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April 29, 1939 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 1939-04-29
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AV

f

Page Two

PERSPECTIVES

PERSPECTIVES

AS WE GAILY MARCH ALONG
USOMTHJN TOSING ABOUT"
ILLIAM LOUD provement on the present system. The Labor, or the History of the Sciences Quite obviously, the success of the
fact that it is a new variant of an old will be studied, ,with a consideration of plan depends to a large degree upon
system in no way decreases its desira- cccnomic factors, political developments the calibre of the tutors. The primary
bility.srequisite will be a broad liberal educa-
ICHIGAN'S latest attempt to Hn thesg.r liis.ofthis.emnarthe tion outside of a special field. More im-
improve its educational pro-i. portant, however, will be a proper tem-
Iess br hefridbeite The tutorial system will be given a student will be permitted to follow his porant howeve wil be por tn-
cess bears the formidable title - peramental aptitude for the work and
Program for Honors five Year trial beginning in September, own interests, and the tutor will en- a firm belief in the system whereby the
in Liberal Arts." The plan grew out of 1939, after which it may be adopted as eachvor toude bring out the best efforts m "student learns-rather than the teacher
a series of informal meetings of a a permanent part of Michigan's educa- pecliay suited to th nes of rogr mateaches." In orderthat each tutor may
group of faculty men, who felt that tional system. A bard of tutors will have ample time to conduct his semars,
tioe system.lA boardtofottors willngivgivenhe will be relieved of one-third of his
little special attention was being given control admission to candidacy on the Since during the first year there will regular duties.
to the abler students in the college. Inreuadtis
November, 1937, after a year of devising basis of a personal interview with ap- be only a few tutors, and since it is
and rejecting various plans, they pre- plicants. The first qualification will be thought best to have no more than six HI.
sented what they thought was an ac- a B average, and qualifying examina- student in each group, the student will The most attractive portion of the
ceptble chee, ad wee rcognzedbe assigned to his seminar by the Board
ceptable scheme, and were recognized tions in English and a foreign language of Tutors. He will have some choice of program will be the individual confer-
by the College as an official committee. will be given to determine the appli- subject, provided that enrollment in his ences between tutor and student, at
the plan is not copied after any cant's fitness to carry on independent chosen field is not prohibited by the which the tutor will guide the indepeno-
known system; but is an outgrowth of stidy and to interpret his experience. previous registration of other students. ent study and discuss the results of the
experience which its originators acquired Only those of junior standing Wili be Five hours creditwill be allowed for student's reading. The essential element
at other universities. Perhaps its closest considered. the work of the seiinar, in addition to of the plan is the cultivation of intellec-
cotnterpart is to be found at Harvard, An educational system which involves which the student will carry on class tual curiosity, and it is hoped that the
where some years ago there was intro- close relationship between student and work which coincides with the general conference method will instill in the stu.
duced a tutorial system which embraced instructor would be impractical on a nature of the seminar. As a result, the dent the desire to acquire knowledge for
the whole student body. Under President large scale. Not only would the expense material from the separate courses and its own sake.
Conant, the number of students in be prohibitive, but the average student the seminar will be continuously inte- This, then, is the essence of the pro-
seminars has been gradually decreased, would be incapable of the independent grated so that the "major" who knows gram by which it is hoped that Michigan
as it became evident that the mass of action required. The plan, therefore, is only the language of his narrow field will be able to offer the exceptional stu-
students was not capable of progress open only to a small, select group who will be a thing of the past. Comprehen- dent something more than a shabby
under the system. 'Presumably,Harvard are deemed capable of progress without sive final examinations which include knowledge of nothing in particular
and Michigan will someday arrive at incessant faculty prodding. Enrollment both the field of concentration and col- Those students who have the desire and
the same point if present trends are during the first year will be limited to lateral fields will cover a two year abildty to do so will be allowed to pr
carried to their logical conclusion, thirty students, and will be increased period of study and will test the stu- ceed at their own pace, and not be
The plan which has been devised may to one hundred thereafter. dents' correlated knowledge rather than evled to the intellectual lefte or-.
appear to be a "forward step back- During the first year the board of a mass of remembered facts. In addi- e
ards" to the days and methods of tutors will consist of five members, each tion, a. penetrating essay on a subject ward step, it is something to sing about
classical education. At any rate, its sup- of whom will conduct one seminar. Such chosen in conference with the tutor will
porters are convinced that it is an im- broad subjects as the Renaissance, be, required of each senior. * * *
Two GrupS Of Students-

