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February 25, 1970 - Image 2

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1970-02-25

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THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Wednesdav February 25 1970

I

poetry and prose
generation'

An attic

theatre
full of characters

SUPPORT
UNCENSORED TV

Vii

the

Edge

By BETSY SMITH
In the recent Generation, the
most successful moments are
when pity and admiration have
played no part in selection and
the piece stands alone, felicit-
ou..., without pretensions. The
magazine bothers me when cop-
ies of the famed, or the cast-
offs of the famed, decorate the
pages.
First let me say t h a t this
Generation is exciting to read.
There ari enough moments
when poems make it or one is
caught by a painstaking border
.design. Too often t h e photo-
ra hs are facile, with , Joe
Vaie's series and the old man
by Bockoff as welcome excep-
tionxs..The drawings by Wilt are
very satisfying. Max Altekruse's
.woodcuts energetic. But the
prose isrqute inferior, and mars
Generations general standard
of some grasp of technique and
some expression of idea in the
medium used.
-The. poetry is, to quote the
ironically fitting title of t h e
first poem, by Diana Miller, "On
the Edge." There is something in
most of the poems, a line, a
word, but there are few whole
p.oemrs. The good poets have a
lyric line or some shock to of-
fer - but the better the trick,
the. more it is over-used. James
Peter's repeated line, "and I fall
Into tieing your shoes again" in
"Donald's Shoes" ruins the del-
icacy of the conception. Thom
Gunn's animal imagery be-
comes too heavy to withstand
absurdity when, in "Three," the
father is ,drying his loins"
while the mother "lies back on
the hot round stones." Ted Ber-
rigan does improvistations at
times, as in section 20:
No lady dream around in any
bad exposure
absence of passion, principles,
love. She murmurs
is not genuine It shines
' .forth from the faces
littered w i t h soup, cigarette
butts, the heavy
and the exquisitely concentrat-
ed section 27:
Two is a factor of one.
Go on.
Well, two means you, think
& talk, & it means me, us
talking, not thinking togeth-
er, now, and suffering.
but often the poem is merely
"s elf-idulgent. The good poets
have not been represented in
their best guises.
There, are, several psycholo-
gical poetesses who tend to take
';either their traumas, or their
interpretations of their trau-
n.as, with too great seriousness.
Anne Stevenson seems to have a
preachy ,horror of her mundane
life whi h drags her into apo-
strophes to deify her fantasies.
"O milky nourishment of horiz-
ons / their v a g u e mammery
"dugs." she 'wails plaintively
from the desert in "The Sui-
cide."- In "Lust of Sappho" she
is a "thin, bitter" mother in
"horror' of her daughter :
who steals me,
from everyone,
everyone,
SMargery Himel analyzes her
relationship with her father
"Heart- Attack") in terms of
"loss"' and "guilt," learning to
"to retain." Her idea is still ap-
parent through the sketch of
~ the poem, and although it is a
good idea, needs to be yet more
shaped and purified - stripped
of. jargon. While Diana Miller
has the images to project her
emotions, she has few clear con-
-nections or syntheses. Her ear
is fine, nevertheless:
Mother cried
-,When she told me how my
rooms were;
Empty. That my plants had
dtied.
The best poetry by far is by
'Robert Hayden and Nancy Wil-

lard. Professor Hayden can be
worshipful of raw, his imagery
is rich and .dignified. "A Plague
of Starlings" makes its point as
if from a pulpit, 'Soledid" as
if from a rug, yet in both the
terseness and the finality .and
the certainty of the statement,
all Pre equally pure. Nancy Wil-
lard's "Seeing and Making" is
finely etched, like the Flemish
artists she 'admires "whose eyes
-comb / everything into lines..."
The prose is so sparsely bear-
able that the two good attempts
are worth congratulation. The
'IN
American Film Studies
Feb. 25 - Wed.

