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June 04, 1922 - Image 6

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THE MICHIGAN DAILY MAGAZINE SUNDAY, JUNE 4, 1922
bright side. I picture Forman in an winner, showing him in the intimate
army barracks, especially at night, un- setting of his home, and revealing In
able to escape the lurid and "squalid" his "opinions" the quintessence of
talk of the inmates. I think of his that ironi, brilliant and humane phil-
outraged ears and I giggle. #ospy which Anatole France has in-
'1PATCIlttItRi(" THE LAST WHIMSIES fused into all his writings.
By Beverly Nichols (ly G. I). E.) Boni & Liveright announce a new Among the notables who attended
(A Review by Delbert Clark) In addition to the fairly csnpetent book by George Moore, entitled "In these'meetings were Rodin, Remy de
Beverly Nichols, a new English survey of Whimsies in last Sunday's Strict Singleness: Theme and Vari- Gourmont, Sarah Bernhardt (the story
writer just out of Oxford, a former Magazine by Delbert Clark, I wish to aton. 1iof whose attempts to get France to
president of the Oxford Union, has add a word or two. But only a word; write a play for her is told), Boris
contributed "Patchwork," (Holt) a the number was, without doubt, the One of the most important publica- Savinkov, the Russian nihilist, and
novel centered around a single char- worst that Whimsies ever produced tions of the Spring is "The Opinions Father Gapon. And others of the ac-
acter, with Oxford in the main as the and I consequently doubt my ability of Anatole France" translated from quaintances of these people fill the
setting. to do justice to the situation. the French of Paul Gsel by Ernest pages-Artistide Briand, Flaubert,
The story is an attmpt to do two Howeve, Iwant to comment Boyd, which Alfred A. Knopf has an- Baudelire, Victor Hugo, and leaders
things: to portra Oxford since the on a poem by Forman Brown, which nounced for pubticaton May 26th. The of tie Esperantist movement.
War, and to deineat .Y h- was beyond question the poorest thing original French title is 'Propos d'Ana- Some idea of the wide variety of
arer whose whole brilliantd life cis a in theiuetihe oore th tole France." A company of France's the subjects covered is given by a few
patchwork," a man who, highly in-. Forman nor do I doubt his technical friends met at his house every Sun- of the sections: The Secret of Genius,
dividualistic, exceedingly versatile, ability: in fact, I know so little of the day morning for a number of years. rhe French Academy, Esperanto, War,
oes I.is way at Oxford after emerging technics of iostry, that I hesitate to Paul Gsell, a well-known Paris jour- The Russian Revolution, The Omnipo-
om the cisatos of oar, living is the contem any poetry on that score un- nalst, was one of their number, and fence of Ideals; The Credo of a Sep-
past, and striving to bring back the less it be obviously freakish, obvious- ie made it a practice to set down the tic, etc.
idealism, the leisurely glamour, which ly without poise or music. And Brown conversations which transpired..Con- This book has attracted widespread
has gone forever. certainly did not annoy me on these sequently this book gives a unique attention in France where it has re-
he interestlng tlimg a oat Nichols' points. But the utter puerility of his kind of biography of the Nobel Prize ie cntly been published.
The interesingtheingeloMonNiDies!
work in this respect is that after mak- theme! Mon Dieu!
ing a careful study of the character, It seems that le had seen a naughty
letting us see all of Ray Sheldon's word written on a wall and that he
many sides, he leaves him without any turned sick at heart at the sight of it.
attempt at solving that which admits Unfortunately he was so squeamish 9
of no solution. Ray, forming in his as not to tell us, not even to indicate
first term at Oxford the determination of what nature the word was. I
to bring back if possible the old style therefore go on the supposition that
of life, which he does not realize can it was biological in character, related
never return, gathers about his tom. to matters o sex, of digestive or other
pelling personality a group of admir- fiunctions of the body, or perhaps
ers and friends, and together they set' downright profanity. At any rate be 3
about to bring back the brilliant pol- 'called it "squalid."
ish and artificiality of years before the Herein he shows the typical hun-
War. The novel centers around their, dred-per-cent American attitude, the
or rather Ray's, sensational attempts attitude that has forced our youngsters
to recreate this pre-war atmosphere, to secure their liberal educations from
and his complete failure and final con- chalk-written sidewalks and fences,
version to the very thing he has been from secret and "smutty" congrega-
fighting. lions of boys-and even girls.
