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February 01, 1976 - Image 4

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1976-02-01

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poge Four

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Sunday, February 1, 1 976

?age Four THE MICHIGAN DAILY Sunday, February 1, 1976

BOO
George Sand: The mystery still unsolved x tn.

KS

Watching TV again tonight?
Look at CHANGIN' CHANNELS
- SEE PAGE 3 IN SATURDAY'S PAPER -

GEORGE SAND, A Biogra-
phy by Curtis Cate. Houghteni
Mufflin Co., 1975. 812 pp., $17.50i
By CINDY HILL
AT AUTHORESS G e o r g e E
Sand's death in 1876, her
daughter commented, "Bien
malin celui qui debrouillera ma1
mere." (It will be a shrewd
person who unravels my moth-1
er.)
Curtis Cate is not the man1
who does it. His latest biogra-
phy George Sand (he also au-+
thored Antoine de St. Exupery:l
His Life and Times) is thorough
and flawless in detail, but it
falls short of providing the in-
sight for his 30-page preface!
promises.
Sand is almost an unknown1
figure today, but her writing
dominated the 19th century1
romantic movement - surpass-
ing even Victor Hugo, Honore
de Balzac and Alexander Du-
mas in public acclaim.
Her name has filtered down
to us today for her less remark-
able characteristics: she smok-
ed cigars, occasionally wore
men's clothes, and was the lov-
er (some writers have said;
nemesis) of Chopin, Musset,
Sandeau and a host of others.
CATE'S BIOGRAPHY of her+
extraordinary life hit the1
bookstores at an opportune1
time. The BBC series on Sand, +
"Notorious Woman," had no
sooner ended than the Christ-
mas rush began. By News
Year's, Ann Arbor's copies of
the work had vanished.
Although Sand acquired a vi-,
cious images after her death,
as a vamp who lured men to
their destruction, the women's
movement has recently lionized
her as a social revolutionary.
This, like the Sand of "Notori-
ous Woman," is much too sim-,
ple a portrait.
Sand, in her day, was alter-
nately labeled chaste and pro-
miscuous, brazen and timid,
mannish and feminine, cold-
hearted and loving. While her
novels suggested a need for a
moral freedom for women, she
publicly reaffirmed the sanc-
tity of marriage. Her own mar-
riage was an unqualified disas-
ter, and she was incapable of+
sustaining a relationship with
her lovers.
While she preached a radical
(for the time), communism, she I
kept tenants on her Nohant es-
tate as well as servants.
While she preached the de-I
mocracy of love, she was
class-conscious in arranging
the marriages of her children
and friends.
CATE MERELY presentsI
these conflicts, he makes
no attempt to resolve them.
This flaw becomes critical
when Cate refuses to analyze
h e r oxymoronic repellent
charm.

Balzac, who knew Sand since and their sexuality would have
her earliest days as a writer, withstood the scrutiny of thist
said, "She isn't amiable, and century, or whether it was a
consequently she will find it product of the Victorian era, is
hard to be loved . . . All in all, a question Cate never really
she's a man, all the more for explores.
wanting to be one . . . A wo- (Cate's own biases become'
man attracts, she repels." Cate'all apparents when he refers
contrasts this with a fatuous, ;to Sand's son "sobbing like a
Victorian a fanletter from the girl.")
painter Charpentier on his first
visit to Nohant. Does Cate be- N HIS PREFACE, Cate con-
lieve the two quotes can be 1 fronts the legend that Sand
weighed equally? destroyed the artists she lov-
Sand's ed. He claims the situation was
Gate often excuses Sadsthe revre h eieaey
faults and only apologetically sth meverse:She deliberately
explains them. For example, sought men she could "s┬žave,"
waning friendships suffer crue, taking the role of a Mater Do-
vivisection in her novels. lorosa. Cate scoffs at the idea,
however, that Sand may have
"The Vicomtesse de Chailly been masochistic. Unfortunate-
had never had much wit, but ly, this idea is never developedI
she was determined to have in the main work, either.
some and make people believe To what extent Sand used her
it," she wrote in Horace. The talen for social reform on one
character was a thinly veiled
Marie d'Agoult, Liszt's former
lover. Chopin and Solange Du-
devant, Sand'sdaughter, fared K eep ing
no better in her works. K e p n

"Is this a woman?" Chopin century Victorian. 1
inquired after their first meet- The comments Cate cites to t
ing. "I think not." Yet Alfred buttress his argument are ques-|+
de Musset called her the tionable. Sand sought an ideal
"most womanly woman I have love, and often intended to keep
ever known." Elizabeth Bar- it "pure" through a tortuous,:
rett Browning caught a bit of self - imposed chastity. Fre-;
this when she called Sand "a quently she worried that the
large - brained woman and a energy of love making would
large-hearted man." overwhelm her lovers. Whether
her attitudes towards woman ! .

