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March 08, 1936 - Image 8

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1936-03-08

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

"AGE EIGHT THE MICHIGAN DAILY
IN 'THE WORLD OF BOOKS

SUNDAY, MARCH 8, 1936

DeKRUIF
Pleads For Distribution
Of Science's Fruits
To All Public
WHY KEEP THEM ALIVE?. By Pau
de Kruif. New York; Harcourt &
Brace. 1936. $3.00.
By DR. JOHN V. FOPEANO
(Instructor in Public Health)
FOR two hundred thousand dollar
a year tuberculosis could be prac-
tically wiped out of Detroit within
ten years. This would save Detroi
over a million dollars a year. It is
impossible to get the two hundred
thousand to invest in this way. If
as many as 60 per cent of the chil-
dren of pre-school age were immu-
nized against diphtheria that dreaded
disease would soon disappear; yet
there were 60,000 cases and 6,000
deaths from diphtheria in the United
States in 1934. The budgets of Health
Departments must be cut to balance
the budget. Rheumatic fever seldom
has a disastrous aftermath if its vic-
tims have been properly nourished,
carefully nursed, and given the ad-
vantage of the warm sunshine of
the Caribbean or possibly other south-
ern climates. Yet thousands of chil-
dren are dying of rheumatic heart
disease. There is no money for the
proper treatment of. many of these
children.
If Negroes live in decent houses,
and are adequately nourished and re-
ceive medical care comparable to
that furnished white people, their
death rate is very little higher than
that among the whites, yet Negro
children continue to die at a rate
three to five times as great as white
children. Poverty is the answer.
Many local and national surveys
have revealed thousands of under-
nourished children. If the number
has not increased during the depres-
sion it is still too great - yet the gov-
ernment is urging restriction in the
production of milk and food stuffs of
all sorts.
These facts and many others have
forced Paul de Kruif to become ad-
mittedly hysterical. T h r o u g h o u t
"Why Keep Them Alive" he repeat-
edly pictures on one hand the inno-
cent victims of infectious diseases, of
malnutrition, of indecent housing, of
ignorance, not only dying in thou-
sands but existing in abject misery,
and on the other hand, the fruits
of science which could reduce dis-
ease, and produce plenty for all if
given the money to do so.
There must be something very
wrong with a system that thus keeps
the workers from consuming what
they are capable of producing in
abundance. Such a system cannot and
Will not be tolerated by an informed
populace and it is the author's mis-
sion to disperse the ignorance.
The author seems to have been
careful to make no specific recom-
mendations but he is certain about
certain fundamentals. Science is the
common property of everyone and its
benefits are not to be restricted to
the Haves. Those in control of money
and credit are blind, calloused, and
vicious to insist upon continued suf-
fering in a land of plenty for the
sake of a paper balance in their
myopic scheme of bookkeeping.
How the system can be changed
he does not say but he warns those
in authority that it had better be
changed-and that in the not too
distant future - or the newly-awak-
ened populace will install its own
leaders, whom De Kruif does not
trust enough to follow at present.
The book will be criticized for be-
ing emotional, incendiary, hysterical,
communistic - for lacking perspec-
tive. After all it is possible and
necessary for most people to derive
comfort and tolerable complacency
from a study of the accomplishments

of the past twenty-five years in the
reduction of infant mortality, the
increase in life expectancy, and the
general improvement of living con-
ditions until they are now considered
the highest in the world. We are
slow to believe that further progress
is dependent upon a completely new
technique. When the value of water
purification was demonstrated, the
credit became available for the con-
struction of purification plants. When
De Kruif, and others of like convic-

