THE MICHIGAN DAILY
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 1935
IN THE WORLD OF BOOKS
A Reminder That Newspapers May Also Be Read
There Is Little Lavender
And Old Lace About
The complete, non-partisan news-
paper, which in my opinion is the
only kind fully justifying its exist-
ence, prints fairly all sides of im-1
portant questions. The reader is en-
titled to that service. Colored news
is not news; it is propaganda. If an
editor gives distorted emphasis to
one aspect of a news question, that is'
unjustifiable. Such regrettable lapsesI
from the principles of good journal-
ism happen every day, but good news-
papers daily are growing better. The
bad ones are growing worse.
It is necessary for the intelligent
reader to pick his way among the
news columns cautiously. No editor
ever born was great enough to print
only the final truth. That belongs to
history. It would not be possible for
the ten greatest economists in the
world to select for printing in tomor-
row's newspaper only the business
and financial opinions which will
stand the test of time. The editor
must print the news - the best, most
trustworthy account of what hap-
pened that is available to catch the
day's paper. An unprincipled editor
will take chances, print any wild
,rumor as fact. An editor who has a
genuine sense of responsibility will
demand authority for the news he
prints, will hold rumors well within
the bounds of probabilities, and put
them out only as rumors. He will
spend any amount of money to verify
The service the newspaper renders
to a free people is that it disseminates
information to the millions, rich and
poor, great and humble. It would be
impossible to imagine this country
grown to its present estate without
modern means of communication and
newspapers. But suppose that we were
going through the present critical
times with only the pony express. The
well-to-do would have the news first,
late as it was, and it would be to their
advantage. The ordinary citizen would
not know of important governmental
decisions affecting his business and
his money in time to put him on an
equal footing with the rich. We have
heard the stories of family fortunes
founded in generations past on early iorne IsN est
information of some important event
which today would reach all prac- HORNET'S NEST.
tically simultaneously in the morning By Helen Ashton. Macmillan.
newspaper. Persons susceptible to color should
The newspaper thus contributes to not worry about the content when
a democracy of informed citizens. For they pick up Helen Ashton's Hornet's
a penny or two the humble voter can Nest and find the binding is an odd
have the text of the government's an- shade of lavender. There is no laven-;
nouncement on gold at his breakfast der and old lace about Hornet's,
table at the same time with the Nest.
wealthy banker - probably sooner, This novel is about a doctor, as was3
for his breakfast is likely to be at a Dr. Seremzid. Indeed, it is about;
much earlier hour. The newspaper is three of them, with some others;
the one universal agency of communi- thrown in for good measure. But al-
cation between all class of citizens in though the backbone of the story is
a community. If it is important for the medical profession, the wives and
every one to have information of some granddaughters thereof, and the ever-
event, the newspaper is the one means present nurses, Miss Ashton is not
of insuring that all citizens can and merely trying to give us a picture of
will have the news. medicine in action.
Because they are invested with !,She is telling a story of human
public character, the newspapers beings. Young Adam Spens is a doctor
have certain privileges. Press galleries down from London to act as assistant'
are set aside for them in Congress. to Basil Cotsall, who is something of'
in Legislatures and town councils. a muddler and needs one. The social
Spaces in the court room are reserved as well as medical head of the neigh-
for reporters. Provision is made for borhood is Sir Robert Barnardine,
them to get the news. But these priv- who has a granddaughter, Diana.
ileges are not given to newspapers And in the inefficient, even rather
as favors to business privately owned. dirty nursing home there is a very effi-
They are accorded because reporters cient and fine nurse, by name Julia
represent the public, to obtain the Henry.
news in the people's interest. No Surgically, the situation is that Sir
newspaper should ask a favor of any Robert operates upon the wife of the
government agency in its own behalf. local auctioneer for appendicitis. He
It should make the most vigorous de- clumsily does not notice that a swab
mand to get the news for the public. is left inside his patient, and goes
You have heard a great deal lately off on a holiday to Norway. Young
of the freedom of the press. That Dr. Spens attends the woman, sus-
freedom is guaranteed not to the pects what has happened, and oper-
press, of course, but to the people. We ates again to save her life.
know what tragic failures of truth But behid all this is Dr. Spens'
attend the government-controlled real regard for Julia, his mistaken
press in some other nations. So if engagement to Diana, and all the
some of our valiant fighters for the tangle of spite and jealousyand
cause of a free press seem at times to danger that the two mistakes create.
be too vehement, remember that they f These develop logically under Miss
are struggling not in behalf of a pri- Ashton's guidance. The reader lives
vate business but of the service which for a time in a small English town,
the newspapers can and should render knows all its people and understands
to our nation. them, and at last is able to forgive
--Miss Ashton for ending her tragi-
comedy so obviously.
THE SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY. By
Hugh Kingsmill. Morrow.
Andre Maurois' Dickens is hardly'
on the stands before another book on
the great Victorian comes out. This
one is by Hugh Kingsmill; Kingsmill
judges his fellow-countryman much
more severely than did Maurois.
Mr. Kingsmill is a little in the posi-
tion of the small boy who strokes the
cat with one hand saying "nice pussy,
nice pussy," all the time preparing a
good twist for pussy's tail. He insists
on the greatness of his subject's place
and at the same time shows him all
kinds of a bounder.
