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March 31, 1935 - Image 12

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1935-03-31

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LVE

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

SUNDAY, MARCH 31,

IN

THE

WORLD

OF

BOOKS

Editors Qf Contemporary' Are,
Doing Michigan A Real Service

BLfIKE

'Riding The Mustang Trail' Is
An Answer To Priestly . - ..

'The Barbarians Is

A

B ( )Ok

Designed To Wrench Smiles

April Issue of CONTEMPORARY.
By PROF. WARNER G. RICE
(Of The English Department)
The editors of Contemporary have
done Michigan a .real service, this
year by establishing a magazine in
which student writers can count
upon seeng their work in print, and
by drawing into cooperation a very
able body of contributors. Their
latest issue is a goodone. It would
be even better, perhaps, if more of
the interests present on the campus
were represented.' There are plenty
of local problems which might be
discussed with profit to everybody-
for example, student-faculty rela-
tionships; the possiblities for, and the
desirability of, Honors courses and
tutorial instruction; the concentra-
tion plans at present operating in
the College of Literature, Science, and
the Arts; the need for more reading
rooms and libraries; the proper limits
and the most efficient methods of
student self-government; academic
freedom in a State university; the
probable fate of the fraternity sys-
tem ; the values of particular kinds
of courses and modes of teaching;
and so forth. Letters to The Daily
on such matters often fail to cover
the subject in hand with thorough-
ness and thoughtful moderation;
and writers for Advance -ajournal
in many ways admirable as an organ
of opinion - tend to judge all sques-
tions by the application (sometimes
a trifle mystifying) of a talismanic
Marxian dialectic. The pages of
Contemporary provide a forum where
debaters of many minds can make
themselves heard. It is a pity that
so few take advantage of the oppor-
tunity.
The contributors to the April num-
ber have kept, however,. commenda-
bly close to subjects within the range
of their immediate experience. If

Mr. Warshow fails in his depiction
of the dully futile professor's encoun-
ter with das Ewig - Weibliche, it is
because he has treated his theme in
a spirit of adolescent cynicism
rather than with the- wit and comic
insight which it plainly calls for. Mr.
Roellinger's sketch of 'Arthur' is en-
tertaining - and revealing; though
his study might have been kept in
sharper focus by allowing the ser-
ious young man in the ivory tower
to present himself more completely
through speech and action. The
material from the Freshman Hop-
wood Contest is all of a quality which
promises well for the future. Mr.
Jones' story, Heaven from Earth,
is neatly and effectively contriveld.
Miss Kaphan, though confessedly a
bit unsure of her aim, writes with
sincerity and first-hand knowledge
of the unlovely folk of Chichester,
making the reader sharply aware of
the pestilential misery which results
from one type of economic tyranny.
Perhaps an extension of the review
of Mr. Pound's Draft of XXX Cantos
into a full length critical essay would
have been more timely; yet Mr.
Kirschbaum's vade mecum to The
Waste Land is competent and useful
- it may, indeed, help puzzled read-
ers to a method for attacking Mr.
Bird's prize poem, Journey to Em-
maus. The editors' wisdom in in-
cluding a detached scene from Mr.
Cohen's Unfinished Picture seems
more doubtful. At least the excerpt
loses considerably by isolation from
the rest of the play, exhibiting crude-
ness of character-drawing and of mo-
tivation which are disappointing in
the face of its reviewer's generous
praise. The verse is generally suc-
cessful. Certainly Miss Kavinoky,
Miss Allen, Mr. Bird and Mr. Hakken
should be encouraged to give us more
of their work.

RIDING THE MUSTANG TRAIL.
By Forrester Blake. Scribner's $2.50I
By PROF. ERICH A. WALTER
(Of The English Department)
In Harper's Magazine for March,
J. B. Priestley asks these questions:
"Why do American writers go and
live in Paris and Grasse, Vienna and
the' South Seas when they have such
a country of their own to roam about
in? Does not a man carry his own
Art with him, like so much tinder
waiting for a spark? And is there
not here, among these mountains and
,deserts and illimitable plains, not a
spark but a blaze?"
To read Forrester Blake's story of
the trail drive of wild mustangs from
Mescalero Reservation, New Mexico,
to Felt, Oklahoma, is to find a perti-
nent answer to Mr. Priestley's ques-
tions. In the summer of 1932 be-
fore his senior year at Michigan, Mr.
Blake had the good fortune to be in
on this experience which will not be
repeated until there are again enough
wild mustangs in New Mexico to eat
the grass away from the cattle and
sheep. In normal times that would
mean forty years. However, if the
soil of that land continues to shift
and blow about as it has for the last
year, the author of Riding the Mus-
tang Trail may well have seen the
last wild horse round up in New
Mexico.
The thirty days of the drive are
packed with adventures that seem to
run the gamut. of as many years.
Murderers, half-wits, old hags, crazy
sheep herders, move along with the
more normal human beings - the
riders, the ranchmen, Indians and

