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October 30, 1929 - Image 3

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1929-10-30

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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,ercy

Marks'

New

Novel

Smac

ks of ood

Old

Siwash

COLLEIATE NOVEL SS

____________________ '-5--

by John Knott 'STUDENT-WRITTEN

Satirical Cover Jacket Found on Pigskin

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L.11U~tuu11IN 11. QUi
OF STUDENT M:IND
Ever since the days of Ernest
Hemyng's Jack Harkaway and his
adventures at Oxford, which filled-
two volumes with an account of the
most glorious and beatific life that '
existed at Oxford, consisting main-
ly of drinking, playing practical
jokes on tutors, falling in love,
rowing for the dark blue against,
Cambridge, and escaping arrest, the
romantic college novel has taken
Its place in the lists as a sort of
pardonable literary blasphemy.r
More recently, about 10 years ago,
the novels of the the late George
Fitch appeared, portraying the
American college with his books
about "dear old Siwash."
Either One Or the Other.
These were all quite amusing,.
and people read them and smiled
and said, "Well, well, college must!
like that, and boys will be boys."
The queer outcome of all this early!
bosh that was so picturesquely viv-
ified in the leaves of these earlyW
college books is that the tradition
in modified form seems to cling
about the efforts of modern writ-
ers as well. If they are not sicken-'
ingly sentimental, they are grotes-
quely sophisticated and distortedf
in another direction.; In no college,--
novel within the limits of my own did it like a gentleman, was roman- the best logical course for him toI
experience has a novelist success- tic nevertheless. follow iin his struggle for existence.1
fully attempted an analysis of the Bill Royce came to college with This is all pretty dry football
student mind. There has been no none of the illusions of the youth- patter, like the kind Ralph Henry
attempt to intellecualize student ful Hugh Carver of Plastic Age re- Barbour wrote, badly written and
impulse and action. The working of nown. He was older than most of tritle conceived.
the student mind is always his classmates and came to school Of course he meets the girl and
shrouded behind a romantic veil to get an education. He had played they fall in love. The girl breaks
that either covers a multitude of football because he liked the game off her engagement because, she
sins or blinds the reader with a and because it had, ever since he says, she divines the same lack of
tinsel effect of right-doing, honor, graduated from high school, paid spirit in Bill's love for her as in
pure living, and a lone burning de- I him well. But he had no desire to his football playing. It's all very
sire-to die for the old school. Or do his damndest for dear old Ral- sad. She won't marry him because
if it is not romanticized thus, it is eigh, he had no desire to break a he doesn't know how to play.
characterized in a fashion so warp- leg for her, he had no desire to Then, ah, then comes the big
ed and brutal that all college men win or die for her. The,Allota sudden he feels
are considered beasts who seek out
innocent young co-eds for their "Why All the Fuss?" urge to do big things for alma
He quits the squad in his sopho- mater. The divine spark flashes
prey, read Nietzsche with a dire!
purpose, and flunk out of school in more year becatise he can't stand brightly, and he becomes the tra-
the sentiment the other members ditional and quite unimpressive
disgrace. of the team seems to work up about !raging maniac of the gridiron, the
And Then Came Percy Marks. a game. To him it is just that, a idol of the college, and, most of all,
Percy Marks a few years ago put game which he enjoys. But to them the man of his sweetheart's dreams.
forth on the market his much read it is a life or death matter that Now trash like this is not far re-
Plastic Age. It failed just where they take with all the seriousness moved from the Jack Harkaway
all the preceding novels of that of an international war, stories. Of course there was not
type failed. It over-romanticized The college is in an uproar over the oh-so-grave problem of paid
college life, college students. col- his refusal to play and he frankly athletes at the Oxford of Jack
lee professors, college athletics, connot understand it. He justifies Harkaway, but his life was glazed
and college work. his position thus: with much the same romantic shel-
In his newest novel, The Unwill- And the Girl!" lac. And Mark's, style, I dare say,
ing God, which was born first in The upshot of the matter is that is not much better than Hemyig's.
that dank maternity hospital of i the athletic department gets him a It is curt and iturnalistic, and full
American wit, College Humor, he job. He receives twenty-five dollars 'of the illusive phrasing and bad
foists on his public that rather a week for doing "janitor" work. novel technique he should have
anamolous character, the romantic His duties consist in winding a been warning his classes against
football hero, the unwilling hero clock-an eight-day clock, at that. when he taught English at Dart-
who, -though he played for money He accepts the job laconically as mouth.
{i
M ARNIQRr

