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May 05, 1935 - Image 6

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1935-05-05

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THE MICHIGAN DAILY

SUNDAY, MAY 5, 1D35

.

11N

THE

WORLD

OF

BOOKS

Altruistic Publishers

Are Not

\A/QLFE:Paints A Picture Of
Restless America .

Napoleon's Letters Prove An
Antidote To His Biographies

Disappointed By Twin Novels

NOT FOR HEAVEN. By Dorothy
McCleary. HUNGRY MEN. By
Edward Anderson. Doubleday-
Doran.
The story goes that a certain pub-
lisher in altruistic mood, decided to
offer $1,000 in addition to royalties
for the best -novel submitted by an
author, male or female, who previous-
ly had contributed to the magazine.
Story.
Manuscripts came in large num-
bers, the judges retired into the cus-
tomary huddle, and in the end there
was deadlock. So the publisher be-
came twice as altruistic as formerly,
and gave each of the authors $1,000.
They issued the novels as literary
twins-and here they are.
Dorothy McCleary's is called Not
For Heaven. It is the story of a
highly exasperating old lady, which of
of course leads to comparison with
Victoria Lincoln, even with G. B.
Stern. Miss McCleary need not suf-
fer thereby. Her story has not, per-
haps, the elasticity and broadly gen-
eral application to Miss Lincoln's im-
mortal February Hill, but Mrs. Bost-
wick is an old woman who deserves
to live a long time in the minds of
grateful readers.
She has three enduring passions:
Ned, her old horse; Earl, her son,
and Mame, who was a girlhood
friend. She is as hard to manage as
a thunder storm, as Etta, her long-
suffering daughter could prove. She
detests the soft little Chicago girl
her son married, and she has the
preacher praying for her salvation

through chapters and chapters. There
are innumerable gems - Etta, the
preacher and Mrs. Bostwick at table;
Mrs. Bostwick dosing Ned the horse;
Mrs. Bostwick cutting down the ivy.
Whereas Mr. Anderson's contribu-
tion is another of the books about
the down and out - a young musician
this time. It has its numerous mer-
its, but it seems a little dilute beside
such things as Tom Kromer's Waiting
For Nothing. And we can't get the
suspicion out of our head that the
name of the hero, Acel, is a pun on
the German word for "ass."
FARRELL
Third Book Of Trilogy
Is Photographic But
Art Nevertheless
JUDGMENT DAY. By James T. Far,
rell. Vanguard.
For some years Mr. Farrell has
been laboring on a trilogy which
should express his youthful obser-
vations. The Young Manhood of
Studs Lonigan was the first novel.
Young Lonigan was the second. Now
there is Judgment Day.
Mr. Farrell was a boy in a Catholic
neighborhood of South Chicago. So
was Studs. Studs progressed from
back lot baseball through the pool
rooms into various minor rackets. He
worked on occasion, and had a great
deal of fun with girls, and some pretty
tough experiences. In Judgment
Day he even makes and loses a little
money.
Then he falls in love with Cather-
ine, and gets in trouble at the same
time. Studs has not taken very good
care of his health, among other
things, but when trouble descends;
he starts looking for work anyway.
And because he is fundamentally de-
cent and loves Catherine in his
thwarted and twisted way, he goes
to his prie-t with her and confesses,
and plans marriage.
. But it just happened to rain the
day he was looking for work, and
Studs caught a cold. And that was
the entrance of death into the Loni-
gan household.
Mr. Farrel's story is still bitterly
true. The shock of his unvarnished
English is not so great in Judgment
Day as it was earlier in the trilogy.
But the shock of his truthfulness is
just as great.
Judgment Day is photographic, to
be sure. But some learned somebody
wrote, just the other day, that pho-
tography is at last an art.

