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November 21, 1937 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 1937-11-21

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pa~aExU~rrTHE MICHIGAN D)AILY
_CGN THE WORLD OF BOOKS

SUNDAY, NOV. 1, 1037

JONES

Tara's Historian

HEMINGWAY

Lost Letters

Found

Broken FrierwIshib Of Browning~

His Third

Novel Shows'

Does A
Tom

. Biography
Moore A La

Of

Strachey
THE HARP THAT ONCE. By How-
ard Mumford Jones. Henry Holt
& Co., New York, $3.50.
By ELIZABETH ALLEN
Professor Jones' The Harp That
Once has been widely reviewed, us-
ually along with L.A.G. Strong's "The
Minstrel Boy." which is also a biog-
riphy of Thomas Moore. This re-
viewer intends to do no such Siamese
twinning, however. Having read The
Harp That Once first, we have a feel-
ing that any other book on Moore
would be something of a let-down.
Professor Jones has done a very sat-
isfactory piece of work.
Written in the no longer new but
still effective Strachey method, the!
reader is given not only a sympa-
thetic picture of Thomas Moore in'
Jones' book but also an interesting
glimpse of the poet's background. The
Regency period was a troubled one,
and Moore was troubled by it. He
was a very patriotic Irishman and anF

New Awareness,
OldStyle
TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT, by Ern-
est Hemingway. Charles Scribner's
Sons, New York. $2.50.
By JOSEPH GIES
Hemingway writes tough. Max'
Eastman says it's because Ernest has'
an inferiority complex, and maybe it'
is. Protagonists say it's because the
people Hemingway writes about are
tough people, and do tough thingsE
and talk a tough language, and if
they are going to be reported cor-;
rectly the writer has to write tough.
Probably Eastman is right. But
the other view may still be right,
too. At any rate, the question thatx
matters, regardless of the author'sI
psychological motivation, is wheth-
er or not the story is any good. Hem-t
ingway's latest novel is not one thatt
can be classified very readily; it has ar
number of faults which have already
drawn a storm of abuse from conser-,
vative critics like Harry Hansen; it is,
somewhat confused in direction, and
the toughness grows wearisome to-I
ward the end, going on for severalt
chapters after the real story part ofa

-VA VI r ' AFIA descendant of notable ances-
,v-r1 Yir 1tors and a relative of Darwin, Julia
And Julia W e Uwoo U Uoveed probably took Browning's fame more
lightly than another woman would
--------- have, but it nonetheless must have
"OBERT BROWNING AND" JULIA end unfortunately. For while Brown- affected her strongly, and may have
WEDGWOOD, THEIR LETTERS, ing regarded his correspondent mere- been at the bottom of the friendship's
cdited by Richard Curle. Frederickyd ending. Her strongest characteristic,
ly as a good friend and severe critic,
A. Stokes Co., New York. $3.00. in her letters, is a solidly-impreg-
Oshe. for her part desired a more in- nated Victorian reserve, amounting,
T iBy ROBERT I. FITHENRY u timate relationship. As usual in indeed, to stoicism. Her writing it-
Tire discovery of the hitherto un- such cases, the paradoxical result wa: self is in the standard nineteenth
pected o orrespondencelabetweenthe voluntary breaking off of the century feminine affectation, al-
Ro oert Browning and Julia Wedg- friendship by Julia. It was resumed though at times a certain irritation
wood first came to light two years again, and continued through letters enters her tone when she is criticiz-
ago, upon the death, at the age of 91. until 1870, when the last poignant ing Browning's poetry.
of the latter'siyounger sister, into
jwhose possession the letter s had:
fallen. Miss Wedgwood's letters, in
fact, were not found until 1936. They
ROBERT BROWNING had evidently been returned to her N Ow is the time place y o rder or
.OER RONIGafter the poet's death.tO pl yeo rdr
The first note is gated May 14,
ness in Farewell to Arms and The 1864, shortly after the two had met
Sun Also Rises of the nature of the through Browning's acquaintance
tenebrous background against which with Julia's older brother, James P E RSO N A L
the isolated groups of lost and shat- Mackintosh Wedgwood, who was ly-
tered individuals were thrown into ing in the shadow of death at the
relief. Hemingway saw the scene in time and succumbed within a few I
which he was interested very clear- days. C M R.S M A a- u w
ly, but it was not a very inclusive Elizabeth Barrett Browning had
scene. Precisely what it was that died three years earlier, and mutual
crippled Jake Brown and broke sorrow doubtless did much to bind the
Lieutenant Henry did not seem to in- two together in a friendship which
terest him. It appears from To Have lasted seven years. Browning was priced 50 for $) .00
and Have Not that he is now begin-; at the height of his fame and intel-

