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April 29, 1956 - Image 11

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Michigan Daily, 1956-04-29
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Page Eight

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Sunday, April 29, 1956

Smndav. Annr 29 1956

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

J'

JILAR ILJi

..1 ! . J . . ._ .

I a/er4 JEWELERS
CATERINGix
UNIVERSITY
SINGE
WA TCHES
HAMILTON sT5I~CE
ELGIN
BULOVA
717 NORTH UNIVERSITY - near

JNaer'
TO
OF MICHIGAN
1858
DIAMONDS
WEDDING RINGS
Hill Auditorium

NATHANAEL

WEST

...the undamental concep

Half-Neglected Genius

- Irrr n~r 1 rrr r rrr rr r In n

Out of Tune with His Time -
Seen To Appeal To Ours

See results the flu
you use this neu
or BLACKI
and LA
At last for you to use at home,
beauty authority FRANCES DENNEY
releases her salon treatment that
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washes -away blackheads!
Years of Beauty Experience
FRANCES DENNEY success with this new
treatment has been overwhelming. Women
whose complexions were marred by black-
heads and coarsened by large pores saw
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with a new kind of freshness-a healthy;
sparkling cleanliness. And now, in your
own home you can realize the same mar-
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Don't Experiment with Your Skin
A blemished complexion must have scrupu-
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reputation can giv.... the care of the new
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rst time
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You can see results the very first time you
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skin-condition will determine how often you
should use it...once a day, every other day,
or a few times a week.

By RICHARD LAING p
THE PERSON who reads -one
West novel will read them all.p
He may hesitate for a moment be-F
fore reading the next however. He
knows that he is likely to be sub-
jecting himself to emotional ex-
haustion. Reading a West novel is
like a furious sprint in which one's
staying power is never taxed butf
in which one is gasping at the end.
Dissemination of informationp
about West will not result in at
West movement. His output was
small; his style and content nott
adaptable to all stomachs. He willn
remain minor, but he will remain
minor in the same way Andrewa
Marvell or Christopher Smart or
Thomas Love Peacock is minor. 91
That is to say, there will alwaysr
be readers very fond of him. They
will buy his books. The giants ofL
literature they will borrow from
the nearest library. West will bes
read and his readers will give his
books to others to read. The giants
will go back to the library after?
their two week excursion into the
world. Some giants may overstay
their leave but this will not ber
because they have readers but be--i
cause they do not.
NATHANAEL WEST wrote four
novels. None were financiallya
successful. Of the four, only Missr
Lonelyhearts achieved anyu"criti-
cal success" and this "success"~
was clouded. To one critic is was
"savage . .. unhealthy ... deca-
dent," to another-full of "vilenesst
and vulgarity."
Now, however, it seems time toI
re-evaluate West. Editions of Misst
Lonelyhearts and The Day of thel
Locust in the New Directions andt
New Classics series have had a
steadily increasing sale. Copies of?
a British edition of A Cool Million
appeared in Ann- Arbor a few1
months ago and were swiftly sold.
The recent Avon paperbacks oft
Miss Lonelyhearts and The Day of1
the Locust quickly disappear from{
the book racks.
West's novels have always hadt
their admirers and not all of them1
have been college students or pro-
fessional literary men. A local
paratrooper veteran once offered
to "steal a copy of Miss Lonely-
hearts for anyone who wants one"'
-the offer being made to a group
of cab-driver friends.'
It would seem that at least the
demand is steady and permanent'
and no longer entirely dependent
on flurries of sales to small groups
of literateurs.
WEST was born in New York in
1906 and died in an automobile
accident in El Centro, California
in 1940. His wife was Eileen M-
Kenney, the Eileen of Ruth Mc-
Kenny's My Sister Eileen. West's
own sister-married S. J. Perelman.
Perelman and West had been
classmates at Brown University
and had written a play together.
As a novelist, West was out of
tune with his times. In both style
and theme he was almost unique.
He was a poetic novelist at a
time when tough, flat Hemingway
prose was fast becoming the stand-
ard. West's novels show the in-
fluence of Sherwood Anderson,
and West himself undoubtedly in-
fluenced Djuna Barnes. But in
the early thirties West was the
only American novelist making ex-
tensive use of metaphor in prose.
His style is sharp, frenzied, grotes-
que, unlike the rambling semi-
Dick Laing is known to Sun-
day Magazine readers for his
recent ailceson the old Union
South Cafeteria and his "short
history" of aimless . itch-hik-

