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May 20, 1923 - Image 14

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The Michigan Daily, 1923-05-20
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LA'xtiFlV LrlAL.' £

. .

SUI DAYr, MAY 24; ,-M~3


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_ ', - ._._ . .

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An Atheist's Conversion


"THE LIFE OF CHRIST," by Giovan- EDGAR H. AILES h-tT'cidms uses oinificetamor-
ni Papini. l1areourt, Brace and Co. , p o are hlysinifocat. I be
$O.Translatedl from the talian'
by Dorthy anfi' Fihei I nthat he died of syphilis. Such is the clogical hysteriaaind ack c restraint lievO-the tremendous appea: the book
Ccnoisseurs of modern.EuronenMoving Christianity of him who so re- Emotion, for this effervescent Italian, has made rests more upon its sensa
Citerature havelofolle t icently took up the cross! Like H. G. must always be conveyed in the most ti ;al aspect of a regenerated athe-.
tereture hiistic vng' aiwed of Gio~V Wells pronouncing the doom of Caes- passionate melody, while the higher ist's confession than upon it worth as
ars "Papini appraises ev- the note, te longer it is sustained, literature. Judicial stdents of the
anti Papi whose recently translated cery man in the light of his own twen- and the more ffieidy it is embellished, i b oot will also discount it because it
Storia di Cristo has created such a tieth century interpretation of the the more truly successful he inmaginesj cane into' being- during one of the
furore the world over, Until the, la Scriptures. himself. Jesus says -simply, speaking most scul-trying wars all history.
day words, "the scoundrel ofn his It is manifestly futile to argue with of theft and adultery, "These are the It would be inevitable, I suppose,
he bladt ckgudr of itera- such a man. Reason has always been thinga that de'flleth a man; but to -eat ithat in nainting such am vate canas
the Barabbas of art, the thug of phil'- compelled to make peace with the with unwashen hands defileth lot f Papini shol escape complete failure
osephy, the bully of politics, the mystical element in religion and those minan. -The complexity of ltis thought and such is the case this tif. A1
Apache of culture." More specifically, who have denied the hypostatic union is exnlained by~Papini' in the following though for the most part, his mod-
he was an Italian atheistic Mr. Men- have sought no quarrel with those wkc decidedly reminiscent of the Rdv. Wil ernized. treatment is gabomlnably df-
ken with all that gentleman's genisfme it. Religion, being purely vo-' ham Sunday: "Th' sewe r- cleaner, if "fuse, thee are- seveal chapters of
sandbag vtupratienmand vastly litioal cannot be debated. One can- he thinks naevil is ertla iy cleaner genuine power. Of such a quality is
for sandbag vituperation and vastly not, however, dismiss Papini's work than the rih ma-n who, while splash- that which describes the resuscitation
more than Mr. Mencken's claim to in- because of its anti-rationalistic char- ing in the perfumed' water of his mar- cILazarus. Here there is a marked
tellectuat distinction. A protege. of,
tergsontua fitndond Aicplge of acter. We would never allow a Span- ble bath tub, is meditating some new absence- of bravura eloquence with a
Bergson, a friend and disciple of Wal-d oard to attack"Die Meistersinger" be-'fornication or fraud." cresponding gain in beauty. The
liam James, apbihro adzno
more futuristic magazines and the rcause its score had 'no castanets. So, Papini's book may be regarded as scenes peceding the crucifixion, .in the
author of innumerable navels, dramas Papini's work must be assayed with symbo1zing the recrudescence of garden of Gethsemane and before Pi-
and ea inha not dithos a regard to its avowed intent. Even kmysticism which- has swept over Eur- jate bear witness to the narrative
justifssaysnPbeen haled s t hton this score, I think the book a me- ope since the War and not improbably -power of the author, so much of
foremost contemporaryl an of letters. diocre one; for Papini's style is that -because of the War.. Surely there is which is 'lost through his sensational
H dremst conteroy= o f abolthdnetatsf a field preacher and his faith is nothing new in the phenomenon of methods. If only Papini could be
His sudden conversion fro the not the tranquil faith of Jesus, but reversion to an established faith after i made to perceive the fact, this direct
tree of absolute :denial to the other the unreasoning faith of rabbit's foot years -of intellectual turbulence and and highly effective presentation of
