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November 06, 1949 - Image 8

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1949-11-06

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French Lit Probed by Niess

Some people have hobbies -
others devote their time entirely
to their professions.
But to Prof. Robert Niess of the
romance language department,
the study of French literature
means a working combination of
the two, seven days a week.
BESIDES hammering into
French students the philosophies
of Romain Rolland or Proust, he
spends spare hours probing for
little known facts about these and
other artists.
He is currently working on
an autobiography -of Julien Ben-
da, contemporary French critic
and philosopher.
Prof. Niess arrived on campus
this fall after a two-year teaching
stint at Harvard. He had previous-
ly taught four years at Kentucky
University and West Point, the
latter while in the Army.
* * *
"NOT AT ALL reluctant" to
leave Harvard, he welcomes the
lack of "Yankee reserve" in Ann
Arbor. "Things 'are much more
cordial here," he thinks.
Almost spontaneously, Prof.
Niess praised a "healthy charm"
exhibited by University coeds.
"Has the East beat a mile," he
The University appeals to him
because of the closer liaison be-
twpen deprtmental execultive
committees and colleges than
found at Harvard. "Faculty here
has a right to select its own re-
presentatives - there's no such
system there," Prof. Niess com-
* * *
AS FAR AS he's concerned, the
future belongs to "pace-setting"
state universities.
Newspapers are a lot different
too, he feels. "The Daily's liber-
al editorial policies and fre-
quent use of world news makes
it more professional than the
Harvard "Crimson," he adds.
He confesses he once had
Journalistic ambitions himself -
a reporting job was offered him
prior to his entrance into the Uni-
versity of Minnesota in '29. He
refused it, however-"no courage
of my convictions," he laughed.
' *
PROF. NIESS' yen for traveling
has led him to a six months' va-
cation in France in 1938 and a
Mexican trip the following sum-
About Mexico he says, "Those
border towns are really rough!"
But the traditionally lazy peon,
sombrero pulled over his eyes, has
largely disappeared, he observed.
"We think of Mexicans as slow,,

* *

-Daily-Ed Kozma
HARVARD'S LOSS--Prof. Robert Niess, who joined the Univer-
sity's romance language department after two years at Harvard,
poses in front of the books in his French library. In addition to
teaching four French classes, he spends time writing articles and
critiques for various literary reviews.

but they are steadily forming an
important culture of their own."
IN LINE with his work, he feels
French literature will fast become
the world's leader--"soon as the
existentialist crises blows over."
Terming Sartre's philosophy a
"postwar phase," he predicts it
won't last long as a movement
but should leave a permanent
impression on French thinking
and writing.
"Parisian cafe life has grown
even stronger with the rise of
existentialism; everyone is in-
terested in discussing ideas," he
THE assumption that France' is
in decay? "Definitely false-power
there is regenerating itself."
France's multi-party system
allows a greater degree of demo-
cracy and individualism than in
the U.S., according to Prof.

Gophers tangled with Michigan
here, he found himself in a tick-
lish spot as loyal University pro-
fessor and loyal Minnesota gradu-
He preferred to be non-commit-
al. "Let's just say I was glad for
one team and sorry for the other."
Prof To Talk
At Wisconsin
"Alaskan Forests" will be the
subject examined today by Prof.
Dow V. Baxter of the University's
forestry and conservation school
in an address he is scheduled to
give at Madison, Wisconsin.
Baxter has devoted much study
to the subject both in the labora-
tory and in the field. Since 1932
he has missed going to Alaska
only three summers in pushing his
research on the subject.
Tomorrow Baxter will deliver
another speech in Madison, this
time a university lecture on "The
Effects of Cult Practices on Di-
sease in Early American Forest