Shakespeare Scholar Contributes

BENTLEY

SDespotism Flouted In
Novel Of Caesar

Important Work To

Criticism

NHAT HAPPENS IN HAMLET by
J. Dover Wilson.
tl By DR. PAUL MUESCHKE
(Of the English Dept.)
WHAT HAPPENS IN HAMLET i
probably one of the most im-
ortant works on Shakespeare to ap-
)ear within the last decade. J. Dov-
-r Wilson is a refreshing and or-
iginal critic, an eclectic in the fines
t sense of the word. He achieves a re-
mnarkable synthesis of the interpreta-
tive insight of a G. Wilson Knight
the sympathetic appreciation of
Shakespeare of the romantic critics
with the fullness of knowledge of the
historical skeptics. For the past few
t ears, Dover Wilson has been editing
Ie plays of Shakespeare in the new
Cambridge edition. He utilizes his
ninute knowledge of the text to in-
'erpret the plays in the light of
Shakespeare's time and the tradi-
tions and customs of the Elizabethan
stage, but, unlike the "debunkers"
and the skeptics, he never loses sight
of the enduring and ageless values of
zreative dramatic art.
In What Happens In Hamlet, Wil-
son is concerned with the imagina-
tive re-creation of Hamlet as Shake-
peare conceived it. Whatever indi-
vidual differences of opinion may be
excited by his views in the minds of
other critics, there can be no doubt
that his contribution to our under-
standing of the play as a whole and
his illuminating interpretations of
many hitherto obscure or controver-
sial incidents in it merit the respect
of all students of Shakespeare. He
succeeds in throwing entirely new
light on some of the most baffling
scenes in the play, particularly upon
the "Mousetrap" scene and the duel
between Hamlet and Laertes.
Twenty years ago Wilson first be-
came intrigued by the problem of
the dumb-show in the play within
the play scene in Hamlet. After years
of interrupted study and cogitation,
he felt that he had found the solu-
tion not only to the problem which
fascinated him but also to a host of
related questions which had been
variously answered by Shakespearean
scholars for three hundred years. In
his ingenious reconstruction of the
play scene, Wilson is led to the con-
clusion that the King, Queen, and
Polonius never actually saw the
dumb-show because they were at the
moment earnestly occupied in conver-
sation about Hamlet who had given
them much food for anxiety in his
tion demonstrate over and over with-
out emotional fanfare, the human
value of the newer scientific discov-
eries, they will perhaps find sup-
port from those controlling credit.
The present generation lacks com-
plete faith in the rapidly changing
edicts of science. In 1890 workers
in tuberculosis predicted that tuber-
culosis would be wiped out by the
new science of bacteriology and tu-
berculin. Now these same workers
admit they were wrong. Every year
some new discovery contradicts or
makes obsolete the discovery of the
year before.
The present generation is likewise
suspicious of do-gooders. They are
looked upon as emotionally malad-
justed, or grafters.
De Kruif properly sees the task as
an enormous project in public edu-
cation. There is a great need for in-
terpretation of science. Figures must
be dramatized and the introduction
of some emotionalism is permissible.
In this volume the emoting is a bit
overdone. His emotional outburst
leaves one without any sense of di-
rection. When he concludes hs
appeal with a rehash of the now
hackneyed story of the Dionne Quin-
tuplets he detracts very definitely
from the effectiveness of his argu-
ment.
It is very doubtful that the au-
thor's challenge to protect the lives
of our children will be accepted soon
in a state whose popular governor
recently stated in discussing the care
of afflicted and crippled children,

"The people are looking for ways toj
save money, not new ways to spend
it. That's the kind of government
they will continue to get."

