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May 25, 1958 - Image 14

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Michigan Daily, 1958-05-25
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8 THE MICHIGAN DAILY MAGAZINE

Wells and James:

Col4
Rela
Deb

ection of Letters, Essays
rtes Their Friendship,
ate and Qwurrel
# For while James could in a way
appreciate what Wells wrote, and
while he could -- perhaps conde-
scendingly -- be generous in his
criticism of Wells' novels, he was
nevertheless addicted to and
pledged to a quite different con-
cept of the novel.

STEADY IMPROVEMENT:
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(Continued from Page 8)

BENRY JAMES AND H. G. letters and essays relating to the
WELLS: A Record of their "debate," edited them, and per-
Friendship, their Debate on the fected the work with an introduc-
art of Fiction, and their Quarrel. tion that fills in the details and
Edited with an Introduction by Iappraises the James-Wells con-
Leon Edel and Gordon N. Ray. troversy without trying to decide
272 pp. Urbana: University of whether anyone was right.
Illinois Press. $3.50. There are 64 letters-most of
By VERNON NAHRGANG them written by James, for he pre-
B R Gferred to destroy what correspon-'
IN 1898, with more than fifteen dence came his way-and six es-
books behind him and his best- says in this collection, and to-
known works yet to come, Henry gether they tell how two men
James at 55 was a respected writer argued the definition of the novel
with a well-developed notion of and one "lost histemper."
what he thought the novel ought( The editors detect an important
Ideally and practically to be. social consciousness in Wells,
Only the public had failed to whose lower class status was more turn
acknowledge James' assured liter- meaningful in England a h un
ary reputation. The critics and his I of the century, and they use this
colleagues were cognizant and re- to explain Wells' actions through-
spectful of the American who lived ' out the period and the final essay,
in England. HENRY JAMES by Wells, that brought an end to
One of those colleagues, who the friendship.
met James in that year and began each othei's homes to discuss at While this friendship, with Wells
a long friendship with him, was length what could not be said in leaving each of his often-published
H. G. Wells, then 32, an author their letters. Out of this friendship novels for James to read and
whose science fictions and roman- came an earnest "Debate on the criticize, is interesting to follow,a
tic novels were popular with the Art of Fiction" that remains, like the discussion of the novel that
public but not with the critics who the novel, unresolved today, ensues remains the more pertinentV
tended to ignore Wells altogether. result of the exchange.o
For some 17 years the two EON EDEL and Gordon N. Ray, TAMES was always vigorous inn
writers exchanged correspondence in Henry James and H. G. his enjoyment of Wells' novels.V
and criticism, often visiting at Wells, have brought together the His letters show an appreciationa
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[...h..
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H. G. WELLS

for what Wells could do as well as
a criticism of what he did not do,
"I have read you," James wrote
Wells, "with an intensified sense
of that life and force of tempera-
ment, that fulness of endowment
and easy impudence of genius,
which makes you so extraordinary
and which have long claimed my
unstinted admiration . ."
But at the same time, James
read Wells "with a complete albdi-
cation of all those 'principles of
criticism' .. ." with which he per-
sued the more serious writings of
the time and which he set for his
own- standards.

THIS CONCEPT, as James clear-
ly shows in his letters, is one
in which an aesthetic appreciation
of man and man's life is the cen-
tral concern. For James, the novel
had to absorb all of life and ap-
preciate, it while understanding
and reflecting the subtleties and
nuances, the twists and turns that
were to be round in all that man
did.
Yet James was not concerned, as
Wells points out, with contem-
porary happenings. His characters
did not hold viewpoints but in-
stead turned their attention to ab-
sorbing all they could from the
little, almost insignificant matters
resulting from day-to-day rela-
tions. A completeness in the study
of character was integral to the
novel that James wanted to see.
What James did not criticize in
his letters to Wells-and, on the
strength of knowing what James
thought of the novel, this must
have been a good deal -- was
brought out in their visits and,
unfortunately, unrecorded.
FOR WELLS, however, the novel,
by its very nature, was not to
be so clearly defined. The English-
See ',Y ',, V A, Page 13

bility it will be expanded in the
future.
A major problem in off-campus
'housing is non-multiple dwellings
--houses that have three or less
residents in them: they are not
subject to routine inspection by the
city. There are over 3,300 students
living in this type of dwelling.
'THE UNIVERSITY may try to
use its new rental agreement
program to improve the condi-
tion of non - multiple housing.
Some observers believe also thati
eventually the agreements maybe
used in an attempt to eliminate
discriminatory practices known to
exist among some Ann Arbor land-
lords.
The program may also be ex-
tended to include apartment
dwellings, according to Streiff.

ing in Residence Halls will be un-
necessary and, more importantly,
apartment owners will be forced to
improve the physical conditions of
their buildings to attract tenants.
The supply of housing in Ann
Arbor is not excessive, but is, at
least, increasing. Next fall may be
one of the best situations in a
number of years.
This year a one per cent vacancy
in available housing space existed
in the city, according to Ryan. He
said a five per cent figure is con-
sidered healthy. New building in
the city has included 2,000 new
apartment units since 1954, a
growth that Ryan, describes as
"adequate."
THE UNIVERSITY this year
housed about 6,600 students,
or 29.27 per cent of the enrollment,
in residence halls. Affiliated hous-

F-.'
.'--

FOOTWEAR

The simple truth

is th(

STILL POSSIBLE-,Many apartments still have "violations of
housing laws which could result in fires and possible deaths. This
happened in 1954 when two women died in an apartment blaze.

108 East Washington --Open Monday Nights Till 8:30

as seen in CLAMOU
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i "
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UA

But he added that there are no
plans to include apartments for
married couples in the program,
mainly because "most of the prob-
lems the contracts are intended
to alleviate are not in this area."
The rapid growth of colleges
and universities has, in fairly
recent years, made housing facili-
ties a key factor in American high-
er educational institutions.
The availability of housing is
exerting a strong influence just
on the extent to which some uni-
versities can expand. But the de-
mand for housing also effects the
condition of dwellings.
SOME University officials have
said that the only really ef-
fective way to improve housing
conditions in Ann Arbor is to have
considerably more space than is
needed, whether it is provided by
the University or by private apart-
ment owners.
Then, the officials-argue, crowd-

ing accounted for 11.05 per cent
and private dwellings for 35.35 per
cent;
Roughly, one-third of the stu-
dents live in Residence Halls, one-
third in private dwellings and one-
third in other types, including
sororities, fraternities, League
Houses, co-ops and at home (in
and out of Ann Arbor).
The only sizeable change in this
from the previous year was a three
per cent increase in the number
of students living in private dwell-
ings.
The major factor in regularly
available housing is the amount
the University can offer at any
time. (This description excludes
from possible city housing many
single rooms in private homes
which the owners rent only when
an extreme housing shortage oc-
curs.)
The University plans its dormi-
tory building program a number
(Continued on Next Page)

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