The Michigan Daily
Tuesday, October 24, 1989
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BY JAY PINKA
IF you ever sat in psychology class and wondered what it would be like
to be a trainer of one of Pavlov's dogs, you can find your fantasy made
real in Charles Newman's most recent novel, White Jazz.
Newman, whose appearance is sponsored by the Institute for the Hu-
manities, is a dialogue between tradition and rebellion in both his writing
and his lifestyle. White Jazz, for example, takes a unique slant by portray-
ing the characters of Freud and Pavlov as narrated by a dog trainer. But
this professor doesn't sit in a book-lined study daydreaming about psycho-
logical methodology. Instead, he spends six months out of every year
traveling to Europe -- discovering the differing realities abroad. The Yale
and Oxford graduate finds it essential to juxtapose the differing viewpoints
of the two psychologists as representative of traditions of thought typical
to certain parts of the world.
"It struck me that these (Freud and Pavlov) are the cultural heros of
East and West - the last of the old-fashioned thinkers before World War
II," says Newman.
He continues to explore these polar opposites in the book he is cur-
rently working on, tentatively titled The Library of the Barbarians,:in
which the dog trainer makes a rejoinder to Freud's conversation.
Newman's language reflects a dialogue on the issue of "ethics between
economics and art."
"The metaphors I use are... (found) in economic analysis and cultural
,criticism... based on culture," says Newman. The unusual content of his
work is well-structured in his knowledge of fiction theory; he teaches
graduate courses in 18th and 19th century literary theory at St. Louis'
small Washington University. Despite his academic load, Newman spends
up to eight hours a day writing and revising. Writing competes with trav-
eling on his list of loves, but the intensity of Newman's dedication is
equivalent to that of his desire to write. He is an example of the motto
"genius is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration," not giving lip service to
the work ethic but implementing it in a career which relies on persistent
self-motivation - being a writer.
"Don't do it unless it's the only thing you want to do. You have to
give up a lot," says Newman.
But what Newman wants to communicate gives him the force to do it.
His effort to breach the boundaries between conventions and cultures
shows in his appreciation for the Institute of the Humanities, which seeks
to create harmony between University departments.
"Its purpose," added Newman, "is to cut across disciplinary border-
CHARLES NEWMAN speaks in the Rackham West Conference Room
this afternoon at 4 p.m.
BY AMI MEHTA
IF an abstract artist painted a pic-
ture describing the different aspects
of Alfred Uhry's Pulitzer Prize-win-
ning play Driving Miss Baisy, it
would contain bold blues for power-
ful acting, moody reds for bitter-
sweet love, mild yellows for com-
passion, shades of green for amicable
chemistry, jet blacks for simplicity,
cool whites for integrity, and mix-
tures of various other colors for di-
versity. This illustrates some of the
important features of the play that
the cast of three actors bring out in a
touching but comical portrayal of
life in the old South.
Driving Miss Daisy, set in the
late 1940s, is the story of a grudg-
ingly growing relationship between
a cantankerous elderly Jewish
woman and her new Black chauffeur.
As the independent woman, Miss
Daisy (Rosemary Prinz, Penny in
As the World Turns) resents the idea
of a chauffeur hired by her son
Boolie intruding in her life to pre-
vent her from reckless driving.
Given a hard time at first, Hoke
Coleburn (Ted Lange, Isaac Wash-
ington on The Love Boat), a patient
man, gradually learns to overcome
all of her antiquities. Over a span of
25 years, through periods of humor
and turmoil, a genuine bond grows
between these two strong-willed
With its backdrop during the civil
rights movement and the Martin
Luther King, Jr. era, Driving Miss
Daisy not only depicts racial ten-
sions between the two main charac-
ters but shows how they can be re-
solved. The play will be touring
mainly college campuses, where
racism is often a controversial issue.
According to Lange, "Racism is a
Ted Lange (theatrically aged, left) is known almost exclusively as the cheerful bartender on The Love Boat He
has doubtlessly been shunted into such silly roles because of the Hollywood Shuffle syndrome: Black actors have
to take what they can get. In Driving Miss Daisy, Lange has a more respectable forum for his acting.
way to divert from the real issue. It's
really easy to say, 'well that's a
white person and that's a Black per-
son' because immediately you've got
something to talk about as opposed
to saying that there are other real
hardcore issues that have to be dealt
with. There are people that don't
have any homes, white and Black
Generally, Lange feels most ev-
eryone knows that Black people and
white people can work together.