pastoral "poetry" of Thomas
Wolfe. West sustains his meta-
phoric pitch from first to last
page-quite unlike Steinbeck, Dos
Passos and Hemingway who offer
the reader only short poetry-like
interludes.
WHEN Hemingway or Fitzgerald
employ symbolism it is cause
for critical comment - the very
paucity of metaphor focusesrat-
tention on it. West often employs
more metaphor in a page or two
than Fitzgerald does in a whole
volume. As the Lovelorn Editor of
Miss Lonelyhearts leaves work "the
air smelt as though it had been
artificially heated." He swallows
mouthfulls of the heavy shade.
The shadow of the lampost pierces
him like a spear. The park needs
a stiff drink. Flowers would spring
up smelling of feet. A newspaper
struggles in the air like a "kite
with a broken spine."
This flood of correct metaphoric
perceptions about human city ex-
istencepencourages the reader's
assent to West's themes. His right-
ness of perception leads to a faith
in his rightness of conception.
IN THESE conceptions of the
meaning of existence West is
again at variance with his fellow
novelists of the early thirties. He
was moral and religious at a time
when they were moral and social.
They were doctrinaire revolution-
aries or advocates of emancipation
through the proper use of sex; for
West neither Marx nor Freud pro-
vided an answer. The others tub-
thumped for adjustment and im-
provement; West asked only that
man be righteous. He was an ab-
solutist; they were generally com-
promisers or promoters of worldly
ideals. For West there was no
half-way solution.
His.heroes come to unfortunate
ends not because of inadequacies
in themselves or specific failings
of the social order. It is necessary
to note that the destruction of each
of his heroes is not the result of
their stupidities but rather is a
product of their righteousness in
conflict with a sullenly malign
universe.
In this West is a forerunner of
J. D. Salinger. Innocence should
not mistakenly be called stupidity.
Salinger's children and child-like
adults suffer by the very nature
of the world in which they have
been placed.
WEST'S HEROES characteristi-
cally disintigrate from contact
with the world. Miss Lonelyhearts
-comically and grotesquely a
man-sees his own image in the
flood of human suffering dumped
on his desk each day by the mail-
man. Miss Lonleyhearts conducts
the lovelorn column of a large
newspaper. He had hoped touse
this job as. a springboard to a
gossip column but he begins to
read the letters carefully and sees
that they are not merely comic,
they are filled with desperate hu-
man suffering.
Shrike, the feature editor, taunts
Miss Lonelyhearts for his "weak-
ness." Betty, his girl, begs him
to quit and go into advertising.
Miss Lonelyhearts cannot quit.
He tries to help all his unhappy
humans. He sets out to love them
and is destroyed by them. Desper-
ately needing love they are still
representatives of a world which
requires that one carefully curb
expressions of innocence and love.
Miss Lonelyhearts opens his arms
in love toward Peter Doyle the
cripple. Doyle, his escape from the
embrace cut off, shoots Miss Lone-
lyhearts and4hey crash down the

Many couples, hiowever, have
nearly lostueach other in the
clusters of kissing couples who1
congregate on the steps, landings,
and balustrades.
THE FORMAL FUNCTION
DATE. There is no doubt that this
is what the magazines refer to
when they speak of "exciting days
that young people spend in col-
lege." It is all glamour. It may be
a pledge formal to which the girl
asks the boy; it may be a house
dance like "Gondola Glide," or
"La Vie Parisienne,"or "Samoan
Slump"; or it may be something
military, as the "Brass Bounce."
In any event, the important thing
is to look your loveliest.
Women usually take the most
pains to appear breathtaking. They
put up their hair, borrow a "sis-
ter's" necklace, put on pancake
makeup, borrow their roommate's
mother's ratty fur stole, paint their
fingernails, borrow the girl-across-
the-hall's seamless 15 denier black
hose by Shlapin.
In the dreamier dances, the girl
lays her chin over the boy's shoul-
der, and the boy nudges his nose
into the girl's cheek. In the livlier
dances such as the Cha Cha Cha,
if they are talented, they shake
under a thousand paper-covered
flourescent light bulbs. A photo-
grapher is usually around to record
this event for posterity.
During the last number, when

dangerous, it is undoubtedly better
that way, for the people who invite
you to bohemian dates are general-
ly not only libertines, but exces-
sively socialistic as well.
These dates begin innocently
enough with a guitar and ukelele
party where everyone sings select-
ed marching songs of the Guate-
malan Revolution. Or else, there is
the private-seminar ruse where,

