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December 10, 1938 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 1938-12-10

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PERSPECTIVES

Page Eleven

n't have climbed it anyother time, but
up he went, caught a leg, pulled it loose,
fell over, and started up the dark end of
an alley, legs pounding, running . . A
feeling of intense relief and freedom
swept him on.
Back in the apartment the girl went
to the door, opened it cautously and
peered through a crack at a strange
man.
"Mollie," he said thickly.
'Who do you want?" she said sharply.
"Mollie-is that You?" he said. He
was drunk.
"This isn't Mollie," she said, pushing
the door slowly shut. "You've got the
wrong place."
"MVollie Smith," he said, "She lives
hiere-" " °.,.
"I said you've got the wrong place,"
she answered quickly "Mollie Sniilh
doesn't live on this floor She lives u -
stairs in number seven. Now beat it!"
She closed the door sharply, turned the
key and slid the chain of the night lock
into place. Then she turned back into
the room. She saw it was empty. She
looked toward the kitchen and walked
out there.
"Harry!" she called. "What do you
want, Harry? Harry!" She noticed the
kitchen door slightly ajar and stood still
a moment. It dawned of her then whot
he had 'done.
"Why, he's gone!"she said. She opened
the door 'and peered down into the dark-
ness, then came back in, closed the door
absently, and walked into the living
room. She looked at his glass on the
table beside the over-stuffed chair.
There was no question about it; the
guy had ducked.
T HE FIFTH COLUMN AND THE
FIRST FORTY-NINE STORIES.
Charles Scribner's Sons, N. Y.
By Ernest Hemingway.
This is the same old Hemingway come
to startle an all too complacent world
with yarns of bloody gore. "To shock,"
is Hemingway's :purpose; "To shock
them into the realization of the horror
entailed in living." . For the medium
in which to present his purpose Hem-
ingway, of course, chooses realistic de-
scription. Anyone who reads Heming-
way will like The Fifth Column and all
the 597 pages of disastrous lives, gan-
grenous wounds, slaughtered bulls, and
death. Again we know Hemingways
chapters, filled with discouraged, soiled
people and bursting bombs.
"The :Fifth Column," the. title play
was actually written amid the shelling
and bombing of Legones. But such in-
timacy with inspiration does not seem
to have produced anything the more
real. The drama is not for Hemingway.
"The Fifth Column" plows along
through intrigues of a war correspon-
dent helping the loyalists and a girl cor-
respondent niore or less looking for ad-
venture; lots of people smashing each
other; and everything "very depress-
ing." It is the people in the play that
seem to have little dramatic substance;
and hence the chief value of "The Fifth
Column" lies in a few photographic
"close-ups" of the war scene that are
startingly real.
As for the technical aspects of the
play, aside from its general excitement
and sceneric possibilities, there is little
that would hold a theatre audience.
Hemingway seems suddenly to have be-
come self-conscious and the dialogue
has turned into ponderous jargon with
forced witticisms, except for a few pas-
sage's where Hemingway forgets that he
is writing a play. Then the play reads
like a good Hemingway story. It is too
bad that such subject matter as life in
Spain, could not have been handled with
more arousing force, rather than the

spectacular splashes of sensationalism.
Some of the other 49 stories, especially
Now I Lay Me, Banal Story (2 pages),
The Short Happy Life of Francis Ma-
comber and The Battler, make interest-
ing arid exciting reading. But bulls are
Hemingway's meat and in "The Unde-
feated." we experience man and animal
and death in the' - ena. This is the

