requesting that he
procure him mummy grease,
and says: "I have heard that it
is an animal that runs very fast
and is extremely difficult to cap-
ture." This cannot be said of
the poets represented here. One
feels few compunctions a b o u t
criticizing the specific writers
of this collection, as none of
them are newcomers. All have
published before. All seem pre-
dictable. All might have been
included in an Oscar Williams
ALAN BOLD is the editor of
the Penguin Book of Socialist
Verse. In the poem "Recitative",
he says:
Damn it!
Our voices are not made for
singing now
But for straight talking
and concludes:
After Hiroshima
You ask a poet to sing?
Bold seems unable to write with-
out providing us with a pro-
viso for living. He wishes to
show the eternal necessity of
moral reflection and the in-
creasing difficulty of arriving
at moral certainty in the con-
temporary world. He is rueful
rather than disgusted, despair-
ing, or any of the other strong-
er adjectives of disillusion.
Perhaps here the fault, lies
in Bold constantly having his
eye on the Larger Sense, the
General Truth, instead of on
the concrete presentation of his
subject in its living, particular
identity. Many poems seem to
be vehicles for a message, the
poet often summing up in a
neat final stanza what one
should have gathered from the
poem. Thus Bold lectures in
"Topless Poem':
To support a Socialist order
Lacking empathy
With those who make up that
Is simply to sip South African
The excerpt from "The Tomb
of David Hume" reminds the re-
viewer of something Hume said:
"When I enter most intimately
into what I call myself, I al-
ways stumble on some particu-
lar perception . . . I never catch
myself at any time without a
perception, and can never ob-
serve anything but the percep-
tion." Bold is very aware of
himself as having experiences
and feeling. His poetry is' of-
ten self-conscious. He clumsily
turns irony to didactic purpose.
Though Bold's use of the son-
net form is not always success-
ful, ("A Little Sound for Alice"
rhymes "door" with "whore"),
"Kafka's Grave" is perhaps his
most effective poem. He speaks
of Prague in the closing sestet:
Its architectural anarchy, its
Persistent as the pulsating
stars, invades
And conquers. Force without
physique believed.
a West-Indian poet, often con-
cerned with origins and t h e
search for an identity. In
"Mmenson", he is rather ef-
recount now the gains and the
Agades, Sokoto, El Hassan
dead in his tent,
the silks and the brasses ...
However, "Ougadougou" (one
of the five Niger states), carries
a number of shopworn images
typical of his worst poems: mi-
rages dance, and fire is describ-

ed as "red tongues". Though
Brathwaite would like to be

tough and stringent, he is of-
ten excessively alliterative and
limp-wristed. In "The Journeys",
he breaks up place-names in a
rather annoyingly obvious at-
tempt to illustrate diaspora.
In part three of this poem, he
attempts a description of the
black man as whites see him:
Broad back
big you know what
black sperm spews
Brathwaite carries with him all
the niceties of an English edu-
cation. He seems unable to call
a spade a spade.
"Wings of a Dove" contains a
very self-conscious, ineffective,
and false use of dialect. "The
Leopard" draws an infelicitous
analogy between the caged ani-
mal and the black man's slav-
ery. Only poetic tension and
vision of a major sort could lift
this theme from a morass of be-
mused ego into any sort of
viability. In "The Emigrants",
Brathwaite seems to have re-
gressed to exercise rhetoric, yet
in the third section of this poem,
he suddenly emerges:
My new boss
has no head
for (female) figures ,
my lover
has no teeth
does not chew
chicken bones
Her mother wears
a curly-headed
This is fine, but its impact is
buried. "The Emigrants" is
prototypic in that it contains
the worst and best of Brath-
waite, but the total effect is dif-
Perhaps the best poet repre-
sented in this volume is ED-
WIN MORGAN. Morgan h as
written several volumes of poe-
try. He is also a translator.
His Poems from Eugenio Mon-
tale, published in 1959 (only 150
copies printed), is a fine small
volume. Morgan is best when
he is writing imagistic poetry,
striking a fine balance between
common and uncommon images,
as in "To Joan Eardley" with
its description of a remember-
ed confectioner's shop, and "Ab-
erdeen Train"
Rubbing a glistening circle
on the steamed-up window
I framed
a pheasant in a field of mist.
The sun was a great red thing
solmewhere low,
struggling with the milky scene.
"Not Playing the Game" is a
discussion of poetry containing
the Archibald MacLeish fal-
lacy of stating what a poem
should mean by saying that it
should not mean, but be. H i s
poems on Hemingway, Che Gue-
lenses are made
of modern plas-A
tics which have en-
tirely different charac-
teristics than the tissues
and fluids of the eye. Conse-
quently your eye cannot handle
this foreign object without help
So, in order to correct fo

_ Mother Nature's lack of foresight,
you have to use lens solutions tc
make your contacts and your eyes
There was a time when you
needed two or more separate

vara, and Marilyn Monroe, as
most poems on literary figures,
political heroes, and movie stars,
carry the onus of an attempt to
relate specific, private trage-
dies to the larger concept of
man as an unfulfilled project.
This type of theme is very dif-
ficult to treat successfully.
Morgan's concrete poems,
"Archives", "Astrodome", a n d
"The Computer's First Christ-
mas Card" seem little more than
weak attempts to be clever. Per-
haps the only great "concrete"
poem is Christian Morgen-
stern's "Song of the Fish",
which requires no translation
from German to English.
The clear, precise, somewhat
pedestrian imagery found in the
first two sections of "For Bon-
fires" is perhaps this poet's tru-
est voice:
The leaves are gathered, the
trees are dying
for a time.
All day heavy air
is burning, a moody dog
sniffs and circles the swish of
a rake.
Morgan is at his best in 'The
White Rhinoceros':
The white rhinoceros was eating