4

hand and for ego-reinforcement
on the other is another point
Cate does not discuss.
Her politics were naive, her
writing about her politics; didac-
tic and dull. She was shame-
fully exploited by radical poli-
ticians who collected the money
her furious writing earned. Af-
ter her communistic utopia
was not realized in the Revolu-
tion of 1848, she made an ig-
nominous retreat from politics.
While we cannot doubt the sin-
cerity of her statements, we
can doubt the depth of thought
behind them - especially since
most were feverishly completed
one pen stroke ahead of her
creditors.
George Sand would have
benefited by a little less re-
search and a lot more insight.
While scrupuolous in its minu-
tae, Cate often strained out the

proverbial giant and swallow-
ed the camel. His thorough
chronicling of Sand's life is in-
teresting for the questions that
arise from the material, not for
the questions that are answered
within it.
Cindyf Hill is The Daily's
former Execu/ive Editor.

Drawing of George Sand by Alfred de Musset

if clean: Stone on big business

tx4tgMn Dailp

iI

Feb. 3: ROLLO MAY

CATE, EXCEPT in his pref-
ace, never mentions this
vitriolic streak in her heroine.
Instead he suggests that Sand
was not consciously aware of.
the objects of her parodies. Is
it likely that a woman is keenly,
intelligent as Sand would be so
unaware of her real-life inspir-
ations?
Cate's opinions, when he does
air them, are often best left
unsaid: "There can be no doubt!
that George Sand, were she
alive today, would regard the
militant crusaders of Women's
Liberation as 'mentally de-
praved,"' Cate states repeated-:
ly.
There can be plenty of doubt.
George Sand's life was clearly
influenced by the times. She
was an intelligent woman, and
were she alive today she would
probably be more than a 20th

Psychologist, Psychotherapist
SPEAKING ON
"CHANGING VALUES
IN FUTURE SOCIETY"
Admission $1.00
In HILL AUDITORIUM
From 3-5 p.m. on Tues., Feb. 3
Sponsored by FUTURE WORLDS
UAC Ars Comedia Presents
The Time of Your Life
An original adaptation
of four one-act comedies
Feb., 19 & 22-Mendelssohn
Tickets on sale Feb. 5, Hill Aud.
For more info: 763-1107
Join The Daily Staff

By JACK HIBBARD
WHERE THE LAW ENDS;
Social Control of Corporate
Behavior by Christopher D.
Stone. Harper and Row, $12.95.
CHRISTOPHER D. STONE is
at least a pioneer in legal
thinking. He has taken on the
task of giving, full examination
to the super-structures which we
know as the corporate monolith
and the legal system. In fact
Stone's analysis in Where the
Law Ends goestmuch farther as
it sinks its teeth into business
morality and ethics. What is
more striking is that Stone's
treatment of these subjects is
penetrating, detailed, and fairly
complete.
The essence of the work is
the postulate that the corpora-
tion is "an actor" under the ex-
isting legal system, and as such
it has been the subject of vari-
ous inadequate sanctions. His-
torical trends are offered by
Stone as evidence for the roles
which the coporation fits.
lDuring the development of
trade guilds, such precorporate
entities were used mainly as
landholders and as such were
treated as an individual by the
law. This characterization of the
collective business form as "an
individual" began to cause ser-
ious social difficulty with the
advent of the industrial revolu-
tion. The injuries caused by
joint business forms were be-
ginning to have serious impli-
cations for workers, customers