IS FOOTBALL JUST '
Too COMMERCIAL?
Mr. Ferguson's novel of college
life is quite the antithesis of Percy
Marks' The Unwilling God. Mr. Fer-'
guson's footballer is not the quiet,;
cultured bruiser that galloped over
the gridiron with Apollo-like grace.
He is on the contrary,a boor, a brute,I
and quite the all-round curmudgeon
as well as the triple threat man.
He is not, however, the hero of the
story. He is one of the many dirty
villains.
The hero of the piece is Horace
Ethelmore Dickey, president ofs
Martha Sumner University, and
about him Ferguson weaves his,
satire on administration in the
modern college. Poor Dickey is a
narrow, well-meaning soul whom
everyone dupes without his know-
ledge. The Board of Chancellors
who run the University are willing
to sacrifice anything for new build-
ings and a winning football team,
and Dickey, more by bewildered ne-
cessity than by his own volition,
falls in with their ideal.
He meets opposition in every
turn. Sensible faculty men, stu-
dents and student publications, and
within his own family.{

Caricature of Charles Ferguson

(,\

The University of Michigan Play
books, published by George Wahr
and sold exclusively at the Wahr
Bookstore in Ann Arbor, are worth
any one's while to own. They con-
tain the five winning student-com-
posed plays submitted in the one-
act play contest conducted last
'year.
The plays are valuable not only
for the merit each individual play
may have but as an indication of
the quality of creative work on the
campus. The volume itself is beau-
tifully bound in a grey packet with
a back binding of black. The work
is carefully edited by Professor
Kenneth T. Rowe, of the rhetoric
department, whose classes in play
writing contributed all the win-
ping \plays, though the competition
was open to any ptudent on the
campus.
Professor Louis Strauss, head of
the English department has writ-
ten a long, intelligent introduction
to the work, outlining the history
of play writing and production ac-
tivities on the campus.
The plays include The Joiners, by
Arthur Hinckley; Passion's Pro-
gress, by R. Leslie Askren; My Man.

by Joh°Knott SELAYS OBITEN
PLAYS OBTAINABLE

o'

vaa a.aIUa i i, & YCl,
His desire for fame for the college by Jerome F. McCarthy, and Out-
completely unsets his equilibrium.-f side This Room, by Dorothy Ack-
It becomes an almost maddening ob- erman. The fifth play, by Helen
session with him. He allows the foot- i Adler, was a puppet show and was
ball team to be paid, hushes over: _never produced, as the others were,
wild parties, and paws his self re-'detakoffclte
wid arie, ndpas issef Ie mission is one up on Mr. Marks,; per co-ed, o un dumb ath- due to lack of facilities.
spect to get a new stadium and the ,pr , a Don Juan,
inherited estate of a half crazy mil- 'whose works are inadvertently so. lete, or a Galahad. There is no University of Michigan: Recent-
lionaire. In connection with the Of course, Mr. Ferguson is a bad mention of the brilliant few or the ly the Carnegie Foundation charged
latter, he allows the ruining of his writer and his picture of the stu- vast majority that range in bet- the University of Michigan with re-
daughter by the star football, player dents is as distorted in the opposite ween. cruiting and paying its athletes.
to be kept a jealous secret rather direction as Mr. Marks' is the ro- These charges have been denied by
than raise a scand atthe collegec But it is all good fun
and lose his own job for firing the i u ti a UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO.-A Wilfred B. Shaw, director of alumni
football hero. and sensible student intellect con- million dollar hall of arts, the gift relations and T. Hawley Tapping,
Mr. Ferguson admits that his ceived in the mind of the college of Max Epstein, philanthropist Nid general secretary of the Alumni as-
work is a satire, and in that ad- novels. Either the student is a flap- manufacturer, is to be erected here ( sociation.

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MICHIGAN DAILY

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