Dickens had a lot of the bounder in
him, as anyone may discover by read-
ing what he wrote about America. Or
what he wrote about his family and
friends, thinly disguised, Mr. Kings-
mill writes extremely persuasively,
moreover, so much so that often the
reader finds himself agreeing with
something he does not believe.
Essentially, what was wrong with
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Dickens as an artist, Mr. Kingsmill
feels, was that he was never able to
harmonize his sentimentality and his
comic sense. Dickens' self-pity and
sense of guilt, he adds, were by-prod-
ucts of his sentimentalism. And
his extreme popularity arose chiefly
from his oneness with his age; he
"provided both for his readers and
himself a brief escape from the hot-
house of their sentimentality, a con-
tact with reality close enough to
freshen the spirit and not To close as
to disturb it."
Mr. Kingsmill goes to enormous
pains to show where, in his opinion,
Dickens found his characters, and
then argues back from these sup-
posedly fictional creations to explain
their creator. The method makes fas-
cinating reading, and often helps
clarify matters. But sometimes it
serves to emphasize things oult of all
perspective. Little Nell can be made
to explain everything but the Franco-
Prussian war, for example.
UV VVLAA"GLV Vaal. ..aw..b..
Mostly About Books
And Their Authors-
Arnold Gingrich, the author of
Cast Down the Laurel, has just en- This Panoramic View Of
tered his thirties. He has been mar-
ried ten years and has two sons. He The Middle Ages
was born in Grand Rapids, and lived F s Need
there until he came to the University,Fi sN e
from which he was graduated in
1925. THE MIDDLE AGES. By Dorothy
From the age of 13 to 20 he divid- Mills. Putnam.
ed his spare time between a variety What history needs is more such
of common and heavy jobs and the (calm interpreters as Dorothy Mills,
endeavor to become a violinist. wohsaddTeMdl gst
With David A Smart he helped to who has added The Middle Ages to
found a succession of magazine ven- her books on the ancient world, the
tures in the men's apparel field, cul- ancient Greeks and the ancient Rom-
minating in Esquire: The Magazine I ans.
for Men, of which he is Editor. Miss Mills is head of the history de-
He has lived in Chicago for the partment of the Brearley School, in
past 10 years but now spends part New York City. Obviously her book
of each month in New York. is aimed at the modern, progressive
school. But it does just as well for the
Eugene O'Neill has begun work on serious reader who may wish to sort
a Pew play at his home in Sea Is- out, by means of an adequate outline,
land, Georgia. his notions of medieval history acquir-
ed through considerable but helter-
The College Poetry Society of skelter reading.
America list seven different awards. The Middle Ages is just that -
Anyone interested should address a smoothly written outline of the per-
Winslow, secretary, 2305 Fulton iod from the fall of Rome through
St., Berkeley, Calif. the centuries to "the invention of
___________. ___gunpowder and to that of printing,
THE to the fall of Constantinople and to
the discovery of America, to the pass-
Colonial Book Shop ing of feudalism and to the work of
Old and New Books Wycliffe."
303 North Division Street Miss Mills has included an incred-
Telephone 8876 ible amount of information in her 360
----- pages, and has balanced her facts and
forces remarkably well. Political, so-
cial, religious and purely material
aspects of the period are not described
:AIasla separatephenomena, but inter-
~ II * jrelated. Such questions as transpor-
WEDOOURPMT tation are discussed intelligently; she
tells how roads and bridges were built
>us Organization make and maintained, and why.f
at no increase over Obviously none of these mattersris
at o icrese verexhausted. But to compensate for
riff rates. brevity, Miss Mills has included when
possible her source material. She'
has, therefore, allowed the middlel
Railway and Hotel ages to speak for themselves in a goodi
part of the world. .
AT THE MAJESTIC
"CLIVE OF INDIA"
Besides being what some critics call
one of the best pictures of the year.
Clive of India is one of the longest,
most comprehensive biographical his-
tories the screen has seen in a long
time. However, it is not unreservedly
With a mustacheless Ronald Col-
man and a flutteringly simple Loretta
Young in the chief roles, the picture
moves along slowly, heroically, and
eventfully uneventful in a tiringly
staccato manner, and one is prone
to become somewhat fed up with
Clive's egotism, his wife's demands,
and their sketchily portrayed exploits.
At no time in the picture does one
feel that he is getting at the bottom
of what is going on, and the actors
seem like a troupe of puppets going
through actions that don't mean a;
great deal to anyone in the audience.
True, there are some beautiful epi-
sodes, and in the first part of the
picture, Clive is built up as a drama-
tically interesting hero, but there
are so many elements introduced into
his character and so many factors
outside it that deserve, attention
which they don't get that the result
is jumbled, confused, and unsatisfy-
ing. The producers took so big a bite
of something very tempting and
promising that they choked on it.
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DEATH IN THE AIR. By Agatha
Christie. Dodd, Mead.
A WORLD TO WIN. By Jack
Conroy. Covici, Friede.
THE ISLAND. By Claire Spencer.
Smith & Haas.
THE WOLF AT THE DOOR. By
Robert Francis. Houghton Mif-
HERITAGE. By George F. Hum-
CATHERINE: THE PORTRAIT
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OF THE WORLD. By Carles
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