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November 19, 1961 - Image 14

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The Michigan Daily, 1961-11-19
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But Students Impede Change with Search for Scholastic

Classroom

Underbrush

"Nude Descending a Staircase," by X.
J. Kennedy. New York: Doubleday &
Co., 1961. 63 pp. $2.50.
IN THE CONCLUDING LINES of the
title poem, the poet describes the "nude
descending a staircase":
And pausing, on the final stair
Collects her motions into shape.
The lines, the concept catch the essence
of X. J. Kennedy's poetry. It glides and
glimmers, a snow of wit and wonder;
then, on the level, it melts into meaning
and delight.
What a pleasure it is to watch each of
these poems assume its significant stance.
The joy is in the act itself, the witty ma-
neuvering of the poet in his method. Not
for nothing has he labelled the parts of
this volume one, two and three, with an
intermission for peanuts. For we are in
the midst of doings and becomings: a
young, man on the brink, another at a
stop light, a soul arising, an artist break-
ing a block, a lady in a bar singing, others
looking for lice. These poems are alive
with motion and insight; they sing their
way into being.
X. J. is above all a lyric poet. Whether
gaily satirical ("The Man in the Man-
made Moon"), blue ("Seine River Blues")
or elegiac ("Little Elegy"), these are
songs, lovely and wonderful. Here is the
"All-knowing Rabbit," Bugs Bunny's
sweetheart, who wisely ponders
All secrets of tomorrow, of the Nile
Fluffs clover with one delicate toenail
And munches on, with giaconda smile.
And with the flick of the pen, "the goose
that laid the golden egg." "Faces from a
Bestiary" indeed. To quote Donald Hall,
"Many of Kennedy's poems are wit it-
self." Lyric wit, the loveliest kind.
Then there are the poems that unique-
ly achieve truth. For me, a few of these
have the authentic quality of greatness.
"On a Child Who Lived One Minute"
has just that kind of authenticity; each
word is exactly right, a rare poetic tri-
umph. "First Confession" puts us through
the whole ritual, each phrase ominous
with clarity ("The universe / Bowed down
his cratered dome"), meaning ("in the
dark I burned / Bright as a brimstone"),
and truth:
... Sunday in seraphic light
I knelt, as full of grace as most,
And stuck my tongue out at the priest:
A fresh roost for the Holy Ghost.
And the five parts of "Inscriptions after
Fact." Who could have expected another
good poem about Odysseus? Who else
but X. J. could have portrayed Narcissus
with such icy exactitude? The poet's own
voice is heard here, echoing through mor
than the stone aisles of the Theater of
Dionysus:
I run. Inaudible laughter drives
Offstage my spirit
As in the parched grass, wind routs
A white shiver before it.
Shapes twitch in the dark rooms of X.
J.'s imagination. They haunt the pages
of his book, "lurking under trees by
dark." For all his brightness and light-
ness, the poet ultimately is serious. These
phantoms lead us, of necessity, to wis-
dom: "The tricycle found tied in knots."
Read all of X. J.'s final lines.
-Marvin Felheim
Department of English
"Revolt on the Campus," by M. Stan-
ton Evans. Chicago: Henry Regnery.
1961, 241 pp. $4.50.
"ON THE campus of every college and
university in the United States there
is' a noticeable- undercurrent-the grow-
ing restlessness that precedes sweeping
changes. Signs that these changes are
already taking shape are unmistakable."
So reads the dust jacket on M. Stan-
ton Evans' new book, "Revolt on the
Campus," but anyone who expects an
expose of the Spanish Inquisition on a
modern scale will be sorely disappointed.
Revolt? Evans' own writing reveals that
Page Six