Mexicans. Ever present danger fills
the pages of this story, whether it
be water poisoning, starvation, starm-
peding horses, slow death in the
quick sand, or the terror of the rat-
tlesnake. To look at this catalogue
. gy

match the exploits of Paul Bunyan.
(Incidentally, Ann Arbor drinking
water is neatly described as a fluid
somewhere between stagnant and the
kind one drains from automobile
radiators.)
To mention the beauty of Blake's
writing is to give it a place of greatest
emphasis in the review of his book.
Night riding, sunrises, the beauty
of genuine character, wild horses,
lightning on the plains, a true friend-
ship - they all combine to make the
book unforgettable. Writes Mr.
Blake:
Like a curving arrow of white
flame a star shoots downward,
the head of the arrow dies out
and the sparks in its wake
flicker for an instant against the
darkness of the universe, In a
second it is over. I have seen
the smoking dissolution of a
world. Then from out the sky
I seem to hear fast hoof beats.
I know that 'Death is riding the.
blue trails ofthe firmament in
that greater darkness. And I lie
there, snug in my bedroll on the
ground, and am fascinated by
the drama of the skies.
Only in the desert, with the si-
lence as deathless as the heavens,
do I feel this way.
Mr. Blake has not been abroad. He
has found his material in his own
country and has written about that
part of it which he knows and loves.
His first book is more than the
"spark" which Mr. Priestley de-
mands; it is a blaze which has al-
ready lighted the fire of a second
book, to be named Cow Camp.

THE BARBARIANS. By Virginia
Faulkner. Simon & Schuster.
Virginia Faulkner's The Barbarians
is one of those books calculated to
wrench a smile from the sourest face.
Miss Faulkner is the 21-year-old
who produced Friends and Romans
some time ago. Sne is one of those
gay youngsters from whose mouth
epigrams pop like papers from a
high speed press. She writes about
quite improbable people, manipulates
them in a quite unreal Paris, and
makes you like it.

Paris is no longer galmorous. Bo-
hemians in Paris have been old a
hundred years. The epigram was old
in Greece of the golden age. A writer
undertakes a superhuman load when
he (or she) combines all three. Miss
Faulkner has a trick up her sleeve,
however. Sne gets away with it by
making her people real and a little
pitiable. It is as if she were to say,
"Kind reader, I know these are un-
likely beings. But aren't we all?
Aren't you" Besides, her Barbarians
adventure afield. They go to the
Riviera, and then to Tunisia.

t

FORRESTER BLAKE

one might expect the book to be mor-
bid. Not so. The four riders who
finally load their mustangs onto the
cattle-cars at Felt and ship them off
to the soap factories know good stor-
ies when they hear them. What's
more, they tell them. Besides many
examples of dry western humor, the
author gives us two tall stories that

Man's Placein God's World
by
DR. ARTHUR H. COMPTON
Winner, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1927
Freedom versus Law.
Tuesday, April 2, 4:15 p.m., Natural Science Auditorium
What Determines Our Actions?
Wed., April 3, 4:15 p.m., Natural Science Auditorium
Intelligence in the World of Nature.
Wednesday, April 3, 8:15 p.m., First Methodist Church
Is Death the End?
Thursday, April 4, 8:15 p.m., Hill Auditorium
THE LOUD LECTURESHIP
You Can Hear the
Ma y Fstival

He Sent Forth

A

Raven' Has

A

Remote And Fragile Charm

I

Visit Our
LENDING LIBRARY

11

I

I'

'

Some Suggested Late Books

CLAUDIUS THE GOD ........... Robert Graves
HE SENT FORTH A RAVEN ...... Elizabeth Madok Roberts
RIDING THE MUSTANG TRAIL.. ..Forrester Blake
THE CORPSE IN THE GREEN PAJAMAS. R. A. J. Walling
PROFILE OF A MURDER.. .. ....... Rufus King
THE BARBARIANS......:....... Virginia Faulkner

HE SENT FORTH A RAVEN. By'
Elizabeth Madox Roberts. Viking.
By JOHN SELBY,
Elizabeth Madox Roberts has
worked five years on He Sent Forth,
a Raven, according to the jacket1
blurb, and yet she has brought forth a ,
book of only 255 pages. This seems1
almost a sacrilege in these days of3
vasty volumes, full of everything 3
under the sun.
It is possible she wrote almost as3
many words as Thomas Wolfe in Of
Time and the River, and that sher
excised hundreds of thousands of
them. The novel has the clean ap-
pearance that comes to a book that
has been properly barbered before
being offered the public.
In spite of which, it is founded on
a bit of insanity. Stoner Drake, early
in this century, made a vow that if
his second wife died he, never again,
would set foot on "God's greenrearth."
There is never any doubt but that she}
will die; she does, the neighbors at-
tempt to persuade Stoner to re-
ounce his mad vow, and Stoner re-
fuses.
From that time on Stoner rules
his Kentucky farm without leaving
the house. He compromises; there is
a balcony, and in addition he builds
a kind of observation deck and by
doing so lets. a curious influence into
his life in the person of the builder.
The farm runs* along, and Stoner

