Page 2 - The Michigan Daily - Sunday, November 6, 1983
By JODY BECKER
When Carl Proffer first came to Ann
Arbor in 1957, it was to play on the
University's freshman basketball
He never made it to the varsity squad
but by the time he was a sophomore, it
didn't matter. Proffer had discovered
"I WAS PLAYING freshman ball and
for some reason I don't even remember
now, I enrolled in Russian I. Maybe it
was the funny alphabet," he recalls.
He's come a long way from first-year
Russian. Today Proffer, a Slavic
languages professor, operates the
world's foremost publishing house of
uncensored Russian literature.
Before coming to the University,
Proffer said he knew almost nothing
about Russia. "Reading Tolstoy and
Dostoyevsky just isn't something you
do in Bay City," he explains.
PROFFER GRADUATED in 1961
with a degree in Russian. He earned a
master's degree in Slavic language
literature from the university about a
year later and in 1963, became the first
University student to receive a Ph.D in
the same discipline.
It was while working on his master's
in Moscow through a University
program that Proffer first contracted
what he calls "Russian madness."
Proffer and his wife, Ellendea, met
the widow of Ossip Mandelstam, one of
Russia's premier poets. "She was a
remarkable person in all ways and
really turned the literature from
something academic to fire for us," he
remembers. "We met authors of
Russian classics who we thought were
PROFFER AND HIS wife brought
back "stacks of material" form that
initial trip to the Soviet Union. These
works were eventually compiled in the
Russian Literature Triquarterly which
Proffer founded in 1971.
It was not easy to get the materials
out of the country, according to Proffer.
"We did things illegal from almost the
first minute we were there," he says.
"Circumstances require it."
During the 1960s, Proffer taught at
Reed College in Oregon and later at the
University of Indiana. It wasn't until
1970 that he returned to Ann Arbor as
an assistant professor.
"WE REALLY TRY to bring in new
blood," explains Benjamin Stoltz,
chairman of the Slavic languages
department. "But Carl was the best
available at the time.'"
A year later, Proffer began
publishing the Triquarterly - an alter-
native to existing journals which Prof-
fer calls "extremely boring."
The Proffers have returned to the
Soviet Union a dozen times since their
first visit to acquire Russian literature
which they print and eventually sneak
back into Russia.
"ORIGINALLY the notion was to
bring Russian culture to America. but
the reverse is probably much more im-
portant - bringing Russian culture to
The Proffers' business, Ardis
Publications, puts out about 50 books a
year. Among the works Ardis has
published are volumes of Mandlestam's
poetry, Sasha Sokolov's "A School for
Fools," and reprints of almost
everything written by Vladmir
The firm is located on the bottom
floor of the Proffers' spacious home
where tyepsetting and composing
machines whir through the night prin-
ting manuscripts that might never be
published if it wasn't for Ardis.
"ANYBODY WHO knows anything
about literature in Moscow or
Leningrad knows about Ardis Press.
People who have emigrated tell us that
they have seen our materials," Proffer
Proffer is evasive when asked how
the manuscripts are spirited out of the
Soviet Union then smuggled back in.
"That's a secret," he says with a
But Proffer is candid about the Soviet
government's criticism of his efforts.
"THERE IS no doubt that they 'of-
ficially' feel we're working against the
Soviet Union. But Soviet officials are
schizophrenic about that. Some of them
are secretly interested in our books and
must publicly say something that con-
forms to party lines," he says.
Since 1981, however, neither Proffer
or his wife have been able to obtain
visas to the Soviet Union.
"We've been attacked in the press
there pretty regularly," he says.
"Always things with incredible lies.
And they assume we're supported or
directed by the CIA."
To the Soviet people, however, the
Proffers are heroes. "It would be
modest to say we're not heroes," he ex-
plains. "It's partly because we do
(make literature available and publish
new material), but mostly because we
aren't Russian. They question us like
'You're an atheist, why are you giving
us bibles.' "
Although Proffer is still a member of
the University's Slavic languages
department, he hasn't taught since the
summer of 1982 due to an illness.
But Proffer plans to return next term
to teach two courses in Russian
literature and spread his passion,
aren 't aluway
(Continued from Page 1)
to privacy. But some rules, like the ones
mentioned above, are so rarely enfor-
ced that many students don't know they
WITH YOUR PLANS for an intimate
evening shot down, perhaps you'll
resort to making popcorn. That's O.K.,
but make sure you've got a hot air pop-
per - the ones that use oil are con-
sidered to be a fire hazard. Sun lamps,
electric blankets, hot plates, and coffee
makers (yes, you'll have to use instant
for those all-nighters) could all be con-
fiscated and impounded, according to
Want a little music to liven up the
evening? Everybody knows you could
blast out fellow residents with AC-DC
until the walls begin to crumble, but
housing policy dictates that "radios,
record players, and sound systems are
never to be played loudly or so as to
If you decide to risk the wrath of
housing officials by inviting your guest
for an overnight stay, most dorms per-
mit you to have your fun on a waterbed.
But don't do anything on a "water-
chair" - the current designs are apt to
break, according to the handbook, and
are not allowed in dorm rooms.
YOU CAN FORGET about an over-
night stay for your flame (or for any
guest, for that matter) if it's finals week
or study days, however. Residents must
obtain special permission tolet visitors
stay in their rooms when the pressures
of exams hit, according to the rules.
If none of this gets in the way of your
evening and you need to stock up for
breakfast in bed the next day, just
make sure everything will fit into a two-
cubic-foot refrigerator, and see that you
use "reasonable standards of sanitation
and safety" if you want to comply
with housing rules.