.NEW BOOKS

subject that Hemingway knows through
and through; and it is in his descrip-
tion and philosophy of bull fighting that
his talent is unbeatably powerful.
Although it is difficult to compare a
collection of short stories with a full-
lengthnovel, as a book, The Fifth Col-
lumn is not as good as To Have and
Have Not. None of the storiees have the
technical organization nor absolute real-
ism of that book. Rather, The Fifth
Column is a collection of observations of
the maladjusted aspects of life both po-
litically and phychologically. To Have
and Have Not was less passive in its ap-
proach to the same disheartening sub-
jects.
But The Fifth Column is at least an-
other earnest expression of thoughts on
modern life that may eventually, along
with other more penetrating such ex-
pressions, bring some sort of determined
contemplation of the present chaotic
condition, and maybe some sort of uni-
fied attempt at change.
-PENELOPE M. PEARL
A NEW ANTHROPOLOGY OF Mo-
ERN VERSE, Edited by Seldeo
Rodman. :Rodmean House, New
York..
Selden Rodman, a poet himself, has
compiled in this volume a collection of
verses that is, whatever else it may be,
completely readable. This may not be
a too apt description but it is at least an
approximate one. He has included not
only the work of the established mod-
erns and that of the new and stimulat-
ing younger poets that you expect to
find in any such anthology but also the
trenchant verse of Dorothy Parker, E.B.
White, Ogden Nash and the like. There
is Vanzetti's final speech, the Jabber-
wocky, a movie sound track and a fine
collection of Negro spirituals. He has
succeeded rather well in his role of a
latter day St. George rescuing modern
poetry from the monocled dragon of
High Seriousness.
It is a serious attempt o evaluate
the place of the younger poets, most of
them of the left wing, in relation to the
whole movement of modern English and
American poetry since the effect of the
French Symbolists was first felt upon
it. It is possible that this very emphasis
is responsible for one of the volume's
most striking defects, namely its omis-
sions and faultily represented poets. In
the works included it steers halfway be-
tween Louis Untermeyer's extensive
Modern British' and Anerican Poetry
and Mark Van Doren's intensive Ameri-
can anthology:
The volume falls into two divisions,
the anthology itself and an introduction
that tries in a few page to trace the
history of modern poetry and to issue a
manifesto for its future. Mr. Rodman
gives us his own criterion of what shall
be considered modern poetry and an
explanation of the four divisions into
which he has grouped the poets repre-
sented. Part I. includes the forerun-
ners of the moderns, Part II. the poets
whom he considers have. dealt in a
broad way with the people and the soil.
Part III., the symbolists and those im-
mediately influenced by the symbolist
movement, and Part IV., a loose group-
ing of all the poets of sharper social
protest. This grouping is certainly a
praiseworthy attempt to overcome the
weaknesses of strict chronological se-
quence, but whether the picture that it
gives of modern poetry is an accurate
one is highly debatable.
An anthologist's task is not a happy
one. Only by the sheer number of poets
included can he expect to be completely
comprehensive. Short of that he must
approach a comprehensive collection by
judicious selection. Mr. Rodman has
somewhere fallen short. It is hard to
justify the exclusion of Hilda Dolittle

and the incomplete representation of
William Cantos Williams. the inclusion
of a poem by Josephine Johnson and

the exclusion of Louise Bogan and Mer-
rill Moore. He has been grossly unfair
to the Irish poets. His emphasis on
the poetry of social protest has result-
ed in a good representation of the Au-
den-Spender-Lewis group but it hardly
justifies some of the notable omissions.
He has avoided, in some cases it
seems almost studiously, the inclusion
of the well known "anthology pieces."
But when those very poems are not only
the best but the most representative
work of a poet their omission is hardly
justifiable. For this reason neither
Elinor Wylie nor D. H. Lawrence appear
at their best. Eliot's'The Rock may be
less well known than either The Waste
Land or The Love Song of J. Alfred
Prufrock but it is certainly not as rep-
resentative as either of these works.
It is a relief to discover that Robert
Frost has 'written more than Mending
a Wall, The Runaway Calf and The
Hired Man, but the high place of Wil-
liam Butler Yeats in modern poetry
could be much better represented both
in number and in quality than it is by
the poems included.
Gerard Manley Hopkins is the only
19th century poet whose work is in-
cluded. It belongs in the volume be-
cause of the effect that his rhythms
have had on modern verse but in a dif-
ferent way the influence of the much
belittled Walt Whitman has been equal-
ly important and as much deserves rep-
resentation.
Aside from an explanation of the ar-
rangement and scope of the book and a
half-hearted attack opon the "high-
brows" who hav held poetry in bond-
age, Mr. Rodman's introduction at-
tempts to forecast and define the future
of poetry and, in a sense, attempts to
define the function of the poet in mod-
ern society.
There can be no quarrel with his
conclusion that the modern poet will,
of necessity, be forced to deal with so-
cial issues in this period of science and
change nor that the poet's approach to
these issues must be through the emo-
tions that they generate both in him-
self and other individuals. The poet
cannot write a prescription but he can
describe the disease and suggest that
there is a need for medical care. It is
in the method that Mr. Rodman con-
siders the poet must use that one must
take issue with him.
That there can ever be a success-
ful fusion of the content of the poetry
of social awareness with the methodol-
ogy of the Symbolists into what Mr.
Rodman calls "social symbolism" is
highly doubtful. The poet who is aware
of the sharpness and pain of the world
about him will, it is true, deal with that
world in terms of "personalized" emo-
tions, but their associations with it must
be clear, sharp and strong. The method
of the poets of the "ivory tower" is the
very negation of this. Their verse was
a loosely connected set of images whose
ties with any such reality as that of the
social scene were of the most tenuous
sort. Their verse was not the represen-
tation of an emotional reaction to any-
thing in the world outside. It was an
image of an image within their own
minds. They spoke a private language
because they dealt with private things.
Symbolism in the special sense in which
it is applied to the work of these poets
can never apply to the poet who wants
to find his material in the world of
other men. The method that they must
use will only be symbolist in the sense
that all poetry is such. Whether their
audience is large or small, their speech
must be "public speech." The esoteric
approach to the social scene is respon-
sible for much of the confusion of mod-
ern verse.
- JAMES GREEN