ilOWARD MUMFORD JONES
HALPER

ardent and industrious Whig.,
from the political satires he
on all his life, being Irish
Whig must have taken up
deal of his time; yet there
Moore's biographical work,
course, the "Irish Melodies."
the author of "Tis the Last

Judging
worked
and a
a great

Exponent
School

Of Decadent
Pens His

Best Work

is also:
and of THE CHUTE, by Albert Halper. The
It is as Viking Press, New York, $2.50.
Rose of ,_ r- - -

Summer" and "Believe Me, If All By ELLIOTT VARANI
those Endearing Young Charms" In this latest effort by the' young
that Thomas Moore is remembered author of "The Foundry." "Union
today. Square" and "On The Shore" the
Niagara Startled Him trend in literature which is just be-
Professor Jones has obviously done gining to make its influence andl
a great deal of historical research in consequences felt here-the novel of
order to make us see the world in; pessimism-attains a new high in the
which Moore lived. In addition to vigorous depiction of human life in
carefully presenting the social and the metropolitan civilization of Amer-
political trends of the time, he goes ica.
into great detail concerning Moore's
impressions of America (including For 20 centuries, a blacksmith's son
his reactions to Niagara Falls and the, in Europe has known at the age of
Philadelphia girls, both " of which six that he was destined to be a black-
startled him) his friendship with smith. Thomas Mann or Jacob Was-
Byron, his enormous popularity serman could thus depict the rise
among the people, even his relation- and fall of a family and logically im-
ships with his Wiltshire neighbors, ply the simultaneous rise and fall of
are all described. Europe, of Western civilization.
The fact of Moore's popularity is In America the situation and tra-
an important one. Only by seeing dition had been different. Ihere was
him as an idol can we see him as a land that pioneers had built; the
his contemporaries did. Ladies wept land of opportunity for all who had
when he sang; he created such a stir the courage and initiative to pull free
in a Dublin theatre one night that from the Old World ties. This was
thc actors had to halt the play until the country where the land was black
the excitement calmed down; famous and rich, the forests primeval, the ex-
men sought him out. Yet he seems panse endless. No man called another
to have remained unspoiled and like- master; the masterful were the strong,
able always. the brave, the quick and the cunning.
Sic Transit It was here that a utopia on earth was
The tragic thing about his fame is going to be achieved. The levelling
that it largely died with him. In- process of democracy with its charac-
deed, it was rapidly diminishing be- teristic swells and recesses, fits and
fore his death. He is still remembered starts. made every child a potential
as a lyricist, today. But to read of president.
Tommy Moore, the delight of the Culture Succumbs To Metropolis
drawinig room, the despair of the Today American tradition and cul-
Tory party, the beloved poet of the ture have lost their distinctiveness
hour-this is to read of a stranger. and virility. The emergence of met-
The modern world has little interest ropolitan culture, of a proletariat, of
in Moore. His only monument is a a leisure class, of a tenant-slave sys-
very inferior statue in Dublin, which tem, has made American society stable
shows him as a bald old man. His and unchanging and therefore reced-
grave in Wiltshire is seldom visited. ing and decadent. Reformers still
Moore little realized that when he believe in reform but they no longer
was writing one of his songs he was believe in men. Liberals cry for the
composing his own epitaph: retention and strengthening of dem-
The harp that once through ocracy as the only hope for America.
Tara's halls But the novelists who have matured
The soul of music shed, and developed in this transition stage
Now hangs as mute on Tara's of our culture see only the pessimism
walls and despair of the masses and are
As if that soul were fled. already sounding the death-knell of
American culture as a peculiar entity
Albert Halper, James T. Farrell and
V e ra Good Meyer Levint have grown up in the
streets of Chicago and when they
Vera Brittain, of London, whose leave Studs Lonigandead in the gut-
novel, Honourable Estate, was 'pb- ter, Gas-house McGinnty back in the
