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May 24, 1936 - Image 8

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1936-05-24

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'E

T HE MICHIGAN DAILY

SUNDAY, MAY 24, 1936

IN

THE

WORLD

OF

.BOOKS

____ __ _ _ _ _ __" _- -_

W-Hollow, A Place Under 'The
Sun, Fenced In By The Wind

MURRY
Departs From Orthodoxy

du MAl

HEAD O'W-HOLLOW by Jesse Stu
art, E. P. Dutton & Co., Inc., $2.50.
By A. S. HENDRICK
Jesse Stuart begins his book of
Kentucky short stories:
"W-Hollow is a place under the
sun, fenced in by the wind. It know,
more things than it can ever tell. Itt
earth cannot speak, or its brush . .
it's just a place with four seasons
wind sun, rain, snow -with scrub
oaks and old log houses and new
plank shacks - a place that's some-
where for some and nowhere for
many."
Jesse Stuart is a member of the
third generation of a W-Hollow fam-
ily. He has written twenty-one short
stories, dealing with that locality, in
pungent mountaineer dialect. In read-
ing them, one feels sure that W-Hol-
low is the only real place in the world.
Isolated from the outside, as the
W-Hollowans are, the reader lives
the self-sufficient life of Kentucky
mountain people.
They have double-barrel shotguns
in W-Hollow, and they carrry them
along when they "bell the bride." In
W-Hollow there are a powerful lot
of Democrats - and TWO Republi-
cans; there are "knockin' sperits" and
jugs of Kentucky's Melancholy Dew.
Men are loquor-drinkin patriarchs.
Women wash the family clothes in
great iron pdts over hickory fires and
smoke pipes of "taste-bud 'backer."
It is not for breath-taking plots
that Jesse Stuart's short stories are
written; life, as you and I and the
hill people live it, is hardly a series
of the momehts of suspense that
make conventional short story plots.
It is for a picture of the people in
W-Hollow as they live from day to
day that Jesse Stuart has written
these stories, quite without embellish-
ments, either of softened hue or
lurid exaggeration. But it should,
also be noted that the book is not for
those with delicate stomachs or a
distaste for the primitive.
One story is hardly superior to
another. Humor and human under-

- standing, intense love for their Ken-
tucky soil and the enjoyment of an
unprogressive way of existence, al]
f are there. Particularly good is the
first, 300 Acres of Elbow-Room, in
e which Big Eif Porter receives a
s "summons" from the Lord to say fare-
s well to this world at ten o'clock
. tonight. He has Treecy, his wife,
cook a great quantity of eatables and
sends his son, Little Eif, to invite
all the neighbors in the Hollow to
a farewell banquet. They come one,
r they come all, and after the feast
Big Eif tells them solemnly of the
token he received, apportions his
three hundred acres among the five
children, and at five minutes to ten
steps into the bedroom to await the
summons. Stretched out full length
on the feather bed in his Sunday
suit, his black derby hat, his clean
blue shirt, he waits:
S " . . .He looks at the ceiling.
'One minute.'
"'I hear the death bells,' says Eif,
'I hear them singin'. I see Pap and
Ma. They are atter me.'
"'It's all over,' says Hull Hillman,
'I never seed anythin' like that in
my life or heard tell of it ...
Mr. Stuart's first book, a long vol-
ume of sonnets titled Man With a
Bull-Tongue Plow, brought him ade-
quate fame. And now, with a poet's
aptitude for description and a short-
story teller's eye for a good tale, he
has decidedly strengthened his posi-
tion in the ranks of new American
writers.
a cold, analytical reviewer of the
march of events, who sees what is
behind the intrigues and jealousies
of nations.
He shows his reader why the League
of Nations is successful at one dispute
and a failure at the next; why the
disarmament conferences could not
succeed; why the United States faces
the possibility of a war with Japan
when the vast majority in both lands
want peace.
These are only a few inconceivably
important matters in the complex
panorama of world affairs taken up by
the author. The picture he paints
is none too bright, nor are the fig-
ures, though they are distinct and
clear cut. Hitler is no bright figure;
we see him as the mouthpiece of
German resentment at the Treaty of
Versailles; the "epitome of German
mystification at the defeat of Ger-
man arms; the figurehead of German
hunger for another, newer, more pow-
erful military machine."
It is an ugly picture to see "Ger-
man youth busy being trained to
think and feel that the state is every-
thing, the individual nothing; that
you were born to die for Germany!
Die, not live; die, not in the shop,
but in the trenches."
Mussolini does not make a very
bright picture either. We see him as
the "blatant, ruthless, powerful
dreamer of empire, who insists that
periodical war is the vital purge of a
nation's motives and the indispensible
stimulus of a nation's youthful viril-
ity."
Primarily a dictator, not as a leader
of idealistic communism, we see Sta-
lin, "a leader who can compromise
every tenet of his party's convictions
in order to maintain his dictatorship."
Perhaps the author paints his pic-
ture too dark, with his brush of bias
and prejudice. Yet how drab the
picture might have been without his
vigorousness, his enthusiasm to tell
all, his emotion - all resulting from
his prejudices. His purpose is to stir
his reader and he succeeds.