By JOHN ALLEN
Arthur Miller's play, T h e
Price, appearing in Ann Arbor
under the auspices of the Uni-
versity's Professional Theatre
Program, comes to life part way
through the first act: Joseph
Buloff comes on stage.
Whether or not his passion-
ately exaggerated portrayal of
an 89-year old Jewish dealer in
second-hand, furniture would be
distressing on a smaller stage
is beside thepoint, at least for
IAnn Arbor audiences. He fills
up the crannies of Hill Auditor-
ium with gusto-and if the re-
sult borders bn slapstick it is
nonetheless grandly theatrical,
His Mr. Gregory Solomon speaks
in broken English, but he moves
in Yiddish, and one doesn't need
a translator or binoculars to
>catch every inflection.
I mean, when's the last time
it was worth the price of ad-
mission just to watch a man
cross his legs or peel a hard-
boiled egg?
Doubtless the writing of the
character of Gregory' Solomon
was great fun for Mr. Miller. I
am not so sure about the other
three characters in The Price.
Victor and Esther Franz, the
husband and wife whose busi-
ness it is to dispose of the attic-
ful of furniture that brings
light to the eyes of Mr. Solo-
mon, do not seem to be posses-
sed of that mystic extra some-
thing that the furniture ap-
praiser is so abundantly blessed
with. They are genuinely moving
characters, about' whom it is
possible, to care, but they are
not quite characters about whom
it is possible to cheer.
Do not mistake: it is perhaps
cause for cheer to find charac-
ters for whom one can care,
and The Price is a satisfying
and well-constructed drama. Its
t e 1l i n g commentary on the
ghostly grudges and false ideals
that haunt one's search for love
and a meaningful life is en-
cased in an appropriate setting
and in a credible story.
Yet there were moments when
Victor Franz displayed more
than enough self-pity to excuse
the world from giving him any
I ENDS WEDNESDAY

additional. And his wife never
achieves much more than an
ineffectual bitchiness, B o t h
characters are perhaps true-to-
life, but that of itself does not
infuse the stage with life; and
one wonders - for a moment,
now and then - if the Franzes
aren't too intentionally "sym-
bolic" of time-passing, we-grow-
too-soon-old-and-too-late-smart,
etc.
Douglass Watson as Victor
and Betty Miller as his wife
turned in j performances that
were solid and professional
without being electric.
Walter Franz, Victor's brother
-played with power and direct-
ness by Carle Bensen-is a more
difficult role to assess. Too little
is known, perhaps, of the silence
that has existed between the
two brothers for so many years.
Walter Franz, in any case, has
the unenviable dramatic task of
being a catalyst whose own ele-
ments are not clearly defined in
the course of the action. Pos-
sibly-and I say it sincerely-I
missed something.
It is pleasing to report that

for once a road-show of this
kind has a set that does not look
like it was delivered by air-lift
and assembled with a bulldozer.
Robert T. Williams is respon-
sible for its design, which can
be described as early attic.
Director for this company of
The Price is Joseph Anthony,
whose pacing of the play is sit-

isfactory, but who seems now
and then to be too intent on
using all the stage space, simply
because it's there. His reading
of Miller is not disappointing.
The outstanding pleasure of
the evening, however, remains
Mr. Buloff's rickety antique of
a second-hand furniture man.
That plus Mr. Miller's play.

ii

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CHICKEN:
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TV could be without
censors and sponsors.
"
Come prepared to laugh
a lot. . .and blush a little
but come
Presented by
KENNETH N. NEMEROYSKI
Thurs. & Sun.:
7:30 & 9:15-$1.50
Sat.: 8:00, 9:45, 11:30-$1.75
NO FRIDAY PERFORMANCES
THE VIDEO GALLERY
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in the HILLEL SOCIAL HALL
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ir. ,. .-
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Daily Classifieds
Bring Results

Ii'

