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February 18, 1940 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1940-02-18

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Former Student And Hopwood Winner
+ Publishes Book Of Verse...

Coward's Tales Seen Lacking In Dramatic Spark

and yet, in his poetry, there is not
that completely convincing sense of
his identity with that world. Once
he has succeeded in that identifica-
tion, then he will no longer be the
mere reporter or incidental philoso-
phizer, but will analyze more deeply
and be stirred to greater anger and
to greater love. In such poems as
"Letter for Those Who Grew Up To-
gether," he is already in the process
of that analysis, asking questions,
weighing answers. Are these answers
necessary to the perfection of his
poetry? I think they are. A good
poet today is not one who remains
forever in a state of flux, torn be-
tween conflicting ideas, daring only
to scrape surfaces, deluded by search-
es for unrealizable Truth and Beau-

ty or what have you. Knowing fullI
well that I am being tremendously'
dogmatic, I believe that the good poet
must determine his direction and then
set out to prove by his observance
and practice what he feels to be the
proper theory. This will never be
easy or happy, but it will be reward-
ing for both poet and reader. John
Ciardi has luckily already surmount-
ed many of these preliminary bar-
riers. He is well on the way to defini-j
tion. He has come "home to Ameri-
ca" with an honesty and clear-sight-
edness that will make us value highly
this first book of his poetry, and it
is my sincere hope that this honesty'
will lead him to make more and more
profound and exciting discoveries in
that strange country.

TO STEP ASIDE, by Noel Cow-
ard. Doubleday Doran & Co.
New York. $2.50. (Courtesy
The Book Room).
Versatility has always been a Cow-y
ard attribute, and in To Step Aside,
his first book of short stories, he
brings to light another of his numer-
ous accomplishments, yet proves quite
conclusively that the drama is still
the medium of expression best suited
to his style.
Amusing and quite above the aver-
age short stories, his seven tales nev-
ertheless are lacking in that poignant
wit and sparkling dialogue which dis-
tinguish his accomplishments as actor
and playwright. Though they hardly
present Pulitzer material, Mr. Cow-
ard's yarns nevertheless offer mater-
ial for a few hour's relaxation and en-
joyment, but no more.
Most revealing of the septet,'and
unfortunately also one of the longest,
is Aunt Tittie, the story of an or-
phaned bastard's youth spent in the
circuit of cheap continental show-
houses and barrooms. Orphaned at
birth, the lad leads a comparatively
uneventful life in the custody of a
respectable and God-fearing, though
heartless aunt. While still at the

ender age of 11. h passs an and
leaves him with his sole living rela-
uive, Aunt Tittie, a cheap cabaret
artist who is no virtuous violet and
makes no attempt to conceal the fact.
Here Mr. Coward takes up the trail
of what one's imagination would pic-
ture as the life of a drifting dancer.

"righteous and well-meaning" bigot. by traces of the familiar Coward frank
A self-styled model of efficiency, she and revealing style, whereas The
sets about daily inculcating her theory Wooden Modanna deserves no com-
of a perfect, well-regulated and ben- ment.
evolent character upon the wretched Judged as a whole, the stories are
souls about her. Yet she seems to be not entirely dull, but when judged
entirely oblivious to the malicious by Coward's usual fire and subtle
impact of her "Christian" acts.
wit nn the taPwpiti nl nn


Booklet Illustrates Background
Of Russo-Finnish Death Struggle:

Better suited to Mr. Coward's subtle The remaining stories are markedlyI
wit and keen satire is What Mad Pur- shorter, and thereby more enjoyable
suit? in which one might well envision as meaningless sidelights of life.
his experiences and reactions when Cheap Excursion and Travellers' Joy
the renown Englishman, presented are saved from complete obscurity
here as an author, first forsook the - --
sanctum of his sheltered England for
a lecture tour of the American wilds B
between New York and Chicago.
Accustomed to daily nap and after-
noon tea, the eligible young Briton
suddenly finds himself swept along in
the maelstrom of New York's wildest
and most useless cafe and cocktail UE
The characterizations are over- o
done, and often come dangerously or N EW i
close to becoming trite, but it all goes
for an enjoyable tale. Through Mr.
Coward's eyes, we see our elite cafe
society at its worst. The hero, or ST U D EN
more properly the victim, is com-
pletely drawn in by an "understand- for All
ing" socialite who promises him a
complete rest at her Long Island "cot-
tage." The rest turns into a social
whirlwind, and Evan, the victim, un-
able to comprehend, much less keep
up with the mad set, finally runs
back to town in desperation.
In The Kindness of Mrs. Radcliff
Coward again becomes quite conven-
tional. It is a story which can be MICHIGA
labeled simply as an ironic character .
sketch, with little, if any, originality. 322 S. State at N. Univ
The leading character is the familiar


