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May 01, 1932 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1932-05-01

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THE MICHIGAN DAILY

. SUNDAY, MAY l 1932

CI _ __ _

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'ublished every mornig except Monday during the University
by the Doard in Control of Student Publications.
Member of the Western Conference Editorial Association.
he Associated Press is exciucively entitled to the use forr
ation of all news dispatches credited to ,it or niot otherwise
ed in this paper and the local news published herein.
ntered at the Post Office at Ann Arbor, Michigan, as second
matter. Special rate of postage granted by Third Assistant
aster General.
ubscription by, carrier, $4.00; by mail, $4.50
fices: Ann Arbor Press Building, Maynard Street, Ann Arbor,
gan. Phones: Editorial, 4925; Buriness, 21214.
EDITORIAL STAFF
Telephone 4925
MANAGING EDITOR
Editor RICHARD L. T0BIN David u Nichou
Edtr.............................DaiMNco
Editor. . ........... ......Carl Forsythe
ial Director .............Beach Conger, Jr.
Editor .............Sheldon C. Fullerton
n's Editor... ..............Margaret M. Thompson
ant News Editor.............Robert L. Pierce

to get the utmost out of a naturally dramatic situa-
tion.
There are a few scenes with real action, the most
impressive of which is the cashiering of Dreyfus, but
mostly the film attempts to depict a clash of ideas,
not of personalities. The court scenes are recitations,
and there are plenty of them. Isnriie Zola, who risked
a great deal to defend Dreyfus, orates rather than
acts, for instance. The picture also lacks mechanical
unity. Transitions are too abrupt and direction too
crude for one accustomed to American films.
But withal there is something to see here, and
certainly a good deal to think about. Without propa-
gandizing, it does give an idea of the effect militar-
ism can have on a country. By the way, if you
intend to see the show, it would be well to review
your knowledge of the case. A good understanding
of the facts involved seems to be presupposed by the
producers, though an excellent idea of the obscurity
with which proceedings were carried through is
given. R.A.G.

,

I.-

NIGHT; EDITORS
k B. Gilbreth J. Cullen Kennedy James Inglis
Roland A. Goodman Jerry E. Rosenthal
Karl Seiffert George A. Stauter

I

I

!,JUlldC and IDRAM~A

l

W. Jones

ley WV. Arnhelim
,aid F. Blanlcertz
'ard C. Campbell
mas Connellan
ert S. Deutsch
I A. Huber

Sports Assistanta
John W. Thomas
REPORTERS
Harold F.ilute
Lohn S. Marshall
Roland Martin
Henry Meyer
Albert H. Newman
E. Terome Pettit
Prudence Foster
Alice Gilbert
Frances Manchester
Elizabeth Mann

Charles A. Sanfordj
john W. Pritchard I
Joseph Rerihan
C. Hart Schaaf
Brackley Shaw
Parker Snyder
Glenn R. Winters
Margaret O'Briea
Beverly Stark
Alma Wadsworth
Josephine Woodhams

n Carver
e Collins
Crandall
Feldman

BUSINESS STAFF
Telephone 21214
RAR2LES T. KLIN ......................Business Managet
ORRIS P. JOHNS N.....................Assistant Managec
Department Managers
vertising ............... .............Vernon Bishop
dvertising Cotntracts ............................Harry R. Begley
lvertisins ServiceB..r..........................B on C. Vedder
iblications ...... «........... ... ........William T. flrovn.
counts.. ......................... Richard Stratemeh
omens Business Manager ...................... Ann W, Vernor

1 Aronson
ert E. Burnley
Clark
rt Finn
na Becker
mne lischgrund
Gallmeyer
lerine Jackson
>thy Laylin

Assistants
Arthur F. Kohn
Bernard Schnacke
Grafton W. Sharp
Virginia McComb
Caroline Mosher
Helen Olson
Helen Schmude
May Seefried

