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November 19, 1922 - Image 13

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The Michigan Daily, 1922-11-19
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THE MICHIGAN DAIIX

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 1922

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 1922

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

PACE six

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PEACOCK SHAWLS fragile and lovely essence of all that
is evil, whirl and coalesce in a vivid
THE BRIGHT SHAWL by Joseph Her- and lovely picture of youth's hope and
gesheimer. Alfred A. Knopf. 1922. futility.
What is most admirable in the book
It has now become the style in re- is Hergesheimer's perfect restraint,
viewing to consider our new books as his delicacy of feeling. But a littlej
Things of Beauty in Themselves and of the theatrical would have made this
react' with perfect freedom to the Au- a hopeless splurge of color and wild
thor's Message. Since Hugh Walpole's melodrama. For detachment and clar-
peevish protest against the "literary ity he sacrifices some elements of vig-I
horseracing" that has marred our ar- or and passionate feeling. But one
tistic judgments for the past years it feels at the end that the instinct of a
is now bad form to mention an auth- careful technician and sensitive artist
or's antecedents or trend of thought has selected his dominant tones and
in conjunction with a serious review, molded them throughout into com-,
So that now, for the sake of his self- plete harmony.
respect, any intelligent reader has
the lurking desire to pack in dates ofThe subtle draa and finespun emo-
theluringdesre o pck n dtesoftion toward which we find ourselves
birth, statistics of avoirdupois, and continually reaching come, in large
chest measurements. part from the tremendous self-dis-
In thinking of "The Bright Shawl," cipline that Hergesheimer has exer-
Joseph Hergesheimer's new novel of cised. His writing, difficult to read
Cuban revolutionary history, it is hard aloud, is staccato, packed withithought.I
to forget that its author, in addition Emotion, line, vivid tone go rippling
to being a brilliant stylist and con- through his pages in a scarcely tan-
summate artist, is perhaps the most gible undercurrent that rises only oc-
z apable and sincere novelist that casionally to strong feeling. But
America has Produced and that his wherever we look there are patterns
artistic possibilities are of great im- and a definite rhythm.
portance to our literary future. He In the end the detachment and ab-
is completely articulate. His percep- straction of the book give us an im-
tions, trained in years of long ap-
prenticeship,ed ve beensharpeng as pression of its author more complete
i hienn than could follow a personal revela-
his mind is disciplined. And a con- tion. We see him in his maturity,
tinning succession of unfailingly- fine in
storgesusn mgsearching calmly for elegance and dis-
stories for the past five years have itantremote in time and in
given us a hope, perhaps illusory, that s accessibility to human effort. He is
hie would be of importance to our acsiiiyt ua fot ei
peswuen- fwimptranngto an aesthete, finely tuned and alert, but
pre snt-day writing. ,. searching only for the momentary
"Teright >Shawl." of curse, 1s a flashes of beauty that his objectivity
superbly fine book. The situation and allows him to see in clarity, blending
background are of a kind to make color, or the fidelity of the human
Hergesheimer reel with delight-a s
highly sensitive young American spirit to its illusions.
against the shifting color and remote Ho is in consequence, a difficult aes-
elegance cf a tropical city. The plot thetic problem. He is not a character-
is the one he forecasted in that il_ istic American. He is too articulate
luminated portrait, "San Cristobal," his thought is too clear, to express the
and there is added all the fine, feeling 'turmoil and indecision of the younger
and dramatic instinct that made his generation. He is lacking in warmth
!tier works so remarkable. and deep feeling, the intensity that ac-
Charles Abbott joined the revolu- companies an inchoate but irresistibly
tioiiists in Havana from sympathy strong artistic effort. In this, lies the
soit h the cause of abstract justice and clue .to Hergesheimer's past record
n instinct for the elegance and bril- and future possibilities.
,-C of Cuban life. Spain. brutal Since the 'earlier novels that madel
ii revengeful, oppressing the island such an eddy in literary waters-"TheI
h a hideous tyranny, forced the Three Black Pennies," "Java Head,"j
vunug aristocrats of the middle of the "Linda Condon"--it has become in-
(ci ury to a hopeless intrigue of se-
ret messages in salon and dancing
nall. Andre Escobar, superbly grace-I
ll and Gallic young idealist, La Cla-
-vtI, gorgeous figure of passion in the
xf rling colors of her shawl, Santa-
,iVa, diseased and gloomy oppressor
zcit from Spain, and Pilar de Lima,E
I iron,

creasingly clear that Hergesheimer, a HUNEKER IN HIS LETTERS
skillful artist, is not a commanding
personality. -With thie development. ofLE ER OF J1 S GBB S
his techniqueE his self-expression has.HINEKER, Collected and edited by
ben more effective-in "San Cristo- Josephine Huneker. Scribner s. 1922.
bal" and. "Cytherea,"and, remembering
always his acute perception and feel. Whatever good may be said for"
ing for beauty, I. make bold to say them, a man's collected letters must
that he is in essence an aesthetic dab- always be of secondary interest. If
bler, a philosophic dilettante. Per- we are moved to read them at all, our
haps such a nature is inevitable to his first interest is in the man himself,
serenity and sensibility. But the re- and we read only in an attempt to
sult must be that his works will have possess ourselves of the essence of
a permanent appeal only to the small the individual.
group that has reached his degree of Letters are prime source material,
civilization. for the biographer, the critic, or the
So we return to "The Bright Shawl," psycho-analyst. Their interest for the

..

