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May 15, 1970 - Image 5

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1970-05-15

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Friday, May 15, 1970

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Page Five

Poac Five

Getting along

Friends and stones

Barbara Hepworth, A PIC-
TORIAL AUTOBIOGRAPHY,
Praeger, $12.50.
By SEWALL OERTLING
I find it annoying to be con-
fronted by a grey-haired grand-
mother leaning on a cane with
the weight of sixty years, who
raises twenty-foot high monu-
ments in marble and bronze.
Dame,Hepworth would be pleas-
ed. This autobiography' is a vis-
ual record of her life. Some 300
photographs which she assem-
bled and edited are, strung on
a thin ten pages of text. The
quiet, naked way she leads us
through her life and work elicits
mixed reactions. For instance,
her work is obviously related
stylistically to Henry Moore,
five years her senior and long a
close friend. There is a photo-
graph here of Moore at work,
but no comment on the inter-
relation of their sculpture. And
Brancusi-how did he impress
you, Miss Hepworth?

However, the book in its total-
ity denies the implications. of
questions such as these. I feel
that this is the reason the au-
thor selected some poor photo-
graphs of her cats: just to say
see had a cat, the kind of cat
that appears, in poor photo-
graphs. She is saying that Henry
Moore was more than an in-
fluence, he was a friend, and
so as important as the unknown
shopkeeper who sold her files in
St. Ives, in Cornwall. At the end
of the book, one will feel that
one has come quite close to a
woman; one will know it because
there will be no handy adjective
to describe her. Is she sensitive,
searching, passionate? Obsessed
with her work? Not quite. Not
entirely. She has let you meet
her and know her on the terms
that you know the person you
love, as a combination of too
many things to fit a label.
As for the sculpture of Miss
Hepworth, it nevel' achieves the
structural complexity of Henry
Moore's work nor the spiritual

enigma of Brancusi's. Even in
the most abstract examples, it
remains strongly evocative of
human or natural imagery, as
the artist herself admits. Two
of the themes she has dealt with
all through her career are the
figure in the landscape and the
mother and child. In the first
category, she is unimpressive.
The latter works comprise ef-
fective images of the interde-
pendency of two separate ele-
ments. Technically they are ex-
cellent solutions to design prob-
lems and are impressive in their
variety of structural form and
manipulation of surface texturet
There can be found more than
a suggestion of the traditional
ceramic aesthetic, in which the
pot, or in this case sculpture, de-
mands that the interior indicate
some idea of the exterior and
vice-versa.
In the third category, images
from nature, the artist is seen
at her best. Miss Hepworth's
photographs of the English
countryside give some indica-
tion of their origin. The patterns
and massive shapes of the land-
scapes in Cornwall are combined
with the timeless dignity of the
ebb and flow of tides and sea-
sons. Their contours are un-
hurried and their rhythms pon-
derous. She leaves the single
moment without comment. With
no hint of nature's transitory
moods, she conjures up the
movement that lies beneath
both violence and lyricism.
I might leave you with a
quote, a rather interesting con-
temporary statement of aesthe-
tic method. The scene finds
Dame Hepworth returning to
Yorkshire, her childhood home,
to accept an honor. "I realized,".
she says, "that it was only by
breaking away from the rigours
and darkness of the North that
I could really give praise to the
Yorkshire background which
raised me and trained me."

