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December 08, 1935 - Image 8

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1935-12-08

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FIGHT

THE MICHIGAN DAIlLY

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 8, 1935

... .. . .... ................... ..........

IN

THE

WORLD

OF

BOOKS

Michigan Professor Abstains
From Dogma In New Volume

THE FOUNDATIONS OF HUMAN
NATURE. By John Morris Dorsey.
Longmans Green & Company.
$2.80.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Dr. Dorsey, study-
ing at present with Dr. Sigmund Freud
in Vienna, is associate professor of
psychiatry in the University Medical
School.
By PROF. W. B. PILLSBURY
(Of the PsychologyDepartment
Dr. Dorsey approaches Human Na-
ture with none of the tools or pre-
suppositions of the conventional
treatments. One who knows recent
psychiatric literature can recognize
most of the statements as modifica-
tions of familiar theories, but no ref-
erence is made to the traditional
points of view or classifications. Most
of the quotations that explain the
conclusions are drawn from poets,
philosophers, essayists, or novelists
rather than from the technical lit-
erature.
The first chapter gives a number
of interesting case histories, which
are not worked into the later theory
in any close way. It is asserted that
the true aim of the mental hygienist
is to understand. Many pathological
cases owe their trouble or much of
it to the lack of understanding pa-
tients have had from the people
who surround them. The only classi-
fication that is suggested is into the
normal man,-.the feeble-minded man,
the genius, and the psychopathic per-
son. The genius and the psychopath
are said both to owe their distinc-
tiveness tothe fact "that they have
access to primordial stores of wis-
dom," a reminiscence of Jung. The
genius "can revel creatively in them,"
while the psychopath is "surrendered
to the powers of antiquity" as "the
primitive powers within him craftily
plan and enjoy their escape."
While this is intended primarily as
a work for the mental hygienist, it
contains much of more general im-
port on human nature or life. It is
laid down as a general principle of
thought that one should always see
both sides, should present both ex-
tremes. In the author's picturesque

phrase, it is asserted that "sound
theugh.t is always a pulsation between
two extremes."
Following the lead of Adolf Meyer,
there is practically no classification
of mental disorders or disturbances.
It is asserted that no two abnormal
individuals are alike and that they
are always abnormal for different
reasons. If one apply the doctrine
of opposites to this we can see that
while classification may over-simplify
the problem of abnormality; lack of
classification makes generalization
difficult. The unclear impression that
is left by a series of discrete facts
may be worse for the reader or stu-
dent than the inaccuracies that are
inevitable with assignments of indi-
viduals to types.
In spite of the original terms used,
the general principles used in the
explanations are familiar. The ab-
normal individual, like the normal,
derives his impulses from biological
evolution, from the race to which he
belongs, from the society and family
in which he has lived. Jung's theory
of the unconscious is drawn on large-
ly for this material.
Much stress is placed upon the
types of introversion and extraver-
sion as seen in the abnormal man.
Again it is insisted that neither in-
troversion or extraversion is itself an
indication of mental disorder or like-
lihood that personality disorders may
develop. The right balance between
the extremes gives a normal man.
The usual words are replaced by the
terms, "self projection" and "world
identification." Whether one should
be introverted or extraverted depends
upon the function of that individual
and the other factors in his make-
up.