It is characteristic, however, that Any biologist will tell you that the
ater ie has left college at the time of words we commonly think dirty and
his mother's death, and has come to "asqualid" are nothing of the kind. Only - )0
see vividly that the age is one of in- a moral people could make themnIIUi{l,'
tense realism, of facing naked facts dirty, only virtuous people could con-
unashatnl, his nature still yearns for 'vert them into obscenity. Were the
the life which is more to him than all youngsters taught their meaning,
the downrigthtness which he is forced auight that they are no better nor
to acinow ledge. worse than other words, there would
Ray is essCilsly an epicure in the be no especial purpose in writing
best sense, living for the sheer joy of them on the wall, no obscene and spe-{
it, yet not without a purpose, and in cial significance in them.
his surrender to the inevitable, which; Briefly, Forman's wail is an act to-
is shown in the closing ciipter, hi ward the perpetuating of such things.C me
smothers much of what has been life Such objections make the deed of
itself to him. lie is one of a multi-I writing these words a little more a
tude of "young men all over Europe, defiance of authority, a little more
wit h ad seen the ideals for which they gaudy in daring, a little more appeal-
had given their blood mocked and ing to the boyish mind.
trampled upon by a cynical and dis- And now I begin to question Brown's
illusioned band of senile diplomat- own sincerity. He balks, withou Furnished by the Camera, will be
ists," and who, failing in their lofty reasoning why, at the word. Unless I
attempt to restore that which had gone am vastly mistaken it is because he
forever reverted to the other alterna- has been protected from "squalid" the source of much pleasure i
tive, and became stern realists. words, from their definitions, from the
He expresses to himself his own at- reasons that make them a part of our future years.
titude, "Self, self-that was what his spoken, if not our written language.
life was now. He loved only himself." In short, he has a reaction to theBo
The other developments were only in- words, when he runs across them.I But make sure your films are de
cidental. Ile was a genius and he wonder if he has ever heard of Dr.
realized it, gloried in it, and in the Sigmand Freud, of Havelock Elis, of veloped by men Who know how.
power it gave him over people's minds. K f-Ebbing, of Ford, of a half dozen
other men of extraordinary mental
The story I' distinctly English, the caliber. If he has, has he ever studied Then you have the assurance of
characters are all English, and in the the results of their hard and consci-
opening chapters we are a little over- entious work? I am certain he ha
whelmed by the deluge of Anglicismsn ot. If he had he would know, with- maximum success at picture tak- _
The story does not start well. . . .it is out my telling him, that less than a
hard to get into, but after the first hair's difference in his character would
hundred pages it is absorbing, as the turn him from objecting to words on
character unfolds. A unique feature the wall to covering the wall with
of it is the absence of a love interest. them himself.
Ray is a target for the slings and ar- thLet me warn Forman that no man
rows of women uncounted, but none:s----sLynyono&ayh.
thm ect islvean isac -so s queamish ever yet wrote anything
of them reach his level, and his affec worth reading. No man a celibate in
tion is poured out upon his mother and thought, even though a celibate physi-
himself. eally, ever has contributed a single Amateur Finishing
With the exception of the distinctly thing to the literature of the world.
localized character of the story, it is It Is too bad that, by Forman's tenets,
entirely worth reading, after you get the great literati become the blackest 719 NORTH UNIVERSITY
past the labored conversational pass- of scoundrels, Shakespeare leading the
ages at the beginning. It is a rather lot.
good study of a remarkable man. But the thing is not without its tII lIIIIIIIilIlIIIIEIIlIIIIIIIIIIIIII

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