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October 06, 1978 - Image 5

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1978-10-06

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The Michigan Daily-Friday, October 6, 1978-P

Yiddish novelist wins lit prize

Ann Arbor's Oldest And
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STOCKHOLM, Sweden (UPI) -
Isaac Bashevis Singer, the Polish-born
American author whose moving ac-
counts of Jewish life in Polish ghettos
brought "universal human conditions
to life," yesterday won the 1978 Nobel
Prize for Literature.
Singer, 74, a resident of New York
City, was a surprise choice for the
$164,775prize - the highest recognition
in the world of literature - edging out
oft-mentioned candidates such as
British novelist Graham Greene and
South African Nadine Gordimer.
SINGER WRITES all his books in
Yiddish and is considered by many to
be the greatest Yiddish writer of all
time.
Located in Miami where he- spends
part of each year, Singer said, "I didn't
write for prizes, but, if it comes it's
good. If it doesn't come, I would have
been writing anyhow. No writer writes
for prizes but it's good to be recognized.
"I expected nothing because I was
already 45-and no one knew me except
for a few Yiddish readers. If it came it
seems that this is destiny. If it would
not come, I would have made peace
with that, too" the writer added.

The Swedish Academy said it awar-
ded the prize to Singer "for his im-
passioned narrative art which, with
roots in Polish-Jewish cultural
tradition, brings universal human con-
ditions to life."
THE AWARDS are financed by the

States in 1935, becoming a citizen eight
years later.
He worked for many years at the
Jewish Daily Forward newspaper in
New York and labored in relative ob-
scurity until the 1950s when his short
stories and novels drew a devoted

I didn 't write for prizes, but if it comes it's
good ... I expected nothing because I was
already 45 and no one knew me except

holocaust.
His works in their original form had a
relatively limited audience. But they
became known widely through their
translation and publication in such
magazines as The New Yorker, Har-
per's and Commentary.
The Nobel Academpy, in announcing
the award, said the author's experien-
ces in. the Polish ghettos "set their
stamp on Singer as a man and a writer
and provide the ever-vivid subject mat-
ter for his inspiration and imagination. .
"IT IS THE world and life of East
European Jewry, such as it was lived in
cities and villages, in poverty and per-
secution, and imbued with sincere piety
and rites combined with blind faith and
superstition.
"Its language was' Yiddish - the
language of the simple people and of the
women, the language of the mother's,
which preserved fairytales and anec-
dotes, legends and memories for hun-
dreds of years past through a history
which seems to have left nothing un-
tried in the way of agony, passions,
aberrations, cruelty, and bestiality but
also of heroism, love and self-
sacrifice."

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for a few

Yiddish

seems this is destiny.

readers. If it came it
-Isaac Bashevis Singer

estate of Alfred Nobel, the 19th-century
inventor of dynamite.
Singer was born in Radzymin,
Poland, in 1904, the son and grandson of
rabbis. He received a traditional
Jewish education in his early years in
Warsaw and emigrated to the United

following.
HIS LATEST book, Shosha, published
in June, dealt with the son of a Polish
rabbi and his search for his childhood
sweetheart, a mentally retarded girl
from his hometown with whom he
returns to Europe to face the Nazi

.

Secrecy
eriticized
(Continued from Page 1)
the students at large," asserted Prof.
James Papsdorf, associate chairman of
the Psychology Department. "There is
goodmorale and a good feeling among
the faculty of this department, and
something like the release of this
information might jeopardize this
cooperative atmosphere."
Parent agrees that many professors
are uncertain about the evaluations and
their effects. "There's this great 'fear
factor' expressed by many professors
who don't realize that our involvement
won't affect their jobs," she said.
"Excuses for not having the
evaluations range from 'They're not
relevant' to 'Why should I do it if I don't
have to?' "
One professor said his refusal to have
his course evaluated rested on 'simple
principle. "I'm not against having them
as long as it's left up to the discretion of
"the professor," said Shaw Livermore, a
history professor and chairman of the
Senate Advisory Committee on
University Affairs. "I personally don't
want to have my classes evaluated, and
I want to be able to exercise my rights
in that regard."
SOME SCHOOLS, however, are very
icooperative in the student evaluation
process, and certain departments
routinely release such information to
students. The Political Science
department, which has devised its own
evaluation forms, releases the results
through its undergraduate student
asssociation, while the College of
Engineering keeps all evaluation
information on file for student perusal.
Other departments which formerly
').had no fixed policy concerning the
evaluations are beginning to consider
them .important means of keeping in
touch with the students. "We've just
recently discussed the possibility of
adopting such student forms," said
Frank Casa, chairman of the Romance
Languages Department. "Some
f professors may still refuse to use the
evaluations, but I think that this year
many may decide to adopt them."
The evaluation project has also
received support this year from the
office of the vice-president for
academic affairs, which has agreed to
share out-of-pocket expenses for its
initiation and development. But while
Vice-President Harold Shapiro says he
is supportive of the project, he is not
enthusiastic about having the results
released to students.
"THAT IS a very difficult problem,"
he stated. "I really have to say that that
decision must be left up to the
individual departments and
professors."
The success of course evaluation is
also hampered by a lack of student
Minterest. "Some students just don't give
a shit about it," said Jeff Coleman, an
MSA representative who has worked
extensively on the project. "We've got
MSA funds to help out the project, and
some people are working hard, but we
really don't have enough manpower to
I see it through."
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Tanter says Camp David pacts
lessen chance for Mideast war

'By STEVEN SHAER
Raymond Tanter, associate chairman
of the Political Science Department,
last night told 150 students-packed in
the Undergraduate Library's
Multipurpose Room-of the success of
the Camp David summit.
"Camp David reduces the 'prospect
for war because of the magic term
'diplomatic momentum,"' he said at
the start of his 90-minute talk, "A
diplomatic stalemate would provide the
context for war "
AFTER GIVING a brief history of the

Arab-Israeli conflict beginning with the
United Nations partition pldn of 1947
and ending with the Sadat peace
initiative in 1977, Tanter presented a
war scenario.
"The war scenario is improbable yet
it becomes much less probable due to
Camp David," Tanter said.
Responding to a question at the
conclusion of his talk, Tanter said the
West Bank settlements are not a major
issue. "I would like to see them down-
played in the press. The president has

politicized the settlements."
AS FOR THE Palestine Liberation
Organization (PLO) Tanter said, "The
PLO is the greatest single obstacle to
peace. The call for the destruction of
Israel does not allow for peace."

OAVE25
Christmas in October? 2 /
OFF

S'AVE
Christmas in Octoberl

The Ann Arbor Film Cooperative presents at MLB 3:
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 6
(Michel Schultz, 1975) COOLEY HIGH 7 only-MLB 3
The black AMERICAN GRAFFITI, a funny, clear-eyed re enactment of adolescent life on Chicago s Near
North Side in 1964. Features an excellent Motown soundtrack (The Supreme et at) and solid, lively per-
formances by Glynn Turman, Lawrence-Hilton Jacobs, Garrett Morris, and Cynthia Davis. "A superior
film. . . pulsates with the careless exuberance of youth and captivates with its characterizations and
indicents."-N.Y. TIMES
APIECE OF THE ACTION
(Sidney Poitier, 1977) 9 only-MLB 3
A comedy teaming of Sidney Poitier and Bill Cosby aswealthy thieves blackmailed by a retired cop
(lames Earl Jones) into helping some ghettolids straighten out at a community center. This film was ane
of the biggest money-makers for 1977-78, and the main dish of comedy with a side order of sociology
waswha'mole iwork. Tomorrow: WHICH WAY IS UP?

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