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November 10, 1963 - Image 12

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1963-11-10
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*-

Because he speaks humbly and
peacefully, without effort, one
might say he knows me like a
father
or like certain aged mariners, who,
leaning against their nets, at a
time when the wind began to rage
with the fury of winter,
recited to me, in my childhood, the
song of Erotocritos with tears in
their eyes ...
Seferis shows a great sensitivity in the
description of inanimate objects. He ap-
pears as if he has been looking at them
all his life and then suddenly his whole
world comes into focus and he gazes
at these same objects, the same sun and
whitewashed houses and waves and ruins
with the wonderment and surprise of
discovery.
I am sorry to have allowed a broad
river to pass between my fingers
Without drinking a single drop.
Now I sink into the stone.
A small pine on the red soil
Is all the companionship I have.
What I love has disappeared with the
houses
Which were new last summer
And fell to pieces before the autumn
wind.
(XVIII)
Even is the wind blows it brings us
no refreshment
And the shadow remains narrow
beneath the cypresses
And all around the slopes go up to
the mountains.
(XIX)
OF THE CONTEMPORARY Greek poets
to be projected on the international
scene Odysseus Elytis is another. His
poetry has been considerably influenced
by the Surrealist movement:
. . . Propped on the rocks, without
yesterday or tomorrow
Facing the dangers of the rocks with
a hurricane's hairdo
You will say farewell to the riddle
that is your
Coupled with his surrealistic nature,
the poetry of Elytis displays a lyricism
which is personal and sensitive in a
heroic manner and reflects the Greek
landscape.
Drinking the Sun of Corinth
Drinking the sun of Corinth
Reading the marble ruins
Striding across vineyards and seas
Sighting along the harpoon
A votive fish that slips away
I found that the psalm of the sun
memorizes
The living land that desire opens
joyously.
I drink water, cut fruit,
Thrust my hand into the wind's
foliage
The lemon trees irrigate the pollen
of summer
The green birds tear my dreams
I leave with a glance
A wide glance in which the world is
recreated
Beautiful from the beginning to the
dimensions of the heart!
THIS IS FAR from a complete survey
of modern Greek literary trends. A
whole literary form, prose, in which Greek
writers have been very prolific, has been
completely omitted. Yet to neglect men-
tioning the name of Nikos Kazantzakis,
who has been an example and an inspira-
tion and a goal to new writers, would
border on the criminal. Most of Mr.
Kazantzakis' novels have been translated
into English and his work has been
analyzed and is in the process of being
analyzed by prominnent literary critics
in this country.
Modern Greek literature has long
graduated from adolescence to maturity
and international recognition is bound

to spur more writers to contribute in
thought and form toward its progress.
Nowadays Greece is a small country, its
language riot widely spoken by the rest
of the world. Her literature can only hope
to be compared favorably with the lit-
erary works of Ancient Greece which
have since become the literary tradition
of the Western civilization. All indications
point to the fact that Greek literature
will soon be creating a new tradition.

The Kelsey Museum on State Street houses a
dumber of outstanding art objects from the
Egyptian, Greek and Roman periods. The
Greek pottery displayed there is another
example of the artistic achievements

(4'esie4'4 and ,r'eoiewoj

of that nation.

Art

of Ancient Greece

Above, left, White ground
Lekythos, Attica, 45-0400
B.C., right, Black figure Am-
phora, B olsena, 550-530
B.C.

