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April 24, 1938 - Image 8

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1938-04-24

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G THE M ICH iGAN DAILY SUNDA

', AP ,IL 24, 1938

IN

THE

WORLD

OF

BOOKS

-~ ~ ~ - -~ - - - -

Saroyan's Confused Philosophy
Is Apparent In Latest Collection

MURDER

LOVE HERE IS MY HAT, and other
Short Romances by William Saroy-
a n. Modern Age Books, Inc. 1938.
25 cents.
By STAN M. SWNTON
Reading this fifth coliection of
Saroyan short stories, one feels the
mental confusion of the author
creeping into his work, permeating
it, giving it individuality and at the
sae time dulling the appetite of the
reader who would take it in more
than small doses.
There are more and more straight
narratives among these recent works.
Contained in this volume, for in-'
stance, is "Gus The Gambler" which
is very amusing and makes one won-
dc if Saroyan has not been reading
Dimioh. Runyon. And there is the
admirable "Three, Four, Shut the
Door," .a mature, finished piece of
work, telling an obvious tale and at
the same time subtly acquainting
tr e reader with the ugly story of a
white man's affair with a Negro wom-
ait and the tragedy which resulted.
These stories, and half-a-dozen
others in the new volume, are minus
the intensely personal quality and
to') often personal language of "My-
self Upon The Earth" and "70,000
Asyrians." Here one finds some-
thing which, while more common-
place, will reach a wider audience
ar:d, at the same time, offers more
pleasant reading. In the case of
Saroyan, I think this tendency to
conform is to be approved, for his
facile technique and the prodigious,

number of stories he writes have left
the average reader just a little bored
with his persoral essays.
Many of the stories in Love, Here
Is My Hat are amusing. "Jim Pem -
berton and His Boy Trigger" makes
one chuckle, as does "Ever Fall In
Love With a Midget?" "The Genius"
is a heartfelt portrait drawn by one
who but recently deserted Hollywood
and knows of what he writes. "One of
the Least Famous Love, Affairs of
History" brings back memories of
younger years. Also good is the title
piece.
The old Saroyan, however, is still
to be found. "Ah Life, Ah Death, Ah
Music, Ah France, Ah Everything"
and, especially, "For My Part I'll
Smoke a Good Ten-Cent Cigar,"
bring back memories of his first book.
They are put together with facility,
but one wonders if the intensity of
feeling they attempt to convey is not
artificial.yThis reviewer has never
been convinced of Saroyan's sincer-
ity.
And, too, there are stories which
seem between the two extremes:
"Trains," "The LaSalle Hotel in Chi-
cago," "The Fire," "A Lady Named
Caroline" and others. They are dif-
ferent from the run-of-the-mill short
story and, in the main, good. But no
matter how one looks at it, Saroyan's
stories reflect, his confused mental
state, The best of which he is cap-.t
able will not come until after he finds
something sure and solid, a phildso-
phy which will act as an island in
what seems to be a sea of mental un-
rest.