dissenting opinion on campuses has not
reached the revolt stage. But likewise it
reveals there is a mounting dissension-
not among the dedicated and active lib-
eral students, but among the normally
dormant and apathetic segments of the
student bodies.
Evans, however, does not assert that
these new conservatives, if I may call
them that, are politically-oriented. Rath-
er, they are fighting for the spirit of in-
dividuality which is slowly being sup-
pressed throughout the nation. "Our Lib-
eral academicians have worked diligently
for 30 years to extinguish America's faith
in the individual, and then they express
amazement that we have lost our self-
reliance." And with their quest for indi-
viduality comes a subscription to a politi-
cal philosophy that has been inadequately
labeled "conservative."
The author acknowledges that the con-
servative rebellion will not be easily exe-
cuted. We won't awaken some morning
to find it in full-swing in every quarter.
Rather, it will be the culmination of a
series of individual and perhaps seeming-
ly unrelated instances. One person will
join the conservative ranks for quite a
different reason than his neighbor. But
sooner or later an insurrection will
emerge.
The heart of the book traces the evolu-
tion of the student conservative move-
ment, or the "revolt," from its concep-
tion almost 10 years ago with the Inter-
collegiate Society of Individualists,
through its blossoming at the Republi-
can National Convention in Chicago last
year, to its diffusion into the Young Re-
publicans and the Young Americans for
Freedom.
He establishes well the existence of the
spirit of revolt; no one will deny it exists.
The future of that spirit, however, is not
so clear. "The academy is no longer a
comfortable fiefdom of the left; it has
become instead what it ought to be, a
battleground of ideas. But these ad-
vances are only a beginning-a beach-
head."
If the reader is looking for a colorful,
action-packed story, he will find little
more than the dramatic description of
Sen. Barry Goldwater's nomination at the
recent Republican national convention.
But if he is looking for a rational analy-
sis of what seems to be a revival of Amer-
icanism on the campus, arising in defi-
ance of the worship of the welfare state,
socialism and other nonsense, M. Stanton
Evans has presented such a picture.
It's not a Bible for conservatives, but
rather it's a documented death-knell for
Liberalism-and in that it fills an enor-
mous cavity.
-Michael Harrah

Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Her-
bert von KaraJan, cond. 3 London
A4352 (mono), $14.94; OSA 1324
(stereo), $17.94
Leonie Rysanek (s), Desdemona;
Miriam Pirazzini (ms), Emilea; Jon
Vickers (t), Otello; Florindo Andreolli
(t), Cassio; Mario Carlin"(t), Roder-
igo; Tito Gobbi (b), Iago; Robert
Kerns (b) Herald; Franco Calabrese
(bs), Montano; Ferruccio Mazzoli
(bs), Lodovico. Chorus and Orchestra~
of the Rome Opera, Tullio Serafin,
cond. 3 Victor LD 6155 (mono),
$17.98; LDS 6155 (stereo), $20.98.
THERE IS probably no other opera in
the Italian tragic repertoire which
even equals Verdi's Otello for difficulty
of performance. It demands principals
who are not only endowed with impres-
sive.vocal equipment, but also possess the
ability to use effectively in a wide range
of situations. The role of Otello requires
a tenor of exceptionally powerful voice
who can handle a tender love scene as
well as overpower a full symphony or-
chestra and chorus. Desdemona must
have a sweetness of voice to match her
gentle nature while being able to hold
her own in impressive ensembles and sev-
eral intense meetings with Otello. Iago,
the "heavy," must also be capable of high
"A's" and rapid articulation. Since most
of the supporting cast must appear in the
large ensemble scenes, they should also
be well endowed with vocal power.
Technical competence is only the be-
ginning, for the interpretative require-
ments are even more demanding. Otello is
a tragic hero in the classical sense, and
must be portrayed with dignity as well
as intensity. Desdemona must be given
great personal conviction, as well as ten-
der innocense. Iago is probably the subtl-
est and most powerful of- operatic villains.
In a plot so tightly woven as this one,
failure on the part of any of the princi-
pals will have the effect of seriously com-
promising the whole. The ultimate re-
sponsibility for maintaining the unity of
the performance must, of course, rest
with the conductor; and he, along with
the chorus and orchestra, must be cap-
able of handling tutti passages only
only slightly less difficult than the solo
writing. These, then, are some of the
basic considerations which must enter
into any evaluation of an Otello perform-
ance. In this case the London recording,
having more to recommend it to the at-
tention of the prospective buyer, will be
considered first.
"Act I-Outside the Castle. A tavern
with an arbor. In the background a quay
and the sea. It is evening. Lightning,
thunder, hurricane." Into this scene come
Herbert von Karajon and a chorus and
orchestra unsurpassed for technical mas-
tery and reproduced in excellent stereo-
phonic sound. The result is a storm scene
which rivals Toscanini's in interpretation
and excells it in sonic impact. This is a
good indication of things to come from
Von Karajan, whose tempi and dynamic
shadings remain first-rate throughout the
entire performance. Van Karajan's read-
ing does not produce the sense of in-
creasing tension that the listener feels
when listening to Toscanini's perform-
ance, but the conception is still admirable.
Unfortunately, this . conception is not
universally well-executed by the members
of the cast. It should be mentioned at
the outset that Renata Tebaldii's Desde-
mona is the finest on records. Had the
great master written the part with h~er
in mind, he could not have come closer to
the mark. Her talents are perfectly suited
to the role, and she uses them to the
best possible advantage. The roles of
Emilia, Lodovico and Montano are also
very well done. The other characters,
however, do not come off quite so well.
Del Monaco's reputation .as a great
Otello will certainly find no support in