written there because the Russian writ-
ers,' 'being socialists, have - discarded
that bourgeois art form, the novel. As
a matter of fact, there have been a num-
ber of good novels written in the new
Russia; there are two reasons why there
haven't been more. First; everybody is
busy building, and trying to improve
material conditions. Second, there ob-
viously aren't many good novelists.
There is little doubt in my mind that
we are going to see a lot of splendid
novels written during the next 25 years:
first in the United States, beginning
with men like Steinbeck; then in the
Soviet Union, when its economy be-
comes more stabilized; then in the
Western European countries, when their
economy is socialized; and then in Ger-
many and Italy, when men will once
again'be able to-dip their pens in ink,
and not in slime.
Harvey Swados.
WRITE THAT PLAY, by Ken-
neth Thorpe Rowe, Funk
and Wagnalls, New York.
In Write That Play, a "strict and adult
pen" has compressed the experience of
many years teaching. Hundreds of
young playwrights have come to Pro-
fessor Rowe and with his help have
learned to master the technique of their
difficult craft and art. Perhaps more
than anything else, young writers need
discipline-and encouragement. They
have found both of these in the advice
of Professor Rowe. Analysis of and as-
sociation with the theatre have given
him incisiveness: his students are well
aware of that ability to define the cen-
ter of their faults andlto suggest changes
that give the original idea a more true
statement and often transform the play
to a higher leve.
It is mommonly assumed that every
person hias one good novel in him, if
he would write it. What is less well-
known is that every person thinks that
he has at least one play in him-and
usually writes it. Approximately one
million plays were written last year,
and this in a country where the pro-
fessional theatre was until the last few
years confined almost solely to one city.
External social drama seems to be lim-
ited to the front pages of newspapers
(in America, of course), and it is per-
haps true that all this writing is a sub-
limation, undertaken because drama has
been crowded into the individual's in-
rterior. Whatever its cause, it is im-
possible to doubt that playwrighting has
become a national avocation.
Writing a play is an arduous job and
requires the acceptance of a set of con-
ventions and a narrowly defined mode
of construction. Operating within such
rigid limits, the playwright is apt to
produce a play that is not capable of
being performed. He must know the
limits if he is to expand them later on.
The theatre offers more encouragement
to the dramatist than ever before, and
he must be able to answer its challenge.
Write That Play is Professor Rowe's
contribution to the craft of playwrit-
ing, and in it i to be found the brilliant
criticism and intelligent guidance that
he has placed at the disposal of his stu-
dents.
Professor Rowe points out that a play
is first of all a story: modern play-
wrights have of course been unable to
dispense with a plot in their most ex-
perimental work. But it is a peculiar
type of story, one that is introduced
and developed by conflict. The sense
of tension and instability that marks
the beginning of a drama really pro-
ceeds from the preliminary tilt of op-
posing forces. When force confronts
force, there is a change in the direction
of both. This resultant (which may
shift and fluctuate almost constantly)

is the basis of structure of drama.
Yet this conflict is unified, although
such a statement seems to be contra-
dictory. A play is not simply a sequence
of events st as occurs in everyday life.
It is a definite selection of events and
actions, arranged in meaningful fashion.
Within its form, it is logical. Therefore,
it is an organized conflict. Such a dy-

- NEW BOOKS

r\-14

namic view as this clearly demonstrates
the correspondence between formal art
forms and the principles of organic and
social existence.
In relation to the general lines of dra-
matic construction, Professor Rowe up-
holds the views of Aristotle. A play may
be graphically described as a triangle,
with an introduction leading to the At-
tack, rising action to the Crisis, and
falling action to the Resolution. In
reality, the lines are not straight, for
the various complications create small
triangles upon both the 'ising and fall-
ing action. The entire effect is rhyth-
mic, with complications arising from the
completed exploitation of their predeces-
sors.
A special feature of the book is the
inclusion of three plays: A Night At An
Inn, by Lord Dunsany; Riders To The
Sea, by J. M. Synge; and A Doll's House,
-by Henrik Ibsen. These plays are an-
alyzed in the same manner that Pro-
fessor Rowe uses in the classroom. The
texts of the plays are printed on the
left-hand page, with the running com-
ments on the right. The analyses are
very minute, pointing out all the various
complications, evidences of "good the-
atre," signs of dramatic craftsmanship,
and exactly marking the major actions.
It is much like having the possession of
a private and valuable notebook and
would alone assure the importance of
Write That Play.
Probably most interesting to the pros-
pective playwright are the chapters
near the end of the book, dealing with
the concrete problems of writing and
revising a play. Examples are given of
the approach of individual students to
these problems that are provocative and
helpful. Any working method will nec-
essarily be individual, but an outline of
the experience of others may be ex-
tremely useful. '
In the chapter, "Functions and Val-
ues," Professor Rowe has made some
highly controversial statements. Social
and propagandistic plays are cast into
very rigid categories. With the excep-
tion of farces and certain types of come-
dies, most contemporary plays are con-
cerned with social problems. In fact,
the old division into comedy and tragedy
has largely disappeared, though prob-
ably only for a short time. In this
period of impending social change, it
seems likely that the theatre is under-
going a transformation that will even-
tually place drama upon a new and
higher plane. Unfortunately, this pro-
cess of change is considered only su-
perficially. But the fault may be due to
spacial limitations and difficulties of
definition.
Students of playwriting, will find in
this book a summation of the courses
that Professor Rowe has taught; a rec-
ord much more complete than the most
copious notes. Few people, ,compara-
tively, have been fortunate enough to
attend the University of Michigan and
take the classes in playwriting: Write
That Play now makes Professor Rowe's
experience and tutorial ability generally
available.
- H M. Purdy.
POEMS, by Kenneth Allott,
Hogarth Press, London.
CONFUSIONS' ABOUT X, by
Julian Symons, Fortune
Press, London.
Two books of poems from London
come to hand to leave a rather feeble
impression. Allott and Symons have re-
ceived some publicity in England and
we recall also a longish piece of Symons
in Poetry for last September,,as well as
occasional references to the post-Auden
group in England, meaning among
other things these two young writers.