This play reaffirms that fact. Even
for the people that seemingly can't
get along, such as Miss Daisy and
Hoke, there's something to be
learned and there's something to be
experienced between them.
In this divided world, it's often
hard to show that people can still
manage to reach out to each other
and connect. But this play seems to
do just that through the tightness of
the script and the development of the
well-drawn characters. Here is this
feisty, aging Jewish widow opposite
"a chauffeur who's not an ignorant
man, he's a very dignified guy at a
time when they used to take away a
Black man's dignity," said Lange.
Hoke Coleburn isn't book smart be-
cause he can'tread, but he's people
smart because he surmounts all of
the problems that Miss Daisy gives
See DRIVING, page 8
an evening with
Stephen Jay Gould
Several years ago, trumpeter
Freddie Hubbard came out with an
album entitled Sweet Return, named
because of his return to the straight-
ahead style that firmly established
him among the ranks of the finest.
trumpeters in jazz. Hubbard's return
was indeed sweet, but Don Cherry's
return, on his new release Art Deco,
is sweeter still. Cherry, one of the
pioneers and torchbearers of free jazz,
has brought forth a truly swinging
album, with old bandmates Charlie
Haden and Billy Higgins in tow.
Tenorist James Clay, a straight-
ahead player all along, comes along
for the ride.
The album's notes talk about
Cherry's beginnings in jazz in Los
Angeles, most notably his affinity
for Miles Davis and Sonny Rollins
charts. The opening cut, the title
piece, is a bright tribute toMiles'
groups of the mid-'50s - from
Cherry's muted horn and echoes of
the melody in his solo to Haden's
cut-time bass in the theme to Billy
Higgins' brush work a la Philly Joe
Jones. Miles' bands set a high stan-
dard in the small group format, and
Cherry takes a chance by inviting
such comparison. His band more
than measures up to that standard.
The quartet has its moments of
brilliance through the album, but
each supporting member is given a
chance in the spotlight as well. Don
Cherry gives hornmate James Clay a
chance to show his talents in a for-
mat with which he is familiar, the
ballad. He tackles "I've Grown Ac-
customed to her Face" well enough,
but the most impressive of his
works is "Body and Soul," the clas-
sic tenor saxophone vehicle. Here,
Clay's work is smooth; he plays
some brilliantly inventive and
melodic ideas. It's a performance that
can hold its own against some of the
best renditions of this ageless tune.
On "Passing," Billy Higgins pre-
sents tribal rhythms in a solo that is
at once spiritual and quietly intense.
Charlie Haden's "Folk Medley"
gives the bassist room to maneuver
on his own. Haden's playing is sim-
ple and controlled, yet bluesy. Each
song has an underlying peacefulness
to it, the sign of an experienced,
Ornette Coleman is an old band-
mate of Cherry's, and Cherry honors
him accordingly with three of his
compositions '- "When Will the
See RECORDS, page 8
lecture and signing
of his new boo
Thurs, Oct. 26, 8 pm
.tM visit sponsored by
U. of M. Museum of ]Paleontology
and Borders Book shop
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IA LOVES THEIR PLEDGES:
Tina Aggarwal Rachael Hu Jenny Salvano
Jill Blick Jennifer Kalich Seema Shastri'
Darleen Chan Susan Katz Elyssa Sholtz
Becky Cheng Nika Kayne Chris Smith
Jamie Cohen Mari Keith Susan Spies
Lisa DeMore Karen Klein Jennifer Srigley
Lisa Franklin Dawn Lehman Carolyn, Stein
Caryn Friedman Lesley Lomo Andrea Stern
Cindy Friedman Andrea Markowicz Randi Stone
Vicki Friedman Liz Ostow Kara Wires
Lisa Hagenauer Carla Pagotto Barbara Zacharakis
Hindy Hoffman Tanutda Pittayathikhun Deborah Zolot
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