OF TIME AND THE RIVER.
By Thomas Wolf. Scribner's. $3.
By PROF. EARL LESLIE GRIGGS
(Of The English Department)
Coleridge remarked of Shakespeare
that his judgment was commensurate
with his genius. After reading Of
Time and the River, I cannot say as
much for Thomas Wolfe. That he
has genius and grandeur of concep-
tion no one will deny; but he lacks
that fine sense of unity, that ability
to distinguish the significant from
the unimportant, which the really
great artist possesses.
When I had completed a hundred
or so of the 912 pages of this slowly-
moving novel, I felt that Mr. Wolfe
was attempting to interpret American
life. I felt, too, that after I had fin-
ished the book (a task accomplished.
by sheer determination to discover
just what the author had to offer)
I should have some sense of twentieth
century America. Confused as my
impressions were (after these hun-
dred pages) I hoped that order would
be the final result.
I have not been disappointed. Now
that I have finished the novel, the
vigorous pictures of rushing, restless,

reckless America, out of which a few
characters, like Eliza Gant and Abe
Jones, spring into defined clearness,
the sense of lost virtues supplanted
by new standards, the tragedy of na-
tional futility -- these are unmistak-
able. But the order is not Mr.
Wolfe's; it must be achieved by the
reader. Like life itself, this magnifi-
cent novel, with its lack of selection
and central theme, is chaotic.
Yet Mr. Wolfe bears some resem-
blance to the only poet to catch the
spirit of "these states." Walt Whit-
man's Leaves of Grass deals not mere-
ly with the eastern border, but with
all America, from coast to coast. De-
tail is subordinated to purpose, and
even the long catalogues fit into a
noble conception. Of Time and the
River spreads itself too far. We are
led down too many blind alleys.
There- are too many characters intro-
duced, only to be forgotten. The de-
scriptions are too long. Hero and
author are too often confused. Yet
like Walt Whitman's, Mr. Wolfe's
grasp is all embracive. Like Glen-.
dower he can "call up spirits from
the vasty deep." Later, when Mr.
Wolfe has learned that what is of
interest to him may not be so to

others, when he has learned to select
his materials, he is bound to produce
a really great novel.
Of Time and the River is autobio-
graphical. It deals with the struggles
of Eugene Gant (a thin disguise of the
author) to find himself as a dra-
matist. We follow Eugene to Har-
vard; we see him quickly outgrow the
capacity of a dramatic school and
his instructor; we go home with him
to Carolina, to turn away from a
family addicted to a mild form of
Babbitism; we share his experiences
as an harrassed English instructor
in a New York college; finally we ac-
company him to Europe, to see the
full fruition of his temperamental
waywardness. It is an old theme
set against a new background.
I urge everyone to read Of Time
and the River. Mr. Wolfe's descrip-
tive power, his acute sensitiveness to
human beings as they are, good and
bad, his emotional exuberance-these
make the book good reading. And
after you have read the book, when
you can look back upon it, as upon
an experience in life, and can your-
self see its really notable passages,
you will agree, I think, that it is a
work of genius.