Some Choice Crimes
Are Collected
For Fans
VURDERS NOT QUITE SOLVED, by
Alvin F. Harlow. Julian Messner.
$3.
S HE LATE Edmund Pearson once
said that when he started writing
about real life murders some years
igo he was about the only practi-
aioner in the field.
Before he laid aside his pen, how-
over, the retelling of old murder cases
had almost approached the status
of a major industry. '
Writers found this a fruitful field,
.vith a large public. Books recount-
ing famous murder trials of the past
appeared with frequency.
Alvin F. Harlow is the latest author
to appear with a collection of cases
-"Murders Not Quite Solved" he
:alls them. As his publishers have
observed, he has avoided the old
"war horses" and his book turns up
several fascinating murder cases that
will be new to many readers.
Others are more familiar-the Col-
lings murder mystery of 1931, for in-
stance. Harlow presents a detailed
and satisfactory account of the sin-
gular happenings on the motor yacht
"Valentine" in Long Island Sound-a
mystery which is just as deep today
as it was seven years ago when the
uurious story first was unfolded to
the authorities.
One of the stories is concerned not
head Roman God) . . . The National
Government had to imitate the busi-
ness man ...
("Folklore," goes on to say that the
growth of the business man into the
huge, efficient, corporation was in-
evitable. It shows how the courts up-
held the business man myth by cloth-
ing the corporations with the indi-
vidual rights and freedom of the busi-
ness man. The book says politicians
like Theodore Roosevelt and Senator
William E. Borah built careers on
their preachings against trusts. The
general idea was that trusts were a
sin, and a good preacher fought sin,
though he knew full well he'd never
abolish it).
Orthodox History
Naturally many people would disa-
gree with a man who thinks like that.
General Hugh S. Johnson has called
Arnold "The reddest thing that ever
came down the pike," and Senator
Borah has suspected he is some kind
of an economic fascist who favors
monopolies and trusts.
Thurman Arnold's personal history
is orthodox. He is a product of Wyo-
ming, was educated at Princeton and
Harvard. He served in the army on the
Mexican border and in France. He
was a mayor of Laramie and served in
the Wyoming legislature.
F 7 . .. .... . ...

The Hopwood Rules Seem A Bit
Too Inflexible-Or Do They?

This seems like about as auspicious
a time as any to make a few remarks
about the Hopwood Contest and its
eligibility rules. There are two schools
of thought on the matter of the Hop-
woods among student writers: one
holds that they are fine as they are
and no changes need be made in the
rules; the second maintains that the
rules are altogether too strict and
inhibit the development of a great
free literary tradition at Michigan.
The first group is made up of those
who have never been ineligible for the
contests. The second is composed of
those who have.
The official regulations of the con-
test call for strict scholastic eligi-
bility, with no marks below a C for
the previous semester and a C rating
in all courses for the current semester
at the time of the filing of manu-
scripts, which is about the middle of
the term. Blueprints from the Regis-
trar's office are necessary to fulfill
the first requirement, and signed
notes from each instructor to fulfill
the second.
It is also necessary to be enrolled
in a composition course and to be
taking a prescribed number of hours
with murder, but with kidnaping.
"The first kidnaping for ransom in
America," Harlow says, "was that of
the boy Charlie Ross in 1874. The
second was that of a man after he
was dead.''
The body was that of Alexander T.
Stewart, America's first great mer-
chant prince, who died in April, 1876.
The body was stolen from its vault in
the churchyard of St. Mark's-in-the-
Bouwerie seven months after burial,
and from then on for years was un-
rolled an almost incredible story of
negotiations for its return.

of school work. The latter rule seems
necessary, pernaps, to restrict com-
petition to real honest-to-goodness
students and keep out possible pro-
fessional literary prize pirates whof
might sneak into the contest by en-.
rolling in a one-hour qorrespondence
course in, say, creative numerology.]
But some individuals will be inclined
to inquire, why the restriction to
composition students? Who knows
but that some engineer, forester, den-
tist or foreign language. major may
not be hiding a little gem of purest

able to allow students who received
a D the previous semester to enter the
contest if they wanted to very badly.a
Of course it might be pointed out by1
the defenders of the status quo that '
67 students, a record total, submitted;
87 manuscripts, another record total.
'this year, but after all, there are 12,-'
000 students enrolled here, which
means that one-half of one per cent
of the student body is competing for
about $8,500 in prizes every year.
- -..- G .
The Noise Of Cities
"The swish and crackle of paper is
the underlying sound of the metro-
polis; more important to the inner
content of its existence than the
whining rhythm of its machines.
What is visible and real in this world

