THE MICHIGAN DAILY
Sunday, November 6,1-955
Sunday, November . 6, 1955
THE MICHIGAN DAILY
Page Fourteen THE MICHIGAN DAILY Sunday, November 6, 1955 Sunday, November 6, 1955 THE MICHIGAN DAILY
Fighting For His Kids' Lives
English Professor Who
Battles "Jejune Inanity"
By JANE HOWARD
Daily Associate Editor
ELEVEN times a week Professor
Bennett Weaver enters a class-
room, rises to his full six-feet-plus
height, and starts another hour's
round in what he calls "a deadly
fight for the lives of my kids."
The English department profes-
sor is known widely for a unique
sense of humor, but on this count
he isn't kidding. He fights for his
students' lives through four medi-
ums: the Bible, translated master-
pieces of other literatures, Brown-
ing's works, and the poetry of the
Nothing arouses the Weaver ire
more than a classroom of "atro-
phied spirits" - or faces without
aliveness. This condition, some-
times calls for a dose of "good, raw
sarcasm" but Prof. Weaver pre-
fers, decidedly, to gain student
HE DOESN'T smile when he in-
sists "a chattering knowledge
of belles lettres is not an educa-
tion. Too many parents," he goes
on, "pack their kids off for four
years here as they'd send them to
a summer camp. Education isn't
Rights, in the Weaver way of
thinking, follow self-discipline. He
can't recall ever having known a
mature person who screamed for
Between comments on literature
come remarks-not always com-
plimentary ones-on students here.
"They are," he claims, "terribly
overtaught. You know, you can't
depend on any 'material' for any
course-the only reality is what
the youngster himself conceives
and uses and becomes."
IT IS his firm hope that what he
teaches will be translated, in
the case of each of his 'youngsters,'
into something real and practical.
This applies especially to the Ro-
mantic period when, according to
the Shelley specialist, "the life of
the mind and poetic genius were
exemplified most brilliantly."
But the same period presents
problems. "It's not easy, for in-
stance, to teach Wordsworth any
more: kids today are urban. They
don't have roots. .
"Every now and then," he grins,
"you'll find one who may have
been bitten by a mosquito. But not
very often. They don't get out and
walk, or see, or feel."
He recalls days dedicated to
mountain climbing and fishing,
and still works, when time allows,
in the garden of his Heather Way
home, where he and his wife have
lived for 15 years.
Another outdoor interest, dating
from boyhood, gave him a broken
nose. A sandlot baseball game
found him catchingsthe ball in the
THE STARK modernity of his
Haven Hall office is softened
by several framed prints. Three
are Holbeins, given him by Alfred
Lunt when he was married; others
are portraits of Shelley and
And one item which always
brings light to the student 'eye
is a withered, shrunken apple, ex-
plained simply with the warning:
"it can't possibly be polished."
E WEAVER was educated at Car-
rollCollege in Wisconsin, the
University of Chicago and on this
campus. He's taught and lectured
at many institutions, among them
Michigan State, where for 12 years
he was in charge of English in
Next semester he'll be on Sab-
batical leave, going to California
to prepare some studies on the
It surprises his Bible students
to find that the Weavers aren't
members of any local church.
They're still affiliated with the
Peoples' Church of East Lansing,
an interdenominational institu-
tion they helped to build.
Politically, he contends "right
now the Republican party gives
more stability," but has committed
himself to no party. His paragraph
in "Who's Who in America" lists
many associations, among them
the local Rotary Club, of which
he is a past president.
AUTHOR of several books and
articles and two volumes of
poetry, Weaver raises strong ob-
jections to Freudian psychology.
He much prefers the Sermon on
the Mount to the Freudian dangers
of "filth, disease and charlatan-
ism" and to the "big, bloated ver-
biage" some modern psychologists
His students often disagree with
him, and he's pleased when they
do. All he asks is that they think.
When this happens he exper-
iences his greatest joy in teaching
-that of watching a student ma-
ture from "jejune inanity and the
need for group approval" to an
independence which gives litera-
ture-and everything else learned
by his students - some true sig-
For Weaver's students his ideas
have been a distinct highlight of
their four Ann Arbor years.
A STONE OF ROUGHER COMPOSITION IS USED TO GRIND DOWN AND SMOOTH THE
SURFACE OF THE BAVARIAN LIMESTONE WHICH THE PRINTMAKER WILL USE.
AFTER THE DESIGN HAS BEEN D:
OF THE STONE, IT WILL B]
By LOUISE TYOR
Daily Associate Editor
THE forerunner of most modern printing methods, lithography is
now almost entirely within the realm of the artist.
Prof. Emil Weddige of the College of Architecture and Design
takes advantage of the interesting process and the fine results which
may be achieved from correct technique. His printmaking class
devotes a large portion of its time to the study of the lithograph
Large slabs of Bavarian limestone, weighing up to 80 pounds
apiece, are used. First, the stone must be ground and filed to smooth
the surface and edges, facilitating etching and preventing ink from
becoming embedded in the rib of the slab.
Designs are drawn directly on to the stone with either a greasy
crayon or paint. The pattern is then etched with diluted acid and
After an application of ink, a mixture of powdered resin and
gum arabic is applied to the stone. This process, known as the roll-
up, seals the surface and prepares it for printing.
