T. S. ELIOT’S FIRST TEXAS VISIT trayed nothing of his St. Louis birthplace, although now and again a pure American expression, like “pretty tough,” crept into his speech. The Wrenn Room The press conference was held in the John Henry Wrenn \(after the Wrenn collection given the University by the late Maj. walnut-furnished place walled by glass-fronted bookshelves. Above the shelves, on the walls, from shelf to ceiling, were hung pooltable green, pinched-into-pleats, velvet draperies. The Wrenn room might have been removed bodily from the country home of a particularly passionate, and wellheeled, 19th Century British patron of literature. Eliot remarks, from the press conference: Will he try, while in the U.S., to see his old master, the poet Ezra Pound, recently released from a mental hospital in Washington, D. C., in which he had been held since the end of World War II, during which, the federal government charges, he gave aid and comfort to the Nazi-Fascist axis? “Unfortunately, we do not expect to get to Washington this trip and I don’t know where he’ll be.” What should Pound do now? “I should think he might want to Why did Eliot go to Britain in 1914, never to return to U. S. residence; was the England of the day conducive to his work? This was not a prime reason, he now recalls, but “it certainly seemed that way a generation ago.” And where in the world might a young writer go nowadays to find sympathy in creation? “The whole question of a congenial place to write in is out of date now.” they want their three-year contracts renewed. The glass partition was not proposed for racial reasons, she said, but to prevent the children from being disturbed by observation. “The contracts come up for renewal in May, and this will present a real problem for the board,” Mrs. Dyer said. “If another court order should require above the billowy tree tops, men’s letting women get too much control,” is one of Don Agustin’s remarks while sitting in a cane chair on his rambling gallery. Robelin, the protagonist hunter, thinks, “What a shame to waste such grace on these blind woods and bushes.” The bull chase is not merely a device for getting the story told; there was actually such a bull that made himself famous in the Spanish-spoken annals of the King Ranch. The bull is more than the most powerful animal found among those mesquite thickets and stunted oak mottos and clearings of tawny grass; he is the incarnation of nature wonderful and untamable for men. The first statement in the Black Bull is a cliche to be sure, its only departure from reality: “The characters, location, and the incidents of this book are entirely the product of the author’s imagination and have no relation to any person, place or event in real life.” It would have been more to the point if the publishers had run a statement from one of the owners of the King Ranch, saying, for instance: “In these pages are ranch people who in an ob Are poets more or less obscure now; are they obscure at all? “Of course, I always find everybody else obscure … but Ulysses, when I first read it, it seemed pretty tough. Ten years later, it seemed straightforward as Walter Scott. `Obscurity’ If poets are `obscure,’ he said, this may be their lack of ability, may stem from “pure phony … pretentiousness … from not having quite mastered one’s medium … my own stuff, the later verse, poetry \(several times he said “verse,” then said “poetry,” as if more deliberate, seems to have greater mastery of what I wanted to say.” “Wasteland was obscure, but less obscure in its own time, I “I’ve read probably more unpublished poetry than any man I’ve helped myself, you see, in the non-publication of a great deal of verse.” Eliot said he learned early not to assume his own erudition was also his reader’s. He said he once used a complete George Meredith line in a poem of his own, assuming all would recognize it as a device, but ‘there was this fellow .in Chicago got up and said: ‘Look here, this fella Eliot, he’s pinching’.” This and like incidents, were `the origin of notes to Wasteland.” What. of his own works now seems to him best? “Well, until a man gives up finally, unless he’s ready to roll up his desk, the most recent thing he’s done is his best, us to begin desegregation within three years, it would call for major shifts and changes of personnel. In all communities where desegregation has taken place, many Negro teachers have lost their jobs.” Mrs. Maughmer makes it plain to the Observer that for her part integration can wait until 1959 or 1960. “We had asked for time to finish our $30 million building pro scure corner of the world live out their lives in loyalty and occasional heroism. I salute the talent that went from here to tell their tale.” The Visiting Hindu Texas is a vigorous and relatively happy state, and it is unfortunate that able interpretors like Goodwyn \(or Henry Nash in their time by Texas leaders. It is a masterpiece of irony that The Texas Observer should not recognize honest writing by the boys from the local ranges. Here is a noble bull, roped and stretched on the ground for castration by the caporal, and up runs the visiting Hindu to cut out a piece of his ear with a pen knife. Frank Goodwyn has probably not written his best book, but he has written his best so far. It deserves a place on the shelf of good books about ranch people alongside John Houghton Allen’s Southwest and Dobie’s Tongues of the Monte. It has the rare and honest freshness of a writer who commands his material better . than popular writing techniques. THOMAS S. SUTHERLAND but I suppose never as good as the thing he’s contemplating doing next.” Eliot’s most recent thing is a new verse playThe Elder Statesmannow in production in Edinburg and he’s hopeful it will get to London and New York, if it gets by the notoriously-tough Edinburg critics. The play is “in the same sort of verse as the last two plays Cocktail Party and The Confidential Clerkhas the same number, six or seven, important characters. It’s rather grimmer, well, a bit grimmer, than the last ones … it’s not about Winston Churchill, I have to keep saying that. It’s about some difficulties of an elder statesman … it has a bit of comedy.” Does Eliot read fiction? “I very rarely read fiction.” His publishing house superiors will not let ‘him read fiction manuscripts. “It’s a good thing, too, I would certainly turn down everything.” What does it feel like to read one’s own works, peculiarly-personal works like verse, before strangers? “At first it was painful, very painful; there