Hits Signature Review

The Mail

To the Editor of the CRIMSON:

Mr. Raphaelson and his readers can go bowing to each other indefinitely but on the other hand, his latest article seems as careless and inaccurate as the first.

True, he makes a convincing summary in his first review of "Harvard's and Radcliffe's literary magazines in the recent past" but his conclusions are unclear. There is or there is not "readability" or "need for clarification." He seldom takes the trouble to give examples or say what he is talking about. Mr. Bush writes well in "places," Mr. Rinehart has poor dialogue "in places," etc., and we are promised an image at the end of Miss Rich's poem that is "in itself one of the finest bits of writing to appear since the war in Cambridge's undergraduate magazines ..." and goes unquoted.

When we look in his Saturday column these criteria still are unexplained and even added to: some writers are impelled by what Mr. Raphaelson calls, a "necessary difficulty." To compare Miss Handy's and Joyce's necessary difficulties" and then to state "as a fact" that the Advocate and the Signature, do not, as a whole, win these laurels "because they have nothing to say" is absurd and irrelevant.

Between Dick Tracy, Hamlet, Joyce and Miss Handy what kind of material can "literary undergraduate publications" expect in the future? Mr. Raphaelson is ready with any verdict.


This reviewer's criticism is so top heavy with vague appeals to any authority he thinks appropriate enough, that the trouble he took to answer Miss Handy's letter is greatly invalidated. Hugh Amory '52