100%

Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Download this Issue

Share

Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

This collection, digitized in collaboration with the Michigan Daily and the Board for Student Publications, contains materials that are protected by copyright law. Access to these materials is provided for non-profit educational and research purposes. If you use an item from this collection, it is your responsibility to consider the work's copyright status and obtain any required permission.

February 20, 1977 - Image 6

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1977-02-20
Note:
This is a tabloid page

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.



Page Two THE MICHIGAN DAILY SUNDAY MAGAZINE

February 24, 1977 February 20, 1977

THE MICHIGAN DAILY SUNDAY MAGAZINE

:otes . ..
When E. Y. 'Yip' Harburg abandoned his career as an electrical
engineer in New York City the depression was already barreling
Bwn good and hard on just about everybody in just about all walks
--4 life. But down the block from Yip lived a young Ira Gershwin
who saw the engineer's unemployment as a godsend. Now's the
time to concentrate on your writing, he told Yip. He heeded Ger-
shwin's advice and before long had penned the lyrics to the song
that became synonomous with the era he began his writing in-
"Brother Can You Spare A Dime." But the lyrics to April in Paris,
The Wizard of Oz and Finian's Rainbow belong to Yip as well, and
there's at least one person in Ann Arbor who won't forget the
words to any one of those songs. That's Ernie Harburg, Yip's son.
Co-editor Ann Marie Lipinski recently spoke with the younger
Harburg, a University psychology professor, and found out what
life was like with the venerable Yip-see next week's Magazine.

sunday
magazine
CO-EDITORS-
Susan Ades
Elaine Fletcher
BOOKS EDITOR-
Tom O'Connell Y
ADVERTISING-
Don Simpson
COVER PHOTO
courtesy of
Southern Africa
Liberation Committee

contents:
FEATURES
The Arb Murder: Why?
Bantu Schools .. .
DOWNTOWN SERIES .
HAPPENINGS . * *
BOOK REVIEW .

. . . 5
. .4
R *

. . ...

Sunday magazine

acrostic puzzle

-T 3 4 a 4t V 6 Q 7
K23 K24 52s L 26 1270 28
S 45 Rl . 47 E48 =I4 0 5
K 67 G 60 69 U70 G 71

8

V 1

S6E
k1 1
~13
S157

V 72

Y 2P53 Q 54
C -73 Y 74
G7 _ W 6O

By
STEPHEN
POZSGAI

J.

Lt. r

I

-711 MZI ~ - A Min ,14 I'd MI -1 -A

5 .~~
!J 13E Y i3~

14 141 I4~

!3 T 1S F l

aG

.--J-

-t- I - L _ -I, , 1

.. _

A. Sonnets From The
Portugese author .......
B. Vindicate; avenge ......
C. Crush; burden........
D. Chief breadstuff of
temperate climates ...
E. Rousseau's ideal
(2 words) ..............
F. Gynecocracy ............
G. One who makes
changes or is in
the vanguard ..........
H. Release; freedom.....
1. Random chance
(4 words).............
J. Margaret Atwood novel
The - (2 words) ..... .
K. A sharp, hard cheese
of pale color and
granular texture.....
L. Rub out ............ . ... .

29 41 59 102 14 145 175 183
3 25 110 120 162
55 60 73 119 129 144 178
10 168 118 184 100
35 48 80 85 104 111 177 193 137
146
47 53 84 125156 160 171 43 4
140
8 62 68 79 128 131 141 163 71
49 89 136 143 164 176 185 165 192
200
92 15 150 27 69 159 167 117 23
77 86 103 191
2 105 34 138 148 158 130 121 198
95 188
24 67 114 151 76 135
5 12 26 33 39 63 93 166 194

M. Once known as the
Gold Coast ............
N. "It's -," movie
pan (2 words) .........
0. - of yore; formerly
(3 words) ..............
P. Maiden; initial.......
Q. Temporary stay .........
R. Office boy, often,
among clerical
staff (2 words) ........