DECISION-MAKING IN THE WHITE
HOUSE; THE OLIVE BRANCH OR THE
ARROWS, by Theodore C. Sorensen,
Columbia University Press, New York,
1963, 94 pages, $3.50.
THE FIRST THING this book does is
clear up any doubts about the re-
sponsibility for the eloquence of Presi-
dent Kennedy's speeches. The rhythmatic
phrases, parallel constructions and stir-
ring comparisons that frequent Kenne-
dy's speeches abound here.
The result is also one of the best new
books on the presidency. The book's ma-
jor shortcoming, in fact, is that it is so
short.
Sorensen, who has been Kennedy's
special counsel since 1952 when Kennedy
became a senator, makes probably the
book's best contribution to the literature
on the presidency in a chapter on the
outer limits of decision. No President,
Sorensen writes, is free to go as far or as
fast as his advisers, his politics and his
perspective may direct him. His deci-
sions are set within at least five ever-
present limitations:
First, permissibility. The President is
limited by national and international law,
by the possibility of reversal by Con-
gress, and by "dissent, inertia, incompe-
tence or impotence" within the executive
branch. "I can recall," writes Sorensen,
"more than one occasion when it was
necessary for the President to convince
his own appointees before they could un-
dertake to convince the Congress, the
Soviets or some other party." A Presi-
dent's authority, declares the author, is
not as great as his responsibility.
Second, available resources. A Presi-
dent's resources are limited in terms of
money, manpower, time, credibility, pa-
tronage, and all the other tools at his
command. "Only a limited number of
times can key members of Congress or
leaders of the alliance be approached with
special requests, Sorensen writes, and this
may help to explain the growing inef-
fectiveness Kennedy has experienced with
Congress.
Third, available time. Under any Pres-
ident, life in the White House is a series of
deadlines: a new measure to be proposed
before the old law expires, or a dispute
to be resolved before the President's next
press conference, for example. "In the
White House, the future rapidly becomes
the past, and delay is itself a decision."
Fourth, previous commitments. Barry
Goldwater is not the only one who has to
research his old speeches; Sorensen
points out that this is necessary for a
President. And the President must not
only check his own statements, but also
the decisions of subordinates, the princi-
ples of his party, and the commitments
of an earlier President. No President
starts out with, much less ever has, a
clean slate before him. The author reveals
that on the morning of the first of those
seven days preceding the Cuban crisis,
Kennedy sent for copies of all his earlier
statements on Cuba. A President, Soren-
sen comments, "need not make a fetish
of consistency but he must avoid confu-
sion or the appearance of deception."
Fifth, available information. To make
informed decisions, the President must
be at home with a staggering range of
information-about history, economics,
politics and personalities in fifty states
and over a hundred countries. And even
though a President becomes subject to
drowning in paper, his primary problem
is a shortage of information, especially
in foreign affairs, according to the au-
thor.
Perhaps these limitations help to ex-
plain why a dynamic man who has prom-
ised so much has delivered so little. Per-
haps they enlighten the frequent in-
ability of an astute politician to lead
politically. And maybe the realization of
these innate limitations is the reason why
no New Frontiersman any longer calls the
administration "the New Frontier."
-Robert Selwa
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 1963

HAS AMERICA ACCEPTED a new code
of ethics which condones chiseling and
lying? Has a pseudo-ethic replaced our
traditional morality, the one we call,
Judeo-Christian? In this era of James
Bond, one is not likely to find many au-
thors willing to venture any answers,
which makes this book by Margaret Hal-
sey all the more welcome. Miss Halsey is
one writer who not only addresses her-
self to these questions but does so with
enthusiasm.
Since 1945, says the author, America
has wandered into a moral swamp dom-
inated by the pseudo-ethic. What is this
pseudo-ethic? It is the ethic that allows
you to "shoot your neighbor at the door-
way of the bomb shelter without sacrific-
ing your right to be called a decent hu-
man being, whereas the older ethic says,
'Love thy neighbor as thyself'." It is the
ethic that excuses Charles Van Doren be-
cause anyone else would have done the
same thing, whereas the older creed says,
"Thou shalt not steal." While the tradi-
tional morality derived its authority from
the "superiority of a few," the false ethic
is based on the "inferiority of a great
many." Most importantly, it rejects the
"more consistent and reiterative empha-
sis" in the whole of Judeo-Christian mor-
ality, the sacredness of the individual;
the concept that no one is expendable,
and replaces it with the idea that those
who get in the way of the expanding con-
sumer market are expendable.
In our one-institution society, (busi-
ness) presidents are marketed for their
mass appeal like baby food and cigarettes
with the obvious result that the quality of
our leadership has been seriously impair-
ed. And here Miss Halsey shows her great-
est indignation. "Eisenhower," she says,
"was neither a man of good will nor a
man of bad will, but a man of no will ...
a piece of chewing gum rolling around in
the jaws of history." Yet the consuming
public accepted him, not in spite of but
because of his incompetence; in "Ike"
they saw themselves. As for Kennedy,
hailed as the second coming of Pericles,
he has worn his "liberalism like nail pol-
ish. When President Kennedy talks about
the United States getting off dead cen-
ter, he does not really mean it."
Have we consciously discarded the older
ethic for the new? Miss Halsey thinks
not. In fact, the change was hardly no-
ticed at first. Nevertheless, as the United
States emerged from World War II, its
essential nature underwent a subtle re-
vision. From an essentially producing
economy, we became a predominantly
consuming one, but at a price: the ero-
sion of the ethical standards that had
previously guided us. Society had to be
ethically re-educated. Self-indulgence and
acquisition had to replace self-reliance
and industry. We had to be instilled with-
the virtues of planned obsolescence, and
we were. The old ethic became as obso-
lete as last year's model, but not right
away. Before the pseudo-ethic could be
fully accepted, certain persons represent-
ing the traditional ethic and opposed to
the new moral code had to be removed.
But how? America of the late forties and
early fifties found the answer in a vir-
ulent anti-Communism, the congressional
investigation and the witch hunt.
The moral crisis that Margaret Halsey
depicts is not unprecedented, in the other
western countries nor in the United
States; witness the Harding and Grant
administrations.
The problem of today's ethics has roots
that extend far more deeply than con-
temporary American society, indeed roots
that often transcend American society
altogether. It seems unlikely that an
ethical reversal such as Miss Halsey de-
scribes could have occurred in just 18
years.
Be that as it may, it detracts little
from the cogency of the author's analysis
of current society. She certainly has hit
the crucial point in calling for a reasser-
tion of the vigorous moral leadership that
was silenced ten years ago, a leadership