'U' Lirary
Gets Osborn
Called 'Priceless'
By Pres. Ruthven
Papers and books of the late
Governor Chase S. Osborn have
been added to the library and his-
torical collection of the University
of Michigan.
The approximtaely 400 volumes
and numerous correspondence files
were kept in the governor's library
on Duck Island in the St. Mary's
River near Sault Ste. Marie.
* * *
THEY WERE a part of the gift
which Governor Osborn made to
the University back in 1920.
The gift also included over
3,000 acres of land on Duck
Island and Sugar Island.
Dr. Alexander G. Ruthven, pres-
ident of the University, declared
the Osborn books and papers are
an important addition to the Uni-
versity's library holdings.
* * *
"THE PAPERS provide a price-
less historical treasure," Dr. Ruth-
ven declared. "Besides a wealth
of information about Michigan
there is much interesting material
about national affairs, particular-
ly in the political field.
This material will be invalu-
able to persons seeking back-
ground information about the
56 years covered by the gover-
nor's correspondence."
According to Dr. Warner G.
Rice, director of the General Li-
brary, the books reveal the gov-
ernor's wide range of taste, with
travel and Michigan history pre-
dominating. Among the unusual
volumes acquired by the lbrary
are seven books about Madagascar.
"IN ADDITION to its immense
interests as a library collected by
one of the foremost figures of
Michigan history, it is of great
intrinsic value to the University
because it brings to scholars a
large number of rare and curious
books," Dr. Rice remarked.
While the books provide a val-
uable addition to the General
Library, chief interest in the
future is expected to center in
the papers in the Michigan His-
torical Collections.
Although he was active in Re-
publican affairs, Governor Osborn
did not hold fast to the party line
and shifted his support according
to his rating of the candidates.
Fall 'Technic'
To Go on Sale
The fall edition of The "Tech-
nic," magazine of the Engineering
College will go on sale tomorrow.
Starting with this issue the
"Technic" is inaugurating a series
of articles written by faculty
members of other colleges of the
Guest writer this month is Prof.
Leslie White of the dept. of an-
thropology, whose subject is "En-
ergy and Civilization."
Other features of the "Technic"
include an article on Einstein's
theory of relativity, an explana-
tion of the mechanic's point of
view in machinery design, a de-
scription of the Pickatinny ar-
senal, and a survey of the prob-
lems involved in the use of Tur-
bine blades.
The "Technic" will be on sale

near the Engineering arch. 1

Inter-Arts Union Production
Will Combine Student Talent

-Daily-wally Barth
CAT WEEK COMMENT-Mirabeau, the famous Michigan-minded mouser, rolls over contentedly after
mewing his approval of plans for National Cat Week, which begins tomorrow. Mirabeau had just
finished a bowl of warm milk, and was very cool toward reporters who sought his comments on
this occasion. He did indicate that he substantially agreed with the aims of the American Feline
Society, sponsors of Cat Week.
* * * * * * * * *
Michigan's Mouser Greets Cat Week
e 41

Mirabeau, the original Michigan-
minded mouser, yesterday mewed,
his wholehearted approval of Na-
tional Cat Week, which begins to-

On this special occasion, the kit-
ten with the big black block "M"
on his forehead granted his first
press conference since his jump to
fame. His furry face first appear-
ed in The Daily last May 26.

Tlje fact that parties
subordinated to any large
is a distinct advantage, he
* I * *


The talents of student actors,
designers, musicians and dancers
will be combined in Inter-Arts
Union's presentation of "Murder
in the Cathedral."
The verse drama will be given
Nov. 16, 17 and 18 in St. Andrew's
Episcopal Church.
WRITTEN BY T. S. Eliot, the
play dramatizes the martyrdom of
Thomas A. Becket. It was first
performed in 1935 in England at
the Canterbury Festival, which
commemorates the death of the
"Murder in the Cathedral"
presents IAU with an excellent
Fair Employment
Forum Held Today
A forum on fair and effective
employment will highlight the ob-
servance of National Achievement
Week by Phi Chapter of Omega
Psi Phi fraternity at 3 p.m. today
in Bethel Ame Church, 632 N.
Broadus Butler, Grad., Robert
F. Mitchell, Jr., '51L, Thomas By-
ers, Grad., and Robert James, 50L,
will discuss "Fair and Effective
Employment: the Economic Objec-
tive of a Restless Minority."
* * *
OMEGA PSI PHI's National
Achievement Week begins today
and will continue through Satur-
day. It was originated in 1920 by
the fraternity as Negro History
and Literature Week.
In more recent years, the observ-
ance's scope of emphasis has been
broadened to include considera-
tion of minority group issues.