TH.E STAGE
By PROF. HERBERT A. KENYON( THE UGLY RUNTS. Robert Ray-

C ;he

DANCE

NAPOLEON'S LETTERS TO MARIE
LOUISE. With a foreword and
commentary by Charles de la Ron-
ciere. Farrar & Rinehart.
Like many other men of genius,
Napoleon was rather a dull letter
writer. The 300 letters discovered in
the archives of a certain Austrian
family and recently bought for the
Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris prove
that a mind occupied with juggling
armies in the face of death does not
necessarily strike fire when turned to
the composition of letters'to the wife
at home.
Oddly, that was exactly what Marie
Louise was to Napoleon - the wife
at home. He married her with the
consent and connivance of the Em-
press Josephine because he wanted
the heir Josephine could never give
him. He found her attractive- when
he met her, after marrying her by
proxy. When he left her in Paris to
Local Best Sellers
FICTION
ROLL RIVER. By James Boyd.
Scribner's. $2.75.
HOUSE OF EARTH. By Pearl S.
Buck. Reynal & Hitchcock.
$3.75.
GREEN LIGHT. By Lloyd C.
Douglas. Houghton, Miff lin.
$2.50.
LIGHT FROM ARCTURUS. By
Mildred Walker. Harcourt,
Brace. $2.50.
OF TIME AND THE RIVER. By
Thomas Wolfe. -Scribners. $3.
A FEW FOOLISH ONES. By
Gladys Hasty Carrol. MacMil-
lan. $2.50.
NON-FICTION
THROUGH SPACE AND TIME.
By Sir James Jeans. MacMil-
lan. $3.
NAPOLEON'S LETTERS TO MA-
RIE LOUISE. Farrar-Rinehart.
$3.
THE CURTAIN FALLS. By Jos-
eph Verner Reed. Harcourt
Brace. $2.75.
HINDENBERG. By Emil Ludwig.
Winston. $3.50.
FIFTY YEARS A SURGEON. By
Robert T. Morris. Dutton. $3.50.
RATS, LICE AND HISTORY. By
Hans Zinsser. Little, Brown.
$2.75.

go on one or another of his cam-
paigns, he wrote her exactly the sort
of letter that a prosperous traveling
salesman might write his wife.
t The letters (excepting a few at the
beginning and end of Napoleon's Let-
ters to Marie Louise, published today)
run thus: I am at such and such a
place, doing such and such things.
I feel pretty well, and hope you are
well. Have such and such done, and
if possible write your father and de-
mand, suggest, or implore (depending
on the state of Napoleon's fortunes at
the moment) that he do this or that.
Kiss my son for me.
Without the running comment of
Charles de la Ronciere, only the most
learned historian could read much
between the lines - how sometimes
Napoleon is using his empress as buf-
fer, sometimes is broken hearted at
reports of her infidelity, sometimes is
concealing truth from the nation
through her.
The letters come as a good antidote
to such books as Ludwig's biography.
And the last letters, from Elba, do
have their poignancy.
Doubleday, Doran announces the
publication of Harvest, a series of
childhood memories by Selma Lager-
lof. Miss Lagerlof, who is now 77
years old, is a former recipient of the
Nobel Prize for literature and was
the first woman to attain that dis-
tinction. The translation from the
original Swedish was done by Flor-
ence and Naboth Hedin,
HEADQUARTERSFOR
EUROPEAN
TRAVEL

The Most Complete
L ENDNG
LIBRARY
in Ann Arbor

This Week's Feal'ure-
"OF T 'IME AND
THE RIVER"
By THOMAS WOLFE

WITHAMS
Corner S, Univ. and Forest
Phone 2-1005

I am delighted to learn that Play
Production has decided to produce
for the last offering of the year The
Kingdom of God by Gregorio Marti-
nez Sierra. This play by the author
of The Cradle Song, which was one
of the outstanding cinema produc-
tions of 1934, is an excellent example
of his treatment of themes of every
day life in an optimistic spirit. Mar-
tinez Sierra is an idealist who exalts
humble virtues without becoming ro-
mantically sentimental.
The Kingdom of God is not so much
a play in the general acceptance of
the term as it is a series of charac-
terizations grouped about the life of
Sister Gracia who devotes her life to
the relief of the suffering world. In
the first act as a young nun, she
ministers to the unfortunate old peo-
ples' home.
In the second, some years later,
she understandingly directs a ma-
ternity hospital, while in the third
as an older mature woman she watch-
es over the development of a group
of orphans with a firm gentleness
which develops the final theme that
her charges must grow into men who
will correct the abuses of society so
that there will be no need of asylums
for the poor in days to come.
Throughout the three acts several
types of social outcasts are shown
in sharp contrast to the character of
Sister Gracia. The result is a picture
built up from numerous small parts
which offer real opportunity for ex-
cellent acting.
This use of a woman as the chief
character is typical of Martinez Sier-
ra, and typical also is the emphasis
on the fact that the maternal instinct
is present in all women, awaiting only
an opportunity to express itself. His
women are fond of life and happiness,
but are also sympathetic women to
whom one can go for consolation.
His women in his comedies of man-
ners and in his plays of characteriza-
tion, such as The Kingdom of God,
are modern women who select their
own life work, breaking loose from
the traditions of the older Spain.
They exemplify the rights of women
in modern Spanish society and their
duties to it.
I am sure that the production of
a drama by one of the foremost liv-
ing dramatists of Spain will be a very
pleasing finale to the interesting se-
ries of presentations by Play Pro-
duction during the current year.