this performance. His voice is beginning
to show the effects of hard use, and he
sounds tight and strained in many of his
high fortissimo passages. He is also (pos-
sibly to spare his voice, possibly because
he is carried away) shouting many of his
climaxes; for example: "nostra e del ciel
e GLORio!" "son'io fra i SARACENI?"
and so on throughout the opera. Although
this objectionable practice is reserved
for passages where the score indicates
declamation or real dramatic climaxes
in Acts III and IV, the excess is never
really eliminated, and in any event the
dignity necessary to the role has been
destroyed. In a production of Shake-
emotionalism would be regarded as ham
speare's play, much of Del Monaco's emo-
tionalism would be regarded as "ham
acting," and it is equally out of place
here.
Protti's Iago is a carefully thought out
and beautifully sung performance, but
neither the voice nor the characteriza-
tion make as powerful an impression as
the role should be capable of giving. This
Iago is too even-tempered to excite the
listener. Cassio's "Andiamo" in the first
scene gives a hilarious impression of a
man "stewed,' but he is otherwise lost in
the Act I ensemble and weak throughout
the remainder of the opera. Roderigo is
barely adequate.
One expects more than he receives from
the Victor set. The performance is almost
unbelievably stagnant, and most of the
fault lies with Maestro Serafin. This man,
once capable of real greatness, is demon-
strating a lessening ability to hold his
forces together and maintain the pace
necessary to achieve an effective perform-
ance. In this recording, slow tempi are
rendered intolerable by sloppy orchestral
playing and deadly choral singing. Sera-
fin's deliberateness seems to have been
transmitted to his cast, most of his prin-
cipals being otherwise excellent singers.
Jon Vickers sings beautifully and re-
sorts to none of Del Monico's excesses.
This is the first time he has sung the role,
however, and he as of yet gives the role
little of the passion it requires. Rysanek's
Desdemona cannot compete with Te-
baldi's. Her voice, though excellent in its
own right, is not ideally suited to this
particular role. Those who have heard
Gobbi sing Scarpia and Tonio will be dis-
appointed by his performance here. Al-
though -he is the best of the principals
and has.some truly great moments (his
"Temete, signor, la gelosia," etc., is one
of the finest moments in any recorded
performance), for the most part he seems
too concerned with singing properly to
do very much by way of characterization.
The supporting roles, with the exception
of Emilia, are poorly done.
London provides the best sound; the
chorus and orchestra in the Victor re-
cording are somewhat muddy. Both al-
bums include the ballet music in Act III,
" a practice-more suitable to a stage per-
formance than a recorded one. The in-
clusion results in some very objectionable
side breaks in the Victor album, though
the London has little difficulty in this
regard. Also more suitable to a stage
performance is the wind machine in Lon-
don's first act. While it does not impair
the effectiveness of the performance, JA
seems unnecessary
If the buyer insists on a stereo Otello
(and unfortunately many will), then the
London recording is the only logical
choice. If, however, it is the work which
interests him, he should by all means get
the Toscanini recording on Victor LM
6107. Vinay is still the greatest Otello, the
rest of the cast, especially Valdengo's Iago,
are consistently strong. This is also one
of the finest opera recordings that Tos-
canini ever made, If the buyer is still not
convinced, he should consider that it is
presently available in Ann Arbor at the
ridiculously low price of $7.47.
-Boyd Conrad
THE MICHIGAN DAILY MAGAZINE