If you are male, between the
ages of eighteen and thirty-five,
a book that may well save your
life is IV-F, A Guide to Draft
Exemption, by David Suttler
(Grove Press paperback, $1.50).
Mr. Suttler offers no less than
a complete compendium of all
possible medical, moral, and
psychiatric maladies considered
by the Surgeon General of the
Department of the Army to be
sufficient grounds for IV-F ex-
emption from military service.
The medical list alone is en-
couraging, for many maladies
that a young man may not
dream worthy of that lovely Re-
jection Notice are related: vari-
cose veins in the testicles,
chronic eczema, warts on the
soles of feet, obscene tattoos,
benign tumors, hardening of
penile tissue, severe ingrown
t o e n a i 1 s, and hemorrhoids.
After examining the official list
and finding himself medically
sound, a male can always delete
the distil phalanx of his ring
finger (the index and middle
finger are too valuable to do
away with) and thus win ex-
emption.
Mr. Suttler includes a chapter
on the pre-induction physical,
on appeals, discharges, and pen-
sions (or how to fight it even
after induction), and offers
samples of all printed forms
and questionnaires that would
have to be handled in any con-
frontation w i t h the Selective
Service System. This book may
be especially helpful to those
seeking other patterns of ex-
emption (e.g. academia or de-
fense jobs); a lopped-off distil
phalanx may save one not only
from the Merchants or Death
but from five years of graduate
school as well.
Another Grove Press paper-
back, The Bust Book ($1.25),
offers advice on where to stash
it, what to do when the stash is
discovered by the Authorities,
how to conduct oneself when
confronted with police ploys,
how to use or not use bail, and
how to makerthe best of a trial,
if it comes to that. Written by
four students, including Weath-
erwoman K a t h y Boudin, The
Bust Book offers some very
practical suggestions, such as:
don't sign police statements, be-
cause "confessions" are often
added later by the Authorities.
An appendix, with descriptions
of the bust scene in Boston,
Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles,
New Jersey, and San Francisco
is offered.
Women seeking a d v i c e on
contraception, fertility, abortion'
hirsutism, and venereal diseases
may f i n d concise answers in
Woman's Choice, written dryly
by Robert Glass, M.D. and Na-
than Kases, M.D. (Basic Books,
$5.95). The information pre-
sented is concise (the text runs
only 138 pages) and rather con-
servative - alleged dangers of
the pill are referred to briefly,
and given scant credence. The
chapter on abortion rates only
seven pages, discussing medical
techniques (no home remedies)
and psychological effects. An
A n n Lander-ish section on
"Questions Women Ask" closes
the book, e.g. "Tell me Doctor,
what can I do about blocked.
Fallopian tubes?" Planned Par-
enthood, which goes unmen-
tioned here, will answer most of
these questions with no charge
and in a more personal manner.
Women with menses and fac-
ial hair under control, but sup-
porting a student husband and-
or lover, may pick up a few or-
ganizational and f i n a n c i a

pointers, if not sympathy, from
Barbara Debrodt's How To Put
Your Husband Through College
(Harper and Row, $5.95. Mrs.
Debrodt's specific suggestions
are heavily padded with book-
shelf plans, card-game rules,
and such helpful suggestions as:
"After you have planned your
room, decided the effect you and
your husband want, listed the
uses of the room and the items
to be stored there, you can pick
up the second free tool of the
decorator. Imagination." Few
mothers will want to follow the
author's pediatric advice: if the
baby cries a lot when going to
sleep, and you live in a small
apartment, "put the baby .
into a large closet (testing the
ai ri supply first, of course)."
Mrs. Debrodt does not reveal
how one tests the air supply of
a closet.
When the grocery bill world
overwhelms and the lure of
wilderness calls, a valuable
book to pack would be The Art
and Science of Taking to the
Woods, by C. B. Colby and Brad-
ford Angier (Stackpole, $7.95).
Where Debrodt pads, Colby and
Angier offer nothing but spe-
cific and practical suggestions
on tools (bought and h a nd-
made), tents, fires, cooking,
sanitation, emergencies, hiking
(without getting lost), pests,
first-aid, on-the-spot equipment
repairs, and many other topics.
In a large format, the book is
usefully illustrated (e.g. how to
use fallen trees to make a shel-
ter), and people who know bet-
ter than I have told me that
The Art and Science of Taking
to the Woods is one of the best
of its kind.
Virginia Scully's A Treasury
of American Indian Herbs
(Crown, $6.95) is another useful
compendium that woods-lovers
will no doubt find fascinating.
Mrs. Scully discusses the weeds,
herbs, plants, and berry bushes
that were known and used by
American Indians, especially
those of the Rocky Mountain
areas; she not only describes
them (in alphabetical order) but
also relates their history and
lore. Small woodcuts illustrate
the entries, but they are not
really specific enough to be truly
dependable.
In the second section of the
book, Mrs. Scully lists, again
alphabetically, a n enormous
range of diseases and ailments,
with the Indian herbal remedies
that were once used for them.
We, learn that pennyroyal re-
vived a fainted Indian, that
yucca chewed served as a lax-
ative while its bulbs were anti-
septic for ulcers, that ingested
ferns expelled tapeworms, that
a brew of sumac berries was
esteemed as an anti-syphilitic,
that nettle juice stopped hem-
orrhage, that fresh marigold
leaves when ingested cured
* stomach-ache, and that a decoc-
tion of blackberry root provided
a fine eye-wash,
At times, Mrs. Scully is ex-
ceedingly simplistic; for exam-
ple, she comments of peyote
(listed under narcotics) that it
"plunged the taker deeply into
a languorous world of swirling
colors and sensuously exquisite
hallucinations." Under other en-
tries, such as "birth control,"
she is more extensive: "When a
baby is a month old, a trench is
filled with warm ashes and the
mother lies down in them, re-
laxing and drinking a tea made
of wild geranium. By doing so
... she will be safe from preg-
nancy until the baby's first
birthday."
-R. A. P.

