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July 31, 1930 - Image 2

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Michigan Daily, 1930-06-31

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THE SUBnM ER MICMGAN DAILY

THURSDAY, JULY 31, 1930

THE SUMMER MICHIGAN DAILY THURSDAY, JULY 31, 1930

Iff WIR umwr

Published every morning except Monday
during the Univerity Summer Session by
the Board in Control of Student Publications.
The Associated Press is exclusively en-
titled to the use for republication of all news
dispatches credited to it or not otherwise
credited in this paper and the local news
published herein.
Entered at the Ann Arbor, Michigan,
postoflice as second class matter.
Subscription by carrier, $sSo; by mail,

~$2.00.
Offices: Press Building, Maynard
Ann Arbor, Michigan.
EDITORIAL STAFF
Telephoa* 4925
MANAGING EDITOR
GURNEY WILLIAMS

Street,!

Editorial Director........ Howard F. Shout
City Editor............ Harold Warren Jr.
Women's Editor...........Dorothy Magee
Music and Drama Editor. .. William J. Gormnan
Books EditorE.........Russell E. McCracken
Sports Editor ..............Morris Targer
Night Editors
Denton Kunae Howard F. Shout
Powers Moulton Harold Warren. Jr.

About Books
ANDRE GIDE
An Article!
French critics (among them
Jacques Riviere and Albert Thib-
audet) assured us that Gide is the
deepest influence in contemporary
French literature. Kenneth Burke
in a splendid article in the June
Bookman has contributed what is
perhaps the only suggestive inter-
pretation of Gide. In the article he
reaches from the examination of
Thomas Mann and Andre Gide a
negative attitude, or temporary ac-
ceptance of the present chaos of
values, that has extraordinary in-I
terest quite apart from its valid-
ity with reference to either of
those men.
Of Gide he says in my summary
the following: Gide's work is char-
acterized by experimentalism, vac-
illation, a distrust of all systematis-
atiodn in the realm of value and a
consequent attempt to humanise
the state of doubt (which is clear-
ly the most common experience of
the contemporary mind): that is,
an art purposely confining itself
to the problematical as a correc-
tive for the too facile assertion of
various Certainties, such as the one
with "the deceptive allurement ofj
tradition" (i.e. Humanism).
I It is a strikingly ingenious inter-
pretation of Gide. It seems to fit
his important novel, The Counter-
feiters, admirably. For there, sure-
ly, is an unresolved' intricacy of
values: a set of males and females,
each savouring some elegant per-
version: with never an implied
Judgment of the author.
But it seems quite less valid in
the light of The Immoralist, Gide's
first novel recently published by
Knopf, Gide's defences of sexual
inversion, and the exquisite delightj
with which he details in his auto-'

Dorothy Adams
Helen Carrm
Bruce Manley

Assistants
Cornelius H.
Bertha
Sher M.

Constance M. Wethy
BUSINESS STAFF
Telephone .2214
BUSINESS MANAGER
GEORGE A. SPATER

Beukema
Clayman
Quraishi

OAVE D D
SPONSORING
TNEWER
LITERATI
Dear Doctor Pffle:
Your column is terrible, if you'll
excuse my French. It needs ton-1
Ing up, and that right smart, if it
isn't to die of inanition. I am in-
closing a bit of tonic for a starter;
but take warning, don't try to pass
it off for your own, for any such at-
tempt will be prosecuted; and if
you think we can't prosecute, come
hear us some time chasing the li-
brary cowboys around the stacks.
Yours & %,,(neat, eh wot?)
LONG SUFFERING READER.
And with this modest little greet-
ing Long Suffering Reader intro-
duces the following, entitled:
FOR OF SUCH ARE THE KING-
DOM OF HEAVEN
I might have been a parson
With God in my heart,
Or I might have been a lawyer
With my hair in a part;
I might have been a parvenu
Or an aristocrat;
Or have worn a brown derby
And become a Democrat;
I might have been a pauper,
A prince or a king;
But I passed them all up
And I'm not one thing.
I have no vine
And my fig tree died;
My house needs painting
And it's small inside;
But I loaf on the sunny
Side of the barn;
I'm not a single thing,
And I don't give a darn.
Well, Eddie Guest, we're mighty
glad to welcome your critical acu-
men and literary abilities-such as
they may be-to this column. And
you forgot to mention "the poet"
when cataloguing all the things
you weren't, didn't you? Any time
you write anything, let us have it;
our column can't run a steady diet I
of humor, no matter how excellent
may be, for the public just can't ab-
sorb all of it.
PUBLIC OPINION
Anonysous communications will be
disregarded. The names of communi-
cants will, however, be regarded as
confidential -as well as spelling and
general orthography-upon request. Let-
ters published should not be construed
as expressing much of anything in par.
ticular.

II

Assistant Business ManagersI
William R. Worboys Harry S. Benjamin
Circulation Manager......... Bernard Larson
Secretary ......... .. Ann W. Verner
A.;sistants

)