32 142 154 195 199
11 180 189 106 196
97 78 20 14 50 123 87 28 153
58 65 96 83 126
7 101 181 107 152 54 99

INSTRUCTIONS
Guess the words defined at the
left and write them in over their
numbered dashes. Then, trans-
fer each letter to the corres-
pondingly numbered square in
the pattern. The filled pattern
will contain a quotation reading
from left to right with the black
squares indicating word end-
ings. Meanwhile, the first let-
ters of the guessed words will
form an acrostic, giving the
author's name and title of the
work the quote is extracted
from.

WelL
SIMONE WEIL: A LIFE
By Simone Petrement
Pantheon,577 pp., $5
By CYNTHIA HILL
(IGLUMNIST George Will des-
cribed Simone Weil as "a fa-
natic in search of a mania; a
nuisance and worry to those
around her."
"How could someone so learn-
ed, and so determined to be vir-
tuous, behave with such futil-
ity?" he asked.
Weil, whose 34-year life of in-
defatigable political involvement
ended in 1943 with her voluntary
starvation, had her own answer:
"There are things that I would
not be able to say if I had not
done these things." In death as
well as life she had the last
word: her works as a writer and
a philosopher have survived,
and far outweigh in importance
the seemingly silly gestures of
her life.
Weil was a woman who defied
categorization, and perhaps that
is why scholars and historians,
both inveterate catgorizers,
have felt uncomfortable with
her. "Philosopher", "political
activist", "mystic" and "writ-
er" have all been the inadequate
epithets attached to her life.
Yet pigeonholing dies hard
with those accustomed to sim-
ple yes-no, true-false categori-
zations of life. George Will dis-
misses Weil as a fanatic, while
Simone Petrement, her friend
and author of her latest biogra-
phy, Simone Veil: A Life, ex-
cuses her as a saint.
-ETREMENTS BOOK, all 577
pages of it, is a commend-
able effort, but it is more ex-
haustive than thorough. Petre-
ment patiently explores notes to
the family, labor letters, and
laundry lists - but with more
awe than insight. hero worship
is a luxury that only the best
biographers can afford. Rather
than the necesary subjectivity of
an in-depth character explora-
tion, Petrements sticks to safe
ground and we get the flat, two-
dimensional objectivity of a fan.
What the work ultimately serves
as, is a series of candid snap-
shots when we could use the re-
lentless zoom-in focus of a mo-
vie camera close-up.
It is ironic that despite Petre-
ment's obvious adoration of her
subject, her prose often as-
sumes a chatty intimacy, al-
most as if she were trying to
make Weil appear to be the
girl-next-door. She is quick to
dismis, excuse, contradict, con-
done or gloss over Weil's faults
before she's adequately viewed
them. Sometimes her commen-
tary so obviously belies the facts
she describes that the effect
becomes ludicrous. Did Petre-
ment really listen to herself
when she wrote these lines?
But even in these circum-
stances she did not forget
men's misfortunes and her de-
sire to share them. On the
beach at Villaneuva she said
to Patri: "It is quite possible
that one day we will be tor-
tured; so we should prepare
ourselves for it. Do you want
to drive some pins under my
nails?"
SHE CONTRADICTIONS in
Weil and in her life are too
deep-seated to be written off un-
der the excuse of her presumed
sainthood. Petrement tries aw-
fully hard to wow her readers
with the sort of anecdotes that
can be explained much more di-

rectly as masochism or guilt.