seemed an onusone was making a public exposure of oneself. Now I have done a great deal of reading and I enjoy it. I found I wasn’t really giving anything away.” Yeats Revisions A reporter said he had heard Eliot was ready to “repudiate” J. Alfred Prufrock. “Oh, I don’t repudiate anything in poetry. It’s different in prose, in critical writings. I often think, ‘I could have but I don’t believe in trying to gram. That would be in latter 1959 or early 1960,” she said. “I’m very opposed to integrating the public school system at this time.” Negro students are “working below grade level,” she said; with present “terrifically crowded conditions,” the result would be “bedlam.” The judge is holding the matter open on his docket, having delivered his verdict that the board must desegregate with all deliberate speed. “I don’t know if he’s even going to let us finish our building program,” Mrs. Maughmer said. Thus has the Houston school system been returned by the voters to firm right-wing control after the brief two-year experiment with more moderate or liberal procedures in 1955 and 1956. The segregation issue, which caused the downfall of the liberal majority in 1956, is sure to be used against Dr. Kemmerer and Mrs. Vandervoort again, so that the Houston schools may not have another period of liberal leadership within the next five or six years. SARAH AND IKE WASHINGTON The following is taken verbatim from the official text of President Eisenhower’s press conference of last week: Q. \(Sarah McClendon, AusPresident, Sarah McClendon of the Austin AmericanStatesman ” The President: “You don’t mind if I seem to laugh; and what was that paper again?” Q. Austin American-Statesman.” The President: “Thank you very much.” Yeats lost something of the essential spirit” of his work in revisions in later years. Which of his works does he read best? “I don’t think I read my early ones’ as well … I’m not as familiar with the man who wrote them, you see.” Nevertheless, at the Tuesday night reading, he read some early ones, including The Love Song Of J. Alfred Prufrock, as well as these others \(his program was planned to parade his La Figlia Che Piange, parts one and four of Wasteland, the fifth part of Ash Wednesday, Marina and Triumphal March from the Ariel poems, Landscapes from Murder In The Cathedral, Family Reunion, and The Dry Salvages from The Four Quartets. Mrs. Eliot’s picture of the great man: He’s “careless.” She’s had twice to replace a lost first edition Ulysses. He’s detached about his LEGALS and costs, and condemning said property and ordering foreclosure of the constitutional and statutory tax liens thereon for taxes due the Plaintiff and the taxing units parties hereto, and those who may intervene herein, together with all interest, penalties and costs allowed by law up to and including the day of judgment herein, and all costs of this suit. Issued and given under my hand and seal of said court in the City of Austin. Travis County. Texas, this 10th day of April A.D., 1958. 0. T. MARTIN, JR. CLERK of the DISTRICT COURT Travis County, Texas THE STATE OF TEXAS To any Sheriff or any Constable within the State of Texas GREETING: You are hereby commanded to cause to be published, ONCE, not less than ten days before the return day thereof, exclusive of the date of publication, in a newspaper printed in Travis County, Texas, the accompanying citation, of which the herein below following is a true copy\(but if there be no newspaper so printed in said county, then that you cause the said citation to be posted for at least TEN days before the return term thereof as required by CITATION BY PUBLICATION THE STATE OF TEXAS TO All Persons Interested in the Estate of Gilbert DeBlanc, Deceased. No. 7924, County Court, Travis County, Texas. Mathilda DeBlanc, Administratrix in the above numbered and entitled estate, filed on the 17th day of April, 1958 her verified account for final settlement of said estate and requests that said estate be settled and closed, and said applicant be discharged from her ti ust. Said application will be heard and acted on by said Court at 10 o’clock A. M. on the first Monday next after the expiration of ten days from date of publication of this citation, the same being the 12th day of May, 1958, at the County Courthouse in Austin, Texas. All persons interested in said estate are hereby cited to appear before said Honorable Court at said above mentioned time and place by filing a written answer contesting such application should they desire to do so. The officer executing this writ shall promptly serve the same according to requirements of law, and the mandates hereof, and make due return as the law directs. GIVEN UNDER MY HAND AND THE SEAL OF SAID COURT at office in Austin, Texas, this the 18th day of April, A. D. 1958. EMILIE LIMBERG Clerk of the County Court, Travis County, Texas, By M. EPHRAIM, Deputy. Certificate No. 90 Company No. A-862 State Board of Insurance of the State of Texas Austin, Texas, April 8, 1958 TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: THIS IS TO CERTIFY THAT TEXAS GENERAL LIFE INSUR-ANCE COMPANY, WEST LAKE HILLS, TEXAS has according to sworn statement complied with the laws of Texas as conditions own stuff. When they married 16 months ago \(for the preceding seven years she was his secrecollection; he had a single book: “Complete Criteria.” Manuscripts, his own, get away from him, but lately he’s been “very good” about passing these to her for her collection. He writes, she said, in longhand, prefers to work mornings, routinely walks with her afternoons in London’s Kensington Gardens; he reads aloud to her at night. Currently, he’s reading her Boswell’s Johnson. Often he reads poetry, published and unpublished. Eliot read before 4,000 people in the huge and cavernous Gregory gymnasium. Texans came in from miles around \(at least one party of people drove in from He read quietly, and very effectively, with no tricks of voice or gesture. precedent to its doing business in this State, and I have issued to said Company a Certificate of Authority from this office entitling it to do business in this State for the year ending May 31, 1959. Given under my hand and my seal of office at Austin, Texas, the date first above written. , WM. A. HARRISON Commissioner of Insurance NOTICE TO CREDITORS OF ESTATE OF ARTHUR K. ROWLAND, DECEASED Letters testamentary on. the estate of Arthur K. Rowland, deceased, were granted the undersigned on Apr it 15. 1958, by the
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