Bar-ring these, they are for us new poets,
and not very impressive ones.
Post-Auden they certainly are, both
chronologically and in a general in-
debtedness to the techniques of the
Auden-Spender-Lewis group; but their -

spiritual fathers are more likely to be
found in a combination of Eliot, Neville
Chamberlain, and the most fashionable
nostalgia of the latest war scare. For
here are two poets, rather remarkable
technicians, having nothing to say but
"Kamerad" to their own spectres, and
spending their time in learning the most
graceful gesture in throwing up their
hands.
For'Allott there is nothing left
But hopeless now sink down into
the sea
And melt into its vistas endlessly,
for "'the map of the future is riddled
with bullet holes." And Symons, self-
styled epicure and lover of good cigars,
can do no better than grow very sad
over a world falling apart ii the ex-
cesses of capitalism (by his own analy-
sis), and inform his friends:
You whom I laugh with, live with,
love,
Will find that when the barriers
give
I shall fight against you in the
hopeless action.
For,
To us, the skeptical and calm,
The dream is final, and we come
To face the deadly faces in a hostile
land.
We might continue such a listing of
quotations but would add nothing new,
but a certain felicity of word and ca-
dence to the weary mood. Our own pre-
judices however make the objection.
Technique is only an asset when it adds
to a vital poetic energy. Lacking that
energy it becomes a drag and leaves the
impression of a pose. And it is just t:c
that leaves the reader unconvinced.
It is impossible for us to believe that
young men in their middle twenties can
write verses that echo so with the
ancient despairs of the Sphinx without
having betrayed their own impulses
somewhere along the line.
One will recall Huysmans' summary
of the critics' cries upon publication of
Against the Grain:
After such a book, it only remains
for the author to choose between
the muzzle of a pistol and the foot
of the cross.
To which Huysmans replied in the grand
manner in the "Preface Written Twenty
Years After the Novel":
The choice has been made.
Perhaps Allott and Symons may find
an alternative choice, but unless their
poetry is to collapse upon itself from
sheer exhaustion, some choice must be
made.
-John Ciardi
PARLIAMENTARY GOVERN-
MENT IN ENGLAND, A
Commentary by Harold J.
Laski, Viking, New York..
The other evening I engaged in an
argument. The battle was over Havold
J. Laski.
When I finished presenting my indi-
vidual viewpoint and began listening to
those of the others present, I realized
that there was little basis for argument
between my verbal opponent and my-
self. We both believed that Laski was
one of the most brilliant politican an-
alysts of the age, a student whose
acute criticism has provided the founda-
tion for what virtually amounts to a
school of political science. But we also
agreed that Laski falls short of the goal
lie might reach because of one failing
-the fact thathhe overstresses economic
influences on history. As non-Marx-
ists, it seemed to both of us that
he had disregarded other motivating
factors and overstressed the economic.
All this in preface to reviewing Par-
liamentary Government in England. The
book will surely be a standard volume
in the study of British government.
It is far superior to Ramsay Muir's

work and compares to Ogg's stultified
texts as champagne compares to brack-
ish water. Laski's theme is simple-the
following quotatioi contains his main
points:

"A politica
own inner im
and economii
road thereto
foundations
democracy is
foundations t
tral issue in
Right seeks
capitalism b
fully upon t
nomic system2
wrere there i
is by offerin
standard of
remain in off
are satisfied v
they are dis
the Left tor
begin or atte
transforming
Laski is not
er- the Left w
power. While
secure powei
(through elec
Right were ch
proposed fun'
the capitalisti
to give in. T
would be a
Left, in the
and let the
rule, albeit ill
lenge that rul
Of one thin
.is a fundame
two parties.
cleavage was
and Conservat
but both wor
cal r.remises.
between the
Conservative
has function
faith, a realiz
differed only
worked from t
Make no mis
lieves in the p
no alternative
ship. But he s
danger that
break down in
the fundame
ferred to.
With that i
there are th
made. In the:f
of the cleava
Laski would ha
is in control
would be a N4
stead of a pu
do not feel th
contained in
yet not social:
revolution. Bu
feel that the
extreme left o
ic democracy,
New Deal but
political, wou
the problems
There is spac
panse-for cc
ciliation is re
to me seems ti
ocracy; not th
er, no more
liberties and i
to be a coro
not mistake th
which resulte
Weimar Repl
are limits to <
ance of a pri
limits. Demon
and at once i
is inherent ir
existence.
Briefly, thei
standing conti
government w
studied in th
go all the ws

bcasic^interpret,
pre ation into
tain necessitic
cratic. And th
Neither can I
on the econom
capitalism mus
But make no n
a necessary bo

By HOUSTON A. BRICE
Ffinal Remarks on the Perspective's Poll;
Graphs by Carl E. Guldberg.
F ANY CONCLUSION can be drawn
from the results of this question, it
is that the students are about equal-
ly divided into two groups: those
who like to study and would continue to
do so even though they were offered
their degrees without any further work,
and those who are in college only for
propriety's sake and who would feel
their duty to themselves and to society
fulfilled as soon as they had their sheep-
skins framed and hung.
Although there is no evidence in the
figures to show that the first group-
those who like to study-are peculiarly
fitted to study any more than those who
don't care for studying, the logical con-
clusion is that those who like to study
are the ones who, capable of doing their
own work, object to such impersonally
restrictive and autocratic methods of
"inducing" study as the grading system,
compulsory subjects, final exam's, com-
pulsory attendance (although the pre-
ponderance of students marking "no
effect" probably means that attendance
isn't so compulsory after all), and to
a lesser degree, term papers.
It follows that those who are here
only because of custom and who study
out of necessity instead of any innate
love of scholarship are the ones who
feel the need for those methods of en-
forcing study. A sense of duty impels
these students to try to get something
out of college; even the most unschol-
arly student feels bound to acquire a
certain range of information, a certain
amount of learning, and a thadow of

Ja ee~ (2, ee fle ,&d

In achieving your aims at the University, do you think that:
No
Helps Hinders effect

the grading system........................205
compulsory attendance at classes .............205
independent reading and research ............448

228
148
15

87
206
31

No
opjnio
53
30
50

.. ..

4,1
O

AM6&M ar

YES
205

- NE0
17.1 28

7

W6 EFFECT 6

~ __
WAM

JU

QG-A01ADIN

on

4 i

t0OPINION 53

mental discipline. These things should
be expected as a matter of course, and
a student of this latter class realizes
that he would not even get this much
were it not for the more regulatory
n measures in vogue in the university.
The split in opinion is fairly distinct
in Grading, attendance, compulsory sub-
jects and finals. These measures are the
most regulatory and restrictive of the
lot, and it should be interesting to the
powers-that-be in the university to see
that fully half the students object to
practices which supposedly are in effect
for their own benefit. Furthermore, the
assumption back of the division of the
students into two groups implies that
the scholarly group-the objectors-are
in truth qualified objectors. That is,
they know what they want out of col-
lege and they know how to get it-if
left alone.
The votes for "no effect" and "no
opinion" would seem to indicate objec-
tions to the system rather than acclam-
ations of it. This fact is especially true
of final exams. Finals are either sup-
posed to crystallize the semester's work
in the mind of the student, therefore be-
ing a defiinte aid to his education-or
else they are supposed to be a terrific
nuisance requiring inordinate cramming
and leaving the mind as innocent of the
salient features of the course as be-
fore-in short, causing a headache with-
out clearing the part affected. Two hun-
dred thirty-one students, of the 594
voting, approve of finals, whereas 212
disapprove of them. One hundred six
said finals have no effect, either good
or bad, which means that in the minds
of those 106 students, there is no excuse
for finals. This surmise implies that out
of 594 students, 231 are in -favor of
(Continued on' Page 10)

_.. ..

the "major" or department system...........397
compulsory' subjects ....................... .211
the lecture system..........................345

100
242
94

57
57
67

133
60
68

-...E-. {^ -'a .a

-t

T

. .=Y

Y"ES
205,

Q m a s a a a __z_.

T

111111

4 * 9 9 3

NO.
148

SO E FFECT
jftfttjfttft -o 20

__ ,,

I-~ I I I - S

I=

jAZT'ENPA NC E

a s " " " s0

NO OPINION
30

L

final examinations .......... ............231
frequent quizzes .................... .....463
terin papers.............................292

212
60
145

106
31
79

45
39
74

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