Ralph Re-Election Bid Reportedly Is Decided U.S. Novels of Violence Leslie Carpenter of the Hous ton Post Washington staff wrote: “Yarborough has kept everyone guessing \(about what months. But this week he told a man in the backstage operations of Texas politics that his ‘plan’ is to be a candidate for the Senate this year.” In the same story, carefully warning “rumor,” Carpenter wrote that “a well-known figure in state politics who was in town said that former Gov. Allan Shivers has urged William A. Blakley to run for governor this year, to give conservative voters a choice other than Gov. Price Daniel. … Blakley is reported to have nixed the idea. … Daniel is known to have encouraged Blakley to oppose Yarborough for the Senate.” That noise, said Editor Bas corn Nelson of the Castro County News, is the fight shaping up between “two segments of the Democratic party.” Nelson added: “To start the ball rolling, the Mr. Milquetoast of Texas politics, Governor Price Daniel, has set forth a plan to abolish precinct conventions. He figures this Political Intelligence may take a year or two to accomplish, but that it definitely should be done away with. … Gov. Daniel would like to do away with all conventions other than those he can almost criminally control like the conservatives did in the governor’s convention in the late summer of 1956.” The Corpus Christi Caller editorially noted the federal court strikedown \(as unconstituNAACP” bill like the one passed in the recent special legislative session, commented: “… the citizens of Texas can be confident that the state registration law will be struck down in its first court test …” Austin Dist. Judge Jack Rob erts, a “maybe” candidate for the State Supreme Court, wrote a letter to Texas Bar members which included this paragraph: “I am seriously, very seriously, considering becoming a candidate. The fact that I do not live in one of the teeming population centers of Texas such as Dallas or Houston causes me to hesitate more than I otherwise would. I would appreciate a frank expression of your opinion as to my chances for election.” The Dallas News’s Allen Duckworth raised and disposed of a political rumor in the same column: “…From at least two sources, The News was told that labor boss Walter Reuther had sent word that he wants Ralph Yarborough to forsake the U. S. Senate, make a fourth try for governor. A top Texas union official laughed it off, said Yarborough was a sure candidate for Senate re-election, and remarked: `I doubt that Walter Reuther knows who the Governor of Texas is.’ ” Duckworth also assessed the battle for party control: “… Privately, conservative leaders are worried. They fear that the day-in, day-out, almost around-the-clock work of the liberal-labor element poses a definite threat at the September convention. … The liberals, through their independent organization Democrats of Texasprobably could control the 15 heaviest vot ing counties of the state in convention, pick up enough scattered votes to take over.” JStuart Long, Austin news man, \(as well as Mike Levi, the race against Trueman O’Quinn for Democratic chairman in Travis County. Long took Gov. Daniel’s call for Democrats to join hands in harmony literally and went in to Jake Jacobsen and offered to join hands against O’Quinn, but Jacobsen reportedly wasn’t joining anything. When the DOT steering com mittee met the night before the recent state executive committee session, lying on the conference table were reprints of an article in the Dec. 7, 1957, Abilene Reporter-News entitled, “DOT lieves Illness ‘Kills’ Johnson Candidacy.” Archer Fullingim of the V Kountze News wonders about a letter he received from Gov. Price Daniel: “We have received a mimeographed statement entitled, ‘From The Desk of Governor Daniel.’ If you have never received one, I assure you that it gives you a funny feeling to get a letter from a mere desk.” / The item in this feature rev cently quoting Liz Carpenter on “the uncorrupted man” referred to Speaker Sam Rayburn, a fact inadvertently omitted. / Responding to the Porter epi News, citing “practical politics,” said Porter’s error seems to have been “being aboveboard as to what candidates who might be helped by the money would stand for, to wit, the natural gas bill,” condemned “a good deal of sanc timonious hypocrisy” in the reac tions to the letter. The Houston Post deplored “the extent to which tion will go to distort simple, honest actions and words.” Why should “evil and chicanery” be ascribed to a party fund raising dinner in Texas, asked the Post. Senators Chat WASHINGTON Some of Sen. Ralph Yarborough’s colleagues believe he intends to run for reelection, reports Sarah McClendon in the El Paso Times. Recently, at a Washington social gathering, wrote Miss McClendon, “Senate colleagues talked of ways to raise money to help ‘our friend Yarborough with his campaign.’ They said: `Yarborough has decided to run again for the Senate.’ One of the things they pointed out was ‘a reactionary is going to run against Yarborough in Texas and Yarborough needs financial help.’ Sen. Paul Douglas of Illinois even went so far as to say to Sen. Theodore Francis Green of Rhode Island: ‘I’ll give $150. Will you match it?’ “Green, who is very wealthy but known to be unwilling to let contributions go easily, replied: ‘Why should Ifrom the smallest statehelp a man run from office from the biggest state?’ ” ‘Yarborough is a poor man. He has no oil money and he needs the help of all of us,’ said Sen. Douglas. “Sen. Green replied: ‘Let the majority leader of the Senate, who is from Texas, help Yarborough.’ ” THE NOVEL OF VIOLENCE IN AMERICA, By W. M. Frohock. Southern Methodist University Press, Dallas, 1958. $4.50. It is almost impossible to argue with Frohock’s critical judgment’s of the “novel of violence”; he writes such a clear sentence and bases it on such nicely-turned perceptive logic. Example: “Hemingway had the good fortune to discover early the discipline he required. He loved and admired Flaubert, and he wanted to achieve an accuracy of statement like Flaubert’sthe difference between them being that whereas Flaubert had aimed especially at accuracy of statement regarding the exterior world, trying to nail an object with the one word that fitted it, for Hemingway the great necessity was to be accurate in his statement of emotions … “Hemingway’s varying career can be summed up in reference to this discipline. He adheres to it in the very early short stories and the first two novels, and they are admirable. In the 1930’s either he runs away from the discipline or it runs away with him; he preaches it, rather raucously, but has such great trouble with the practice that it is hard to admire much that he writes. And then. in a third stage, he returns to practicing it again, perhaps not with complete success.” Mr. Frohock, who is chairman of the Department of Romance Languages