opportunity for the blending and
integration of the arts, accord-
ing to Strowan Robertson, mem-
ber of the group.
In addition to the dramatic roles
of Becket, the four knights who
murdered him and the priests of
Canterbury Cathedral, the play
includes a choral group, the Wom-
en of Canterbury.
ADDITIONAL music has been
written for the drama and will
be played by a small orchestra.
A modern dance sequence will also
be presented within the play.
The speech department, the
music school, the architecture
school and numerous other stu-
dent art organizations are co-
operating with IAU in present-
ing "Murder in the Cathedral,"
Robertson said.
The English department plans
to stress a study of the drama just
before its production, he added.
This combination of the creative
groups is the very essence of what
IAU hopes to achieve on campus,
Robertson emphasized.

AS USUAL, the famous feline
was rather reticent about talking
freely to reporters. He made them
wait while he finished lapping up
a bowl of warm milk served to him
by his owners, Mr. and Mrs. John
Dreher, of Ferdon Road.
When told of the American
Feline Society's plan to sell spe-
cial "Cat Seals" for the care of
indigent kittens, Mirabeau put
one paw behind his ear, rolled
over, and casually said "Mer-
This was interpreted by Dreher
as Mirabeau's way of putting his
OK on the proposal.
* * *
BUT THE LOOK of sheer con-
tentment on his face indicated
that he himself cared little for the
Feline Society's extensive works.
The Society, which calls itself
the "most widespread cat wel-
fare organization in existence,"
devotes all its energies to lobby-
ing for the welfare of the na-
tion's cat population.
It conducts research on cat
foods, medicines and general cat
care. The Society also operates an
adoption service for habitants of
the feline "skid row," and current-
ly is setting up a cat information
service - the first of its kind
known in the world.
DURING National Cat Week,
the Society is selling its cat seals
to ailourophiles (cat-lovers) at the
rate of $1 a hundred. Proceeds
will support the many services of
the organization.
So even cats so famous and
so comfortable as Mirabeau will
stand to gain from a successful
observance of Cat Week.

New Course
Will Explain
Roberts Rule
Union Will Hold
Three Sessions
Classes in parliamentary pro-
cedure will be offered to interested
students by the Union, beginning
7:30 p.m. Wednesday in Rm. 3RS
of the Union.
These classes were originally of-
fered last year, and are being
repeated this year because of
"continued demand on the part of
students and student organiza-
tions," according to James Calli-
son, '50, chairman of the Union's
campus affairs committee.
* * *
THREE ONE HOUR class per-
iods, taught according to Robert's
Rules of Order, will comprise the
course. Prof. Robert Brackett of
the engineering English depart-
ment will conduct the classes,
with the aid of mimeographed
material which will be available
to students.
The course, consisting of
three classes, will be held on
Nov. 16 and 30, as well as this
Following each class, Prof.
Brackett will conduct a short
practice session in the conduct of
meetings for those interested.
The course is open to officers of
all campus organizations as well
as any interested students, ac-
cording to Callison.
Grad Vocal Recital
A vocal recital by Jack Jensen,
graduate student in speech, will
be presented at 3:30 p.m. today in
the Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre.
The program will include old
English, French and Italian art
To Parties
Of Al Sizes
For Reservations
Call 4-2401
Dining Room


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