extreme of unqualified acceptance of amulets and asafoetida phylacteries. doubt: Deathbed regeineration is as Jesus is- vastly -more convincing than
Christ's teachings, has_ naturally .at-'
tracted universal, attention. rIfl na .s Although he extoll at Ilength (he -d as the Christian religion. Although hs flights of imagination.
meloduram-ait as the converson- of does everything at length) the "can- Papin! is still-a'relatively yong man, (Continued on Page Seven)
Saul on the road to Damascus,s gap-. did sobriety" of the-Gospels, it is pain-
n wasth crtainly hofasuc s inefully' evident' that 'his- Latin tempera-
s casthc.rtaisly' a muchVerlaine, ment .cannot endure -their' austere'
mn sith toseof aul Dsbrevity, His method is to quotea pas-
TiySrians . Toltoiy a 'ad Dotoyvki. - IN 1t L1c.iftc
indeed; Papini attribut-es his Catholi sage and then follow With a ho-
cization largely to having read the letic disquisition or a rhetorical rhap-
works of these two great Russians. sody brimming with far-fetched iw
Under . their influence hecommenced ages and excoriation of all who have
the study of the Gospelsad n dareto question. itsliteral accuracy. or banba e d
was received into the Cathdlic church. o geat indeed is his loquacity that,ut tl i -
His present conviction -which has in- tralughaher thas emotyed few mak
spired this brilliant b'ook is that "the, aea -theo a w"farth
sole solution of the evils of the world
lies in the transI'ormation of souls, into a volume of 430 pages, most of -b also aidteligeut a rttd
that this cannot be brought about ex- it "full of sound and fury, signifying
-cept by religion' and that the most nothing."
perfect and suitable is that taught No reader however much be values That is What his bank tries to be
by Christ" eIntellect, .-could reasonably ask
Papni leaves no doubt but' that he onfr t' falteri cgld'ritical 'In h AeideE L H N BA
has swallowed the Gospels Book,:bait,'sincerity t e FAR ciial nhi MERS &" MECHA k1 NICS BA
hs streatment 'of such a subject. The
line and sinker, not only the synoptic fault with 'Papini's book lies, not in
books, but also the Gospel according iits insistence upon the identity of-a405 SO~ M IN -330,SOSTATEST
to St. John.. The rationalistic ed- Christ and God, but in its almost path
ment he, has. discarded entirely and. -
the theological element has been re
diced to a- iiinimiin'; The orthodox~
Roman Catholic. tenets he. professes -
to believe utterly. Nor does he per-w
mit his readers-any latituderin belief-
"either complete--and- 'rigro athe-
ism or- activerfaith in -the Christ who X
-saves and 'resurrects us by His love." N UN CI
"He who accepts the Gospels," con-
tinues Papini, - "must . accept them
wholly, entire, syllabl'eb'by syllable--
or else reject them- from' first to last
and say, .'We know nothing."' His at-
titude, in short, is that of - Rousseau:
"I fee it, I believe it, I desire it, I
hope it and I will defend it with my.
last breath'"
Those who- -have admired th& judi- theNewFalland Winte
cial temper of the "lies" '6 Strtss
and Renan will be anazed at the dog-
natic assurance and- bigotry which VAN HEU
pervade thie book- of -this erstwhile A ;.-
apostate. For its lack of higher criti-
cism, Papini offers no apology. In-
deed,. he glories in its .absence. He
proclaims, without hesitation that if An adaptation of-an excius- as a Cavicerinp a
faith and reason conflict, reason must 'm
necessarily be wrong. All attempts ive .Eng sbnlto the radeuni orm, uti use,it
to explain Jesus. on natural grounds man sta ds at ease al
are bitterly condemned,rswhilethe ' L C.. style l n .
scholars who have' addressed them- whiocares about,,sye and al f.
selves to: the- problem, are fiercely dis- c Buy our coflams of repatable retl
missed as "presumptuous donkeys er. He wo't'ofkr you a mubsttut.
mistaking libr'aries for their stablesaperncmat enotaskfo s VAN HEUSEN. He
top-heavy braitns- pretending to ex' appearance sas kmatnow. ere ist ay.
plore the highest heavens in philoso-
phy's drifting balloon, professors pois- -
oned by the fatal strong drink of phil- -___tarchi___________ N_ _ g
ol'ogy and nietapyhsics." Papini's
Christian wrath 'descends upon Socra-
tee becausehe "sghtuto reform the '1;Nt SaBsturShirte a t ra
art of thinking rather than the art -.u tj-
of living" and because he failed to re-
strict his amorous pursuits to Xan- -
tippe. Aristotle, it appears, is per-.
petually dam-ned because, in the Ni-
comachean 'Ethics, he declared that,
"Not to resent offenses is the mark of _ AtR6S
a: base and slavish man," an -"idea
which the passage of two thousand
years seems not to have- weakened

