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November 02, 1930 - Image 3

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1930-11-02

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SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 1930

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

L L ;a41W L

E TYER EXAYISCMPRY

CRITICISM

N N A K1I EDt]

ROBINSON,

THE GLORY O THE NlGl N
GALES: by Edwi Arlton bla
inson: Mac illan Co. JOHN 1J T
and other poems: by Conrad Aiken
Cl1arles Scribners ons.
Reviewed by William S. Gr-man.
Edwin Arlingten Robinson an
Conrad Aiken, writing very differ
ent poetry, are alike in the matur
ity of their craftsmanship. Bot
have, after years of experifont
realized and in a sense codified th
poetic forms appropriate to thel
peculiar perceptivities. Such a
achievement is certainly necessar:
to the consistent productin o:
major poetry.
Robinson has been consistently
producing major poetry for year
now. And the forms he has foun
to do it in have had no little t
do with his success. Robinson hw
always been "in our time." He ha:
always had a sense of the strain i7
contemporary life. Indeed the dis-
crepancy between "life and life de
sired" (in other words the probleir
of "failures") has been the funda-
mental problem vitalizing his poet
utterance. He has maintained hi
own presence of mind (and giver
us the sense of serenely, thougk~
sardonically, confronting contem-
porary life) by the discovery of a
technique with which to explore
this problem. The result has been
the perfection of a method, of
poetic narrative. With the excep-
tion of his sonnets and his excur
sions into Arthurian legend, Rob-
inson has been fundamentally the
biographer of souls-souls caught
in situations that mean "faiure"
for them He has been sanely and
steadily creating and exploring a
world of "failures." The list of
characters in that world are fanm-
iliar.
This year has seen the addition
of two: Malory and Nightingale.
These boyhood friends had beer
parted by the catastrophe of the
unsuccessful Malory's winning the
love of the girl, who was the one
thing necessary to complete Night-
ingale's brilliant. success. Night-
ingale had ruined Malory in f nan-
cial speculation, which had in turn
meant the death of Maloriy's *ife
The poem opens with Malory, an
old man, trudging the road to
Nightingale's palatial home, deter-
mined to murder him.. Typically.
Robinson resolves these intense
moments of rather silly passion
into an intricate, analytical discus-
sion of motives and lives, Malory
finds Nightingale a pitiful invalid
knowing death every day. The
melodrama is over. Two civilized
men discuss their lives at great
length. Then Nightingale commits
sucide, wiling Malory his money.
There is a peculiar astringent
irony in the conception of this nar-
rative, which indicates Robinson's
fundamental attitude. Otherwise,
there is a balance in Robinson's
mind-humour preventing senti-
mentality, a pity that prevents
.railing, an intellect that makes
character understandable - which,
makes the poem completely objec-
tive. Aside from the typical pass-
ages where the Robinsonian twisted
language is not intricate analysis
but merely twisted language, the
poem is a brilliant one-and no1
different in form from ten other
brilliant poems by Robinson.
Robinson 2 continued
As early as 1910, Conrad Aiken
was aware of difficulties in his
poetic intentions: "I am in quest
of a sort of absolute poetry, a poe-
try in which the intention is not
so much to arouse an emotion,

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Towards Standards: by Norman Foerster: Farrar and Rinehart:
Price $2.50. Review Copy Courtesy
of Wahr's Book Store.
hcivieze.d by I',ro fcssor I Iurier G. Rice
Professor Foerster has made up his latest book by putting between
two covers papers that have appeared elsewhere: papers on "Humas
in the Renaissance," "Humanism in the Twentieth Century," "Human-
ism and Religion," and three articles on contemporary crit-cism. The
author's main intention is suggested by these titles. He has undertaken to
restate and to apply the doctrines of humanism, has tried to put the hu-
:nanists' program in a more simple and more coherent form than it took
in Humanism and Ameri-a. Accordingly he begins with definition and
illustration, in his first chapter pointing the contrast between the
incomplete' Humanists of Renaissance Italy, who in his opinion - it is
an opinion based, apparently, chiefly on the reading of secondary
authorities, Burckhardt, Symonds, Sandys, and so forth-were exponents
of 'naturism' rather than a true humanism, and Erasmus, whom he
chooses as the complete, representative Humanist.
Having thus set up an example for admiration, Professor Foerster
goes on to discuss various critics and theorites of criticism, arranging
them in the Arnoldian categories of personal, historical, and real. In[
treating these subjects he makes appropriate use of ideas derived from
his masters in philosophy, Professor Babbitt and Paul Elmer More, add-
ing nothing essential, but attempting new applications, especially in the
field of recent American literature.
After disposing of Impressionism, he enters upon an extended dec-
onstration designed to prove that both our 'journalistic' historians of
literature - as represented by Stuart Sherman and Henry S. Canby -
and our 'long distance prophets'- e. g., Randolph Bourne, Van Wyck
Brooks, and Lewis Mumford-have been disappointed guides because
of their immersion in the flux, their failure to find firm standing ground
in the wisdom of the past, in tradition. In conclusion, of course, Pro-
fessor Foerster asserts that only humanistic criticism can prepare the
way for truly sound creative effort and supply the "need of the age,"
that is, "integration, the establishment of a significant :relation between
the present and the past."
The case is argued on the whole with temperance, and the system'
which is erected makes a very decent, though now somewhat familiar,'
show. But like others of his school, Professor Foerster reduces complex
problems to a dieceptive simpliacity, and passes over in silence oppor-
tunities which might issue in profitable speculations. It would be inter-
esting, for example, to have his analysis of the forces which moved,
Stuart Sherman to desert the stronghold of humanism, where his services
nad been distinguished and where his leadership seemed assured, and
to plunge into the journalistic welter of New York. Men of Sherman's
caliber do not make such changes without reason, nor do they act for
exactly the reasons which hasty and hostile critics attribute to them.
An understanding of what Sherman tried to do casts some light on the
li'mitations of the humanism which is at present being preached in
America. Perhaps unwittingly, Professor Foerster himself supplies a
touchstone with which to try the gospel when he quotes with approval
Enasmus' cry, "I am a lover of liberty, I cannot and will not serve a
party."

