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March 17, 1935 - Image 6

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The Michigan Daily, 1935-03-17

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THE MICHIGAN DAILY

SUNDAY, MARCH 17, 1935

IN THE WORLD OF BOOKS.

DICKENS. By Andre Maurois. Harp- tation. The Ariel was forgiveable,
ers. $2. the Disraeli was good, the Byron was
By PROF. HOWARD M. JONES excellent, but the Dickens is distinct-
(Of The English Department) ly poorer. There is a tendency among
certain French writers, to treat the
M. Maurois' book on Dickens hasAmrcneaigpbcasfitwe
all the air of popular lectures. Two American reading public as if it were
of the chapters are devoted to the a great cow for their milking. Can
biography of the life of Dickens; and it be that M. Maurois has sunk to the
in these, though M. Maurois has used level of a literary milk-maid? It is
the new material about Dickens whichJmore charitable to suppose that these
has recently come to light, he has elementary essays were originally
really added nothing to our knowl- composed for a French audience un-
edge of the novelist's life, and very familiar with Dickens and with the
little to our comprehension of his facts of his like and works; and that,
character. Perhaps the most notable in view of M. Maurois' popularity,
fact about this portion of the book { his American publishers have insisted
is M. Maurois' sympathetic discus- on translating the book. As an in-
sion of Dickens' break with his wife. troductory handbook, Dickens may
But that the creator of Pickwick had have its uses; but as a critical study
a sorry childhood, that he was ambi- it is distinctly inferior to others
tious of success, that an early love easily available. There is more
affair was reflected in certain of his shrewdness in a short essay on Dick-
female characters, that he loved the ens by George Santayana than in the
stage, that he liked to read his works 206 pages of M. Maurois' book.
aloud - these are all perfectly famil-
iar facts. NEW PEPYS' DIARIES
The last two chapters of the book A dispatch from London telling of
are devoted to a discussion of Dick- the unexpected discovery of two more
ens' art as a novelist. The first of volumes of diaries by that most fa-
these chapters rehearses the familiar ---c ne M-nT3-7 -_

GUNN
HIGHLAND NIGHT. By Neil M. fort
Gunn. With illustrations by Frieda wes
Bone. Harcourt Brace. $2.50. exis
By DR. HAROLD WHITEHALL cor
tea
(Assistant Editor, Middle English ter
Dictionary) sons
Neither history nor literature has from
favored the Gaelic Highlanders of wor.
Scotland. As a racial minority, they der
naturally suffered a dozen centuries of par
petty persecution; found themselves the
obliged to flee to glens and mountain depe
corries; saw their ancient tongue and chie
their ancient culture travestied by bac

.

'Highland Night' Pictures
The Real Highlander . .

the first time in English literature, ers and a strong nationalist in senti-
see the Highlander as he actually ment, he has yet never failed to un-
ted: his daily tasks and simple derstand the inward logic of the
munity merrymakings; his unal- events he is describing. Whatever may
ble life-routine, based upon the be the resentment we feel towards
;hanging alternation of the sea- Heller, James, Falcon, and their
.s: his superstititions, springing cronies (and he who can read this
m the dim beliefs of the Pre-Keltic book without feeling both resentment
Id; his bi-focal religious tradition, and blinding horror must be peculiar-
ving partly from St. Columba, and ly stout of soul) we are continually
tly from the stern Calvanism of reminded that they too are urged
Covenanters; above all, that social, onwards by the implacable march of
endency upon the hereditary great events. From this standpoint,
eftain of the clan which was the the burned shielings of the Highland
kbone of the clansman's creed. i crofters are as much the toll of war

John Strachey's Newest Book
Is Thoughtful And Meditative

the progressive English-speaking Low-i For when the Highlander suc-
landers who were their neighbors and cumbed to eviction, it was because of
hereditary opponents. But other mi- the treachery of his own leaders.
norities have undergone similar trials Whatever may have been the remote
and still survived. The Irish, for in- causes - the stoppage in food imports
stance, a kindred race, have lived to because of the Napoleonic Wars, the
see Erse a national language and their consequent threat of food-shortage,I
literature a world-influence, thanks to and the rise in the price of mutton
such interpreters as Synge, Yeats, and and wool which made extensive sheep-
Lady Gregory. By contrast, the fate of runs profitable- there can be no
the Highlanders seems unduly harsh: doubt that the crofters submitted so'
their literature has reached the outer tamely only because the long centuries
world mainly through the tainted of unquestioning obedience to their
channels of Macpherson's Ossian and chiefs had sapped their collective will.
their mode of life through the wild- As long as their loyalty was recipro-
ly romantic perversions of Sir Walter cated, the Gaelic culture itself stood
Scott. They themselves were evicted. firm; when loyalty failed, the whole
from their ancestral homes a century social structure, with all its simple,
and a half ago and replaced -by grace and essential integrity, was in-
-sheep. evitably doomed.
Highland Night etches the life of a It is a tribute to Mr. Gunn's ar-
small clan community, during the tistic perspicacity and balance that
eviction movement and the years im- he continually emphasizes this fact.
mediately preceding. Here, perhaps Himself the descendent of Highland-

b I

p.