GRIFFITH
Dark Beauty Of Wales
Is Depicted With
LyricCharm
SPRING OF YOUTH.
By Llewelyn Wyn Griffith. Dutton.
$1.50.
By MARY SAGE MONTAGUE
Mr. Griffith recalls his boyhood in
Wales with a poignant nostalgia that
finds expression in the intense na-
tional spirit of the people and the
dark mountainous beauty of !the
land.
But he writes more than a 'remem-
brance of things past.' The sensa-
tions which seem an intrinsic pos-
session of childhood he disclaims as
not entirely his own, and it is "the
matters of moment" with which he
is concerned, "the excitements and
upheavals breaking one year from
another. creating a time before and a
time after. They carried a small
boy into a new world, but they have
gone: search as I will I cannot find
them in me. They have shrunk into
deducations, into words spoken by
other people."
His early life was completely
Welsh, and the village of Machynlleth
a world which had no further bounds
than Cardigan Bay and the mountain
heights of Pumlumon and Cader
Idris. All thought and feeling found
utterance in the native tongue, and
all experience was interpreted in
terms of Welsh custom.
But a new element began to intrude
and that element was the enforced
study of English in school. "There
was a period when I knew of it as a
secret speech used by grown-ups, a
thin and pinched language spoken
between half-closed lips." Living in
two languages he found at first like
,living two different existences, dif-
ficult and confusing. But as he be-
came more proficient he found that
it doubled his pride, and he liked
nothing better than to read aloud
to his grandmother, and have her
"hold up her hands in wonder."
Undoubtedly one of the finest
phases of the book is, first, the
child's slow ; consciousness of music,
then his rapidly growing admiration
for it, and finally the inspiration that
came from complete sympathy with
it. He describes the aesthetic, almost
spiritual release that came with the
singing of hymns in church, when
the congregation bound together by
a spirit too deep for explanation or
even half understanding, instinctive-
ly paused at the same time or repeat-
ed the same verses. "There had to
be a release of emotion but it was.
not released to die. At the end of
a fine sermon, when the pulse had
been quickened by a glimpse of some-
thing of import, the congregation
stood up as one man, eager to sing,
eager to hold the vision a little longer,
to spend some of its new strength in
music, and thus to create a world of
the spirit."
Any attempt to analyze the charm
of the writing would seem superflu-
ous; the effect of this combination of
delicacy and passion can be fully
comprehended only in the Welsh
word 'hiraeth' for which, in English,]
'longing' is forced to do duty," but
only by implicating a more definable1
attitude, by particularizing an emo-
tion which as 'hiraeth' transcends
any limiting by reference to an ob-
ject of aesire.
In its descriptions of natural sur-
roundings and the fine handling of
introspection, the book embodies
many of the qualities of a lyric poem;
it is at once sensitive, and intense,
and strangely beautiful.

Sheer Honesty Of Spirit Marks
Tale Of Literary Peregrinations
THE STREET I KNOW. settlements, the start of the po
By Harold E. Stearns. Lee Furman, war boom, prohibition and Red b
Inc. $2.75. ing, made for even greater isolati
By ROBERT HAKKEN and when he had: finished edit
The record that Harold E. Stearns the important symposium, "Civili
has enclosed within his autobiog- tion in the United States," Stea
raphy, The Street I Know, is the left for what he intended should
unhappy story of the Americans who a short jaunt to Europe, but wh
fled to Paris because, in one way "ended in fact in my staying in P
or another, they felt that their own . -. for five years."
country had disinherited them and Out of the confusion of the P
because only in Paris could they find chapters emerges valuable comm
a civilization, which, since it ignored on the literary movements and p
them, made a place for them. For sons who instigated them. By t
Mr. Stearns the fierce journey began time he had become the race-tr
during his high school days when prognosticator for the Paris editio
he decided to become one of "the the Chicago Tribune and later for
company of educated young men," Daily Mail, and he reaches out
even though he must make his way place his fellow newsmen and h
unaided. At Harvard he sat under self into the Paris picture.
such noted and loved teachers as "That Sinclair Lewis or Sherw
Royce, Taussig, Babbitt and Cope- Anderson visited Paris meant v
land. Because "Copey" sardonically little, for they were visitors and no
spoke of the work towards a degree ing else. And many who did ser
with distinction as a mere effort to writing, like Glenway Wescott
earn "thatevery moderate degree of Julian Green, for example, who
praise," Stearns decided to try it in live in France, for a time, were
philosophy. One of the unusual de- part of this self-conscious broth
lights of this book is the accurate hood of Montparnasse, except i
recapturing of Harvard's atmosphere dentally and en passant . . . Er
and the special qualms Stearns felt Hemingway was no more Latin,1
before his oral examinations. The sically than Ring Lardner. Norv
slight report of the actual questioning Gertrude Stein either, though:
is one of the happiest touches in the was a Paris institution . . . but
book. "When the session came to an she has written an entire book ab
end, I think it was Babbitt who pulled that herself, I see no need here
out an enormous cigar from his go into details about a career t
pocket and handed it to me, saying, has received a degree of attention
'That will be all, Mr. Stearns,' " a ges- commensurate with its importan
ture which was a practical hint that Essentially this is not a liter
he thought Stearns had passed. effort so much as good newspap
Stearns left Harvara for New York man's account of his activities,
as soon as his last examinations were thoughts, and his feelings throu
over and within a fortnight had his out his life. It is most like a p
first job, reporting for the old Eve- sonal case history, which a psych
ning Sun. Within a few months he trist might utilize in aiding Stea
accepted his second on the Dramatic in his effort to orient himself in
Mirror, and the shifting from one every day world of the United Sta
job to another began. Stearns refers Perhaps this is what he is doing
to these days of life in Greenwich himself most of all. For the b
Village as his "salad days." They suggests at once the pradox
were exciting and joyous. Everyone change between the character of:
had money and everyone spent it with youth and the drifting of the m
a carnival spirit. The spring of 1914 Stearns reveals here no attempt
closed this era, and when Stearns left discover a philosophy by which
for a first trip abroad, the tension --E o ht y r e h
in Europe had not yet reached the RYE CHRTM S A
United States. It was Somerset RYTEX CHRISTMAS CARD
Maugham's continual statement that THURSDAY, December 12, is the
a general war was "unthinkable," Christmas..f
which revealed the anxiety prevalent STUDENT SUPPLY STORE
in Europe at hte time. Stearns' re- 1111 S. University Ph. 868
turn from this first European journey
marked the beginning of his later-
Greenwich Village years, the charac-
teristic pot-boiling existence of the
times.
With the close of the war and the
ending of his work in Chicago, where
he edited the Dial, Stearns finally
achieved what he had always hoped
for, the establishment of a home such
as he himself had never had. Just
before his wife left for California for
the birth of their son he took a
backward glance. "Just a few more M
months . . .then, once and forever,
the life of an ordinary member of
the community. A taxpayer, a cit-
izen, a voter, a father. Vagabondia
was over with." Had all this hap-
pened successfully, this story would
scarcely have merited telling. But
the end of those few months brought Make Your Sel
news of his wife's death. This, along
with the horrible promise of the peace

