NEW ORLEANS … imagine, an intriguing new motel in the heart of the French Quarter … enjoy the comforts of the present in the tranquil beauty of the Old World Charm of the Vieux Carre. Pool, patio, bar and lounge … free parking of course. TEL: 524-9636 MOTOR HOTEL 3 blocks east of famed Jackson Square at 1001 Rue Chartres More Communications on There occurred among our readers some’thing approximating the double-take on “Brains” that occurred in me and caused me to change my mind and run it, along with my correspondence with Winston Bode munications in point.Ed. The Bombshell: Now What? I read “Brains” three times to get down to the basic level of what it was saying. First reading: “A raw piece of realism not significant enough to justify the space it takes.” \(Judgment of objective, logical unusual degree of observation, perceptiveness, and guts to put this story together. The characters are significant because they are a part of our times. Maybe as a `cuadro de costumbre’ it justifies its space. It would be too bad for it never to see the light of print.” \(Judgment of feeling-mind: the This writer is saying something. He is measuring personal sincerities against cultural patterns. He is reaching down into the instincts of the individual and attempt12 The Texas Observer dredge up the hidden motivations and impulses of the subconscious to face the conscious mind with the bombshell: Now what?” \(Judgment, as I believe, of the intuitional mind delving into areas of evoHow much the accompanying correspondence between you and Mr. Bode had to do with sending me “back and back for mine own opinion” I do not know. But as a would-be writer, I found your exchange most enlightening and rewarding. . . . Thanks to both you and Mr. Bode for holding me still long enough to form a deeper judgment than I usually have time for. Mrs. Marg-Riette M. Hamlett, 1150 W. French Pl., San Antonio, Tex. Discussion in Fiction 103 Conditions for discussing Winston Bode’s “Brains” were certainly not ideal, for it took me almost the whole hour to read it to my Fiction 103 class. The first reactions of the class were antagonistic. One student concentrated on technical matters he thought the point of view was confused. A Negro girl said, “I thought the story was going to be James Baldwinish”; she paused for a long time and then said with finality, “It wasn’t.” An extremely good student argued that Bode did not attempt at all to develop the character of Haney and that Alfred and his impotence were too much a cliche; he and the Negro girl then discussed Alfred’s impotence as a typical Baldwin cliche. Unfortunately, their conversation was ended by the bell. The next class meeting I began by reading your letter to Bode. The mood of -the class had changed overnight, however. When I asked, “Would you reject the story on the same terms used by Mr. Dugger?” the general reaction was No. The story had worked on their imaginations, and most of the class declared it was far more successful than they had at first thought. I argued your case, going far beyond it, in fact, to insist “Brains” was technically, artistically, and intellectually a failure. To counter this, though, I read Bode’s letter to you. His statement of his intent made a great impression on the class. Only one student who spoke on the problem thought Bode did not do in the story what he set out to do. I overstated my case against the story, but, frankly, I was not impressed with it, and I certainly don’t think it is the way Hawthorne “would have written about integration” \(a statement too amusing and good idea but he failed to carry it out. The characters are sketchy, incomplete, and eventually unconvincing. Bode can be patronizing: “It always took them a long time to get home at lunch. It was like walking through the fields back to the house at night.” The styles and forms are mixedsatire, realism, naturalism, romanticism. It is not Bode I hear but echoes of Hemingway and Sinclair Lewis and even Camille. My students disagree. We had two profitable sessions dissecting the story which, along with the letters, produced the effect you hoped forserious discussion. George Hendrick, English department, University of Illinois, Box 4348, Chicago, Ill. Unrealistic, But Winston Bode’s “Brains” was a weak story not because of the theme . . . but because the characters were not realistic in that they didnot respond to situations at all like human beings. The theme was original, the style was well-developed, and many passages were very meaningful and superbly written. . . . I enjoy very much the writing of Larry King and hope to see much more of it. I believe he is your most talented contributor. Robert Connor, 1716 Wa9dcrest, Houston, Tex. 1961, I Believe May I join the rest who enjoyed, but more important found “Brains” a moving and meaningful story. It brought back
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