nolds.
By PROF. KENNETH T. ROWE
(Of The English Department)
With The Bronies last year Mr.
Henderson brought to Ann Arbor
theater-lovers what is even more ex-
citing than a Broadway success, a
premiere presentation. The premiere
performance of The Ugly Runts by
Robert Raynolds scheduled for this
season promises to be an event of
even greater distinction and more in-
tense interest. The play reflects an
event the news of which last October
stirred and shocked the world, the
hunger strike of 1,200 coal miners in
Pecs, Hungary; it is a part of what
Brooks Atkinson recently designated
in the drama columns of the New
York Times as the most visible trend
in today's =theater, "the vigorous ad-
vancement of the drama of the Left";
and it is also a part of that other
most striking manifestation of the
current theaterthe return to poetry.
While allied to the revolutionary
and radical drama in the bitterness of
the presentation of the sufferings of
workers, The Ugly Runt contains
none of the standardized element of
propaganda or allegiance to a par-
ticular economic and political theory
that characterizes in greater or less
degree the drama of the Left. Mr.
Raynolds displays rather the detach-
ment and breadth of view of Gals-
worthy in Strife, although with a
more heart-wrung penetration into
the misery of those whose misery is
most profound, the workers.
Instead of the conventional villain-
ies of the bosses, Mr. Raynolds flays
the abject bowing of society before
that mystic concept, economic law,
in this implying a criticism of Marx-
ism equally with established capi-
talism. Matthew Bronson, the mine
president, as well as the workers, is
presented as bewildered, caught in
the toils of the blind allegiance which
society has granted to an inhuman
monster.
Mr. Raynolds' conception of the
motivation of a mass movement so
almost beyond understanding as the
determination upon deliberate death
by huiger in the depths of the mine
is one of imaginative grandeur. Dom-
minating the action is Kamas, leader
of the miners, a Messianic figure.
But the Messianic concept is project-
ed and expanded into the mass, four
hundred miners whom Kamas has
welded with the fire of his love into
a unit of sacrifice; if they die, it is
to arouse the world.

Notwithstanding some rather em-
barrassing technical difficulties, the
dance recital given yesterday after-
noon and evening at the Lydia Men-
delssohn Theater was a distinct suc-
cess. Comparatively speaking, this
program was not as interesting as the
previous offerings by this group.
There was a lack of enthusiasm and
spontaneity in the work that was so
unmistakably present in the original
efforts of the Dance Club. However,
this program did demonstrate that
the individual choreographers of the
group have greatly improved in de-,
veloping a superior sense of design.
The opening number was an unfor-
tunate choice. It was often blurred
and on the whole uninteresting. How-
ever, the "Studies" were especially
gratifying, the men's numbers be-
ing very well done. Of the two spir-
itual numbers, evidently inspired by
Ted Shawn and his dancers, the sec-
ond one was the most impressive.
The "Go Down Moses" spiritual left
us unmoved. It did not build to suf-
ficient dramatic heights.
The "Campus Bits" was the high
point of the first half of the program.
Humorously conceived, excellently
executed, this number does by the in-
jection of a little artistry what all
the dull and unimportant Junior
Girls Plays and Union Operas strive
for and never reach. Julia Wilson
and Truman Smith do excellent work
in their direction and execution.
Every student taking part in this
number contributed to the whole ef-
fect.
The second part of the program was
superior to the first half. The open-
ing number, "Religious Cycle" was
well thought out and expertly done.
The modern movement was the most
interesting. "Le Chat qui s'amuse"
again' presented a dramatic theme
in dance form. It was conceived
with originality and cleverness. Oren
Parker makes his first solo appear-
ance in this number.. .
The "Pavanne" and the "Clair de
Lune" were also well received. "The
Way of the Cross" composed by Col-
lin Wilsey was enthusiastically re-
ceived and "Satie" repeated from for-
mer performances was adequate, but
clearly needed the presence of a solo-
ist, present in the former presenta-
tion. Those students whose work was
especially outstanding were Orin
Parker, Julia Wilson, Collin Wilsey,
and Truman Smith. With careful
study and diligent work this group
could become a focal point for a re-
newed interest in this form of artis-
tic expression.
-CHARLES HARRELL