appreciably. Seneca is incted as a
"Pharisee," and Voltaire, "vermin" PHILLIPS.JONES CORPORATION, Makers, 1225 Broadwal New York
while Nietzsche's philosophy is an-
nihilated at one blow- by charging

Na ednti History_ ___
WILLIAM PLUMER'S EMORAW France.' The slavery question was be--
DUM 4IIUniversity of lMichiii uli ginning to' show itself in Congress and
DaUMns ericoile. $c.g Pubi was snouldering ominously even at
I this early period. Tunis was preying
There is an ingrown tendency on on our merchant marine and accepting
the part of those who suffer from hy- our payments for protection at the
per-pedagogical dispositions to regard same time; Aaron Burr was planning.
all works which combine--as'the an empire in the Mississippi country=,
say in the nickle shooti .alleries- and retaining his personal influence
'nicasure and instruction' withope in Washington.
distrust if not positive calumny. I Henry Clay had just succeeded John
most- cases the attitude, I think, is Adair to a seat in the Senate and Mr.
justified for the literary field recently Plumer says of him: "He is a young
has been a nursery for all sorts of man-a lawyer-his stature is tall &
popular quasi-scientific books, some; slender. I had much conversaton with
of which reach most astounding con- him & it afforded me much pleasure. .
clusions, and others which reach no He is intellegent, sensible & appears A tt ac iv
conclusions at all more than to dem- frank and candid. His address isC
onstrate the gullibility of publishers good & manners easy. So much for
and public. Fortunately, however the the first impression . . ." There im-
old line "professors" have receded 'mediately follows a conversation be-W '
far taking their nigh-to and far-off tween the young Kentuckian and IIS pr f g L Otk
spectacles with them and it is no Plumer wherein Clay tells the latest
longer considered unethical to sugar, news of Burr's conspiracy: "He told
the intellectudal hay -provided that the me-that AaTon Burr was present at
sugar is not- used- to'detract from the the District Court of Kentucky when -multtude ofye and Leat lC :
inferiority of the fodder itself. "Wil- Mr. Davies made the second. attemptc erow
Birm Plumer's Memorandum of Pro- to indict him for a conspiracy agt the cs ro. Ot s ee taste
ceedings in the United States Senate Spanish dominions & for attempting original- -design, exclusive p-terns, re
S803-i3 7," notwthdtanding the ex- & to affect a disunion of the United es-
baustiveness of the full title is a good States-that at this second time heie surpassing fi
deal more than the same title -admits told Mr. Burr that it was possible truy a place to express your idividu
of, for aside from being a- contribu- there might be something in the- na- =alit
tion of evident value to Americana, it ture of his - enterprize that would
is; surprisingly enough, readable and ;militate against his: (Clay's) duty as
singularly interesting. Appearing at a- senator-& therefore it -would beeaSdab e
a time when carloads of' exhumed improper for hir to engage as his-
diaries and records of other days are council." Then a few months later
being unloaded, when numerous Co-. he states "Henry Clay, the senato .
.imbuses are discovering th nineties Im Kentuccty-is a man of pleasure-
and. the Eighties,-and we are becoming k very fond, of amusements-gamblesa.
so socially self-conscious of variousi much. He told me that one evening-
influences, movements and trends that he won at car'ds $150-that t another
we can scarcely move without actn eeigh.ls 60 ehstl
as if we were in front of a long-glass, ents-is eloquent but not nice or ac-
this book, by all the ghosts of our curate in his, distinctions-He de 117 E WASHINGTON
fathers, should be acclaimed. Outside claims- more than he reasons. He is
of the various 'technical journals de- genteel, polite & a pleasant compa-
voted to the study of history, and a ion. A man of honor and integrity."
few notices in the papers turning the Another entry: "Dined with--the Pres-'f ~IIIU~iil-tilitl'BHtltlfliII-IIlltlitlliltli
spotlight on it from a scientific angle, ident of the United States-tarried in
it is doubtful whether The Pfumer the- evening and drank coffee-& had l ililli1Nilti
Memorandum will be noticed at' all. muc conversation with him.
Of course, if. the book were published l "My usual course, when invited to=
to sell in the sense of having quarter dine with' him, isto converse very
page advertisements in' the several= little ihhmecp ntewahri l i i t n
bok-review pamphlets or havingtI#.its4U'sJI~
haig t:and such common topics-untill we S
dust-cover stamped with eurekas, have drank a glass or two. I do not
with little alteration it could make a mean that the president is under the
rather. conceivable entre into the book- influence of wine-for he is very tem-
seller,'s windows and bring contri- (erate-but as I am generally placed'
i tions ido the tch-registers. As t next to him-& even two glasses ofm
st powers under the bushel ofians acade- wine-of-timea renders a temperate man
..e udr- tbsel a cae-communicative."
ic green binding and to stalk the pre- c i
cise path of the ultra-erudite. His cofment upon the Napolianc
Unfortunately, some of the more situation is interesting. The position=
-ersonal parts of the diary were omit- of the United States was peculiar at
ted since this was to be primarily a the time. Grateful for Napolian in
volume for -academic consumptlon. It that he kept Great- Britain fairly well
remains in several places, however, occupied, there was at the same time
beautifully remindful of the immortal no little trepidition on the part of = -
Pepys and John Evelyn; The editor re-A r for fear of France's military
tamied the :original text as far as pos- -ambitions. M ~r. Plumer -says 'of- Na-
sible, including the spelling and pun- polion: "This man is now abe to dis-
tu'ation which; adds considerably to the .tirb the repose of the world . . I
attractiveness of the record. think Bonaparte. will find it difficult
i to conquor Russia. There, I trust,,5
Bringing forth another axe to grind, his empire will e bounded. 'Tis ;- --
W Is all too rarely that we get honest:fortunate for- us that a vast ocean
concepts of our historical figures, and
whenattmpt intha diecton o' eparates America from Europe. This,
when attempts in that direction do ap-I' hope will prove a barrier against '
pear they are met often with sus his.great wpower." anAts f shioed of $46--lxurious cre
cibus mutterings and locked minds; f
te old Fourth of July ballyhoo spi tThese excerpts are takentat random atdn's" that charm- the most- fasiidiou
itoaf patriotism receeives'an--ufweome, to give _an idea of the intimate type
it+fparitmre .yi-an ta of man who has left us' this record. These hats are suitable for either sport
jar:" and. ostrich-like it goes to' the' '-