iN OUR TIME

WRa1,N1PITES FINE BOOK

LOWERINGx JUDAS: by Katherine
C y:P arcourt, Brace and
iten to 600 copi.. .. .. .. .. . .. ..
t This new book unquestionably re-
veals the most significant talent for
fiction that has appeared in some
Yy-ars; reveals it functioning suc-
^essfully in a sufficient variety
;f situations to leave no doubt
about its possible future.
As Tate has indicated, the signi-
rcant thing about Miss Porter's
technique is its refusal to take any
recognisable form and then con-
tinue to exploit itself. This has
been the story of too many Ameri-
cans writing fiction: Cabell, Hem-
ingway, and Elizabeth Madox Rob-
erts to mention a few. The distinc-
tion of her prose style lies in its
EnsHeingw>ay. adequacy to a variety of material:
- --__to two stories in a Mexican locale,
H imngwayReprin ts to appearance and disappearance
of a querulous mood in wife and
First Short Stories husband, to the devotion of a afam-
ily to an idiot son, to the stream
of consciousness of the dying
This reprint of Hemingway's Granny Weatherall. The method in
first miscellany of short stories and each of these stories is different;
sketches is timely. The book is es- each method grows from a thor-
sential to the understanding of a ough grasp of the situation at
man who still remains one of the hand. In no story, with the possible
most original and significant of exception of Magic, is there either
contemporary writers. spurious intensity or under-state-
The bock is composed of a series ment.
of stories about Nicky, a healthy The uniqueness of Miss Porter's
American boy growing up in the approach to character lies in her
Anerian Northwest, alternated by feeling for the uniqueness of char-
short brutal sketches of war scenes acter. A tenet of hers must be that
The alternation seems haphazard the individuality of a character can
Actually the contrast reveals very only be realized by treatment of it
strikinrlythe central emotion in as isolated. There are no discursive
lermingway's work: curiously intri- plunges into social background for
cafe with felings about the central purposes of locating and rational-
brutamity in the human frame. This izing characteristics. Character is
interes in pain is, if there one, the projected without location. This
poin of view characteristic of all Miss Porter may have learned from
1-iemhigw s-work. In this early Virginia Woolf. The distinction of
book, the point of view appears this first book makes such a com-
most clearly, most understandably. parison plausible..
W. J. G. W. J. G.