I

you are supposed to discuss such
important topics as "Symbolism
in Swift and James Jones" or "A
Pragmatic Approach to Economic
Stability."
The Bohemian date begins with
a group. But soon, from hidden
vaults in the basement of the
cooperative house, or from window
ledges of illegal apartments there
is sure to appear a 93c bottle of

Ch
car
I
hai
but
cla
ant
wh
abl
ter
res

WONDERING?
how to get to classes quickly

how to enjoy the

spring.

SPORTY DATE

claiming, "I 'didn't get a thing
done. I'll have to stay up all
night."
The entire point is that the
study date should be used aca-
demically for busy work type of
assignments. Nothing is so foolish
as to try doing an English theme
on a study date, and it is undoubt-
edly the thousands who have used
the study date for such frivolous
activity who have given it a bad
name.
* * *
THE SPORTY DATE. There is
nothing more wonderful than a
sporty date to get a young couple
feeling intimate toward each other.
The male can be tremendously ag-
gressive and shout; and the fe-
male can be little and demure and
clinging. When these dates go
wrong, and they often do, one can
always blame the woman, for it is
she that must control the entire
evening.
Thesporty date is based on the
theory that most men like to domi-
nate. The woman is, of course,
supposed to know nothing about
sports. But nothing is so offen-
sive to the male as the woman
who overdoes her part and asks
ridiculous questions like "What is
that round object those men are
hitting with sticks?"
The young woman who has
never made a success on sporty
dates should stick to queries like
"What's the score?" or "How many
minutes are there left to play?"
Answering these questions makes
the male appear tremendously im-
portant and bolsters his ego, while
it allows the woman to appear in
need of assistance.
Sporty dates are too often either
ignored or hopelessly overdone. A
good rule to follow, except during
football season, is one sporty date
for months with the letter "r" in
their names and two sporty dates
in each of the other months. Stick
to this, and you can't miss!
* S
THE BOHEMIAN DATE. Very
few people have experienced these
dates, and because they are very

Of course the problem is solved
with a new

BIKE
Finest of Bicycles and Acces
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r'____________________

STUDY DATE

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everyone is feeling sentimental,
the conversation goes like this:
HE: "You know, I've really had
a swell time."
SHE: "I have too."
And after a long pause:
HE: "I never like dances much,
but I've really had a fabulous
time tonight."
SHE: "So have I."
And as they are strolling toward
her dorm:
HE; "I hope I haven't stepped
on your feet too much."
SHE: "You're a wonderful dan-
cer. I hope my timing hasn't been
- too bad."
HE: "You have an excellent
sense of rhythm."

DRESS WELL, you can't affordr
SNC R 1 8
FORMAL WEAl
Summer formal coat plu
round tux., coat and tr(
5-piece outfit
enuine "After Six" make. The white
formal coats alone $26.95, (less than the
cost of 3 rentals).
Other white jackets of orlon-rayon blend,
dacron-rayon blend in regular and Ivy styles.
$32.50 up.
CUMMERBUND-TIE SETS
$5.00 complete

I
1

THE STUDY DATE. This is best
for people who either know each
other so well they can be totally
oblivious of the other party or
for people who don't know each
other at all. In the latter case, the
couple are not really interetsed in
studying, but if they simply chat-
ted and held hands and kissed
without a book near by, they would
feel guilty beyond endurance.
These dates should be held in
house lounges, sorority lounges, or
cushion-upholstered coffee shop
lounges. For the couple who has
advanced along the road of ro-
mance, the study date is excellent
for necking and filling out lab
manuals simultaneously.
One is always so discouraged at
hearing this type of date under-

THnE QUARRY
Prescriptions - Cosmetics7-'Photography

/r

-s 1-
S TA TE S TRAE ET A T LIB E RTY /

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