y comments just preceding the entrance
of the actors. Up to now, it has al-
ways been taken for granted that the
King did of course see the dumb-
s show and it has been necessary to
-assume that he did not grasp its sig-
nificance until the presentation of
- the spoken play proper made it all too
- clear. Whatever doubts we may still
t retain regarding Wilson's interpreta-
tion, much of the textual evidence he
. cites in confirmation admirably sup-
ports his point of view. The role of
f Hamlet throughout the scene, if un-
derstood in this way, is made clear,
and his comments, many of which
have been hitherto regarded as the
inexplicable ravings of a pretended
madman, are given new meaning. The
play scene, thus interpreted, clears up
many controversial episodes and
F speeches and reveals Hamlet him-
self as the intellectual giant he is,
subtle, ingenious, imaginative, cour-
ageous.
But Wilson's method of discussion
frequently leaves much to be desired.
The fault of the book lies chiefly in
its organization. He conceives of
the play-scene as the center of his
problem and with that as a sort of
focus sends his analysis spinning in
concentric circles until it includes the
play as a whole. The result is that he
would like to discuss everything at
once, all the problems being so inti-
mately and necessarily related to one
another, but being prevented by the
exigencies of time and space, he must
needs obey the laws of consecutive
discussion. He cannot quite succeed,
however, and he is always beginning
the discussion of a particular point
and then abruptly postponing it for
several sections while he digresses to
treat something else which is urgent-
ly pressing for his attention at the
moment. In the course of his argu-
ment on several disputed questions,
the Shakespeare student may feel
that Wilson is confusing insight with
ingenuity. Like all Shakespeare en-
thusiasts with a theory to defend,
he is sometimes guilty of letting his
facility of conjecture outrun his
scientific devotion to scholarly ob-
jectivity. But in these days when
Shakespeare scholarship is so fre-
quently the pedantic trepanning of
a great mind by a host of little ones,
it is a joy to read a man of Wilson's
stature whose erudition has not been
gained at the sacrifice of his own im-
aginative insight of the artistic in-
tegrity of Shakespeare's genius.
New Books Are Added
To Hopwood Library
Eleven new books have been added
to the library of the Hopwood Room,
located on the third floor of Angell
Hall, which is open to all students
enrolled in a composition or journal-
istic course.
The books include Maxwell Ander-
son's Winterset, This Modern Poetry
by Babette Deutsch, Poems by C. Day
Lewis, The Best Poems of 1936, se-
lected by Thomas Moult, Henry Wil-
liamson's Salar the Salmon Tangled
Hair, poems translated from the
works of Akiko Yosano by Shio Sa-
kanishi,
George Santayana's The Last Pur-
itan, Grace Lumpkin's To Make M
Bread, W. Saroyan's Inhale and Ex-
hale, Helen Jerome's dramatization
of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice,
and Libel, by Edward Wooll.
March Book Forecast
PUBLIC SPEECH by Archibald
MacLeish. Farrar & Rinehart.
$1.00.
ARCTIC ADVENTURE by Peter
Freuchen. Farrar & Rinehart.
$3.50.
OSCAR WILDE DISCOVERS
AMERICA by Lewis and Smith.
Harcourt Brace. $3.75.
SHAKESPEARE by J. Middleton

Murry. Harcourt Brace. $3.50.
GOLDEN PEACOCK by Gertrude
Atherton. Houghton Mifflin.
$2.50.
PUNCH'S PROGRESS by Norman
Brown. Macmillan. $2.00.

FREEDOM, FAREWELL! By Phyllis
Bentley. MacMillan. $2.50.
By THEODORE HORNBERGER
(Of the English Dept.)
"Democracy," says Julius Caesar,
in this novel by Miss Bentley, "in-
evitably means delay and confusion.
Despotism, on the other hand, has an
unpleasant sound, but it is a much
more practical form of government
to live under. For it is easier to find
a single able and well-meaning man
than many. Most men are fools."
But, answers Servilia, Caesar's mis-
tress, and the most admirable char-
acter in the book, "as long as a tree
lives, it may grow fine and tall, even
though slowly and with many twist-
ings. But you want to stretch it to
twice its length at once, by force.
When you have finished, the tree
may be dead.
This conflict, with Servilia's liberalr
middle-ground conception of govern-
ment evidently the more admired by
the author, is the thesis of Freedom,
Farewell! Not only did Caesar's ends
fail to justify his means, in Miss
Bentley's opinion, but in the very
process of achieving those ends the
able and well-intentioned man was
hardened, blinded, inevitably turned
towards the paths which led to his
own destruction.
One reads this novel with present-
day problems constantly in mind. In
fact, Miss Bentley prefaces the book
with a quotation from Mommsen to
she effect that today should learn
from yesterday, not because the par-
-iculars are alike, but because the
fundamental forces are likely to be
he same. And, with a novelist's
technique, she displays the funda-
mental forces: Crassus the greedy,
Pompey the ambitious, Cato the
blunt, Cicero the egocentric, Mark
Anthony the sensual, and all the rest
of the colorful figures of the last days
of the Roman Republic.
What one learns is, however, de-
bateable. Miss Bentley makes her
people come alive; of that there is
no doubt. She convinces one that
human emotions and human in-
capacities are not much different to-
day from what they were in the first
century B. C. But she does not, it
seems to me, convince one that the
swing from democracy to dictator-
ship could have been stopped then,
orb could have been stopped in modern
Italy or Germany, by anything with-I
in the control of those individuals
who read novels. One is very likely
to put down Freedom, Farewell! With
quite as helpless an attitude towards
the time-spirit or what seem to be
vast economic forces as he had when
he began it. For Cato the Younger,
honest man that he was and acknowl-
edged by Caesar as his only con-
queror, is not the hero of the novel.
Miss Bentley makes clear her be-