Frederick S. Randall
Travel Service
12 Nickels Arcade Ph. 6040

F

Let us help you plan
your trip to Europe.
We are agents for all
lines. Lowest prices
and best service.

Special U. of M. Sailing to

El

1

t1o

'E

I

'Ir

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with the
University of Michigan Union Dance Orchestra
on the HAMBURG-AMERICAN Flagship "NEW YORK"
June 20, 1935, from New York
-DAY ALL-EXPENSE *p232
,5OSTUDENT TOUR. . .a...
for Students over 19 years - $281.00
A Few Choice Accommodations Still Available.
For Information-
JULES HALTENBERGER, '36E, Union Travel Desk 10-11 a.m.
or KUEBLER TRAVEL BUREAU, 601 East Huron St., Ph. 6412

r

I

MOTHER'S DAY

MAY

FESTIVAL

Cards for

Mother's Day
5e to 50c

r

r/

BOOKS --For Mother's Day

I

* A striking display of
handsome, new de-
signs to choose from.
+ Select your card now

NEXT SUNDAY, May 12th, will be Mother's Day.
Let's remember her on this lovely occasion with a
Wholesome, Worthwhile Book

1. Wednesday, May 15, 8:15 P.M.
Artist Concert. Festival debut of HELEN JEPSON, Metro-
politan Opera Soprano. World premiere of "Drum Taps."
Howard Hanson, composer, conducting. The Chicago Sym-
phony Orchestra, The Choral Union, Frederick Stock, Con-
ductor.
2. Thursday, May 16, 8:15 P.M.
Artist-Choral Concert. Festival debut of MARY MOORE,
coloratura soprano of the Metropolitan. "Fing David" by
Honegger. Ethyl Hayden, soprano; Myrtle Leonard, con*-
tralto; Paul Althouse, tenor; Paul Leyssac, narrator. Choral
Union, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Earl V. Moore and
Frederick Stock, Conductors.
3. Friday, May 17,2:30 P.M.
Young People's Concert. RUTH POSSELT, violinist. Or-
chestra accompaniment. Young People's Festival Chorus.
World premiere of "Jumblies" by Dorothy James. Eric
DeLamarter and Juva Higbee, Conductors.
4. Friday, May 17, 8:15 P.M.
Artist concert., GIOVANNI MARTINELLI of the Metropoli-
tan Opera, tenor. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Fred-
erick Stock, Conductor.
5. Saturday, May 18, 2:30 P.M.
Symphony concert. JOSEF LHEVINNE, pianist. Chicago
Symphony Orchestra, Frederick Stock, Conductor.
6. Saturday, May 18, 8:15 P.M.

for Mother s'

Day,

May 12.

She would thoroughly enjoy one of these:
Lloyd Douglas - GREEN LIGHT
Rachel Field - TIME OUT OF MIND
Mary Chase - MARY PETERS
James Hilton - GOOD-BYE MR. CHIPS
Louis Adamic - GRANDSONS

I

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