desert to hide. . The never-tell-a-lie His observations are not as personal,
story the inescapable feeling that a he does not show that accentuated love
president must have at least been sev- of gossip and unconscious' humor that
en' feet:high'or.that 'statesmen must makes Pepy's charm so irristible, but
have been sorthof super-human beings there is enough of the human side of
is enough. to kill any one's interest lifein this diary to make it a book
I which need not be reserved exclu-
in the story of his country-if theyi
want toa eav t from the view of a adfaWhatappears'to ustobe the naiv-
huma acieveentinstad f afairy-i etc of the observations alone should
tale. Over-idealization defeats'its own gofatowarbsroating'ahene s
go- far toward producing the neces-
ends and the personal portraits herein nary appeal to popularity.
do not idealize.
As to the historical value of the
There is something about this that book it is interesting to note that Pro-
gives an almost uncomfortably clear fessor Brown's discovery-I think it
impression of the political situation may be called one-has already creat-
of the times, years which were fully ed much notice in scientific circles.
as precarious as those which we have The methods of reporting speeches
just passed through. Struggling to in' Congress at the time this dairy
maintain our -xistence after the Re-- was written were hap-hazzard to the
olution, our diplomatic relations were last degree as the lack of official
strained with Spain, England and (Continued on Page Eight)'

party rear. With Commencement ne
It would be wvell b ocomplete your may'
robe with one -of these delightful creatiln
Priced from $3.50 to $10.0


SpeciadyAHat Shopf
117 E: Lfberly

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