Obviously, housing officials can't en-
force all of these rules, since they would
have to go undercover to enforce many
of them. According to housing associate
director John Finn, housing officials
didn't intend to strictly enforce some of
these rules, but have left it to students
to watch out for their own safety. "The
rules are there for studentsand it is up
to them to abide by them," Finn said.
Other rules are much more rigidly
enforced, such as the sanctions against
illegal drugs. "People have and will
continue to be evicted for the use and
possession of illegal drugs, although the
University's main concern is with drug
trafficking," said assistant housing
director Dave Foulke.
With all these little-known and
seldom-enforced rules blocking the way
to an intimate evening, you may decide
to cancel your rendezvous and do your
laundry instead. But remember to shut
the door and pull the drapes - irons are
off limits, too.
IN BRIEF .
Compiled from Associated Press and
United Press International reports
Chrysler has partial accord
TWINSBURG, Ohio - Union officials said a tentative settlement was
reached Saturday in the fifth day of a strike by 3,200 Chrysler Corp. workers
that idled 20,000 other employees nationwide and threatened the company's
The agreement came at 5 p.m. after a bargaining session stretching over
34 hours, said Warren Davis, a regional director of the United Auto Workers.
"This represents a victory for the members of Local 121," Davis told
reporters. Company negotiators were not present when the union agreement
was announced and were not available for immediate comment.
Davis would not give details of the, settlement, saying it would be ex-
plained to the membership at a ratification meeting this morning. If
workers ratify it, they will be urged to return to work on the midnight shift
Workers at Chrysler's Twinsburg stamping plant walked out Tuesday
alleging forced overtime and poor working conditions. Because the parts
made at the plant are crucial to auto production, other plants in four states
and Canada shut down in a chain reaction.
Soviets tow sub from U.S. waters
WASHINGTON - A Soviet tugboat reached a Soviet attack submarine
stranded 500 miles off the South Carolina coast yesterday to make repairs or.
tow the crippled vessel back to Cuba, Navy spokesmen said.
The spokesman, Lt. Cmdr. Hank Neuhart also said a U.S. frigate on "anti-
submarine exercises" lost a sonar tracking device and portion of the cable
towing it Monday in the area where the Victor III nuclear-powered sub-
marine became disabled. The surfaced submarine was spotted by a Navy
patrol plane Wednesday.
the spokesmen said the Soviet salvage tugboat reached the area from
Cuba yesterday. They said the Aldan is capable of towing the 6,000-ton sub-
marine, capable of carrying nuclear weapons and a crew of 90, back to the
Soviet naval base in Cuba.
"At the present time we can only speculate on what occurred with the Mc-
Cloy," Neuhart said.
Andropov rumored ailing,
fails to attend Moscow gala
MOSCOW - Soviet President Yuri Andropov failed to attend a nationally
televised Kremlin gathering yesterday at the start of the country's biggest
holiday, increasing speculation about his health.
The 69-year-old Soviet leader has not made a public appearance since Aug.
18. He has been reported suffering from kidney, heart and other ailments,
and is said to have given up plans to receive visitors in the Kremlin since
His absence from a meeting to inaugurate a three-day' celebration
honoring the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution was considered highly unusual. At-
tendance is traditional and expected.
Foreign diplomats said they assumed Andropov would have attended the
speechmaking and concerts in the Kremlin's Palace of Congresses unless he
Government spokesman Leonid Zamyatin said after the Saturday
ceremony that Andropov was absent because he had a cold, which he
described as "not serious."
Panel plans Medicare salvage
WASHINGTON - A government'advisory committee is recommending
that Congress raise the age of eligibility for Medicare benefits to 67 and in-
crease premiums paid by beneficiaries to save the health care program for
the elderly from bankruptcy.
Those proposals are part of a package designed to produce $300 billion in
revenue over the next decade, according to Thomas Burke, executive direc-
tor of the 13-member panel. Burke said yesterday that the package is expec-
ted to be submitted soon to Congress by Health and Human Services
The panel, headed by former Indiana Gov. Otis Bowen, also called on
Congress to boost Medicare revenue by increasing federal taxes on alcohol
and tobacco, raising insurance deductibles patients must pay, and taxing
some private health insurance benefits employers provide for workers.
Each recommendation was approved separately in a recorded vote
"What we're saying to Congress is 'Look, now the Medicare program is
projected to go belly-up in 1989 or 1990, here's the agenda that will put you
over the hurdle."
Burke said that because the system's projected bankruptcy is several
years away and a presidential election will take place in 1984, he doesn't ex-
pect congressional action in the next year.
Hillside Strangler convicted
LOS ANGELES - Angelo Buono Jr. was convicted yesterday of the second of
10 Hillside Strangler sex slayings, a ruling that could bring him the death
penalty for the killings that terrorized Southern California six years ago.
The Superior Court jury found him guilty of first-degree murder in the
death of Judith Miller, a 15-year-old runaway-turned-prostitute. The same
jury earlier in the week convicted him of one of the other slayings but acquit-
ted him of another.
The seven-woman, five-man jury reached a verdict afterdeliberating onl
20 minutes. The sequestered panel then returned to ponder Buono's suspec-
ted involvement in the seven unresolved slayings.
District Attorney Robert Philibosian said in a written statement that he
belived the jury would send Buono to death row.
The 10 victims, who ranged in age from 12 to 28, were found dumped on
hillsides throughout the city. Most had been raped, tortured and strangled
before their bodies were discarded on isolated hillsides in Los Angeles and
suburban Glendale during the winter of 1977-78.
Sunday, November 6, 1983
Vol. XCI V-No. 53
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Help U of M defeat Ohio State in the
Annual Blood Donor Battle
Join the Michigan team and donate blood:
November 7--Bursley Hall 3-9 p.m.
November 8--Couzens Hall 1-7 p.m.
November 9--East Quad 1-7 p.m.