-I

remains a baffling person to all and
sundry.
Parllel with Stoner's story there are
stories of Martha, his daughter,
whom he moulds to suit himself, and
of Jocelle, the charming granddaugh-
ter who grows into a woman in the
span of the book. And parallel with
these three stories is a whole regi-
ment of implications. Miss Roberts'
novel makes a strange pattern, going
forward and back, setting in para-
graphs which refer to buried pass-
ages which again imply obscure mo-
tives or thoughts.
Nevertheless, the effect is precisely
what she wants, it would seem. The
book has a remote and fragile charm
which belies the spareness of its
prose.
Next September Little, Brown &
Co. will publish A. J. Cronin's The
Stars Look Down. Cronin is the au-
thor of Hatter's Castle.
/Lending Libraries,Etc.
NEW FICTION: Three cents, five
cents a day. Francisco Boyce, 732
North University.
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
Colonial Book Shop
Old and New Books
303 North Division Street
Telephone 8876

Mostly About Books
And Their Authors
In April Viking will publish a new
biography of Catherine the Great by
Gina Kaus.
Lewis Corey, author of The Decline.
of American Capitalism, expects to
have his latest work, The Crisis of the
Middle Class, ready for publication
by late summer or early fall.
Doubleday, Doran & Co. of New
York and Hamish Hamilton, Ltd., of
London are jointly sponsoring a con-
test for the best book having aviation
as its theme. The winner will receive
a prize of $2,500.
100 ENGRAVED CARDS
AND PLATE FOR ONLY $1.50
We Print EVPS., LETTERHEADS,
PROGRAMS AT LOW PRICES.
THE ATHENS PRESS
206 N. Main St. , DOWNTOWN
Our Location Saves You Money.
WOE

For a

"cSon g))

. . .

I

Witharms Drug Store

South U at Forest

Phone 2-1005

eE
Suggestions For
VACATION READING

V

IN OT iR WORDS, the prices of Season Tickets
for six concerts by "stars," orchestra, and
choruses, have been reduced to $2.00, $3.00,
and $4.00 for those holding "Festival" cou-
pons, and to $5.00, $6.00, and $7.00 for others.
ORDEiRS received with remittances to cover,
will be filled in sequence.
MARY MOORE, HELEN JEPSON, MYRTLE LEO-
NARD, GIOVANNI MARTINELLI, and PAUL
ALTHOUSE, all of the Metropolitan Opera.;
MAXIM PANTELEIFF, of the Russian Grand
Opera; WILBUR EVANS and ETHYL HAYDEN,
American singers; THEODOREWEBB, Baritone;
PAUL LEYSSAC, Narrator; RUTH POSSELT,
Violin Virtuoso; b JOSEF LHEVINNE, Pianist,
will be heard.
THE University Choral Union, Moore and
Hanson, conducting; the Chicago Orchestra,
Stock and DeLamarter, conducting; and the
Young People's Chorus, Higbee, conducting,
will participate, presenting two important
works, "Drum Taps" by Hanson, and "Jum-
blies" by James, to be given for the first time;
also Boris Godunof, in English, and King David
by Honegger.

-



HE SENT FORTH A RAVEN.
Elizabeth Madox Roberts.
RIDING THE MUSTANG TRAIL
(Reviewed in Today's Book Section.
Forrester Blake
COME AND GET IT.
Edna Ferber.

PYLON.

William Faulkner.

SUJRE! A REMINDER TO
USE TOP-X RUBBER
YOUI1EO!CEMENT It' sgat
WRITESOME- curl oe stain the paper,
WRIT SO4E-MAK4ES A NOTE BOOK
THING IN MY REAL.IyvNEAT !
800K PAP
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YOUR PATRONAGE SINCERELY APPRECIATED.
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TOP-X Sold by
ULRICH'S
BOOKSTORE
East University
Ann Arbor Michigan

Francisco-
Boycer
723 North University
108 East Liberty

May 15. 16 7, 13
1935

CARVINGS

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11

Just Ready--
"Riding the Mustang Trail"
u< z~. ~ ~ cs'r ~r R. _T 11z hc4.atdfmn h 4' n * n.,hs-+his is the narrative.of

Just Received.. .
Another Shipment of Publisher's
Remainders -Half Price or Less.

SILK KOMONOS

and PAJAMAS VII

11

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