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January 13, 1924 - Image 17

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The Michigan Daily, 1924-01-13

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SUNDAY, JANUARY 13, 1923

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

IPA r F.I '1

*.rences of men, but a sort of soul- casual student has little or no inti
geography. mation of the intricacies of the sci-
The bit about Dreiser which was ence which has been more and more
B o o k s an d printed on the front page of this engaging the attention of modern
" meritorious publication last Sunday, scholars. History really is a new
'herds with the goats. It is obviously science. Only within recent years
a headpiece to the collection if taken have we recognized that it is some-
together wsth the dedication, but it is, thing other than a mere narration of
I think; the product of one of his bad events. We have, in other words,
For Mr. Anderson is an amateur mooments. It is Anderson at his been gaining new aspects of the
THE SHEEP AND at the business of writing. That is, he worst maudlin, diffuse and heavily meaning of "study.
THE GOATS he doesn't know the business of writ- symbolic--but very much Anderson. Two of the newly acquired aspects
ing as others do. Whether or not this Perhaps the happiest piece of all, in of the study of history are: First, that
"HORSES AND MEN" is fortunate and increases the stature the sense that it is according to the events are in essence the manifests-
By Sherwood Anderson. of the man of consequence, it is, nev- canons of story-telling the most fin- tion of ideas, and that ideas, far from
B. W. Hsebseh,192&' $2).- ertheless, disconcerting to the reader ished work, is the first, "I'm a Fool." being transcendent to man's life, are
Whenever a reviewer sits down to who is schooled in the conventions of He is at his best when talking about actually expressions of man's physical
do up a book of short stories I think the writer's trade. Take "The Sad the horses and men of the Ohio race desires, needs, and cravings. .Jntelli-
he always heaves a weary sigh, for Horn Blowers," which I would rank tracks A racing swine meets and { gence, both as studied in history, and
instead of one plot and one set of with the capricornous members of the falls in love with a girl and, because as used by ourselves in the study of
characters such as moves through the volume, with its unbalanced and un- he has told her a tall story about his history, is a purposive function of the
pages of a novel there are more likely comfortable mixing of two plots-the family and affairs, he feels he has human animal, and is an instrument
a dozen, all different and all entitled young man orienting himself in the shut himself away from her. Feel- of desire.
to equal attention. What to do, but world and the old man trying to ing thus he is shut away from her- Secondly; we have begun to under-
theorize on the general tone of the squirm out from under the thumb of and that's the story. Tragedy, you,1 stand that history is the by-product of
collection. j his wife. The two threads of action see. an effervescence of mingling masses
In Mr. Anderson's "Horses and do not merge and flow together, one An Ohio Pagan is, far from expec- of people. The old belief was that it
Men," there are eleven pieces, if you in subordination to the other, as a tation, true to its title. It is the lyric is arecord of heroes and their deeds.
include the introduction and the: more practised story teller would tale of an unlearned adolescent boy The new conception is that heroes of
squib on Dreiser. I propose to offer have them do. in harvest time who has "made him- very minor "events." Merz, in his
a method of approach to Mr. Ander. That is the trouble with Mr. Ander- self a figure of Jesus as a young History of European Thought in the
son and his works-a way to ool: at son-he never learns to tell a story god walking about over the land." 19th Century, skillfully expresses the
im-a critical angle-a measuring properly. His purpose is different. Simple tales, you see; not stories' new aspect which the modern his-
stick by which to judge his art--or 'When you know this and stop being at all in the proper sense of the torian has attained to as follows:
what you will. worried about the absence of plot and word, but as pictures of people from "The vague yearnings of thou-
If a platitude, will be pardoned, tal! action, and the .other physical trap- the inside out they are highly sue- sands who never succeed either in
men are Jekylls and, by the same ings that go with the story- as such, cessful. satisfying or expressing 'them, the
token, Hydes. It is. equally true that he becomes immediately intelligible. Jno: Panurge hundreds of failures which never
all men are seers and in a consider- Rebecca West some time ago in the - become known, the numberless de-
ably larger measure. fools. Anderson New Statesman called attention to the Ihearts
is, both of these. But he Asby way of fact that he was concerned with what of men or arepainted only In
beingan artist and as such when he she was pleased to call the New Psy- OF HISTORY their living features, the un-
sees deep and- when he is foolish he is chology' which seems to the study and counted strivings after solutions
well nigh idiotic. And some of his presentation of :the subject of the "ASPECTS. OF THE STUDY' OF Rt of practical problems dictated by
stuff is good and some is very bad. story divorced of its physical setting, HAN HISTORY," by Thomas Spen- ambition or want, the many hours
Too many enthusiasts for the new or at least without giving the - com- cer Jeorme. G. N. Putnan's Sons] spent by laborours of science in
school of writing are prone to accept monplaee actions of the characters A certain critic in praising one of unsuccessful attempts to solve
all that flows from the - industrious the whole of the stage. Edgar Poe's. short stories said that the riddles of nature-all these
pen of Mr. Anderson as genuine bona Mr. Anderson's method is to seek it was as simple as a Greek column, hidden and forgotten, efforts form
fide specie But with Mr. Anderson, after the essential of the men andeipsimple: because so perfect: Onlyon indeed the bulk of a nation's
perhaps more than With anyone else, women he is engaged in portraying; closer examination does the com- thought of which only 'a small
the goats should be divided from the It is not a realism achieved by record-position appear. Inthe same way is fraction comes to the surface, or
sheep with a firi hand. ing the exterior and. superficial occur-, the study of History simple. The shows itself in; the literature,

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'

science, poetry, art, and, practical
achievements of the age."
Thomas Spencer Jerome, has taken
these new aspects of historical re-
search- and applied them to the study'
of ancient Rome. His book is not a
history, but a criticism of the study'
of history. With a high ideal as to
what true history should be he points
out many, many places in our here
tofore accepted versions of the story,'
where inatcuritcies are liable to have
been committed; and -with some keen
and clever criticism on his own part
hints at possible rennovations in our
store of "knowledge" which though
radical, would bring us nearer to the
truth. The effect of his book in the
reader's mind is a vivid impression of
the increlbility of historical testi-
1mony; an': an awful realization of how
little we reall know about Rome and
the Romans.
1 One of the most interesting of the'
introductory chapters is the one en-
titled' "Ancient Ron and=' MMdern
America," in which he repeats the
'often' quoted dictum that without An-
cient Rome, Modern America wculd
never have been conceived-'at least
as we' observe it today.'
M. Jeromehs volume' is interesting
beading throughout, even to the lay-
man, and for the student who' is As
yet but partially a scholar, it is a
veritable mine of signffcant references'
for further study. Perhaps the worst
that can: be said for the book is that
it contains too many references. The
first few chapters are unsatisfying,
and one is tempted to abandon 'the
author entite!Y, because he utters no
interpretations of his own, but insists
on collecting other people's thought>.
Further reading, however, rewards
one with energetIc critictsm, antIĀ°keen;,
fervent appreciation of Roman' inove
ment and Roma-n persotalities.
The work of' ThismeAs Speiscer Jer
eme should be of special interest to
local thinkers' since the authlo is a I
Michigan mas baving- been born in
.4Saginaw being the son of an' -x-govĀ°

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