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October 07, 1923 - Image 6

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SUNDAY, OCTOBER 7, 1923 r-


Books and v
W Writers

America," he says, "the European pro- it escaped the threat it received to-
cedure could not well be followed. wards its British system during the
Thus, first describing Harvard as it Revolutionary war, only to have a
appeared in the form of a "Resident transition take place from within some
Government," he next explains how time later. The colleges of William

tives. Frank strives for Music over
FOR GENTLEMEN the angular wall of Words. Previous-
WITH NORTH ly attributed definitions throw out
DEVONSHIRE strong batter walls of reason against
Sthe grouping of vowels, consonants
HATS and syllables in an effort to express
oneself solely through rhythm and
THE LEFT LEG, by T. F. Powys. Al- sound combinations.
fred Knopf, 1921. And yet in Holiday he comes so
Three tragi-comedies of Dorset vil- near to actually achieving the goal
lage life by a brilliant new English for which I believe he has set out,
writer. Such is the way Alfred A. that I will before long forgive him
Knopf is wont to announce one of his City Block and must congratulate
his Fall 1923 publications. And well his publishers for furnishing him the
chosen words these are, too, except material encouragement to proceed
that he is not a "new" writer. with his work
The first story (there are three), -Reviewed by Robert Locke.
which gives the name to the volume
is, I believe, of the greatest worth.
By this I mean, simply, that it was ABSENTEE LAND-
the one I most enjoyed; that and LORDS AND COLLEGES
nothing more. T. F. Powys, the au-
thor has aimed at a synthesis of Dor- TORYIM IN THE AIERCAN COL-
set village life. By mixing in the in- LEGE GOVERNMENT, by John E.
gredients he has attempted to develop Kirkpatrck.
the spirit of the Dorset peasants dom-
inated by Farmer sod Rector, in the Numerous books and papers have
material, by passions - and illiteracy, been written on American Universities
in the spiritual. And, in his first, his and methods of government within
people are a bit nearer the stratum them. None, however, to my knowl-
occupied by the farmhand and small edge, have been written as simply, as
land-owner of our Mid-West, which concisely, and in as effectively a man-
brings it more within my scope of ap- ner as that by Professor John E. Kirk-
preciation, than are the other two, patrick of the department of Political
Hester Dominy and Abraham Men, Science at the University of Michigan
respectively. in "Toryism in the American College
Plot is of the utmost unimportance Government." Appearing as merely a
in Powys' method. Time elapses. paper arranged in pamphlet form, the
Men come and go. People are born subject is treated in a highly compre-
and die. And in the latter two stories hensive and elucidating fashion. Mr.
conditions and events run on the same Kirkpatrick does not delve into the
tenor at the end as they did in the political system existing today In the
beginning. university, and allow himself to be-
Reactions of the various characters, come entangled within its meshes. He
and there are many in each story, to takes the situation by hand and holds
unimportant events, are strung to- easily perceptible. Following the con-
gether on the path of one or two of tiguity of time and importance, he ac-
the more important ones. They give quaints us in an easy manner wit the
the surface of a boiling pot-contin- exact governmental sytsem of our im-
ually showing new bubbles, only to portant universities, explaining first
be displaced by others, until finally the character of the transition from
the last few bubbles viscously burst the English to the American type.
as the pot bols dry. The result is as
design of circles made by the non- The American Universities have suf-
evaporating residue. An intellectual- fered the most of all "British Institu
ly pleasing design, one encompassing tions" planted on this soll he states
Dorset humanity - at least that of in his opening lines. "In Britain, as
Powys' Dorset. In Europe generally, the university is
-Reviewed by Robert Locke. regarded as an automonous, self gov-
erning institution, subject only to the
authority of the state. In the Unitede
A SYMPHONY IN I States the university is subject to anc
WORDS I)outside government which is respon-
sible only-if indeed it be-to the
HOLIDAY, by Waldo Frank. Boni & states,"--and "custom does require that
Iareright, 19 the property of the college be vested
in a non-residential body" which
Persistently on the same track, "shall be also theyovernment of the
'Waldo Frank again attempts to snatchgoen ntfth
the function of music and convey it college or university
with words. To paraphrase a popular The non-residential body, the board
paradox one might say that he tries of trustees, he goes on to show, have
to 'Croon it with words.' In his lat- slowly become composed of commer-
est book, Holiday, Frank has capital- cial and capitalistic classes while the
ized on the negro chant. professional element as a governing
It is a story concerning a southern body have reached practical elimina-
white girl and a tall nigger boy. The tion.* "Thus there was developed a
story, almost insignificant in plot, is governing class for the American col-
a vehicle for purveyance of moods, lege and university which shows most
both of the individual and the mob. of the Tory traits."
The 'voodoo drunk' or religious hys- This is indeed a gross deficiency in
teria of the negroes, their spirit of the practice of the present college
suppressed revolt and the uncomfort- system of government. The faculty,
able consciousness of the nigger pres- the very factor that would know the
once on the minds of the whites all needs of the institution are forced to
serve as background moods to moods stand by and allow those who have
of the individual characters probably spent four, five or seven
An unfulfilled, impossible love af- years in a college some ten or fifteen
fair leads to an attempted suicide and years back, work out a system and
the lynching of the nigger boy. set of rules for the school. It is as
But the chief interest to me lies injplacing a man as commander over a
his experiment with form. Always at vessel which has seamen upon it farS
least verging on the poetic form, he more experienced and far better able
often breaks into chant. At times to guide it. The author then proceeds
I am convinced by him, at other times to describe how this method has crept
I am left cold and unresponsive. I into the United States "in the several
study the parts that awaken my sleep- institutions," and how lately, people
ing appreciation, but fail to find aa g g r eo
nucleus of reason or logic in his con-fare beginning to realize the situation
struction. Yet there isca delictely and are gradually entering the mood
insidious quality to his song which where they will desire to change to
sneaks in through an apparently ada- the European type.
mant wall of prejudice, which was 'Dealing first with, the formation of
thrown up within me by his last the earliest colleges known in Europe,
book, City Block. 1 he shows how the guild plan "fur-
I believe that Frank wallows in the nished a ready and convenient model."
wrong element. Literature and Mu- Harvard comes as the first of his -next
sic have distinct functions, even category. "In the primitive, sparsely
though they do share common mo- settled, and poor communities of

C"'1I kx
117 EAST

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