condemned, always rates as the most,
appreciated course given by the literary
college in polls of graduates.
* * *
ANY RADICAL CHANGE in learning at
the university 'must overcome the
alarming attachment to the classroom as
the sole means of gaining an education.
Literary College Dean Roger Heyns is
disturbed about the over-importance stu-
dents place on this aspect of campus
community. He sees them chained to a
simple, but potentially dangerous con-
cept: "If you want to learn something,
have some professor tell you about it for
15 weeks."
Dean Heyns aptly explains that this is
not the way the learning process operates
in the "real" world. Learning is essen-
tially a lonely business, as each person
must gain knowledge for his own mind.
Research results strongly demonstrate
that students working on their own, com-
pletely independent of faculty lectures
and explainations, learn the subject mat-
ter of a course at least as well as in the
class group. A student who learns how
to select and use books, moreover, is well
on the way to develop the faculties of
critical thinking and judgment.
A few departments have directed read-
ing programs and the Honors Council of
the literary college gives credit for courses
mastered by summer reading. The Na-
tional Science Foundation has recently
recognized the desirability of independent
study and research by undergraduates,
and has setraside funds to aid such pro-
jects.
Other means exist to increase out-of-
class education. If circulation figures are
proper indicators, the Undergraduate
Library, steeped though it is in the social
mobility race of the Greek letter societies,
has contributed significantly to the quest
for knowledge. Since the construction of
the UGLI and subsequent opening of the
General Library's stacks, circulation of
books has jumped amazingly-especially
books not earmarked for a particular class
assignment.
THE 20TH CENTURY has shown that
students can achieve at the level to
which they are pushed. What was form-
erly college material has sifted down to
the high schools. Current University
sophomores take courses that the stu-
dents of the 1930's could not grasp until
graduate school. The former chairman
of the physics department here claims
that today's bacallaureate degree in
physics represents more knowledge about
the subject than he knew when he was
awarded his doctorate 35 years before.
The University must now move outside
the classroom, drop the shackles of the
50-minute hour and the bounds of lec-
turing, to place a higher degree of respon-
sibility on the student.
"Already the changes thus wrought by
science have outstripped the slow evolu-
tion of our systems of education," Mar-
shall H. Stone, Andrew MacLeish Dis-
tinguished Service Professor of Mathe-
matics at the University of Chicago,
writes. "As a new world struggles to be
born, we realize with more than a little
concern that we are suddenly called upon
to make a very determined effort toward
bringing education up to the level of
our times and orienting it as -best we
can toward a future vastly different 'from
anything familiar to us from the past."
One means the University could ex-
plore would be the removal of all aca-
demic requirements for a limited group
of students. These students would pay
their tuition each semester and go off
on their own, free of distribution require-
ments or the need to elect courses. At
the end of two, three or four years (or
.MICHAEL OLINICK, a night
editor on The Daily, reports on
matters of academics for the news-
paper. He is a junior majoring in
unified science.

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 1961

Crowds of students await the lecture hour

who receb
20,000 in
teacher-s
It is tl
these ie
ledge, bu
University
achieve t
growth o
For too
their res
and colle
four year
what the
inequities
campuses
swers:
"They a
that they
am jokin
came to
They thi
I say th
welcome
the curri
sible to
among a
turers, po
to furnis
group me
VOICE
decri
dent Col
a half-he
be given
ters, but
even nar
work.
The 1
course in
gestion 1
didates w
on it wit
a course
all-impo:
it would
Here '
students
and acti
the acad
commun
In the
clamored
a larger
because
them wc
sideratio
now, th
Universi
si de.ratiol

whenever they chose), they would submit
themselves for an examination and be
awarded an appropriate bachelor's de-
gree if they passed.
Obviously, a certain number would fail
to act responsibly if given these freedoms,
but any student admitted to this Uni-
versity should be intellectually capable
and resourceful enough to handle some
degree of independent work.
* * *
ALTHOUGH THERE IS now strong
faculty interest in some parts for the
improvement of undergraduate teaching
(the creation of awards for outstanding
teaching, acceleration of efforts to es-
tablish a center on university teaching),
the trend of University growth is away
from the first four years of higher edu-
cation.
The next decade at the University, as
President Harlan Hatcher tells us, will
see heavy emphasis on the graduate-
professional schools and more research.
The quality, of the undergraduate col-
leges will not be the primary goal of the
University's architects. Attempts will be
made to preserve it, but probably not to

expand the size of the present under-
graduate enrollment. The uniqueness bf
the Ann Arbor campus has never been its
approach to freshman and sophomore
education. That's not the job the Uni-
versity does best or most efficiently.
If the undergraduate wants to avoid
being smothered under the test tubes and
cyclotrons of the advanced research labs
on North Campus, he must take the lead
himself in securing a better education.
It is foolish to suggest that teaching
be divorced from research. Almost every
good teacher is also engaged actively in
work on the frontiers of his subject
matter. The good teacher who does little
or no self-expansion (through research,
reading or other means to develop his
brain) after his doctoral thesis exam-
ination does not remain a good teacher
for very long. His approach becomes a
stale one; and his lack of contact with
new ideas and theories may make his
lack of contact with new ideas and
theories may make his offerings out-
dated and inaccurate.
There are excellent research men who
would make disastrously poor teachers,

VERDI: OTELLO
Renata Tebaldi (s), Desdemona; Ana
Raquel Satre (ms), Emilia; Mario del
Monaca (t), Otello; Nello Romanato
(t), Cassio; Athos Cesarini (t), Rod-
erigo; Aldo Protti (b) Iago; Tom
Krause (b), Montano; Fernando Cor-
ena (bs), Lodovico; Libero Arbace
(bs), Herald. Vienna State Opera
Chorus, Vienna Grosstadtkinder,

Group studying is sometimes necessary for learn

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