BEEBE FINDS ADVOCATE SOURLY IMPERTINENT
The following review of the April issue of the Advocate was written by Lucius Beebe.
It has long been axiomatic that for fatuous stupidity the Advocate is a rare lit'ry nonesuch, but for sour and futile impertinence the current issue hasn't even a competitor. There seems to be such an effluvium of decomposition about its pages as to recommend it to the amateurs of the macabre as well as to connoisseurs of the preposterous, and, critically speaking, from cover to cover of the present issue there is scarcely a contribution which it would be possible to libel. The best prose reading we found was the Wetzel advertisement.
Feature Article Attacks Lowes
The feature article in this number is a peevish and patently injudicious attack on Professor Lowes, and it isn't as though the aggrieved author confined himself to the existing and obvious defects in the courses conducted by him: he is personal to the point of impertinence, sarcastic far beyond the limits of taste. That the examinations in English 72 and 32 are primarily challenges to the omniscient powers of that admirable institution, the Widow's, anybody, most of all Professor Lowes himself, will admit. That this state of things is comic and fantastic, as well as probably futile, Septimus Cromarty does well to point out, but to indulge in witless and banal personalities at the expense of a distinguished and wholly charming instructor is a procedure which will not recommend itself to the judicious.
Writer Maintains Anonymity
There are "characters" and clowns aplenty abroad on the Cambridge scene who are notorious as such and whose careers have been nothing but slightly sublimated vaudeville shows. These Mr. Cromarty may well attack with a barrage of personalities since they offer no other qualities for consideration, but the article at hand does not deal with such a person and is, as a result, altogether deplorable. The author evidently realized his lapse from propriety both academic and journalistic when he signed himself discreetly with a nom de plume. Such anonymity must be deserved.
The other long article is entitled "Toward Another War" and is from the pen of Bernard DeVoto, a slightly shopworn bargain from the Saturday Evening Post's lit'ry rummmage sale. It treats of the joys, boons and usifruots of life in the army in war time and paints in glowing terms the aesthetic delights of compulsory prophylaxis and kitchen police and association with the drug store yahoos and greengrocers who comprise our drafted armies. It's harmless and inocuous reading if you like it, but to us represents pretty sad entertainment.
Under the title of "Paint-Brush Song" Mr. Derek Beamish (stet) yearns boozily in alternate rymeless and meterless stanzas to be as cool as brook water and as warm as seasand. The seasand is about the hottest part of this effusion and our personal suspicion is that what Mr. Beamish needs is a cold head towel and a turkish bath.
Agee's Verses Evoke Praise
Above the general level of discreditable mediocrity and sheer futility of the issue, stands, as his verses have stood elsewhere, Mr. J. R. Agee's rendering of the Horation "Parcius junctas quatiunt fenestras" into first rate English poetry. His lines are at once instinct with poetic feeling and accurate as paraphrase. The stanza overflow is capably handled and the meter admirably suitable. It seems that wherever Mr. Ageo prints his work the level of the periodical is thereby raised, and it is with the pious wish that we mav hear more from him in these transalpine wastes that we conclude these catalogue of fatuities.
Somewhere in its pages the Advocate states that it is entered at the post office as second class matter. At least there is something to be commended in this editorial candor