Even as a child Simone did
not like to eat and touch certain
things because of what she
termed their "disgustingness."
In her later years she consid-
ered eating at all to be base and
repulsive. Why, then, does Pet-
rement repeatedly attribute
Weil's voluntary starvation only
to noble motives?
Her fixation with poverty hurt
and often embarrassed her fam-
ily and friends: she insisted on
paving her parents for meals
while visiting them, and, as a
guest, she inconvenienced her
hosts by refusing to sleep on
anything but the floor.
Even a sympathetic witness,
the noted historian Gustave Thi-
bon, who was a friend of Weil's
comments:
Finding our modest house too
comfortable, she refused the
room I was offering her and
wanted at all costs to sleep
out of doors. Then it was I-
who became vexed, and after
long discussions she ended by
giving way. The next day a
compromise was reached. At
that time my wife's parents
had a little half-ruined house
on the banks of the Rhone and
we settled her in there, not
without a few complications
for everyone. It would all have
been so much simpler other-
wise!
INDEED, HER self-abnegation
often exceeded the limits of
mere inconvenience. Sometimes
it literally endangered the lives
of those around her. During the
Spanish Civil War, she insisted
on partaking in expeditions she
had no qualifications for:
... this group . . . decided to
cross the Ebro in a boat so as
to burnrthree enemy corpses
that were lying on the right
bank. On this bank, a Franco
column was in the vicinity.
The leaders who commanded
the group at first did not want
to take Simone with them.
They had noticed her clumsi-
ness (during target practice,
her comrades had avoided
walking anywhere near her
rifle's line of fire). In the opin-
ion of these leaders, her short-
sightedness was a defect that
automatically eliminated her.
But she protested, got angry,
insisting so much that they
ended by taking her along.
This is the mission which
Weil, who had been a dedicated
pacifist a short time before, was
to write about in a letter: "Sud-
denly I realize that we are on a
mission. ... Then I'm very ex-
cited (I don't know how useful
all this is, and I know that if
you are captured, you're shot.)"

The

myth.
By refusing to offer anything
but the most benign and fatuous
interpretation of these events,
Petrement forces the readers to
their own inevitable interpreta-
tion: Weil was a pushy, offic-
ios, obnoxious woman totally
indifferent to anything but her
own concept of heroism.
Petrement attempts to per-
suade us of Weil's innate great-
ness without ever exploring her
darker side (as if its truths
were too terrible to explain) and
that is where she is wrong. For

Simone Weil

VS,

reali

ing. She at last provides us with
a personalized view of Well. It
is a portrait of Weil which only
a friend could have described.
And Weil abruptly emerges as
something more than a queer
enigma, when Petrement des-
cribes her as an oddly medieval
saint in sandals and homespun.
What struck me most of all
at this meeting was a gentle-
ness and serenity that I had
never known in her to this ex-
tent. She could still become
indignant, but so much less
than before. With a more ten-
der, wiser goodness she had
become a person whose com-
pany was, more than ever,
extremely charming.
PUT IF THESE chapters are
a success, it is also largely
due to the captured-time lyri-
cism of Thibon, whose own ob-
servations on Weil, Petrement
quotes extensively. Thibon's vi-
sion of Weil takes the reader
completely by surprise, .for
where Petrement has given us
fragments of Weil's character,
Thibon gives us a concrete pic-
ture.
I don't want to talk about her
physical appearance-she was
not ugly, as has been said, but
prematurely bent and old
looking due to asceticism and
illness, and her magnificent
eyes alone triumphed in this
shipwreck of beauty. Nor will
I dwell on the way she was
outfitted and her incredible
baggage-she had a superb
ignorance not only as to the
canons of elegance but extend-
ing to the most elementary
practices that enable a person
to pass unnoticed. I will mere-
ly say that this first contact
aroused feelings in me which,
though certainly quite differ-
ent from antipathy, were
nonetheless painful. I had the
impression of being face to
face with an individual who
was radically foreign to all
my ways of feeling and think-
ing and to all that, for me, re-
presents the meaning and sa-
vor of life . . .
The quotations, incidentally,
are borrowed from Thibon's own
biography Simone Weil As We
Knew Her.
QIMONE WEIL: A Life makes
difficult reading. Weil's
thoughts are often profound, oc-
casionally obscure, and some-
times hard to absorb. Weil's
writing was as graceless as her
body, and much of the reader's
time is spent unravelling wind-
ing sentences.
Petrement moreover, tends to
exacerbate rather than amelior-

