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March 19, 1922 - Image 15

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1922-03-19

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The Short S tories are Marked "Absent"
(By G. D. E.) - But I do not blame them. Between Agnes Repplier, and the pious Paul zine has, at any rate, fortified my
In the early fluash of autumn the prayers and text-books they have Eier More who tried to make a high spinion that the women in the univer-
never had a chance, and they - have church deacon of Nietzsche. O. Henry, sities are farther advanced culturally
Sunday /Magazine announced - that it consequently arrived at a halt-baked a player of word-rigadoons, it calls al than the men. Grading all manu-
intended, if it were possible, to pub- idea of literature that even such lit- "excellent artist." scripts in my pedantic fashion, I found
lish a volume of short stories having erary lunkheads as William Allen O t dramatists the book gives that two of three "A's" were from
ia White would sniff at. I can best show women, that six of the ten "B's" were
to do with life in Ann-Arbor. A pub- Percy Mackaye a paragraph, which is
how our young people are fattened also from women, and that nine-tenths
isher was very anxious to secure such fpr the drivel market by presenting li h e i e of the rest were from men.
a collection of stories, ad through some extractions from a recent text the Horizon" may be worth more than Well, the business has fizzled. I
the Sunday Magazine, he offered an in- on American literature, written by a passing mention! hadn't the heart to show the manu-
itial payment and a subsequent roy- at psalmists. I do not know script to the publisher, Formally, the
whether it was meant for grammar All in all, is it any wonder that wisole matter is dismissed. However
aty for each acaeptable manuscript, school, high school, or college. IAmerica, until very recently, has been I am still holding the one good mann-
providing that ten stories of merit know simply that a New York pub- the literary jackass of the world, that script in the f'rlorn hope that I may
could be found, fisher sent me a review copy and that the average "literary" student knows chance on nine others that have truth
Of some thirty to forty manuscripts I am hurling it into the waste-basket less of the fundamentals of literature and honesty in them. I don't care
presented, only one has been accept- as soon as I finish this paper, than the right reverend William Sun- whether the grammar is poor or not,
able and ly three or .four worth The male schoolmams, who wrote President arding, Tom Lovell, or whether the words are spelled cor-
reading. In volhateering, sans pay, the tome, call "Uncle Tom's Cabin," aonew Yorl white-wng? Is it any recty or not, nor even whether they
sans love, .sans optimism, to edit the "one of the dozen greatest books in our are punctuated. The publisher still
stories which came in, I was, from the literature," whereas, as a matter of dents, at least one-fourth of whom wants the stories and he is willing to
first, aware that ninety-nine hun- fact, it is one of the silliest novels aspire to literary careers, ten stories pay for tsem, and I am willing to read
dredths of ,the students could not ever written in'any country. It is fill- of merit could not be found? thoroughly any manuscript that comes
write, despite the number of "A's" ed with propaganda and bosh; a verit- + But the project of the Sunday Maga- in.
given out hereabouts. I am now come able Abolitionist's handbook. It slob-
to the conclusion that they are not hers and snuffles from beginning to___,
only unable to write but that they are end; and yet we have a twain of edu-
also unable to read It was an- cators classing it with the best of
nounced, time apd again, that the American fiction, viewing a work of
stories were to be of Ann Arbor, of the worst trash ever written with the (1
student, faculty, or townfolk life. same naivette of a child for the first - O m e In e O
Imagine my surprise' when over half time watching the bloodhounds chase
of the stories had their settings from Eliza over canvas blocks of ice.
fifty to five thousand miles from here! Could anything be more idiotic?
One instance of this kind, with Could anything, at bottom, be more
somewhat laughable results, I present criminal? Think of perverting young, GolIS aO se
for what it is worth. A young lady impressionable minds with such wind
wrote to me and asked if a plot whose and saliva! Think of putting "Uncle
setting was in an eastern university Tom's Cabin" in the same class as
would be acceptable. In all courtesy "Huckleberry Finn!" Think of plac---
I wrote to her and suggested that she ing a blubbering old dame like Har- Ball-G oods
try, to fit the plot to this locality, add- riet Beecher Stowe in the same level
ing that I thought that students were with Hawthorne! I question if, for
pretty much the same the country all my tootings and rampings, for all
over. The net result was that she my blunders and guesses, for all my
went a-giggling about the campus be- drunken gabblings and promiscuous at
cause this G. D. E.-person had sug- and voluminous bye letters, I have
gested converting a story of Smith col- ever said or written a thing, or passed
Union. I assume from this, the name side Harriet Beecher Stowe, ZaneUniversity
of the school not having been men- Grey is a genius. ' ,oo1 Sor
tioned in her inquiry, that there is The book also has the opinion that OOK T r ,
only one institution of higher learning certain of Whitman's poems should
in the east, namely Smith. But in never have been written-"EnfantsG a
general I have been courteously d'Adam" being an example, I suppose! Every Price Guaranteed
treated by those whose manuscripts I It praises 'such ninnies as Cale Young
have been forced to turn back. Rice, Paul Laurence Dunbar, and Alan
The word "contest," used in connec- Seeger. It lauds such of the younger
fion with the project, I imagine, did critics as Morley and Holliday, neither w holesale and R etail.
some harm.. The best writers gener- of whom has done anything worth "
ally object to going into "contests" for keeping on the shelves, and neglects
"prizes." The thing was really not a such men as Van Wyck Brooks, Spin-
contest at all. It was not a question garn, .Rascoe, and Mencken; it extols-
of the best receiving the reward, but
of those good enough getting paid tor - - -
their efforts. The word "contest" was
used for lack of a better descriptive
term. Two of the-three best pens n
the campus contributed nothing, and Good Judgm ent
all three of the persons are fairly
good friends of mine. This apathy, or
active disinclination, on the part of
my friends was a saddening fact,
even though it blew the rumor of fav-
oritism to the haunts.of the devil. In . prompts every man, and especially every
fact, of all of my friends, but two or _:
three contributed, and the one accept- yOung man, to make some provision for
able manuscript came from a young
lady with whom I did not even have thefUture. This need not necessarilyrbe
a bowing acquaintance.c a
I do not mean to say that good in the form of material wealth: it may be in
phrase was lacking; fully half of the
manuscripts were well enough done the .form of thrift habits.
technically. But what utter wish-
wash I was forced to wade through in
the sacred name of literature! What . Let us shov yon the P.a039 at
nincompoopery must have been fed to
the writers from the time when they
first were able to distinguish sounds! TH E A NN ARBOR SAVINGS BANK
How incessantly the farrago of imbe-
cilities must have resounded in their
ears autHl, past adolescence, their 'aRESOURCES OVER $5,OOO,OOO.0O
brains became dinned out of all honest

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