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R. 17. Cassil. editor, INTRO
No. 2, McCall, $6.95, Bantam
Paperback, $1.25.
By JIM PETERS
Drawn from the critical eyes
of some twenty-odd coll ge Eng-
lish departments where what is
"good" is first debated, this
grouping of short stories and
poms strives to be "the an-
nual collection of the best col-
lege writing in America." And
here it fails; for, while the
authors presented are skillful
interpreters of their art, both
in terms of content and style,
the anthology is hardly repre-
sentative of what college writers
are into.
Editor R. V. Cassill's "Let It
Be" attitude has shaped an an-
thology for the fearful middle-
class whom he soothes with his
introduction: "But just as sure-
ly. their wit, compassion and
eloquence, invested in these
poems and stories, mean that
we need not tremble in the face
of a blank and featureless dis-
aster because the walls of our
institutions are trembling. These
people and the generation from
which they speak say much
about the continuities of
their lives and how steadily the
imagination responds to the
weathers of changing seasons."
Even attempting some broad
metaphorical interpretation of
any one of the stories, a reader
cannot find more than indi-
viduals caught in their own self-
perpetuating games, games to
which the authors themselves
seem blind. Such ennui belongs
more to the Fifties than to the
present. For are the combatants
in Betty James' "A Winter's
Tale" doing anything about
their mutual alienation, tangled
in the author's gothic purpose?
Even the little dog, who seems
to know exactly what's going on,
resorts to his supper for escape.
All the stories here cling to
the mystery of the human in-
ability to change one's condi-
tion. Dean and Freida are con-
tent with glances and half car-
resses in David Rollow's exercise
in mental anguish. If the stories
here merely retell one another,
then "A Mirror of the Waves" by
William Crawford Woods illum-
inates the basic situation with
the most precision. The thesis:
We are all in some rambling ro-
mantic asylum and are not too
sure whether we want to seek
freedom. His careful descrip-
tion of Denise, the fragile Capri-
corn locked in the tower, gives
us the closest look at what real
change could be; the shotgun of
the guard, however, is as con-
vincing as any "words of wis-
dom" Mother Mary could ten-
der.
And even "Go On, Johnny,
Go On!" by U. of M. student

John Tot tenhat, portrays a
he]io looking for something to
do with hi freedom. Jealous
wives, jealous lovers. and con-
fused adolescents abound in
th se stories, moving around
and exercising their emotions.
Few achieve any realization of
what is happening; they go no-
where.
"Passage to the Day" by
Charles Dolson is the only sty-
listicall- adventuresome endeav-
or, but his temporal juxtaposi-
tioning only compounds the
fatalism of his characters, and
the smiling optimisim of the
close is the stuff of which easy
irony is made,
Turning to th - ory inlIn-
tro, one is it first startled at
its sensitivity and skill of °x-
pression. The craftmanship here
is tight. the images direct, and
the insight remarkable. But
only rarely does a poet aspire to
more than uninvolved observa-
tion: "Scientist of poetry/
they're burning Newark! and
when she went away I turned
in my sleep and the deepest
synapse of my brain sparked
and broke." "The Last Ameri-
can Dream," Hugh Seidman).
The times of trouble are noted,
but again the inward turning,
the personal reflection indicates
no stand.
Of the five Michigan poets
published here, only Jeffrey
Stern's "Winter Wolves" and
"Accident" by Ken Fifer pre-
tend to give us news of the
universe, while Ronald Vroon's
subtle "Flying from Metro to
Chicago" itself expresses the
struggle between this awareness,
and egocentric perception.
Far more is happening in col-
leges and universities than one
sees in the pages of this year's
Intro; the range of political
means and goals, the changing
attitudes towards art, social jus-
tice, sexual and economic free-
doms,tand liberation from the
Protestant ethic are involving
people now and moving them
towards action, while the dog-
mas which motivate them are ,
still being formed.
Intro with its "wit, compas-
sion, and eloquence" is a safe
step back from youth culture,
where the role of art comes to
no more than consolidation. If
this anthology were truely rep-
resentative, it would strain our
patience, contradict, and incite,
but move ahead.
Today's writers . .
Jim Peters edited Genera-
tion. A painter and ship-
builder, Sewall Oertling is a
Teaching Fellow in the A r t
History Department, R. A. P.
edits the Daily Books Page.

urning away

ichard rautigans
_____-V . .

The New Book
by Paul R. Ehrlich
and Anne H. Ehrlich
The author(s) of the bestselling
paperback The Population Bomb
present the first comprehensive,
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"A superb book." -Preston Cloud
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Here are two poems
from the book:
Jules Verne Zucchini
M en are walking on the mooantoday,
planting their footsteps as if they were
zucchini on a dead world
while over 3,ooo,ooo people starve todeath
every year on a living one.
JMIj 20, 19b0
Critical Can Opener
Tere is something wrong
with this poem. Can you
"ind it?
Hardcover edition $4.95; Delta paperback.$1.95
wkt hoo.- - 4 S"it

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