The

an exceedingly valuable book, the cul-
mination in some respects of Herges-
heimer's career. Its polished style,
graceful and penetrating thought, and
technical excellence make it worthy
of its predecessors. It has captured
some real beauty from the obliterating
sweep of time and it states an unusual
and long pondered view of life. Our
only wish should be, perhaps, that our
life were like his view of it.j
..M. L.Y.
THE NATION'S POETRY PRIZE
The Nation offers an annual poetry
prize of $100 for the best poem sub-
mitted by an American poet in a con-
test conducted by the Nation each year
between Thanksgiving and New Year's
Day. The rules for the 1922 contestj
are as follows:
Manuscripts must reach the office
of the Nation not earlier than Decem-
ber 1, and not later than December
30. They must be marked on the out-
side of the envelope "For the Nation'sI
Poetry Prize." Manuscripts must be
typewritten and must have the name
of the author in full on each page.
Return postage should not be inclosed,
as manuscripts will not be returned.
No author may submit more than three
poems. Poems must not exceed 400
lins, must not be translations, or in
any other language than English.
The winning poem will be publishedj
in the midwinter literary supplement
of the Nation. The Nation reserves thej
right to purchase at its usual rates
any poem other than the winning one
submitted in the contest. The judges
are the editors of the Nation.j

general and casual reader predicates
a more than usual interest in the au-
thor. Because they are first-hand ma-
terial, presenting their writer from
his own viewpoint and at his own esti-
mation, appreciation of them calls for
considerable digestion on the part of
the reader.'
The letters of James Gibbons Hune-
ker are no exception to the foregoing.
They give us, borrowing Henry James'
happy phrase, a "partial portrait" of
fh'e man. But, partial though it may
be, the portrait is human. In the three
nundred odd pages which include cor-
respondence between 1886 and 1921,
the year of his death, lies the self-por-
trait of a middle-aged and elderly
journalist. The reference to age is
only for the corporeal Huneker-the
Hunckerian soul was ever animated
with the enthusiasm of youta1.
Herein is 'the Huneker of the rotis-
serie who wrote "Garlic-which is the
U, major of flavoring, if people but
knew it." Here the man who wrote to
IFrederick James Gregg of the New
York Sun that in a few places in
America Pilsener was served unchill-
ed and "without spoiling the coating
of one's stomach."
Yet even as early as 1998 he says
to Edward P. Mitchell "Alas! I'm
outy and full of uric acid and my
head is no longer strong." He was in
later years troubled with what he call-
ed a "stupid liver." Somewhere Ben
De Casseres advanced the theory that
with the final breakdown of Huneker's
noble liver came the destruction of his
work. However valid this may be
pathologically, it is certain to our mind
that his best work was complete in

(Robert BartronE) things usually are. The whole stage to an English comedV of manners. The
The Ypsilanti Players !ave been was covered with a light blue cloth setting, taken from one of the Theatre
very quietly and persistently doing placed in folds, over which a constant- ! Guild's designs, was atmospheric and
fine things for some .eight seasons. ly changing blue light played; this was charming.
Their remarkable productions are the the ocean. In the back was the life- Thus far in the program there had
more astonishing when one considers boat, rocking up and down. To com- been a drama, a tragedy, a comedy;
the almost impossible handicaps they plete the picture vague blue lights i and the last play, a burlesque calcu-
work under. Their Playhouse is a re- were thrown on the horizont spoken lated to send everyone away laughing,
modelled barn, and a very small one of before. Now, strange as it may completed the cycle. It lasted barely
at that. Half of this is used for the seem, the "waves" appeared to dash two minutes, and was a satire on the
stage, so that the theater itself is only against the boat, the boat appeared to preceding play. The scene shows a
about twelve or fifteen feet deep. In- float through the water, and one man and a woman drinking a toast.
deed, it is quite the smallest place im- i seemed to gaze into an impenetrable Suddenly a door slams. "My God!"
aginable. -The auditorium, I believe, veil of fog.. In such work, the Little the wife exclaims, "it's my husband!"
even with the addition of a two-row Theatre reigns supreme. A masked rAan appears and fires two
balcony, seats only seventy or eighty Now, anyone who has tried to pro- shots from his revolver. Both the
people. But despite its almost unbe- duce such an airy farce as Milne's man and the woman fall. The other
lievable littleness, it is exceedingly 'Camberly Triangle," in which there man enters the room, but when he
charming and artistic. The beams are is but a ghost of a plot and less action, sees the woman's face, gasps with as-
painted a dark red and green, while knows the difficulties of such an at- tonishment, "My God! I'm in the
the walls are a soft mauve. The rail- 'tempt. Therefore the success with wrong flat!" And that is all.
ing of the balcony is draped with an which this play was presented was the Immediately the question arises
old Roman scarf, and over the pros- more remarkable. The actors gave the why this remarkable group of players
cenium hangs their traditional rooster. farcical situations exactly the repres- is not brought to Ann Arbor for at
To complete the effect two old English Sion and seriousness which is so vital least one program. Surely the Mimes
lanterns are suspended from the
walls. and cast a warm. restful flow

