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May 15, 1921 - Image 7

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1921-05-15

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VOL. XXXI. No. 157.



The "moderns"
And the New Trend in American

By G. D. E.
During the past few months I have
presented and recommended several
books of the modern, realistic school;
books by Sherwood Anderson, by Drei-
ser, by Knut Hamsun, and books by
the eritics, Mencken and the late
Huneker. In addition, one "R. D. S."
has reviewed the books "Zell" and
Whether my analyses have been cor-
rect and good is beside the question.
I rather suspect that they haven't.
Now and then I have been irritated in-
to criticisms, and have written with
little revision, as the sad results testi-
fy. I have blushed more than once
over them. Yet I have a great faith
that the books I have reviewed have
been far above average.
Interest Has Increased
What delights me is the fact that
interest has been aroused. Making a
test case, I wrote to one publisher con-
cerning a. certain author asking for
exact figures, and I found that six
times as many books had ben sold
in Ann Arbor during the past four
months as in the whole preceding year.
I do not pretend to claim the credit
for this; the movement is sweeping
the entire country.
I have been asked, perhaps humor-
ously, by several persons what this
new movement in American literature
is, and since the subject is so big, I
cannot help but feel that I am some-
what fatuous in trying to explain here.
I shall probably flounder at the task.
The modern movement is, first of
all, based soundly on science, and as
it deals chiefly with life, most soundly
on biology. The modern writer grips
the -very roots of life and presents
th.em for what they are.
Modern Sees Beauty in Truth
"The vigor and beauty of raw ma-
terial;" this phrase I find in Dreisef's
"Genius." (One of our verboten books
-I'll lend my copy). No one could
put it better. The modern (you must
pardonthereptition of this word) sees
betuty in the simple truth. He em-
ploys good phraseology, not to color
the truth, but to make it clear. Word
usage,sentence structure, style; they
are only implements to grind the lens.
The inodern does not skip around
the sex theme; he includes it without
exaggerating; he endeavors to lay the
proper stress on it, no more and no
less. He pictures, as best he can, ev-
ery human emotion, every fear, love,
hate, grief, joy, and he is rhapsodical
over none. ;
He preaches no moral; he does not
judge. He presents the picture and
leaves it to the reader. And yet, he
does not for a minute, write for the
reader. The product may be as pleas-
ing as Laredo Taft's piece of sculpture,
"The Solitude of the Sauls," or it may
be as repelling (and as intrinsically
beautiful) as Rodin's "Old Courtesan."
"Dear God, the power to present the
thing without a bias," is the true mod-
ern's prayer.
Realizes Defeat
Nevertheless, he realizes the ambi-
guity of all things, the shortness of
life, the inevitable defeat that over-
takes every man, the blind strivings,
the unfulfilled desires, the passing of
youth. He bears in mind, consciously
or unconsciously, two lines of Swin-
burne, defining man:
"In his heart is a blind desire,
In his eyes, foreknowledge of death."
The modern is a trifle scornful of
things political. He has studied enough
history to see the futile cycle: Aristo-
cracy, then obligarchy, then republi-
canism, them democracy, then ruin.
He sees the present great nations go-
ing the way of Greece and Rome.
He pictures the war between capital

and labor squarely, with his sympa-
thies enlisted on neither side, shed-
ding no tears, and offering no remedy.
(Continued on Page Two)

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Photos by Photo Craft Shop
1. Nurses crossing from Hill auditorium after the address by President Marion L. Burton. 2. Men of theE
senior Literary class. 3. Lining up in rear of University hall before the precession to the auditorium.E
End Of Undergraduate Life Looms Near
S.- -
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As SeiorsDon:TheirCaps"And;Gown

Four years and in some cases five
or six years have elapsed since the in-
flux of the freshmen who today con-1
stitute the various classes who will1
go out from the University this June
under the banner of '21, and during
that interval of time friendships have
been made and men have been de-
veloped of whom Michigan may at all
times feel proud.1
Not content with merely filling the
shoes of those who preceded them the
classes of '21 have gone to the other
extreme and in keeping up with the
spirit of progress the members have
worked with the idea of lifting the
class above the field of mediocrity.
On October 2, 1917 more than 1500
students registered as freshmen in the
literary college and the enrollment in
the other colleges though not as large
made a total which at that time was
the banner year of University enroll-
War Not Felt At First
The pre-war University was in full
swing for the world conflict had not
as yet made its results seriously felt.
The men of '21 donned their pots and
crept stealthily to and from their
classes, their mouths closed, but their
ears wide open going through the old
mill and learning how first year men
should conduct themselves on the cam-
pus. However, when the time finally
did come when '21 was allowed to as-
sert itself, the class was on hand and
delivered the goods. Resenting the

(By B. E. Adans)
loss in the tug of war the men came
back with determination and defeated
the sophomores in the other contests
thereby annexing the Spring games.
Then came Cap night and in true
Michigan style '21 buried forever the
verdancy of freshmen days. Sleepy
Hollow was the scene of ceremonies
which awed the spectators and with
the burning of the last vestige of fresh-
men insignia '21 took its place among
the other members of Michigan's fold.
S. A. T. C Installed
As sophomores the men were hard
at work for their University though
their ranks were materially depleted
by enlistments in the service. The in-
stallation of the S. A. T. C. and the
consequent disorganization was a ser-
ious handicap to the class and necessi-
tated quick and deliberate action dur-
ing the interval following Armistice
day until the summer recess.
War-time freshmen needed disciplin-
ing and the sophomores quickly awak-
ened to the fact and began to form
plans to remedy the situation. At that
time there was no recognized under-
class conduct committee and yet haz-
ing was tabooed by the faculty. The
class of '21E saw the need for action
and organized a committee known as
the "Black Devils" for the purpose of
administrating discipline to the first
year men. This organization has since
come to be recognized by the faculty
and under the name -of the Student
Council Underclass Conduct Commit-

tee today performs a necessary func-
tion in undergraduate life.
War Reconsfrnction
As juniors the members of '21 as-
sumed the authority and distinction of
upperclassmen and took up the burden
of maintaining the prestige of the Uni-
versity during the period of reorgani-
zation and reconstruction following
the close of the war. The Union was
completed and Michigan took up its
quarters in the finest university club
house in the country. Juniors were
needed to further the Union idea and
smooth out the difficulties and they
answered the call.
Then came the biggest social event
of undergraduate life and Roswell
Dillon, '21E, was chosen chairman of
the committee which was to conduct
the J-Hop. The affair was a success
and though the hop was discontinued
the following year the reasons for dis-
continuance were multifarious and
had accrued during former years' so
can in no way be attributed to the
conduct of the hop under the auspices
of the classes of '21.
Started Honor System
In accord with the standards set in
earlier years the members of '21 con-
tinued to promote and sanction worthy
ideas and ideals during their term as
seniors. Ever in search of remedies
and improvements in existing condi-
tions a group of literary seniors got
together and drew up a scheme for the
(Continued on Page Four)

Two Stores
Golf and Tennis Supplies
o R A H A M
Both Ends of Deagonal Walk E

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