STERN
'Shining And Free' Is A
New Performance In
An Old Setting
SHINING AND FREE.
By G. B. Stern. Knopf.
That versatile G. B. Stern has taken
out some of her old props, and is giv-
ing a new performance in an old set-
ting, using some familiar and well-
beloved characters.
Best of the old characters is, of
course, the Matriarch, that incredible
and nerve-wracking beldame who al-
ready has flung herself through three
of the Stern novels. The three are,
should anybody not remember: The
Matriarch, A Deputy Was King and,
Mosaic. These were spoken of as a
trilogy; it doub'tless will become a tet-
ralogy today. .
G. B. Stern can write the most en-
tertaining novels in the world when
she wishes. Her The Shortest Night
has been recommended by this de-
partment to countless friends as the
most amusing mystery yarn of the
sophisticated sort it knows - far more
amusing than the corner-of-the-
mouth Dashiell Hammett school.
And she can do other and quite
different things as well - witness
Bouquet, which certainly is among the
two or three most winning books on
wine tours. It is a record of a motor
tour through the wine country of
France, set down by a woman who
knows good wine and has an eye for
the small but telling incident.
When she goes serious, as in Shining
and Free, the elastic and swing of her
light work is not quite all there. The
Matriarch clatters through and over
everything just as usual, her two sticks
beating a nervous and demanding tat-
too. Truda and the others are their
usual exasperated selves. The picture
of Jewish life is just as accurate as
in the past, but a little too familiar.
And in order to set aright the reader
who may not have met the Matriarch
before, Mrs. Stern has had to tell a
good deal that has gone before. Never-
theless, Shining and Free has its*
points.
Lending Libraries, Etc.
NEW FICTION: Three cents, five
cents a day. Francisco Boyce, 732
North University.
NEW YORK TIMES: New York Her-
ald Tribune. All famous newspapers,
daily and Sunday. Miller Drug
North University at Thayer.
RUSSIA: Books in all languages:
Books on Russian History, Eco-
nomics, Literature and Drama. Old
and modern. Complete mail order
service. K. N. Rosen, 410 Riverside
Drive, N.Y.C.

THE SCREEN
"ROBERTA"
A Radio Picture adapted from the
musical comedy of the same name, sta
ring Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Irene
Dunn, featuring Randolph Scott, Helen
Westley, Victor Varconi and Claire
Dodd. Directed by William Seiter.
The excellent musical picture prece-
dent set by RKO's "Flying Down To
Rio" and "The Gay Divorcee" which'
featured the terpsichorean talents of
Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers is
lived up to in this, their latest extrava-
ganza which presents, besides the the
new versions of the old stuff, the songs
and story of the successful New York
hit.
"Roberta" is packed full of gay, re-
freshing, light entertainment of the
best sort. The setting is Paris and
Roberta herself is a Parisian coutour-
iere, aged and charming, whose Amer-
ican nephew inherits her business
when she dies. The nephew is a foot-
ball coach and would be the last per-
son to run a dressmaking business
successfully if he were not helped by
his late aunt's assistant, a Russian
princess with whom he eventually
falls in love. With this story much
in the background, Ginger Rogers, as
a red hot tdrch singer disguised as a
Polish Countess, and Fred Astaire as
an American orchestra leader dance,
sing, and wise crack their merry way
through one of the most sparkling
pictres of the year.
If you like dancing - tap, ballroom,
exhibition, hot, rhythmic dancing -
you are bound to tingle and delight in
this picture. And if beautiful, extrava-
gant, preposterous clathes worn by
luscious, alluring mannequins are
right down your alley, you will gasp,
with joy at what Roberta has to offer.
Also, you will probably like Irene
Dunn's singing and beauty. The rest
of the show is incidental, but every-
thing in it goes under the head of
fun and comic foolishness mingled
with heart-warming and appealing
sentiment.
Some will not like "Roberta" as well
as its predecessors, because it has a
different flavor -every bit as good
as the others, but not as snappy. It is
more mellow. And it is not as well
organized as the others. But who
cares? It doesn't matter in this sort of
show. You take what it's got and like
it-I mean, love it!
What is probably the best payoff of
the year is- pictured in the current
news reel at the Majestic. First, Fa-
ther Coughlin has a round. Then Huey
Long gets his turn. And finally Gen-
eral Johnson comes through, and
everyone in the audience roars. Don't
miss it! -C.B.C.
The Most Complete
LENDING
LIBRARY
in Ann Arbor
This Week's Feature-
''SHINING
AND FREE"