lished last year, will tell the story of slums, Paul Sussman in the mail-
her friend Winifred Holtby, author order house and Auntie Margaret
of South Riding,. in her forthcoming walking the streets, the fate of all
book, Brief Odyssey. At t.5oti.t these and of the many millions of
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the narration has ended. ning the business of writing in a,
But out of the dirt and mistakes more serious way, and that socialI
there emerges something new for forces are no longer lost on him.
Hemingway, and rather reassuring to Harry Morgan runs a fishing boat'
those who thought he was going at Key West, where the top and the
stale. Because for the first time he 'bottom of the economic scale are not
seems to be conscious of the mean-' balanced by any Aiddle part, where
ing of those gigantic and mysterious the rich have their beach parties a
forces which in his previous novels stone's throw from where the poor
have only been apparent in their ef- are struggling to keep alive. The de-
fect. There was little or no aware- pression has hurt the resort business,
and as the story opens Harry is turn-
others in the hovels and holes which ing down a shady deal with some Cu-
spread across the country is just as ban revolutionaries because he does
inevitable as is the fate of the black- not want to risk his boat. Later, when
smith's son in Europe. At times he has lost some money, and is wor-
our novelists let them ciimb up an ried about how he is going to support
inch or two, slowly, painfully but his wife and daughters, he has to risk;
only in order to later bring them it, and his life as well. His single-
crashing down deeper into the mud. I handed battle is futile, of course, and
profoundly impressed with their own he finally goes down before the odds
unimportance and the futility of their so heavily stacked against him. The
efforts. npicture is hurt somewhat by Mor-
frlsPlotgan's brutality, but the conviction
Hero, Villain, Plremains that he has been wronged
The background of Halper's book by a society that has no place for;
is also the hero, the villain, and the him, as it has none for Albert, a re-
plot. For the Golden Rule Mail-Order lief worker who acts as Harry's mate
House, where Paul Sussman, who Ion the fatal last trip.
wanted to be an architect but took a Hemingway's dialogue and detail
job in the mail-order establishment are as sure as ever, and his way of
because his sister Rae needed the narrating action remains superb.
money to marry Moe; Meyerson, the The story is an exciting one, al-
crazy buyer who falls down the chute; though a good share of the interest
Emmet Mangan, the drunken floor- perishes with A1organ; the other
manager who manages to break away people and incidents, especially the
for a while, and the young order- lives of the "haves," the decadent idle
pickers in the back-room who snatch rich, do not always fit into place
their love in the aisles, all work to- as well as those of the "have nots."
gether, is much morp than merely But there is no question about the
background. The chute, down which widening of his horizon, and this fact
Paul and the other 12-dollar-a-week must be the' most important consid-
clerks stuff goods for 8 hours a day eration in connection with .the novel.
is a perfect expression of symbolism.-I

lectual powers, 51 years of age; Julie
Wedgwood was just 30, and it was in-
evitable that this disparity in ages
should cause the acquaintance tc

0

This huge steel gullet, with its cavern-
ous opening, gives Paul the feeling
that his life is being stuffed down its
enormous throat. The farmer in
Minnesota wants his overalls so the
bell on the chute clangs feverishly
for goods, and with every clang some-
one's nerves become a little more
frayed, someone's life a little bit
shorter.
Halper's portrayal of failure is a
brilliant one. His people haven't got
a chance in the world and they know
it; hope dies in their souls long be-
fore they know it; hope dies in their
souls long before they are laid in
their graves. The symbolism of the
chute apparently so fascinates Halper
that he over-does it. It is to be re-
gretted that he thought it necessary
to introduce tricks to develop his point
-they were decidedly not needed.
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