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The History of Harvard's Commencement, Explained
Much that is written on athletics is superficial and inanely formulary. It is refreshing, therefore, to encounter as the first article in the current issue of the "Harvard Magazine" a treatment of the subject so thoughtful and so straight-forward in style as Captain O'Connell's "Track Athletics at Harvard." In what appears to be an adequate analysis of the history of the subject, he disengages past mistakes from obscurity and, by means of illuminating criticism, transforms them into danger signals for the future. He ends with a plea for undergraduate support. The article undeniably merits the initial position assigned it in the magazine.
Considerably less satisfactory is the story, "The Thing He Never Knew." A situation, not altogether unpromising as short story material, the denouement of which requires motivation, is disposed of in wholly inadequate space with consequent cheapening of effect,--and effect which the style, unfortunately, is too conventional to alleviate. Mr. Rodgers's "Chowder," the sprightly sketch which follows, is more pleasing.
The graduate student at a large university often feels himself a stranger within the gates. The question of uniting him more closely to his foster-mother is handled in an editorial admirable for its understanding of the situation and for the remedy it proposes. It deserves serious consideration by all graduate students, and by undergraduates as well.
Humorous Article on Glee Club
The injunction, "Agree with thin adversary quickly," is the weapon proposed by Mr. Paul E. Jackson, in "The Glee Club's Name--What of It?" for ending the unprofitable contention regarding that organization. This is a humorous and fairly successful attempt to bring about a reduction ad absurd of the whole disagreement.
In this issue of the magazine there occurs but a single book review, that of Sinclair Lewis's "Main Street;" and it is decidedly gratifying to find the review of some length and discrimination. One such careful and comprehensive, is preferable to a dozen little paragraphs on as many books, each paragraph being no more than a mere bird-peck at the subject.
Besides the articles already mentioned, there are reviews of two current plays, "Abraham Lincoln," and "What the Public Wants," (one wonders why "The Passion Flower" was omitted), and two poems, not especially notable.
A word of general criticism may not be out of place here. Although the essays are good in content, there is a noticeable lack of style in them, a defect surely worth remedying. Again, verse of a higher quality ought to be procurable in a college as well provided with poets as Harvard. This issue of the magazine is above all, lacking in stories of compelling interest, although "Chowder" is an approach to what might be done in this direction.
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