By ALFRED LOVELL
To Indulge Critical I JAMAICA INN. Daphne du Maurier.
Vagaries Doubleday Doran; 1936.
Jamaica Inn stood bleak and shut-
SHAKESPEARE by John Middleton tered in the midst of lonely Cornish
SHAryPARE baJohn MCddleton moors, no travelers stopped, and the
By DR. PAUL MUESCHKE coachmen whipped their horses to a
(By DR. PAL MDEmE gallop as they passed. Yet when the
(Of the English Department) gales blew from the northwest at
John Middleton Murry's Shake- night, every window was alight, men
speare is above all a volume of im- roared and sang in the bar, wagon
pression. In his 19 chapters he covers trains came stealthily in the dead
the most important phases of Shake- of night and left, while Joss Merlyn,
the most importantuphases ofvShake-

JRIER Tells Dark Tale Of
Cornish Moor ...
her there: a promise to her dead du Maurier describes him as Mary
mother, and an intense love and sym- saw him and was attracted to him:
pathy for her aunt, whom she has "He wore a grimy shirt that had
seen once some twelve years earlier. never seen a washtub, and a pair of
Ash bar maid at the inn, Mary has dirty brown breeches, covered with
the opportunity to meet Joss's com- horsehair and filth from an outhouse.
panions in one of the Saturday night He had neither coat nor hat, and
debauches that precedes mysterious there was a rough stubble of beard
undertakings, and twice she watches on his jaw."
the wagon trains come.and go in the The climax approaches as Mary'
darkness. becomes Joss's confidante during a
Two suitors and friends appear seven-day drunk. The real nature
after some time: a sympathetic albino of his vile operations, as witnessed
minister and Joss's brother, Jem, a by Mary herself is a stirring scene,
horse-thief. Jem, who is the object but both the climax and the conclu-
of Mary's affections, is a striking sion are rather laboriously achieved,
character, a glorified and purified although they are satisfying and
edition of his older brother. Miss, well-planned.
1 -1

On the whole, JAMAICA INN is
blessed with a good plot and plenty of
action. It is intended to be a ro-
mance, but it lacks the power to ab-
sorb the reader, the characters are at
their best when abnormal, the at-
mosphere is that of a nightmare, and
it does not convince. Mary, the cen-
tral character, lacks appeal because
of her tremendous simplicity, almost
stupidity, and even when victorious
she remains, consistently enough, a
country clod.
N

gigantic, dark and evil, gave fierce
speare's art, stressing those plays and orders. Into this inn, avoided and
especially such passages as in his feared by all the countryside, came
judgment reveal the expanding pow- Mary Yellen, a country girl of
ers of the poet. His work is a frag- twenty-three, to find behind the
mentary and capricious account of desolate exterior a life of horror and
Shakespeare's growth through the fear in harmony with the treacherous
early poems and comedies, the com- marshes and moors all about.
edies of the middle period, the chron- In this setting Miss du Maurier
icle plays, the tragedies, and finally writes the tale of Mary; the failure
the dramatic romances. of the book is no intrinsic fault of
Murry is content to ignore the the plot, nor of the characters, but
more exacting methods of the scholar lies rather in the inability to bring felt
yet willing to appropriate the con- reality to any aspect of the work. At
elusions reached by distinguished 1no point is the reader in sympathy
critics of the past and present. with any character, whether it be
s tMary, the malevolent landlord, Joss,
Many of his chapters offer no more or his wife, Patience. In describing
than a facile repetition of material the moors, the author gives no clear
long known to competent students vision of the whole, no perspective.
of Elizabethan drama. This is espe- The reader has only a feeling of con-
cially true of his comments on the fusion and inaccuracy. The action,
early comedies, the middle comedies, while violent, is no less vague;
the problem plays, and the dramatic throughout the book Miss du Maurier
romances. In the case of King Lear fails to shake off the feeling on the
and Othello, his departures from part of the reader that what lies
orthodoxy to indulge his own critical before him is mere fiction, a story of
vagaries are unfortunate. Othello, as the imagination with no possibility
he interprets it, is a play written to of reality.
show that "we kill the thing we love," More detailed comment will serve
and Lear is distinctly not so fine a to justify this condemnation. We
play as Coriolanus. In it, he finds first meet Mary, fresh from the farm,
"the imagination of the verse spas- in a coach on the way to join her
modic." But curiously enough, there aunt Patience at Jamaica Inn. Mary
is no treatment whatever of Cario- at this time is too childish for a
lanes, though the reader's curiosity woman of her age, her reactions to the
is avid to discover wherein lies its life about her are simple, but on the
avowed superiority to Lear. whole she is pleasant and has possi-
Murry is at his best in his treat- bilities as a character.
ment of King John, Richard I, Ham- Upon reaching the inn after night-
let, and Antony and Cleopatra. Espe- fall, she is horrified by the first en-
cially illuminating is his analysis of counter with her uncle. In the fol-
Faulconbridge, the cynical realist in lowing days she senses the evil and
King John. Shakespeare's use and mystery that haunt the sinister hos-
gradual mastery of the conceit in telry without being able to define
Richard II has to my mind never been them.
more deftly analyzed than by Murry. It is at this point, when Mary first
Hamlet's attitude toward death and feels the impact of the atmosphere
the hereafter and Cleopatra's love for of the inn, that the author fails to
Antony are matters which he treats establish solid footing for later de-
with enviable in sight. Here he enters velopment. For Mary is under no
boldly into the imaginative world of compulsion to stay with her aunt.
Shakespeare and reproduces the spirit Two motives are brought in to keep
of Shakespeare's verse with a finesses,-
e.arn.LZl to thC5t. of fRrn Brdl t hie( {