theres
thni
classifed

to stem out of the same ten-
dencies to allow a group to de-
cide the best social interests.
However, the tools for change
are cobwebbed Victorian struc-
tures, while space-age damage
is being done to large groups
of people all day long. There is
no real redress against a cor-
poration or a jury under our
present legal system. The tech-
nology h a s obliterated t h e
checks and balances which our
system supposedly treasures so
dearly.
THE LAW IS made and en-
forced to protect people, and
it vainly attempts to be fair
. and to reduce harm. In the
case of the corporation, how-
ever, what is done is usually
token punishment of socializa-
tion of redress. The executives
who, make the decisions to do
'x' or 'y' with different side
effects and costs usually do not
fear the law. The law has failed
to be the conscience of the corn-
uany; it has given us a set of
vague laws which are extreme-
ly difficult to enforce and there
is no true appreciation of legal
jeopardy by the big exec's who
run the corporate show.
With historical and contempo-
rary perspectives out of the
way, Stone attempts to remedy
this troubled arena of behavior.
His basic format includes inter-
nalizing the conscience. If the
law has not brought corporate
ter Stone behavior into line, then there
e Stshould be set up within the
monolith a little man with a
both systems. He begins by at- superego to tap the innocent
tempting to find an analogy of violator on the shoulder.
the corporate decision-making Stone suggests that perhaps
process in the law. The jury the best place for the conscience
process is used to illustrate the is on the board of directors in
objectives, performance a n d order to impact corporate be-
function of a corporation. He havior directly. This idea also
spells out nine role characer- has the feature of not adding
istics of a jury and attempts to any new faces to the already
fit this shell over the business billowing bureaucracy. T h e
operations of our present day exact nature of this beast is
executives. There are votes, not clear but "general" direc-
limited information and decision tors are usually financiers, and
makers, qualifications for the when a public board is estab-

I

INTRODUCTION TO
KUNDALINI YOGA
as taught by
Swami Rudrananda
and
Michael Shoemaker
Beainners' Classes Every
MWF at 5:30 p.m.
RUDRANANDA ASHRAM
640 Oxford, 995-5483

11-

S

r

Christoph

i

NEW MINI-COURSE
THE STRUGGLE
FOR ANGOLA.
1 CREDIT, PASS/FAIL
BEGINS MONDAY 2 FEBRUARY
Reqister: Political Science Department, 5601 Haven Hall

and innocent third parties.
The legal system adapted by
shifting as little blame as it:
could on the "corporation's
shoulders." In other words, the
law responded to a social ill by.
holding the individual as work-
er, etc. to be the one to repair
the bulk of the damage.
('ERTAINLY there are work-,
man's compensation laws,
but they were fought for tooth
and nail by the early laborI
movement. But certainly Stone,
is telling us nothing new whenI
he says that the legal system
listens predominantly to those
with invested capital. Legal re-
form for the "little guy" has
been a gallant battle, as Ralpha
Nader would testify.
After laying out the historical
construct in some detail with
examples of dreadful mistreat-
ment of the common man by
"his" boss r ' his" legal sys-
tem, Stone proceeds to examineI

roles and participation, and in
both there is an authoritative
decisional framework.
In addition, the corporation
takes on the characteristics of
being immortal and laced with
inertia. Finally, Stone concludes
that the decisions of a corpora-
tion do not coincide with those
of any one person nor an ag-
gregate sum of decisions of the
makers as a group.
Basically, the need for jury
and corporate reform is shown

I

., , ,.-

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AN
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FOR OUR
FRIENDS AND PATRONS
ON
SUNDAY, FEB. 1ST
from 12-5 p.m.
-REFRESHMENTS SERVED-
* Zef'' iwc 6 - *. 995-fc$1

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Mon.-Sat. 7-9 Sun. 10-8
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DINERS CLUB and MASTER CHARGE
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lished it usually functions poor-
ly (ala the Union Pacific
disaster).
THE INFILTRATING director
should supposedly be govern-
ment-appointed with the exper-
tise which now exists in the
regulatory bodies. These agen-
cies are nothing more than con-
glomerates themselves w i t h
vested financial interests. Stone
believes that financial disinter-
est is also necessary to cleanse
the behavior of a responsible
board member. There are other
checks which can be employed
to supplementthe "do-gooder"
on the board, the best of which
is a probation officer paying
visits to a violating industry
with temporary injunctions as
valuable tools.
The line to be examined in
Stone's analysis r e s t s some-
where between Woodrow Wil-
son's statement "You cannot
punish corporations" and the
suggestion of making the pun-
ishment fit the crime by hand-
ing out stiff jail sentences to
"misguided" d ir e c t o r s. The
mood in America is swinging
toward jail, especially after the
fiasco which resulted in Nixon's
pardon.
However, with proper state
supervision, corporate behavior
can be more closely monitored
from within, and Stone's use of
legal subversion, if implemented
nrnnorl,, itn n rt.CnlyPtyc

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