as the burned Kremlin in Moscow.
To summarize the virtues of Mr.
Gunn's great novel would not be an
easy task. for his is the art which con-
ceals art. At the first reading, the
magnificently articulated plot, the
profound characterization, and the
poetic but restrained style seem to be!
so subtly fused together that the total
effect is single and complete - swift,
sure, tragic, and elemental as a Greek
tragedy. Only at a second reading do
the finer details emerge: the use ofl
the Drover as commentator and"
chorus, the interplay between per-'
sonal relationships and the broader
tragic movement, the symbolism, and
the sheer poetry.
Highland Night is not Everyman's'
novel, but for those who recognize the
older literary virtues of balance, clar-
ity, immediacy and form, it should
prove a particularly illuminating ex,
perience.
Mostly About -Books
And Their Authors
A biography of the late King Albert
of Belgium by Emile Cammaerts will
be published by Macmillan in the fall.
The author, a Belgian who now lives
in England, has writen the story with
the cooperation of the Royal Family
of Belgium; the Queen Mother went
over the manuscript personally and
supplied much of the material. The
tentative title is Until The End.
Ten Years Before The Mike is the
title of a book being written by Ted
Husing about his radio experiences.
It will be published by Farrar & Rine-
Dart in the Fall.!
A biography of Dwight Morrow is
being prepared by Harold Nicolson,
who is in this country at present col-
lecting his material. The book will be
published by Harcourt, Brace & Co.
in the fall.

THE NATURE OF THE CAPITALIST
CRISIS. By John Strachey. Cov-
ici-Friede.
By JOHN SELBY
After writing two books which lapse
noticeably from the high intellectual
level of The Coming Struggle For
Power. John Strachey again ap-
pears on the scene with a thoughtful
and meditative volume under his
arm.
When he is at home, in England,
Strachey is one of the leading intel-
lectuals of the British communist
party. At present he is lecturing in
the United States. Starting his po-
litical life and thinking in the pas-
tures of middle-class England, he
has completed a hegira that ended
in the fields of Karl Marx.
The object of The Nature of the
Capitalist Crisis, the sense of the,
final page, which he foresaw when
he wrote the first page, is the same
as that of his initial publication. But
.he material, from start to finish, isl
different.
The difference lies in two methods!
Local Best Sellers
GREEN LIGHT. By Lloyd C. Doug-
las. Houghton Mifflin. $2.50.
HEAVEN'S MY DESTINATION.
By Thornton Wilder. Harpers.
$2.50.
THE FORTY DAYS OF MUSA
DAGH. By Franz Werfel.
Viking. $3.
GOODBYE MR. CHIPS. By James
Hilton. Little, Brown. $1.25.
THE PRIMROSE PATH.
By Ogden Nash. Simon & Schus-
ter. $2.50.
THE AMERICAN DIPLOMATIC
GAME. By Drew Pearson & Con-
stantine Brown. Doubleday,
Doran. $3.
WHILE ROME BURNS.
By Alexander Woollcott. Viking.
$2.75.
PORTRAITS AND PRAYERS.
By Gertrude Stein. Random
House. $2.50.

of presentation: the first book was a
review of the history and contradic-
tions of capitalist society; the new
book is a review of the history and
contradictions of capitalist economic
thought.
The volume opens with an intro-
duction to the two capitalist eco-
nomic schools: the "over consump-
tionists" and the "under consump-
tionists." After presenting the argu-
ments of those who maintain that
all will be well if we find a means of
distributing our surplus production
through increased purchasing pow-
er, he uses the arguments of the
orthodox economist to refute their
theories.
He then goes forward to present
the picture of the present capitalist
society and the'nature of the capital-
ist crisis as they are understood by
the "under consumptionist" theorists.
These, he believes, have by far the
better case. That the contentions
of both schools lead to the restora-
tion of profits, the one by raising
prices, the other by cutting wages,
is pointed out.
He concludes: that capitalism leads
to fascism, barbarism, or communism;
that the workers would be able to
find this out for themselves only
through trial and, error methods;
that the explanation of Marx and his
followers will save them that trouble.
Macmillan will soon publish After
Hitler's Fall, by Prince Hubertus Loe-
wenstein, who is now in the United
States on a lecture tour.
C. LEIDICH
TRAVEL BUREAU, Inc.
150 West Lafayette, Detroit
(No Branches)
Student Tours
to Europe
Independent or Conducted.
$3.2
a Day and Up
Ask for Mr. Decker!
He can save time and money on
any itinerary. He knows all
about Summer Schools abroad.
CADILLAC 4524

ii

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THE
Colonial Book Shop
Old and New Books
303 North Division Street
Telephone 8876

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WE CORDIALLY invite your inspection of a recent
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