Get a Friend to Subscribe to Subscribe to The Texas Observer The Texas Observer Name Address City State .11, OOOOOOOO OOOOO OOOOO 0 Bill the Subscriber 0 $4 Enclosed Mail to The Texas Observer, 504 West 24th St., Austin Name Address City State Bill the Subscriber 0 $4 Enclosed Mail to The Texas Observer, 504 West 24th St., Austin The Lion and the Oxen In union, there is strength. The fable of the Lidn and the Oxen illustrates this lesson very forcibly. As long as the three Oxen stayed together, the Lion dared not attack. But ‘the king of beasts’ sowed dissension and’ jealousy amongst N. his adversaries, and they separated. It was then easy for the Lion to attack and destroy them one by one. In Sun Life, also, there is strength. N.1k When you belporhe a policyholder of this great international company, you become one of a group of faisighted men and women the holders of two million pOlicies and group certificates in 25 countries who protect their , families and themselves against an uncertain future through ‘the medium of life insurance. Why not discuss your life insurance problems with me today? You will be under no obligates. MARTIN ELFANT 201 Century Building Houston, Texas CA 4-0686 SUN LIFE OF CANADA Gandhi in the South A Confused Intention STRIDE TOWARD FREEDOM, bs Martin Luther King, Jr., Harper’s, 1958, $2.95. BOULDER, COLO. A social revolution began, appropriately enough, for it was to be a Gandhian movement, in a quiet way December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama. A city bus loaded with 36 passengers stopped in front of the Empire Theatre where six white passengers boarded. Since all the seats were occupied, the driver asked the Negroes nearest the front to give their seats to the white passengers. Mrs. Rosa Parks, a Negro seamstress, refused. “I don’t really know why I wouldn’t move,” she has said. “There was no plot or plan at all. I was just tired from shopping. My feet hurt.” Mrs. Parks was taken from the bus and arrested. George Hendrick Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in Stride Toward Freedom, describes the consequences of Mrs. Park’s refusal. Two days latter, circulars requesting a one-day boycott of the bus system appeared throughout the Negro section of the city. King has described his philosophic position: ” …I came to see that what we were really doing was withdrawing our cooperation from an evil system … The bus cornpany, being an external expression of the system, would naturally suffer, but the basic aim was to refuse to cooperate with evil. At this point I began to think about Thoreau’s Essay on Civil Disobedience. I remembered how, as a college student, I had been moved when I first read this work. I became convinced what we were preparing to do in Montgomery was related to what Thoreau had expressed.” ALTHOUGH KING expected 60 per cent of the Negro bus riders to participate in the boycott on December 5, the day of Mrs. Parks’s trial, only a ‘few Negroes rode the buses that day. That night, after Mrs. Parks was fined $10, Dr. King, who had only recently returned to the South after studying theology for several years in the North, was elected president of the Montgomery “Improvement Assn., the central org an i zati on in the non-violent movement. While studying at Crozer Theological Seminary, he first read and evaluated the Gandhian ideas: “Gandhi was probably the first person in ,history to lift the love ethic of Jesus above mere inter action between individuals to a powerful and effective social force on a large scale. Love for Gandhi was a potent instrument for social and collective transformation. It was in this Gandhian emphasis on love and non-violence that I discovered the method for social reform that I had been seeking ….” The boycott continued after Mrs. Parks was fined; the Negro proposals for ending the boycott included requests for more courteous treatment of Negro passengers, seating on a first come, first serve basis with Negroes continuing to sit from the rear of the bus and whites from i thei front, and Negro drivers to be employed on routes predominately Negro. Although the demands were moderate, city and transit officials were not willing to grant them. King then realized “that the underlying purpose of segregation was to oppress and exploit the segregated, not simply to keep them apart. Even when we asked for justice within the segregation laws, the ‘powers that be’ were not willing to grant it. Justice and equality, I saw, would never come while segregation remained, because the basic purpose of segregation was to perpetuate injustice and inequality.” King describes methods of the opposition to destroy the boycott: indictments for violation of a 1921 Alabama anti-boycott law, harassment by the police, bombings at the homes of Negro leaders. State officials sought an injunction c h a r g i n g the association with operating an illegal transit system to transport Negroes’ to work, but before the state could obtain an injunction, the United States Supreme Court ruled that bus segre 7 gation in Montgomery was illegal. TENSION STILL exists in Mont gomery, but King in his re strained account has shown con clusively that the critics of Thor eau and Gandhi who have argued that American civilization is too materialistic for successful civil disobedience struggles are wrong. The eighteenth century Quaker, John Woolman, after a trip into the South, observed that the vices and corruptions surrounding slavery made a “dark gloominess” hang over the land, and he saw that “the consequences will be grievous to posterity.” Dr. King’s detailed comments on a non-violent solution to the grievous problems of racial disharmony in the South will undoubtedly influence other Negro groups to apply similar methods in their struggle for first class citizenship. \(Roger Shattuck, native Easterner, bomber pilot in World War II, teacher at Harvard, is now assistant professor of Romance languages at the University of Texas, but is on leave for study in France on Fulbright and GuggenTHE BANQUET YEARS, by Roger Shattuck, Harcourt Brace and Company, 1958, $8.50. HOUSTON The twentieth century, says our