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MARTIN

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His Propaganda Against
Dictators Stirringly
Rabid
DICTATORS AND DEMOCRACIES
TODAY by John Martin; Rollins
Press. $2.50.
By DONALD SMITH
As one might assume from the title,
this thorough book deals with the
backgrounds and present status of the
principal dictatorships and democ-
racies existing today. It is a col-
lection of the lectures of the author
before audiences of students, profes-
sors, college presidents and visitors!
at Rollins College, and is presented
here under two divisions in a some-
what amplified form..
Professor Martin deals with the
backgrounds, meaning the events of
the year since the World War, in the
first part of his book, and takes up
existing conditions in Germany, Italy,
and other nations in its latter part.
There is little that is new in this
book. The author's purpose seemed
to be only to emphasize the need
of understanding and interpretationr
of the facts responsible for and exist-
ing from dictatorships and democra-
cies. He writes as a propagandist
for peace and arbitration, a critic, not
,_

comlparale a L L1 1 5-ueyau 111
best. Whoever attempts to trace sys-
tematically the growth of Shake-
speare's creative power will find hims-
self indebted to Murry's volume des-
pite its many annoying vagaries.
"BREAKING INTO
ADVERTISING"
Here is a book for 1936 graduates
that gives sound information on
how to get a job in the advertising
business, always in need of new men
and new ideas.
Edited by WALTER HANLON. advertising
authority. 56 KEY ADVERTISING EX-
ECUTIVES tell how they got started in
this fascinating and profitable profes-
sion, and show you how to "land that
first job."
Send for FREE brochure describting
"Breaking Into Advertising" to
NATIONAL LIBRARY PRESS
110 West 42nd Street - New York City
0.

,I

a

I

THE COLLEGE BOOKSHOP
STATE STREET AT NORTH UNIVERSITY
OUTLINES FOR ALL SUBJECTS

GOING TO TRAVEL...?
You'll find the best and only coni-
plete selection of luggage right here
at WILKINSON'S. All are equally
practical for motor, train, steam-
ship and plane travel. Never a
wrinkle in your clothes at the end
of the longest journey. Drop in now
and prepare for summer travel!~
F.W.Wilkinson&Son
325 South Main
-Always btdy lcather goods at
a leather goods store"

THE PRIVATE TUTOR....

SAY LOU -1'M WORRIED
ABOUT MY NEXT WEEKS
EXAMS - I HARDLY KNOW
ANYTHNG!!-

WHY DONT YOU COME
TO MY HOUSE -I HAVE
A PRIVATE TUTOR!!
L --

. P RI VATE.
TUTO R tH
r LETS 6G1#

HERE IT 15 - COLL'p
O UTL (NE SERIES: THE
STUDENTS PRIMA

tFAS5u ALL MY EXA S]
TANX TO TH
RIVATE
TUTO
TITLES IN Hi:
College Outline Series
Principles of Geolog~y
Historyof Englan
American Government
United States to 1865
United States Since 1865
Principles of Economcs
History of Education
Statistical Methods
First Year College Chemistry
Outlines of Shakespeare's Plays
History of Europe, 1500-1848
History of Europe. 1815-1935
Educational Psychology
History of the Middle Ages
History of the World Since 1914
Ancient, Medieval &,Modern History
General Psychology
General Forestry
General Biology
History of Englishliterature (to Dryden)
First Year College Physics

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