,

Ypsilanti

Players

T4eatre ar . Sara Caswell Ang

would be suitable for their
type of performance. And t
so well known that it would c
be financially profitable to the
zation undertaking the projec
while, it is very easy to go in
anti. In this connection, it
esting to note that practical
Thursday night's audience w
Ann Arbor. I cannot too stro
vise those who are intereste
theatre to take advantage of
usual opportunity literally at o
Frankly, I had begun to f
many others, after seeing s
terrible performances by yeas
teus, that the Little Theatr
ment was a bit nauseating.
Ypsilanti Players have prove
that when undertaken with c
enthusiasm such a non-pro
organization can produce pl
are refreshing, worth-while,
tertaininb.

s

>)

Wilfred Wilson Gibson's new play,
"Krindleskye," is staged in a hut on a
wind-swept mountain; it tells the
story of a shepherd and his sons, andI
their conflicting loves and hatreds, and
its sombreness is relieved at last by
the promise of happier days when the'
grandchildren come back to the old
home.
" ~ ~~"~ ~"~ ~ ~"

f

The 3A Autographic
KOAK

,N ai ,nd pu t c wZrm gsMQtf1 rI-W
over everything.
The stage is even more remarkable.1
As I have said, it occupies half of the
building, yet in such a tiny hall seems
almost endlessly deep. This result is
mainly brought about, I'suppose, by
the curved plaster dome at the back,
which takes the place of the conven-
tional canvas sky. This is technically
caldd a Kippel-horizont, and is one of
the very few in the country. Their
lighting system also is very remark-
able. In fact, I understand that it is
the theatre's most costly and prided I
possession.
So much for the structure itself.
The important thing, however, is the
production. For their first program of
the season. presnted the week of No-
vember 5, the Ypsilanti Players offer-{
ed four ore-act plays. They were
"Hyacinths- by T. M. Hanna, "Fog"
by Enaen, O'Neill, "The Camberly
Triangle" oy Milne, and a burlesoue
of this play, called "Another Tri-
angle." The balance of this program
is immediat ly apparent, and this in
itself is an unusual virtue. It is no-
toriously true that a one sided pro-
gram iall too generally the rule of
Little Theatres.
"Hyacinths," which opened the pro-
-,ram, is an ironic corned-v. That is, it
is a tragedy so true to life that it ij
humorcats. It tells in a quiet way of
P quiet economical widow who tries
to make her two daughters as parsi-
mnious as herself. Unwittingly she
robs her elder child of all her ambi-
tions and *enthusiasm, so that when
the daughter finally saves up enough
money to go to New York she finds
that she has become so miserly she
cannot snend it. In the end she se-
cretly gives her savings to her youn-
er sister so that she may obtain a
musical education instead of descend-
ing into her-drab existence. Here we
have three trying roles, a bigoted
mother, a frivolous young girl, and au
drudging elder sister; roles easily
capable of misconception and over-
acting. Yet Mr. Quirk, the director,
evidently" went out into the streets.
picked three such characters. and put
them on his stage for us to watch
them be themselves. Such, at least,
waa the effect.
Indeed, this .might be said of the
entire program. The players did not
act: they were so fitted to their parts
that they had only to be natural. The
effect was also aided by the fact that
on account of the very small- auditor-
ium they could speak in natural tones.
Without exaggeration. I have never
seen a program so far removed from
the theatre, and one that gave such a
perfect semblance of life.1
The O'Neill play, "Fog," was of
course tragedy in its starkest sense.
It tells of a poet, a business man, and
a peasant woman adrift in a lifeboat
in the middle of the ocean. The act-
ing in this play was, as I have said.
quite faultless,but it, was superseded
by the, remarkable -setting. Can .you
imagine a more difficult scene than a
life boat in the Atlantic ocean? Yet
the effect was perfect in every way.
The manner in which it was accom-
plished was very simple, as such'

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THROUGHOUT THE STORE
« HOULD ULD acquaintance be forgot!" Let's" bring back the
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