Woodcut by Max Altekruse

major flaw of the prose is well-
illustrated by one example :
On a summer night in July,
with the moon barely a white
slice in the sky, the state pen-
itentiaiy became much more
to the Haynes family than
the remote and lifeless piece
of architecture they had al-
ways regarded it as.
Bad imitations abound -
Faulkner and Stephen Crane,
Truman Capote, Jerzy Koscin-
ski and Jack Kerouac, television
serials and movie scenarios. Of-
ten writers don't know which
attitude toward their subject
they want to maintain, a n d
shift back and forth from
amusement to self-pity at the
difficulty of their self-imposed
assignment. The most consist-
ant attempts are Kathy Edel-

man's "Beth's Story" and Nancy
Jackson's "$1.80 A Shot," but
even these are flawed, the one
by a sharp break in style be-
tween the beginning a n d the
rest of the story; the other by
too exjlicit an explanation of
t h e person's burden of guilt.
Nancy Jackson handles male
persona with a cleverness which
leads one to wonder if she
wouldn't excell with a less art-
ful disguise.
The Generation is highly am-
bitious this issue, and like all
ambitious projects it announces
with gusto its manifold limita-
tions. But for the discerning
reader, his acts of criticism on
such a project may be as stimu-
lating as a response to some
perfect whole.

BACH CLUB
presents
PETER GRIFFITH
playing works of
Bach and other composers
on guitar
Refreshments and FUN
afterwards
WED., FEB. 25-8 P.M.
1236 Washtenow
(at S. Forest near S. University)
EVERYONE WELCOME!
(no musical knowledge necessary)
Last meeting's attendance was 50
663-2827 663-3819
764-9887 (Jenny)
ma

Enact Fund-Raising Drive
On Campus: Thurs & Fri Feb 27th & 28th
Downtown & Shopping Centers Fri & Sat
Feb 28th & March 1

BUTTONS

a.

V

GIVE EARTH
A
CHA NCE,

25!

ECOLOGY,
SYMBOL

"FUTZ" will
shake the
very
foundation
of motion
picture
morality!

DONATIONS APPRECIA TED
(cheques can be sent to ENACT, Univ. of Mich.)

op9

BOOKLISTS, CONSUMER GUID ES AND OTHER HANDOUTS
AVAILABLE I N FISHBOWL

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Teach-in on the Environment

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"singing songs that cap-
ture the deepest feelings
of people. He captures
and keeps his audience."
-Michigan Daily
SAT, 1 P.M.
WOODY GUTHRIE
WORKSHOP
will be given by eminent
GUTHRIE biographer and
folklorist DICK REUSS.
FREE

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SRADICAL FILM 'SERIES SUN. 3 P.M.
CHILDREN'S
presents CONCERT
D U U Awith BOB WHITE
DUTCHMAN 8 and under - c
over - 50c
"Written by: LeROY JONES Directed by: ANTHONY HARVEY#
Starring: SHIRLEY KNIGHT and AL FREEMAN, JR. TONITE - HOOT
"BEST ACTRESS" VENICE FILM FESTIVAL with
". . a mythic train of some sort, a Flying Dutchman of the underground. A blond BOB WHITE
succubus, with mini-skirt, darting tongue, tousled hair, and infinitely provocative man- PAM OSTERGREN
ner, sits besides a Brooks Brothers Negro, flirts with him, embraces him, teases and JON SUNDELL
torments him, and finally goads him into an explosion of violence against the whites. and others
Having forced him to reveal his interior hate, she stabs and kills him. So the white race, 0
forever fascinated (sexually) by the Negro, forever forces him to affirm his Negritude NEXT WEEK
and then forever lynches him."-Vogue
" ~rfind r nrvin an ,.Ick of conern 4for his ellowman."Comow SARA GREY

GORDON LIGHTFOOT
(IN CONCERT)
Members of the cast
of HAIR
BARRY COMMONER
DAVID BROWER
WALTER REUTHER
MURRAY BOOKCHIN
CHARLES WURSTER
LEONARD DUHL
ANSLEY COLLE
MARCH 10
ATTEND SPECIAL BENEFIT

SEN. EDMUND MUSKIE
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SEN. PHILIP HART
MAYOR RICHARD
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LAMONTE COLE
KENNETH BOULDING
ARTHUR GODFREY
EDDIE ALBERT
VICTOR YANNACONE, Jr.
and many other
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(ALL ENACT 164-9144

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