5chnitzer Issues Novel of

Casanova

Porray ig Conquests of His Old AgeI

CASANOVA'S 1IO M ECOMhIING: by Arthur Schnitzler: Simon and Sclus-
er 1930: P ic; $l.0( ,
In Casanova's Homecoming, Schnitzler set himself a task which
many before him have tried with disastrous results. He must reconstruct
in historical figure for the uses of fiction. But there is an intrinsIc
oroblem. Is the narrative to su'rmount the biographical appendages?
Or will the story primarily serve the purpose of exposition of the histori-
ral personage? This is the more difficult procedure.
Schnitzler's Casanova, Ot; an aging gallant, falls in love with a cul-
'ared, clever, beautiful young girl. I-e finally seduces her by means of
Gric-kery, by taking We place of her young lover at a tryst. Since he
knows that he, an old man, disgusts her in the only role he wishes to
play, he overcomes his scruples, his sense of honor, his hatred of her
attitude towards him, his hatred of his own seediness. All that is present
is his desire. And this portrayal of
merely, or to persuade of a reality, Casanova is fundamentally true.
a e y'os One pauses to use the word lust in
as to employ such emotion or sense connection with this name - one is
of reality (tangentially struck) required to use a term synonomous
with the same cool detachment with philosophy -- a strong and dig-
with which a composr employs nified term: not hedonism or epi-
notes or chords." Since that time cureani'sm.
"music has been Aiken's greatest That Schnitzler could remain true
to this authentic conception is com-
gift and heavist han: ap" i mendable. The Casanova before the
has always written musical varia- iiuai. adventure is at war with him-
tions, suggestng thm i mter- self and the world. But, as soon as
al. ithas ( trecd, he is quiescent.
The probem f rieA n the grl's recognition of him is
was the problem of (1I ng ne intt e. En' the killing of
music and mea:ning. . o:cten a her lover re not enough to discom-
.vas completely ha y about the marie him. thi: ortmayal from the
meaning. Tihc aupearance of psy- time of the tryst on is totally objec-
;hoanalysis, with its concepLion of five. There is no remorse no soul
the unconscious ad its lund of im- struggle. And beca-ae ofthis in-
zgery, swas he stiilating thin';i sight into Casanova's character, I
for Aikin's pc-y. It neant for 1 culd cavil with the author for the
him a new integration of Music first half of the story. While his
and meaning In depicting the portrait is generally true, he allows
low of the cruao.us, he had it to remain too fluid for the pur-
adequate opportunity to indulg;e pose of this filion. The contrast
his sense for i nd stiil make between the old and the young at
some rten ' at e ie:lgorical- the beginning is a universal situa-
ly, o l0 d mia g. The a- tion - ard so Schnitzler deals with
warding c Puer Prize to 'it. Casanova is merely an old man
him last year vv srecognition of with regrets for his past youth: he
major (pn is rot the Casanova of the Memoirs
In his atest volume, there is a or the final pages of this novel-the
long =oc. yet impenetrable, true Casanova.
several stri: love-lyri s, and a Schnitzler's style, as usual, is
long poem, C;u? ngi Mb-d, bril- quite lucid; nor does he overstress
liantly recording a psychanalytic the situation for purpose of analy-
adventure: t'_ et plunging into sis. We are thankful for this. But
the river of hi''i, there to find the thought enters our minds, how
despite : c of imagey and an much is he dependent on our ante-
ast'nl:LU± telct for becoming cedent knowledge of the Chevalier
many persons, "the rind of peace." de Seingalt; for the rest of the
In this poem, Aiken has reconciled characters, while adequate, are nei-
music and a degree of affirmation ther very true nor real.
with somewhat unusual success. L. K.

w

Cif

- - - - --

The Special
1-2 off
of
Will last only a
FEW DAYS
longer
It has accomplished what it was
meant to do. Namely, to interest
people so they would compare
these excqisite Rugs with not only
other Chinese but with other Or-
entals and see "or themselves
HOW MUCI SUERIOR MER-
RICK HEIRICOMS are, not only
in beauty of dsign and coloring
but also in workmanship and
quaility to either Chinese. or other
Orie stcdsat anywhere near the
Of the large number of 9x12's,
8xlo s, 6x9's and 5x8's and small-
er Rugs in stock August 1st, all of
which were included in this sale.
There ar' left only two 912's, one
5x8, and a very few of the smaller
Rugs .
Beginning August 2, new ship-
ments have been coming of un-
usually lovely scatter sizes, in or-
chid, plum, wisteria, soft green,
blue, cream with black edge and
all black-and at the regular
prices, I am able to give you bet-
ter values than ever before, for
these beautiful Rug,;.
Chinese money began going up
in August, and is still climbing. If
you need rugs, NOW IS THE
TIME TO ORDER SPECIAL, if
you do not find wat you want in
stock.
Until Christmas
MER IC
Importers
EXTENTION OF TIME
on

L E
p yl EE{ F (1 "yyry
/r
l

y
'y, 4. , _.
n {c _
,

ore

~'9 a9
Quality D v 40
at a. Fal'or Price

i

i

I, -..__ __ _.- _
{F'
I

Mullison

CM

Sta"ales

CONVENIENT
CASH AND CARRY
STORES
In Ann Arbor
214 S. State St
1115 S. Univ. Ave.
703 Packard
Cor. State andMonr
In Ypsianti
29 N. Washington
231 W. Cross

326 E. Ann St. and Fai Grounds (out Jackson Ave.)
Our stables consist of thirty-five well-trained horses and our equipinen; is the very best.
The Ann St. Stable caters more to the experienced rider.
All school horses and Instruction at the Fair Grounds Stable where we have a large Indoor'
(lighted) Ring. There is also a number of lligh-cdss horses here and the roads leading
to the River and Barton Hills are beautiful.
There will be a MOON-LIGHT dE, Wednesday night, Nov. 5th

CASH
AND CARRY
PRICES

AT ALL BRANCHES
ON ALL WORK
MEN
OR
WOMEN

NI

A TwO-.Hur Ride and Refreshments.

Call Us About it!

P o n e

7 48

I.
__

a - - ~nt u~~-Srsntnr

III

OLDMAN )

11r

V

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The Ann Arbor Savings Bank
Extends a cordial invitation to the openmng
of the Remodeled University Avenue Branch
Wednesday, November 5th'

11

iracleanD
r'den a breath of c riW

4 19

Fill r%1 7 - I -, II--141

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