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February 07, 1957 - Image 8

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Page Eight THE MICHIGAN DAILY Thursday, February 7, 1957 f
"New England Saints," by Aus- 5with the use of the definite article Charles Eliot Noton Irving Bab-
tin Warren; Ann Arbor, Uni- for a quality scarcely so definite. bitt and a few others disingnished
versity of Michigan Press; 192 The differences separating Jona- by their deserved obscurity. Pro-
op.; $3 75. than Edwards, say, from John fessor Warren dealt with some of
Brooks Wheelwright are more in- the outsanding omissions in an
strains compose the New teresting than the similarities, un- earliei book Hage For Order
England character, according essrlieh aookenRagrouoh thee-,
ilessboth are seen through the which is to say his own spiritual
o Professor Austin Warren, the rather specialized consciousness of progress is clearly visible if his, \
Yankee trader and the Yankee Professor Warren bibliography is considered chron-
saint. This book is about his can- Nothing is true but believing ologically: from "Pope As Critic
lidates for sainthood who often makes it truer: Professor War- and Humanist" (1929) to an essay
Have been "a complex of scholar, ren's New Englanders are saints "Fenelon Among the Anglo-Sax-
priest and poet." He says the because he believes them so. His ons" (1956.) All Professor War-
aints he writes about illustrate saint-making is but a slightly re- ren's writings seem to constitute
the spiritual life of New England fined variation of the idolatry a literary critic's solitary walk
ihrough four centuries, for he be- that would make a hero cult sur- through literature in the convic-
ieves "New England character vive the dead actor James Dean. tion that sainthood is at the end
md mind have remained conspic- Professor Warren's saints in- of it all.
sously constant from the seven- clude Anne Bradstreet, Michael
eenth century to the present." Wigglesworth, Edward Taylor, IF the cited names are the Yan-
The firstQ uarrel comes with the Jonathan Edwards, Convers Fran- kee saints, think on the traders.
ather slick definition of New cis, Bronson Alcott, R. W. Emer- The saint-complex must be much
England character, or at least son, Fenelon, Henry James, Sr., less complicated than the trader-
-- -- complex. By omission from Pro-
fessor Warren's hagiography, Sar-
ah Orne Jewett, Henry David (
Thoreau, Robert Frost, Herman
Melville, the Adamses, William
Bradford and Orestes A. Brown-
-L n son, some who were concerned
For the Finest in with the human and the divine
situation, all must be traders. If
traders they are, almost anyone
' Printed and Recorded except Professor Warren would-
choose first-rate Mammonites to
f third- or fourth-rate divines, how-
ever superficially pious and well-
M usic .instructed.
* *One quality that most of Pro- PROF. WARREN'S NEW BOOK
fessor Warren's saints possess is ...'a complex of scholar, priest and poet'
this, that they were typical of
nothing except themselves, mean- crotchets than for his literary people like himself - when saf-
75,nig their owvn peculiar, sometimes...
pervtherenisatuiar hso m contributions, for his children ficient spirits had moved him to
perverse, natures. This may be
New England; it is not necessari- rather than for his books. dialectical eloquence. Wheelwright
ly saintly. was doing the intellectually fash-
U v r t u c oaomohagiographer or other, JOHN Brooks Wheelwright be- ionable thing for the 1920's and
naiversayrusic Hiouseg oH came a pathetic kind of Tol- '30's - preaching an uninformed
ry James, Sr. His claim to fame, stoyean figure without Tolstoy's communism.
his Swedenborsgian meandeings grandeur and nobility. Wheel- Wheelwright's attemps, after
340 Maynard Phone NO 8-7515 notwithstanding, is the produce of wright, dressed in top hat and two years and the threat of a
his loins - Alice, William and evening dress, would stand in Bo- third, ring about as true as Marie
Henry, Jr. James, Sr. will be al- ton Common exhorting the h- Antoinette's attempts to be a
ways more interesting for his man derelicts to do away with shepherdess or milkmaid. How-
- -- ---- ever noble Wheelwright's ideas,
he was blessed with an enormous
lack of self-knowledge and politi-
cal awaeness. Sainbegin their
-. - - -- - ..-.c understanding of man and of
Goby knowing them lves and
intospective isriing is not iden-
-tical with self-knowledge, nor
even with sincerity,
The writng is mar by fool-
ish punctuation, paragraphing
r reminiscent of a French novel,
rand ill-constructed sentences.
(The book itself was given a hand-
some production by the University
of Michigan Press.) In the essay
son Charles Eliot Norton is this
"Sometimes, to be sure; he
* feared that emancipation from
belief in the supernatural might
come so rapidly as to leave the
masses unprovided with other
-Yinducements to right living: he
was unoffendedly comprehen-
sive of the alarm entertained at
. . .his skepticism, when his ap-
pointment to the faculty was
under consideration, by aoens
S'5 i trustees of Harvard College; but
-:x thabitually he trusted that,
through moral education in
home and school, and throug
, ithe appeal to men's best seles,
-1 there should emerge a human-
istic-civilization built upon self-
knowledge, self-control, ?rate-
-j f ul and intelligent recollection
5 E | g2|[ ' of the past, concern for the
state, responsibility to the

neighbor, loyalty to loyalty."
For the past 28 years we have been the fashion headquarters for the There are sentences equally som-
nolent in their effect, whatever
Michigan Coed. Come in and see our exciting spring styles in sports- the author's intention may have
wear, dresses, suits, coats and accessories. frE point of the whole book is
this, it represents a phase in
the spiritual development of Pro-
fessor Warren more than it ex-
posits or analyzes asything. Here
is another stage through which he
has passed on the road to Wher-
ever he is going, and the people
he writes about are his personal
STATE and LIBERTY images of affirmation, human
guideposts, as it were, such as
Dante found in Virgil, Florence.

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