After setting, ink is again applied. Paper and a press board
are placed over the stone, which has been centered on the press, and,
with the-application of pressure, a print is made.
DAILY PHOTOS BY CHUCK KELSEY
"Every now and then you'll find one who may have been
bitten by a mosquito."
Outside the office there's nearly
always a student waiting. Possibly
the coed who decided "it's not a
course on Browning-it's a course
on life"-or this year's counter-
part of the 'youngster' who audited
the New Testament course last
semester, and made a tape record-
ing of every lecture. Names and
faces are quickly linked in Prof.
Weaver's mind; he'd much rather
call a student 'John' than 'Mr.
AN INK-COVERED ROLLER IS
USED TO APPLY COLOR
TO THE STONE.
JUST THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF C
ATTAINED TO ENSUR
The Australian Wilderness Yields Up A Documentary of Man's Spirit
The Tree of Han
The Viking Press, New York,
By ROY AKERS
1 HERE is a connotation about a
triangle-the human triangle,
that is-that both the human race
and mathematics have failed to
live down. But there is still a
more basic type of triangle-con-
sisting of a man, a woman and a
piece of land - that, for sheer
grandeur, those people most adept
at the science of geometry have
ever failed to equal.
It is, so the Bible and the poet
Milton tell us, the kind of para-
dise Adam and Eve lost upon de-
parting from the garden.
And it is, in one sense, with
such a theme that Patrick White
deals in his latest book "The Tree
Of Man." For this is a novel of
a wilderness and a man and a'
woman. The wilderness is in New
South Wales, Australia. But one
cannot evade the feeling that the
lives of Stan and Amy Parker
would have been quite the same
in any wilderness at almost any
time. Their story is universal.
And, for that reason, it is not al-
ways a particularly pretty one,
Mr. White views his characters
with a microscopic eye. But the
magnificent overall beauty of
"The Tree Of Man" is derived
from an artist's and not a journal-
ist's hand. If this is reporting
(Mr. White is himself a farmer)
It is of a calibre not usually hawk-
ed by either the newsboy or the
book vendor. This novel will find
its niche in literature and remain.
Heir to tie Wilderness
STAN'S father, Ned Parker, was
an obscene drunkard and
blacksmith who found salvation.
and hellfire in the grim God of.
the Prophets and the raging flame'
of the forge. The mother, a Miss
Noaks before her marriage, be-
came a schoolteacher and retired
into herself as a protective barrier
against the insensitivity of the
father. Out of this pretense at
matrimony Stan finally emerges
as a young man becoming, upon
the death of his father and mother,
the heir to a piece of land in the
It is Stan's entrance into the
wilderness with a cart, horse and
nameless dog that makes up the
long, protracted opening of Mr.
White's book. For the reader is
being introduced not only to. Stan
and his past, but to the awesome
loneliness of the land as well.
The loneliness is not only in
the land. For Stan is one 0 those
people who can never quite reach
out of himself and verbalize his
thoughts. He is not only inar-
ticulate, but virtually emotionally
immobile. His feelings are buried
things which he senses with won-
der but cannot touch with per-
It is no accident, then, that af-
ter constructing a crude hut Stan
eventually takes to looking around
for a wife. He finds her in the
person of Amy Victoria Fibbens,
an orphaned girl raised by a rath-
er hapless, inept, uncle and aunt.
Amy was also looking for a home.
Loneliness, like bread, can be
shared and, if not enjoyed, can
at least create a mutuality in the
two people who glean the crumbs.
And Stan has found a likely mate.
Amy, too, is one of those people
who has never found a part of her-
self to share with others. Stan
brings the orphan girl to his
makeshift home and it is the wil-
derness - not themselves-- that
The haunting search of Stan
and Amy for a mutuality, always
elusive, and this search focused
against the raw screen of the wil-
derness, is what gives "The Tree
of Man" its awesome magnitude.
For these two people have to be
either with each other-or alone.
It is no coincidence, the reader
feels, that their dog doesn't have
Delicacy of a Craftsman
"THE Tree Of Man" spans a
lifetime with delicacy. It is
to the. author's credit that time
is accomplished in the imagery of
moments lived, as, an accumula-
tion of . experience. Mr. White
was seven years in writing this
novel. They must have been seven
years of love and devotion.
Few writers are capable of us-
ing some of the techniques evident
in this book. Years are attained
without the ripple of hours.
Dreams are laid bare without the
See THIS, Page 19
FINAL STEPS: CENTERING THE PAPER ..,
"THE TREE OF MAN" spans a lifetime with delicacy. Time is
accomplished in the imagery of moments lived, as an accumula-
tion of experience ... Years are attained without the ripple of
hours. Dreams are laid bare without the violation of secrets. For
this is more than writing. It is literature. And in the strange
hinterland between truth and fiction, there is always the god-.
awful chasm of knowing."
"YOU NEVER REALLY THINK ALL THE WORK IS WORTH IT UN'
PRINT"-Grinding, etching and inking processes have resulted in
... AND ROLLING OUT A PRINT