Thanks are due to the Bookroom
and Wahr's for the loan of books
reviewed in this issue.,

LOGIC, THE THEORY OF INQUIRY,
By John Dewey, Henry Holt,
New York.
Mr. Dewey's Logic presents problems
in reading and writing. I supposed it
would be a book about logic. This is
not the case. It is a book near or around
logic. The book is written with disarm-
ing sincerity in a singularly opaque
style. It makes its points in the manner
of Henry Armstrong: peppers the reader
with a profusion of blows, but lacks the
power to keep him on the floor. Mypina
impression is that Logic is an important
book, but important in a devious and
almost foolish way.
There is also the question; What do
the readers of Perspectives want to' be
told about a book like this? There are
a half-dozen people on the campus"who
would enjoy putting the screws to a
technical analysis, but as far as I know
none of these is much interested in
pragmatism. You can't summarizethis
book. You can't (without feeling cheap)
be funny with Mr. Dewey.
The book is a discussion, from the
standpoint of pragmatism, of logic and
more precisely of the psychology of
logic. The boundaries between such finds
are not mapped and it is sometimes
difficult to tell where some pointbe-
longs; errors in orientation are likelyto
be fatal to an argument. Psychfmlgy
deals with the concrete, with exper-
ience or behavior in their fullness. Lgic
is an abstract science, and it is essential
in logic to maintain a proper intensity of
abstraction. Mr. Dewey does not recog-
nize this. Consider chess and the psy-
chology of chess. It is true and might be
important, that every move in chess is
a result of biological process. But this
consideration has no status within the
field that deals with the axioms and
rules of chess. I think it not unfair to
say that if Mr. Dewey's Logic dealt with
chess the statement that every move is
a result of biological process would be
presented as a contribution to hyper-
modern theory.
Even since the renascence people have
been saying that logic should be more
concrete. This is a natural elliptical way
of saying that you want logic- to be
more use in dealing with ordinary sit-
uations. But an innocent stranger might
think that the way to fix things is to
pour some gravel and cement into 'logic
and let it dry. Mr. Dewey is not as
simple as that.
But Mr. Dewey says that the trouble
with logics not his own is their refer-
ence to extrinsic standards. "Extrinsic"
in this kind of argument usually means,
not to be accounted for by the author's
theory; Mr. Dewey wants it to mean,
fraudulent. Mr. Dewey feels that since
logical process is a part of biological
process, standards adopted for the for-
mer must be derived from standards
applicable to the latter. This is a mis-
take. It is perfectly all right to submit
logical processes to standards-of- the
kind Mr. Dewey is thinking of: to ask,
after an argument, Who won?'But it is
absurd to say that we can establish no
independent criteria; that we cannot
also ask, Who argued well?
Mr. Dewey discusses logic in terms
of what he calls instrumental categories
Logic he defines as the theory of inquiry.
Inquiry is what would ordinarily be
called useful thinking; fundamentally it
is not a process of thought, but a means
of action. Inquiry begins with a situa-
tion that is unsatisfactory and -inde-
finite, and covers 3 kinds of activity; 1)
description, and thereby definition of
the situation; 2) theory: bringing to
bear upon the propositions of (1) hypo-
theses, rules, etc., derived from past
experience; 3) judgment, by which is
meant not simply prospositions expres-

sing a solution, but the actualization of
some solution. Now it is obvious that
these considerations are proper to psy-
chology; they have no pace in logic,
taking logic in any ordinary sense (say.

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