ost-
ait-
on,
ing
za-
rns
be
ich
aris
'aris
ent
per-
this
ack
n of
the
to
iim-
ood
very
th-
ous
or
did
not
her-
nci-
nest
ba-
was
she
as
out
to
hat
not
ice.''
ary
er-
his
gh-
er-
hia-
rns
the
tes.
for
ook
ical
the
ian.
to
he
S
8

might grow spiriuaily, such as Vin-
cent Shan presents in Personal His-
tory. As might be expected, the
record of this venture, in this case
his book, is not in itself an end.
Consequently the prose and the spirit
in which that prose is written is little
concerned with what is often con-
sidered a literary quality, and the
book definitely lacks such an attri-

bute. Its style, if one may utilize that
word in this case, is marked by long,
often involved prose, into which is
interjected a countless array of
Svents. But despite all this the book
emands attention, for it is the core
of at least one virtue, and that is
sheer honesty of spirit, which per-
meates every part of the story and
marks the man.

I

I

Fiction -~..Poetry ..Travel
Biography

This Christmas we have the Largest and Finest
Selection of GOOD BOOKS that it has ever
been our privilege to display.

HERE ARE TWO OF THE
FOREMOST NEW 150OKS
SEVEN PILLARS OF WISDOM
By T. E. LAWRENCE

Complete Edition - Illustrated
Boxed for Christmas at Regular Price -$5.00

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Dr. Dorsey covers most of the
phases of personality and finds in
his discussion many occasions for giv-
ing good advice. Like most recent
works in mental hygiene, the book
gives more convincing arguments for
the need of mental hygiene than
material for supplying aids to attain
normality. Its abstension from dog-
matic statements and over-easy pre-
scriptions for correcting all of the
ills of the normal individual is re-
freshing. The careful reader will
be more impressed by the reticence
of the writer than by his positive con-
tributions. He will certainly not be
led to accept any over-ready solu-
tion of the problems of the abnormal
mental life. The impression is left
that the author has had much fruit-
ful experience with abnormal indi-
viduals and is not yet ready to for-
mulate other than tentative solutions
of the many problems offered by
hem.

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By ALEXANDER WOOLLCOTT

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