Donald A. Johnson,
Dean Turner
Don Lyon
Bernard H. Good

II

helen Spencer
Kathryn Spencer
Kathryn Stork
(lare Unger
Mary Elizabeth Watts

NIGHT EDITOR--ROLAND A. GOODMAN
SUNDAY, MAY 1, 1932

O ur Sappy
Condiion

'HE faults in modern American civilization
-which Professor Oldfather paraded in his lec-1
re- Friday afternoon are, we admit, grevious
.es. But they are nothing new to us. Mencken
s been displaying them gleefully for the last
cade. Though he is eminently correct, the
sitor from Illinois certainly is not original in
is. We might quarrel with his choice of mater-E
s, but it must be conceded that, as he said, the
untry's cultural condition is serious if even one
stance of the Americana sort exists.1
It is with his conception of the cause of ?.his<
appy" condition, and with his proposed solution
at we would quarrel. So far as is feasible, the
ucated classes have asserted themselves. The1
untry does have "a sincere and fearless criticismc
iich will frankly tell simpletons that what they
e writing is slush." These fearless critics havej
fused to accept the "slush." It has continued to
-culate because the simpletons subsist on each1
her. The simpletons refused to be reached by1
e educated classes, and there is no way short of
gte force to make them listen. A college educa-.
n is no ladder to scale or ram to batter down'
ch a wall of indifference. It is only by deliber-
e overstatement, such as Professor Oldfather's
e recognize his purpose and do not censure him
this), that even the educated can be induced
give attention and think. How, then, can onet
:ure the attention of persons who read nothing
t the daily papers and attend no amusement but
e movies, both built to their taste?
The fault in modern America and the reason
r the difference between our culture and that of
tiquity is the difference in social structure. In
small country such as classical Greece, whose
:al population never exceeded one million and
is divided into small states, with a racially"
mogeneous population, a closely and sympa-
etically integrated intellectual feeling was quite
ssible. The teacher was not a person who had'
ntact with his pupils for only part of the day,.
e days a week, half the weeks of the year, until'
ey had reached an average age of 16 years; butt
:her was an honored master or friend with whom
eas were to be discussed throughout a lifetime.1
iowledge and literature were limited, though ofl
high order. Thus learning and practicing at
ide did not preclude comparatively complete'
ltural achievement, such as is impossible to"
yone today. Distractions were fewer and not sof
ailable, and most of literature and art, together1
th competent teachers, were close at hand. Aj
an with leisure was naturally inclined to employ1
properly. We might almost state the differencej
tween Greece and America in these terms: the
-eek knew where and how his teachers lived;!
e do not.
The teacher is less influential in American
e, and our nation of 120,000,000 persons is not j
.nit. Until we -can accomplish a state in whichj
ucation is not only free but continuous and in-I
ise; in which it is human and sympathetic,
ther than mechanical and impersonal; in whicha
ucation is not consecutive with. but co-existent
th making a living-not until then, can we bring
nerica to a respectable cultural level. And alll
e professional teachers of America, even if they?
as sincere and intense as Professor Oldfather,
nnot change the results until they remedy the'
use.