Should I Ever
Borrow Money?
* Intelligent borrowing is the
common-sense way of smooth-
ing out the ups-and-downs of
income or expenses.
There are two methods of self-
financing:
1. 'Save first,' then buy.
(Savings Account)
2. Buy first, repay latex
(Personal Loan)
. Your choice of these two
ways depends on your own sit-
uation. But emergencies and
opportunities seldom wait until
you can save enough to take
care of them.
s ONLY REQUIREMENT for
a loan here: your ability to
repay small, regular amounts
on the loan plan that's easiest
for you to handle.
* No endorsers required. Pri-
vacy assured. Loans available
to all university people except
students.
PERSONAL LOANS
j Up to $300
Personal Finance Co.
376 Offices
10th Year in Ann Arbor
Ground Floor Wolverine Bldg.
201-203 S. FOURTH AVE.
Phone 4000 R.W. Horn, Mgr.
Read It In The Daily

ray serene in the dark unfathomed is only what has been transferred to

caves of his own school or depart-
ment files? Possibly there is a mas-
ter's thesis on the geography of North
Dakota which would prove a best
seller if brought out into the open
market.
The point here is simply this: do
the Hopwood Contests (or contest-
authorities differ on whether it or
they is or are singular or plural)
have to be restricted by artificial
means? If they are really intended
to foster creative writing, shouldn't
the rules be made as broad as pos-
sible, With as loose as possible an
interpretation by t h e Hopwood
Committee.
Perhaps it would even be advis-

paper.-From the Culture o: Cities,
by Lewis Mumford.
Papa pays k
"As an expectant father you are
very much like your grandfather
and his grandfather before him-
you are the forgotten man of propa-
gation. You are without honor
among men, who wisecrack about
your future responsibilities. You have
no standing among physicians, who
refuse to recognize your coming la-
bor pains. You are the butt of every
second-rate comedian who is stumped
for a gag."-From Father's Doing
Nicely, by David Victor.

U

Thurman rod, Cpitalisms
Dissector, Is Now Its Doctor

If furs were gold,
We'd worry not
When vaults were strong,
Whether cold or hot.
For while any vault
Will do for gold,
When it comes to furs
They must be cold!

By MORGAN 14 . BEATTY
WASHINGTON-(P) Pass Thurman
Wesley Arnold 'on Pennsylvania av-
en ue at 4:30' in the afternoon, and
you take him for another one of those
well-paid civil service workers head-
ing. for a bus and that little house
out on the fringe of town.
There's little enough about him to
brnd him as Uncle Sam's new trust-
buster; and less to mark him as au-
thor of ,a national best seller.
The fact remains that he does head
the anti-trust division of the Depart-
ment of Justice, and he did dash off
"The Folklore of Capitalism," that
lusty account of economic myths and
mIorab1.
flynamite
See him in his sleek suite in the
Department of Justice building, and
1r -

you are suddenly aware that dyna-
mite may be housed in this neat,
middle-aged frame, decorated rather l
carelessly with a light blue spring suit.
Arnold thinks in a startlingly harsh
language. He tells us that many of'
our economic creeds are myths.
Beating. the air with his arms, he
explains:
"If your favorite grandfather were
ill, and you wanted to know what was
wrong, you wouldn't study the portrait
of the old gentleman hanging in the
library. You'd get a chart of anatomy
and compare it with x-rays of your
grandfather's insides.
"Then again, if you were not con-
cerned with his health, merely want-
ed an idealistic memento of the old
gentleman, you wouldn't hang a pic-
ture of his anatomy, but you'd get an
artist to paint his portrait."
"But what's that got to do with-
?" you begin.
'I Want Facts'
"It's the same way with studying
our industrial system," Arnold runs
on, ignoring your query. "I want
facts. If you want idealism, that's
another thing. I'm sorry I called the
book 'The Folklore of Capitalism.'
'The Anatomy of Capitalism' would
have been accurate. I merely report-
ed the-facts of our economic ills of
the 0s and the years that followed."
The book said things like this:
"It is not the content of a govern-
mental creed which molds institutions
but the imaginary personalities which
make up the national mythology . .
In the United tStates the mythology
used to be very simple . . . The pre-
dominant figure was the American
business man (like Jupiter was the

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