by the staff of "Soviet Russia
The historical and political back-
ground of the present conflict be-
tween the Soviet Union and Finland
is presented in a short factual book-
let: The U.S.S.R. and Finland, edited
by the editorial staff of Soviet Russia.
Today. The use of historical facts
and documents makes the pamphlet
a valuable aid in understanding this
new war situation and its implica-
tions for world peace.
Included is a short account of
recent Soviet-Finnish relations in the
light of Finland's geographic position
in the Baltic Sea and her historic
role as a base of military operations
against the young socialist state from
1917-20. How Finland became the
first fascist state in 1918 is retold
from the account in the Encyclopedia
Britannica. This was accomplished
by Baron von Mannerheim at the
head of a White army hurriedly or-
ganized to negate the declaration of
independence drawn up by the Fin-
nish Diet on December 6, 1917 and
recognized by the newly formed Soviet
Aid was necessary to crush the de-
sire of the Finnish people for a re-
public, and according to the Britan-
nica, this was forthcoming from
hard-pressed Germany who, in the
spring of 1918, "sent a division ini-
tially 12,000 strong under General
Rudiger and General von Golz." One
cannot help noticing the parallel of
the recent imposition of Franco's rule
in Spain, particularly when it is cited
that England, then at war with Ger-
many, actually supplied Germany's
White Guard allies with arms and
Factual sketches of the present rul-
ers of Finland are followed by a sec-
tion devoted to statements made re-
cently by several leading Englishmen
regarding the conflict. Notable among
these is that of George Bernard Shaw
who declares: "No power can tolerate
a frontier from which a town such
as Leningrad could be shelled when
she knows that the power on the
other side of the frontier, however
small and weak it may be, is being
made by a foolish government to act
in the interests of other great powers
menacing her security.
"Finland would probably not have
refused the Russian offer had she
been acting on her own or in her own
interests, but Russia believes that Fin-
land thinks she has the backing of
America and other Western powers."
To this the Dean of Canterbury adds:
"I deplore the situation which might
have been wholly avoided together
with the war itself, had we not
spurned Russian friendship and

wit Lm u nge, we can uniy pro-
phesy that had he chosen to write
short stories instead of plays as a
livelihood, Noel Coward would have
become only another name in a ga-
laxy of lesser writers.

thwarted her efforts to make the
League of Nations a success.
"Russia feared with reason a united
Western attack. We through many
years desired Germany to be the
spearhead of that attack. Many in-
fluential persons still desire and work
for it. Russia knows that."
A further section of the book deals
with the peculiar world position of
the Soviet Union as the only socialist
state, and cites the correspondence of
our own State Department to indicate
the hostility of the world capitalist
powers who hoped to prevent the
establishment of the socialist repub-
lics of the Soviet Union. In the sub-
sequent wars of intervention our army
and our capital were active, as these
documents show.
In the face of unusual excitement
in America, and considering our past
role in aiding the present regime in
Finland to establish its power, this
collection of data helps to throw a
sobering light of clarification upon a
situation that contains very real
danger to our peace, and threatens
even to include us in the world War
II. Most Americans will want these
facts and certainly it is well that they
are to be had here.
(Continued from Page 5)

f you prefer
ersity Bob Graham, Mgr.

"The Bahai Faith," by Dorothy Bee-
cher Baker. Refreshments.
First Church of Christ, Scientist:
Sunday service at 10:30 a.m. Subject
"Soul." Sunday School at 11:45 a.m.
Baptist Church: 9:30. GraduateI
Bible Class. Prof. LeRoy Waterman,
10:45 Morning worship. Sermon
topic, "Choose Ye This Day."
12:00. Student Round Table Dis-
cussion topic, "How Tolerant Should
We Be?"
4:30. Roger Williams Guild ,joins
with the Inter-guild Counsel in hear-
ing Miss Mueriel Lester of London,
England, in the Congregational
Church. The Group will meet in the
Guild House at 6:00 p.m. to discuss
Miss Lester's address.
First Presbyterian Church: 10:45
a.m. "Triumphant Personality" will
be Dr. John K. Bibby's topic.
5:30 p.m. Westminster Student
Guild will meet for a supper and fel-
lowship hour. Douglas H. Miller,
cass of '40, will speak on "Personal
Experiences on a Mined Ship."
Zion Lutheran Church will hold its
worship services at 10:30 a.m.
Trinity Lutheran Church will hold
its worship services at 10:30. The
Rev. H. O. Yoder will deliver the ser-
First Congregational Church:
10:00 a.m. Symposium on "Reli-
gious Beliefs". "Why I Am a Catho-
lic," by Prof. W. A. McLaughlin-
church assembly room.
10:45 a.m. Public Worship. Dr. L.
A. Parr will spenk on "The Faith We
Declare-That It Is Good to Believe."
5:00 p.m. Pastor's Study Class in
"Christian Fundamentals."
6:00 p.m. Student Fellowship Sup-
per, followed by a talk by Prof. W. D.
Henderson on "How to Live a Thou-
sand Years."
Only Six Days
to the
- Tickets on Sale
at the Union -



dustrial and Labor Problems, and
After College, Then What?"
St. Andrew's Episcopal Church.
Sunday, 8:00 a.m. Holy Communion;
11:00 a.m. Morning Prayer and Ser-
mon by The Reverend W. Russell
Bowie, D.D. of New York City; 11:00
a.m. Kindergarten, Harris Hall; 7:00
p.m. Student Panel Discussion on
"What I Think Jesus of Nazareth
Stood For," Harris Hall; 8:00 p.m.
Adult Confirmation Class in the
Church Office Building.
Disciples Guild (Church of Christ):
10:45 a.m., Morning worship, Rev.
Frederick Cowin, Minister.
12:00 noon, Students' Bible class,
H. L. Pickerill, leader.
6:30 p.m., Discussion on "Getting
Along With Others," led by Rev. H.
L. Pickerill. A social hour will fol-
Unitarian Church: 11 a.m. "The
Meaning of Heywood Broun," liberals
and religion.
7:30 p.m. Round Table Discussion,


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