ate this pr
no doubt.
all to eat
most of th
being sub
in this spI
lated that
not to eat
people we
inaccurate
more luci
Whateve
book, it's
Its subjec
its appeal
ing charac
under-stud
twentieth
Even in
production
is impres
and beaut
almost str
wreckage.
So does V
exhaustive
grade sc
Petrement
phrases lib
a bird - o
pigeons:
It is nec
save ones
oneself, o
inanity is
is the ac
refusal to
oneself, a
suffering
tary suffe
poured o
saint haf
being tha
from the
Many of
have nev
some hav
lished. I I
off these
and somet
a more le
And I ir
to theme fo

S. Extemporaneous;
ad lib (3 words)

13 122 44 46 82 112 19 94
170l 45 51 116 18 61 161 182 56
190

T. Arrogant;
presumptious.......
U. Float; large
collection ............
V. Equal pay for equal
work (2 words) .....
W. Sir Walter Scott
novel.............
X. Short-horned
grasshopper........
Y. Super-relaxed
Colloq) (4 words)

42 1 133 172 17 113
31 37 70 40

36 57 147 52

6 72 134 174

Answer to Last Week's Puzzle
Time and again over the current
century, a remarkable pattern
of discovery has repeated itself.
A lucky guess based on shaky
arguments and absurd ad hoc
21 assumptions gives a formula that
turns out to be right, though
197 at first no one can see why on
earth it should (be).
Robert H. March from "Phy-
sics for Poets."

it is this shadow that may have
propelled Weil into sainthood-
if she is, indeed, a saint.
jETREMENT PROCEEDS as
if sainthood were not an evo-
lutionary process, but a quality
one is born with, rather like Cal-
vin's elect. If we are to accept
this explanation of genius, we
negate the purpose of a biogra-
phy: to chronicle the exception-
al as an example, not to provide
fan-magazine anecdotesor sate
the merely curious with back-
stairs gossip.
Fortunately, not all of Petre-
ment's analysis is this faulty.
The biographer performs admir-
ably in the chapter "Encounter
with Alain", which describes
We-il's relationship with one
early mentor. Here Petrement
folows Weil's development and
its origin in Alain's teaching,
with remarkable detail and clar-
ity. It becomes apparent that
Petrement has, in many ways,
a forceful intelligence of her
own, when she chooses to use it.
She is capable of depth and in-
sight; for example, when she
explains the often tenuous dis-
tinction between psychosis and
sainthood.
The final chapters of Petre-
ment's work also prove satisfy-

186 157 81 90 22 115 169

Cindy
editor.

,J

88 109 91179 66 9
139 98 124 16 64 30 38 75 173

155 149

127 187 132 74

s
N

KEEP IN MIND WE/~
R-A'VE A LOT OF
APfLc-AN T.5 FOR THE j
POS fT ION. L UT'5
H1AVE A 1-0()K AT YOIX,
i { 3 f

_rc 1

J1 j

b
I
I
I
I

Buy 1Super Salad-GET 1 FREE
Good: Monday thru Wednesday
Feb. 21, 22,123

-COUPON-

2 for 1 Special

o - - - m m - - - - m o - o - m - o _-

-COUPON-

F
FEE
T -
Fl
K :
0.,;

r r

,,N,
'W\4
('Ni:-3>

I

QON'r ';6T
y / -T f 3

U
I
I

NOT AVAILABLE FOR CARRY OUT
GOOD AFTER 3 P.M. ONLY
Longevity Cookery.
314 E. Liberty I
Ann Arbor, Mich.
1 313) 662-2Q 19
GOURMET NATURAL FOOD RESTAURANT
$ - m - m -o -- -

Back to Top

© 2020 Regents of the University of Michigan