iHe) gored the old beat-up tin
for more, it stuck on his horn
like a bear with a beehive,
began to glow-
as leerie lair bear glows
None of the poets represented
here are great innovators. None
possesses what Kenner calls "the
incandescent phrase". This is not
to imply that the Penguin Mo-
dern Poets series has not pub-
lished some outstanding vol-
umes, such as the ninth, which
included Denise Levertov, Ken-
neth Rexroth and William Car-
los Williams. It is well to hote,
however, that all these poets
were well-established at thetime
the Penguin collation was made.
Therefore the fault is not so
much with specific authors as
with their safely established rep-
utations. The Four Seasons
Foundation, Tibor de Nagy edi-
tions, and Hawk's Well Press
publish many young poets who
are reviewed in small magazines,
if noticed at all, and then ig-
nored. In the light of some of
these volumes, the editors of
Penguin seem neither advent-
urous nor well-read.

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Novelis: Miss for AMIS

Kingsley Amis, I Want It Now,
Harcourt, Brace and World, $5.95
This is such an incredibly
bad novel that you begin to
think it has to be a satire. You
read on. No .. . well, maybe it's
a satire on bad satirical novels.
Then no.
Take a novelist like Kingsley
Amis: stuck with an early suc-
cess in Lucky Jim, the story of
a not-so-Angry-Young-Man, with
just enough social insecurity to
be entertaining, trying to cope
with the discomforts of life in
a provincial British university.
But it's the socialist sixties now:
the universities and even the
Corridors of Power no longer
hold any mystery - they're
open to anyone witht the requis-
ite number of A-levels. T h e
mystique, the glamour, e v e n
some of the power of those hith-
erto closed societies have been
transferred to television. Amis
is shrewd enough to recognize
this: the whole sub-culture of
anchormen and floor-managers,
nightly provoking carefully-mea-
sured' controversy between In-
stant Pundits (of whom Amis
himself is frequently one) is
ripe for satire.
Unfortunately the already
ephemeral characters of the
flickering screen turn to card-
board cutouts on Amis' pages.
They range from Greek million-
aires to American millionaires.
You can tell them apart - just
- by a simple device, which, in-
cidentally, seems to satisfy Amis
as well: the Greek mispronounc-
es "chap" and the American
says "you-all."
The hero of this misadventure
is Ronnie Appleyard, a 36-year-
old television star who oper-
ates on two equations: (1) sex
equals screw minus love and
(2) marriage equals money
minus love ... UNTIL (this plot
is almost as embarrassing to
summarize as it is to read) he
meets Simon, a faintly andro-
gynous girl with whom he falls
in love, at first because, and
then in spite of, her money.
At first the reader suspects Mr.

Amis of straying into Irismur-
dochland: we're not quite s u r e
whether Simon is a boy or a
girl. Neither. is Ronnie. B u t
nothing is made of this, despite
frequent, and finally irrelevant,
references to Simon's boyish fig-
ure and cropped hair. Overcom-
ing all obstacles, including a
wicked mother and a benevolent
stepfather (a neat reversal,
that) not to speak of the Mann
Act and Simon's own frigidity,
True Love Conquers. R o n n i e
and Simon walk off hand in
hand into the Battersea sunset.
The end of the novel indeed
rivals the living-room revela-
tions of whodunits: All the char-
acters, for one motive or ano-
ther, gather in a television stu-
dio for a programme. Our hero
delivers a sermon on the Evil
Rich; the villainess of the piece,
Simon's mother, Lady Baldock,
turns on him, and, before t h e
watching millions, her True
Self - the screeching witch --
is revealed. I prefer my fairy
tales from Grimm.
What Mr. Amis has done in I
Want It Now is to take a hand-
ful of in-ingredients - t.v. stars,
society hostess, Greek islands,
British lords and American
wealth, all perennial objects of
public curiosity - and h o p e
that something will turn out. It

doesn't. The comic novel, and
especially the satiric one, de-
mands not the glossy glibness
of I Want It Now, but an analy-
tic, intellectual concern w i t h,
and even committment to, the
part of society under focus.
Amis' targets are too obvious;
Ronnie, changed from emotional
entrepreneur to White Knight,
parodies his Southern audience:
"He-all may have been for all I
know, but I-all never have, and
neither of us-all ever have been
to this bloody place, and now-
all-all must excuse me." Most of
the verbal wit is on that level.
The infuriating thing about
this novel is that Amis has such
potentially great comic mater-
ial, but doesn't know what to do
with it. Does he want to satir-
ize the purveyors of on-cue sin-
cerity, who are, ironically, hoist
by their own petard, or to write
a Noel Cowardly farce about the
iridescent superficiality of the
jet-set? Does he want to exam-
ine Simon's problems - the
phomaniac? The novel goes in
all of these directions but reach-
es nowhere. All we have is a
collage of cliches.
'I Want It Now is not so much4
a title as a cri de coeur. Mr.
Amis wants the steam he has
apparently run out of.


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Let caring for your
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ient as wearing them.
Get some Lensine..,.
Mother's little helper.



j p7
Have you applied to live in one of
the ICC Co-ops next Fall?
Are you considering living in one?
Then be sure to come to the
SUNDAY, FEB. 22, 2:30 P.M.
Learn about student-owned housing on campus. The
Central Campus Co-ops will hold open houses for all
those interested in visiting them after the Mass Meeting

Mother Nature
never planned on

Today's Writers
A Ph T rlafisil inHi-



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