professor, could not wait for a round number, but was born, yelling, in 1885. Setting the scene, he starts with Louisiana Promise Weakens THE HARD BLUE SKY, by Shirley Ann Grau, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 466pp. $5. AUSTIN Louisiana’s young new girl writer made a better impression with The Black Prince stories than persists in this, her first novel. It is set among the people of one island of three across the mouth of a marsh, and in the marsh itself, where two lovers get lost. One is reminded of someone’s idea that a poet can never be judged on his short poems, that the longer, sustained work must be weighed in. The suggestion, the promise which were enough for the stories are not enough for “the hard blue sky.” A severe detachment, or lack of deep emotion, or both, debilitate her people and permit her an. epiisodic execution of ‘a conception which might have been epic. Her evocative skill with descriptive prose rewards the reader here and there, but her dialogue is pedestrian and frequently aimless. R. D. LEGALS TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: Notice is hereby given that J. E. Miller and Bruce Inman, a partnership, composing the firm of J.. E. Miller Drilling Company, of Abilene, Texas, intends to incorporate such firm without a change of firm name after the expiration of thirty days from this date, save and except, said name shall be J. E. Miller Drilling Co., Inc. Dated this the 8th day of November, 1958. J. E. MILLER DRILLING COMPANY BRYAN BRADBURY Attorney of Record THE TEXAS OBSERVER Page 8 Dec. 26, 1958 the flambuoyant funeral of Victor Hugo: He leaves all of his money to the poor. He lAlieves in God. Brass bands and all night processions. Women give themselves to lovers to become mothers of immortals. Paris loves its relic. The social structure is changing, we see. Salons move into cafes. In them, the mesdemoiselles cocottes become queens, set the fashion. We recall the thin, nervous woman, rice powered, in the white dress and long black gloves. Sarah Bernhardt whispers HAMLET. The theatre thrives. The arts thrive. Artists are playful, destructive publicity seekers. The cult of childhood, naivete, is their cry for re-evaluation. As Nihilists, they work tirelessly to Nancy Fagg prove that out of nothing can come something. The banquet is their testimonial. According to Shattuck \(Obs. illustrate how these, the banquet years, gave rise to the avant-garde in France. They are Henri Rousseau, painter; Eric Satie, composer; Alfred Jarry, playwright; and Guillaume Apollinaire, painter-poet. Thus, very much in the nature of a lecture with slides, begins Shattuck’s treatise on a subject about which we have all become unashamedly nostalgic, France in its bohemian heyday, the end of the 19th century until the First World War. He proceeds in orderly fashion, to devote two chapters to each of the four, one on his life, the other his work. Everything is orderly except the intent of the author, everything is clear except for whom his book is intended. THE BIOGRAPHIES are witty, anecdotal, inadequate as bi ographies. Just as we are getting to know quiet, determined Henri Rousseau, who waited until he’d finished his career as ‘ a civli servant to do more than Sunday paint, the chapter is brought, to an abrupt close. The next one, a close examination of his style and methods of working and his professional life in detail, is often repetitious and, considering the book’s subject, could be omitted without serious loss. Several times during Apollinaire’s life the lecture takes flight and we desert our seats to follow him through his war adventures. The technical discussion of Eric Satie’s music comes through to a non-musician like myself crystal clear, but then Pere Ubu, the character created by Alfred Jarry’s pen and by his life, remains incomprehensible to one who does not read the play. Therefore it is hard to know whether Shattuck aims his book at a professional or lay audience. It can only be assumed that he means to address both. This is unfortunate, for the biographies will not satisfy a hungry romantic, and the technical dissertations could hardly help zealous scholars. However, it is obvious that Shattuck knows what he is talking about. \(Indeed, the extensive bibliography barely exceeds the string of credits after the author’s own THESE CHAPTERS OVER, his I material dispensed with, Shattuck. plunges into his final treatise, linking together the work of these four men and their sort with what has come since. He painstakingly traces the precedents they set through to the present day. Although this is what the cover tells us that the book is all about, it seems oddly. beside the point and can only be intended to sooth, for what he is actually doing is pressing our noses against a spirited era in artistic evolution and reminding us that this, its grandchild, is not. “Forty years after the Banquet Years, in an era of social adjustment, mass communication, and normal response, the resolve to be oneself and live one’s life in the face of misunderstanding and disapproval has come increasingly to be branded as nonconformity even schizophrenia. But conformity, in life and art, in love and in work, must be to one’s inner being and not to the world. The most notable figures of the Banquet Years practiced external non-conformity in order to attain conformity within the individual.” Thus emerges the author in yet another role, that of social commentator. It is not against the book to say that it follows the inclination nowadays to look back, alas, not in anger, but with regret, to an era more human than our own. What is regrettable, however, is that in trying to cover too much material in too little space, and hitting at too wide a market, Shattuck has fallen short of his capabilities. Perhaps, instead of writing one book for $8.50, he should have written five books for $2. THE HALF TONES, picturing our heroes with their numer ous loves, and bits from their notebooks, are lively but hardly worth the price. The jacket, however, admirably designed by Janet Halverson, is.
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