MON AMI TEDDY
by Professor Warner Forrest Patterson
The Cercle Francais, in the Department of Ro-
mance Languages of the University of Michigan,
presented, on Thursday evening, April 28, its annual
play, the twenty-sixth in its long series of classical
and modern plays. Instead of giving a double-
header of two shorter works, as in 1930 and 1931, the
Cercle chose this year a light comedy, offering a full
evening's entertainment, "Mon Ami Teddy" by MM.
Andre Rivoire and Lucien Besnard, first performed in
Paris on the twenty-ninth of April, 1910. In lieu
of staging the annual play in May, as had been the
custom, the Cercle decided to heed the repeated re-
quests of the Modern Language section in the
Michigan Schoolmasters' Club and to offer the annual
play at the time of the state meeting, so that more
than the local audience might be present. By thisk
change of date the "Bureau du Cercle," composed of
Helen Hawxhurst, "Presidente," Burnette Bradley,
"Vice-Presidente," Jean MacNaughton, "Secretaire,"
Sylvia Goldstein, "Tresorier," and M. Charles Koella,
Faculty Director, won sincere gratitude from French
teachers in the state, who were thus enabled to
attend the Thursday night performance.
Mon Ami Teddy, without being a great master-!
piece, is a pleasant and amusing play, with a number
of parts offering an interesting opportunity for char-
acter acting. The chief farce role (played by
Madeleine Meloche), that of the ambitious and amor-
ous Mme. Roucher, widow of a former president of
the Republic, whom she had elevated to that high
office by unremitting energy, is one especially pro-
ductive of merriment. Miss Meloche showed talent
as an actress, especially in the first scene of straight
farce. Her more serious bits were not invariably
convincing. Only second in comic interest to the
role of Mme. Roucher is that (played by Hart Schaaf)
of M. Didier-Morel, the ambitious deputy, who finds
the middle-aged "Mme. la President" so much more
inspiring, politically and otherwise, than his young
wife. Mr. Schaaf had imagined the part well and
lived it consistently throughout the play, giving a
really praiseworthy performance. About these two
farce characters centers the satire, a significant
element in the play, of French republican institutions
and the undistinguished personalities which demo-
cracy often thrusts to the very top of the social
pyramid. Further bits of political and social satire
are contributed in the treatment which MM. Rivoire
and Besnard give to Bertin ( played by John Rub-
sam), the vain young diplomat and career-man, more
in love with himself than in love with love in general
or with Mme. Didier-Morel in particular. Mr. Rub-
sam's stage presence, voice and French accent all
were commendable. The irony with which Mme.
Roucher, M. Didier-Morel, and M.-Bertin are por-
trayed goes deeper than the surface mockery, amus-
ing though it is, which the French authors indulge in
at the expense of the modern young girl (Mathilde.
played by Elizabeth Gribble, Francine, by Sylvia
Goldstein, Juliette, by Helen Mason, Yvonne, by Jose-
phine Talbot). Miss Goldstein was notably success-
ful in endowing her minor part with vitality. Mr.
Joseph La Cava, as D'Allone, the witty young carica-
turist, cousin of Mme. Didier-Morel, despite a
tendency to overact, carried off the juvenile honors
by his well sustained and most engaging comic verve.
As interesting dramatically as the comic roles and
very important to a plot depending on the emotional
states of a misunderstood and unhappy though very
charming wife, who ultimately finds where her
happiness lies, are the straight parts. Mr. Paul
Brauer played the title-role of Teddy W. Kimberley,
represented by the authors as an aggressive but
clever and most sympathetic (in both the English
and French meanings of the word) young American,
who reassorts the mismated personnages about him
with satisfaction to all concerned. The part is subtle
and difficult, beyond the powers of an inexperienced
actor. Mr. Bauer made a sincere effort to project
the role, but was unfortunately miscast. A character
rather than a straight part would have been a better
medium for his talents. Miss Norma Cove inter-
preted the role of Madeleine Didier-Morel, wife of
the deputy, a part of much emotional variety, making
very considerable demands upon its interpreter. Miss
Cove rose, in several of her scenes, to real dramatic
effect, but even her best moments were marred by
lapses of memory. These lapses were altogether too
frequent and prevented this actress from achieving
the success that her pleasing presence, agreeable and
flexible voice and good command of the French
idiom warranted. Her courage in going on with the
role, although indisposed at the time, showed excellent
sportsmanship. Had she been well her acting would
undoubtedly have profited. Mr. Robert Hogg as M.
Verdier, Mme. Morel's aged father, did an estimable

bit of character acting. The minor roles of Corbett,
Dominique and "un domestique" were filled by Messrs.
Clarence Hammond, Cyrus Sturgis and Guy Whipple
in a wholly satisfactory manner. Mr. Hammond was
notably successful in giving individuality to his few
lines. His evident abilities as a comedian would
have seemed to indicate him for a more important
role.
To stage an amateur play with actors varying in
experience is always difficult and the difficulties in-
crease very greatly when a foreign language vehicle

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