that has no reverence for commercialism
and corruption. That leadership will be
reasserted with the help of writers such
as Margaret Halsey.
-Alan Z. Shulman
THE COLLECTOR by John Fowles, Little
Brown and Company, 1963, $4.95.
FREDERICK CLEGG, described as a
"sea ,of cotton wool," is a shy, intro-
verted young clerk with a passion for
collecting butterflies. He also has a
secret passion for a young art student
named Miranda. These two quirks in his
vapid personality are suddenly combined
when Clegg wins a fortune in an English
football pool and thus carefully and
stealthfully he kidnaps Miranda and im-
prisons her in the basement of his home.
This plot serves as the basis of John Fow-
les first novel, The Collector.
"The curse of civilization is the ordin-
ary man" quotes Miranda. It is the ordin-
ary people, the "New People" that are
destroying humanity according to Fowles.
It is the great mass of conforming indi-
viduals that Fowles attacks, those secur-
ity-conscious human beings who are more
involved with existing than with living,
who sacrifice feeling for pleasure and un-
derstanding. Clegg is such a person, a
collector. Collectors are "the worst -ani-
mals of all" Fowles says. They don't want
to appreciate, they want to own. They do
not want to create, they want to cata-
logue.
Fowles is angry, and scared, for he
feels that "everything free and decent in
life is being locked away in filthy little
cellars by beastly people who don't care."
By people like Clegg, who are shallow and
worthless, collecting and possessing what
they can never understand or appreciate.
Society is a large-scale Clegg, according to
Fowles; a massive Collector which stifles,
chloroforms, pins and arranges the wild
and beautiful in set patterns. Miranda
finally struggles in vain to reach Clegg
and make him understand what he has
accomplished. She fails, as all imagin-
ative people will fail, because she didn't
realize that Clegg was incapable of ever
feeling or observing the forces of life.
Clegg doesn't even realize these forces
exist: his life is void of the very sub-
stance that creates the Mirandas of our
world.
The Collector is at all times an arrest-
ing and disturbing novel. Fowles has ef-
fectively provided for the greatest impact
as he devotes the first half of the book to
the sympathetic narrative of Clegg and
then dedicates the second chapter to the
diary of Miranda. Clegg is drawn in such
a believable and understanding manner
that the reader will eventually find com-
passion for the mousy little collector,
which exists concurrently with revulsion.
The only weak point of the novel lies
in the character of Miranda, who seems
real only when she is discussing her sym-
bolic-God figure, George Paxton. Refer-
red to as G.P., this artist/evangelist be-
comes the antithesis to Clegg, and pro-
vides Miranda with the strength she
needs to both live and die. Without his
influence, the passages concerning her
seem empty and often lack conviction.
The Collector will anger and annoy
you. It is a powerful first novel, both com-
pelling and depressing. As a provocative
and frustrating analogy of modern so-
ciety, The Collector deserves and demands
careful thought. -HughHolland
Rossini: The Barber of Seville, Victoria de
Los Angeles, Luigi Alva, Sesta Bruscan-
tini, Carlo Cava, Ian Wallace. Glynde-
bourne Festival Chorus and the Royal
Philharmonic Orchestra, Vittorio Gui,
- conducting. Angel CL-3638. Monaural
$14.95.
"AMONG all the operatic works of the
19th century it may be asserted with
certainty that Rossini's 'Barber of Seville'
is that which has most widely won the
favor of the whole world-an opera writ-

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Above, Blac figure Kylix,
Attica, 550-530 B.C.

Left, Geometric bowl with
wishbone handle, Cyprus,
1100-88 B.C., right, Geomet-
ric oinochoe, Cyprus, 110-
800 B.C.

Page Four

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