ON THE SHELF
Trend: February 1942
The University of Chicago's Trend is one of the few magazines which both deserves and repays student support. Catering to a nationwide audience it does not compromise its purpose either by over conservatism or by emphasis on modernism for its own sake. At its worst the magazine presents normal undergraduate effort, at best it publishes the work of new talent of which any nation might well be proud.
Trend's February issue reaches such heights only through its, poets led by Katinka Loeser, an alumna of Chicago, currently studying aviation. Her "Modern Language" combines in sixteen short lines a concise explanation of the problems and techniques of the modern writers with a poetic expression coming as near the lyric as the static quality of intellectual poetry will permit. This same bound lyricism, gaining in immediacy and intellectual intenseness what it loses in fluid song, characterizes all the better poems of the issue. Helen Wieselburg's "Starway," and Creighton Gilbert's "War Poem" again display the advantages as well as the price of the poet's surrender of impersonal distance, while the works of Arthur Blair and Norman Macleod show the inevitable failure of the static poetic effect when applied to less immediate non-intellectual topics which cannot sustain intensity.
In its short stories Trend most nearly approaches the undergraduate literary norm. Bowden Broadwater's "Several Blots on the Family Escutcheon" will be familiar to all Advocate readers, and the criticisms for unconvincing artificiality of mood to which it is subject may also be leveled at "Doncha Wanna Dig, Chillun" by Dartmouth's Edward Rasmussen. John Barnes' "But the Bullets Were Real" is a more original and evocative attempt. As a study of a sensitive young couple faced with the draft the tale deals with an important youth problem, while its experiment in form, though not always properly controlled, fits it for praise too often lavished on better balanced non-entities.
This month's articles will probably gain the smallest share of reader interest. As fairly technical defenses of specific art forms, they have little significance for the lay reader, while even those most interested in their subject matter will find that they suffer from an almost native dogmatism.
But despite this weakness, the poetic brilliance of the second issue of Trend has both the originality and pertinence, requisite for successful undergraduate literary effort, and subscribers may rejoice that the publication has not fallen before the "Sophomore Jinx." Improved in appearance and more experimental in context, this copy is a worthy complement to its sloppier but more staid predecessor.