at Harvard, also in SMU’s book includes among the major novelists the late James Agee, an act which, for me, obscures minor points at which it would be possible to pick and tear. \(I wish he had also included Nathanael Westwhose novels are gravely awful in their violence. Melville is not here, the criticisms being limited to this Some of Mr. Frohock’s other judgments: John Dos Passos: “John Dos Passos seems to be primarily a poet who turned to the novel because its loose construction and lack of rules would let him do things impossible in any other form. It is characteristic of him to try to make the novel do what it has never done in the hands of anyone else. His mark is less the generally high quality of his work than the immense success of the one or two books in which he finally achieves what he has been trying so long to do … “Obviously Dos Passos conceives of himself as an artist–a conception which is itself largely a product of the nineteenth centuryand it is not the business of the artist to develop ideas, much less to lecture or preach … done for the individual who has been frustrated and lost in his own country and swept helplessly along by time, Dos Passos has done for a whole nation. Doing it took a poet’s equipment, a special training, the invention of a special form of the novel. Not much more could be asked of anyone.” Thomas Wolfe: “The major part of ‘ Thomas Wolfe’s effort as an artist went into trying to fix the illusory shiftings of memory before they should become lost \(as with he spoke of his purpose as being to set down, in the time he had, his vision of life … “Every writer of course creates a universe, in the sense, at least, of having to give his characters a world in which to breathe and live. But Wolfe was self-conscious about doing it. He had ready at hand the characters to whom he was concerned to give a habitation, and this habitation was central to his vision … “How completely different from Dos Passos ? Wolfe is the diametrical opposite. The events of his story derive their meaning entirely from their effect upon the central, autobiographical character … “Much of Thomas Wolfe’s strength lies in the fact that his multi-volume poem rises out of our national neurosis of homelessness, so that his characteristic anxiety state is one that most of us have experienced in some measure.” James T. Farrell: “If one now looks back on the whole stretch of Farrell’s Chicago story, it seems possible to say that his subject is and always has been how it feels to be a Chicago Irish-American in a world where this status subjects a man to certain disadvantages … “Farrell’s work … turns out to belong among those novels which make change the subject of special and intense contemplation, with time the agent of change and people victims of time … behind writers like Wolfe and Dos Passos. But his deep moral seriousness still makes it impassible to shrug him off as one shrugs off, for example, half of Steinbeck. … Read in small pieces, his novels have real power. Only when one considers them in their total effect is one aware that something is, and always has been, a little wrong.” Robert Penn Warren: “It is saying nothing new to remark that he is one of the few first-rate novelists to emerge in the United States recently. … “But Warren, for all his qualities, falls considerably short of greatness. Here is a man whose talent leaps out at the reader from every page he writes, who truly commands the English language, who has mastered the novelist’s craft, and who can create characters. And yet we come to the end of his books with a feeling that somehow we have just missed having had that superlative reading experience which a genuinely superior novel provides. Why? “…I suspect … that the difficulty comes from Warren’s basic attitude toward his material, which forces him to put more strain on his technical ability than it can bear without giving off, at inopportune moments, a very audible creak. … Creaking dissipates the illusion” of life. Erskine Caldwell: “There is a special sort of humor in America, native to our earth and deep-rooted in our history. Its material is the man who was left behind in. the rush to develop our frontiers, the man who has stayed in one place, out and away from the main current of our developing civilization, so largely untouched by what we think of as progress that his folkways and mores seem to us, at their best, quaint and a little exoticat their worst, degenerate. The canon of jokes about families who have one son in the asylum and a daughter in the reformatory and the ‘little feller’ at Harvard`Yeah, he’s in a bottle. He’s got two heads’is enormous, frequently lurid, and invariably fascinating. … It has been the main source, as well as the great strength, of Erskine Caldwell’s novels. “Yet despite all the difficulties we have noted, Caldwell’s novels have their place with those of Hemingway, Faulkner, and Steinbeck …” \(Frohock does not assess Jesse Stuart, whose source materials John Steinbeck: “We have been right all along in suspecting that there is really more than one Steinbeck. … In other words, Steinbeck has achieved his success by working within limitations which perhaps are self-imposed but which seem on the whole to be imposed on him by his temperament. They tie him down to an exclusive preference for one type of character, which recurs with surprising consistency throughout his work, and to a maximum of two emotional attitudes, one compounded of some delight and much compassion toward the people he writes about, the other of compassion and wrath.” William Faulkner: “William Faulkner makes as many demands on his readers as do our more difficult modern poets. His experimentsin perspective, in handling time, and in revealing \(which is not the same make it extremely hard to tell what is happening in his stories … “Faulkner has never consented to become one kind of writer in the sense that Dos Passos is one kind of writer and Hemingway is one kind of writer … “If we read him as though he were a tragic poet, many difficulties disappear. It becomes natural now that he should withhold much that the reader immediately wants to know, in order to prepare the recognition scene; that he should abandon the traditional time manipulation of the novel for one which turns the fullest, whitest light possible upon the moment of crisis; that characters should be driven to do things by forces which the reader understands only vaguely; that personal relations among the characters should be determined by their sense of the inevitably of the evil yet to come upon them; and that Faulkner’s effort should go into showing how the ,world looks to his characters rather than how it should look to us. “In this light the novelist whom we honor as the finest writing in English today appears as a master of the ‘novel of destiny.'”
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