As Brutus remarked, this is to "make
one's principles wait upon opportuni-
ty," and Caesar's career is doubtless
an illustration of that rather dis-
heartening truism. Unfortunately for
Miss Bentley's case, she reveals no
principles for which any conceivable
numbers in a democracy might be
willing to die. She says that politi-
cal freedom must come from the
people themselves, that it cannot be
given them by any superior. She sug-
gests that human selfishness is a
prime cause of the decadence of po-
litical institutions. She presents the
tragedy to human values which comes
with centering all hope of order on
brute force. But she does not indi-
cate any methods by which an indi-
vidual who would believe in a liberal
democracy can counteract the
strength of other individuals who be-
lieve that most men are fools, to be
swayed or commanded or bought or
killed as opportunity demands.
In short, if one tries to follow Miss
Bentley's lead and apply the general
analogy of the fall of the Republic to
the present day, one is forced to ad-
mit that both the outright com-
munists and the outright fascists
have a somewhat better case than

sticklers for retention of democratic
institutions, like Cato the Younger.
No less than Sinclair Lewis, however,
Miss Bentley believes that there are
worse things than delay and con-
fusion and the impracticality of dem-
ocracy.
New Frost Volume
Of interest to Ain Arbor is the
publication of a new Robert Frost
volume, scheduled for April 20. The
verses, thirty-eight in number, will be
titled A Further Range.
When You Think of
PRINTING
Call
7900
RAMSAY-KERN. Inc.
PRINTERS
205-206 First Nat'l Bk. Bldg.

PHYLLIS BENTLEY

lief that Caesar was at heart de-
sirous of justice and good govern-
ment, and on the side of the com-
mon people as against privilege. But

he was
Brutus,

forced to work, as he told
in the conditions life offers.

BOOKS C URRENT
And Worth Your While
ROBERT COOLEY ANGELL - The Family Encounters the Depression $1.50
PAUL DeKRUIF - Why Keep Them Alive.................... 3.00
H. G. WELLS - Man Who Could Work Miracles 1.35
MYERS & NEWTON - The Hoover Administration 3.50
EMIL LUDWIG - Defenders of Democracy ...3.00
JAMES STOKLEY ---Stars and Telescopes 3.00
JULIA ALTROCCHI -Snow Covered Wagon .. 2.50
HILAIRE BELLOC - Battle Grounds of Syria and Palestine 4.00
HOWARD HAGGARD -- The Anatomy of Personality 3.00
EVALYN McLEAN - Father Struck It Rich 3.00
MARGERY LANE - Faith, Hope and No Charity . 2.50
JOHN GUNTHER - Inside Europe .... 3.50
MAX BORN - The Restless Universe .. .. 2.50
KAGAWA - A Grain of Wheat .... . ... 1.00
E. M. DELAFIELD -Faster! Faster! 2.50
MARY HARRIS - I Knew Them in Prison.3.00
RICHARD BEAKER -Here Lies a Most Beautiful Lady 2.5O
J. MATTHEWS - Guinea Pigs No More.2.00
NEGLEY FARSON - The Way of a Transgressor .. . 3.00
G. R. HEYER - The Organism of the Mind ... 3.50
at
WAHR'S BOOKSTORES
Main Street, Opposite Courthouse 316 State Street

m

I.
I -

The Second /Annual
ASSEMBLY
BALL

I

JOHNNY

HAMP

sunday dinner at the hut is really an event
sunday menu
chfiled fruit cup tomato juice homemade chicken noodle soup
roast young vermont tom turkey dinner ..........65c
breaded veal tenderloin steak dinner ............50c
boiled swift's premium club sirloin steak dinner. . . .65c
grilled sizzling lean pork chops dinner ...........55c
grilled small tenderloin steak dinner .............55c
grilled new york sirloin steak fresh mushrooms. . . .60c
rost nrim rihs of ctepr beef ntl i i.e flc

and

s

Orchestra
The League
Tickets $3.00

Friday, March 13
9 P.M. to 2 A.M.

I 1

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