Joyce Davidson

Lelia M. Kidd

Dorothy Dunlap

THURSDAY, JULY 31, 1930_
Night Editor-Powers Moulton

THE SCIENTIST ON LIFE
Thomas A. Edison has submitte
to a questioning by newspapermer
and his answers have been strict
n ly scientific ones. All of them wer
measured out in terms of per cen
proportion, cause and effect. Non
of them dealt with the problem
presented from a spiritual or emo
tional viewpoint. This is undoubt
edly explained by the fact that Mr
Edison's work has always been sci
entific, and has never involvedE
great deal of contact with th
world outside of his home and hi
laboratory.
For example, the great invento.
placed special emphasis on th
benefits of prohibition and the evil
of the use of achoholic liquors. I
theory, he is right in both matters
but he has failed to take into ac
count the human element. Ther
seems to be something innate i
mankind which causes it to wan
to "whoopee" occasionally, to droi
Its inhibitions and dignities, and t
revert to the natural, or the primi-
tive, or whatever you wish to cal
It. And the colossal, eternall
grinding machinery of this mass
production age makes such relie
seem all the more desirable. Mr
Edison's seemingly unqualified en
dorsement of the machine age doe
not take into account its deaden-
Ing influence. He would take away
the means of relaxation, in his
scientific way, and yet favor the
factory-like existence that makes
telaxation so imperative. Certain-
Jy mass production has increased
leisure, and certainly there exists
a problem as to what to do with it
Mr. Edison says the average in-
dividual will make a wise use of
his leisure "if he shuns whiskey"
Surely the learned scientist would
include over-eating, late parties,
tobacco, undue excitement, gamb-
ling, and breaking the ten com-
mandments in his rules for the
wise use of leisure.
It has also discovered in the
questioning that the inventor con-
sidered six hours of sleep amply
sufficient for man. Surely, as a
great scieqtist, he cannot be
recommending this for all individ-
uals. Different types of work, dif-
terent physical make-ups must re-
quire different amounts of sleep.
When interrogated as to what
portion of success was due to hard
work, the reply was "ninety per
cent". Of course, in this connec-
tion we meet with an age-old con-
troversy: What is success? If it
is contentment, no work at all
achieves it for some; if it is mater-
ial prosperity, the ninety per cent
estimation is probably accurate, al-
though among a certain class of
the inhabitants of the globe, it is
also unnecessary here, and finally,
#f it is fame, the goal is often
achieved without too great an ef-
fort through press agents and
trickery.
No,-humanity is too varied, too
individual to make such wholesale
treatment logical. The learned in-
ventor must have been unduly in-
fluenced by mass-production en-
thusiasts to show so little regard
for the other elements of existence.
is t iwosiho vAr- intifi in

e biography his trip to Alergia wit
t, Lord Alfred Douglas and Osca
e Wilde.
s In The Immoralist, Michel i
- awakened by a near-experience o
- death from the somnolence of a
. contented Calvinism and his stu-
- dies in archaeology (which means
a if one knows Gide's "symbolism"
e that he has not tended to his sex-
S ual orientation) to the delights o
sensation. His intellectuality seenm
r now utterly futile to him. The so-
e lution is the utter affirmation of
s the senses. Returning to Nor-
n mandy he pushes beyond good and
, evil into the fields at night where
- he cavorts with the coarsest help
e on his farm. The wife who had
n nursed him falls ill with tubercu-
t iocis. Though he always envelops
p her with tender pledges of affec-
o tion, Michel gradually takes her
- from village to village; kills her
l Though professing grief, he finds
y consolation in an Arab boy.
- The outline of the story should
f not be unfamiliar to American
readers. We have seen the meet-
- ing of two human bodies given the
s significance of a gravitational shift
of two unhinged stars before.
y Puritans finding resolution in ut-
ter paganism are familiar charac-
ters, almost types, in contempo-
rary literature. Anderson and Law-
rence have dissipated the contem-
porary problem with just such sex
myths.
Gide is similar. (The bodies are
of the same sex but we can label
that "continental"). In addition,
he has surrounded his story with
all the fin-de-siecle glamour of the
cult of sin (the Arthur Symons ver-
sion of Baudelaire, the early Huys-
mans, the nasty elegance of Wilde
etc.)
By a masterly use of insinua-
tion and a superb finish to his
prose that gives the illusion of
sincere precision in analysis and
disguises the distortion of the nov-
el's contours, Gide has almost suc-
ceeded in "making Michel's whole
conduct legitimate".
Actually, a character that is no
more than a "case" (Gide's own
personal case indeed) is being
seductively urged on the reader. I
can see in this novel none of the
studied experimental vacillation
that Burke admires in Gide. But
grather an outspoken admiration
for his character, the immoralist.
The whole texture of the book has
a testamental accent. There is the
same urging, seductive, prophetic
spirit one finds so obnoxious, be-
cause so distorting, in Anderson
and Lawrence.
The point I am making is that
Gide's work does not represent, as
Burke indicates, an important
mind hesitant about accepting
outworn certainties with a conse-
quent experimental approach to
values; but rather the subtly dog-
matic exploitation of a "case". In
this light, one thinks of Riviere's
remark that "Gide's work is always
confessional" and Gide's definition
of art as "the exageration of an

h
r

OTIS ELEVATOR COMPANY
OFFICES THROUGHOUT THE W O R LD

;p

Sirs,
Before this mater dies down en-
3tirely, may I say, the Engineers
are a bunch of ignorant hicks; the
Lits are just a lot of big sissies; the
Medics and the Dents are nothing
but embryonic butchers.
r Vituperative Grad
.1
Gentlemen:
We dare you to print this.
STUDENTS. Are we going to
stand for the twaddle that's been
printed in this column any longer?
NO. What did Detroit do? What
ought Chicago do? Why doesn't
New York do something?
Vote for the recall of The Doc-
tors Whoofle. They are the biggest
hams that ever struck the writing
trade. Down with their banalities.
This column has been so rank that
even the linotype men have gone
home sic' after printing the stuff.
What do your mothers think of
this? What do your brothers, sis-
ters, father-in-laws think of this?
What do your wives think? . . .
Well, let's not bother about what
they think. Let's get down to brass
tacks.
HOW ABOUT A RECALL?
The Faithful.
* * * .
NOTE-When our services are no
longer required, we shall gladly re-
turn to the Metropolitan Museum
of Art from which we were loaned
for the summer with such extreme
reluctance.
The Doctors Whoofle.
And now that the -Doctors have
left their, his, or its column three
inches short, may we present
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