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The Green Room, Winter 1977

ISSUE:  Winter 1977

ON June 26, 1975, the lights of democracy went out in India as Mrs. Gandhi imposed her now famous Emergency. Since that time, thousands of Indians have been jailed and the Indian press virtually muzzled. One of the publications to perish under the Emergency was Seminar, a monthly magazine which closed down last August rather than submit to pre-censorship. The government’s move against Seminar, then one of India’s leading journals of thought, was prompted in part by an article written by India’s most prominent social scientist, Rajni Kothari. The Quarterly is honored to be able to present a revised version of this essay to an American audience. As a result of the views he expressed, Mr. Kothari was advised to take his family with him when he left India to take up the Ira D. Wallach Professorship of World Order Studies at Columbia University last fall, and he now lives with his wife and three sons in Leonia, New Jersey. Founder of the Centre for the study of Developing Societies, in New Delhi, Mr. Kothari is the author, among other books, of Politics in India, Footsteps into the Future, and Democratic Polity and Social Change in India: Crisis and Opportunity.

The American tendency to equate war with an athletic contest is analyzed and deplored by Bernard P. Kiernan A professor of social sciences at Concord College in West Virginia, Mr. Kiernan is the author of The United States, Communism, and the Emergent World. His interests in the relation between war and games may well derive from the fact that he is an avid chess player and a member of the United States Chess Federation. And his doctoral dissertation was an institutional study of international master chess before World War I in the context of Western culture at that time.

The uses and abuses of language have long been a concern of Richard A. Lanham. A professor of English at UCLA who received his Ph. D. from Yale University, Mr. Lanham is the author of Style: An Anti-textbook and The Motives of Eloquence: Literary Rhetoric in the Renaissance, published by Yale University Press last fall. He has three works currently progressing toward publication: The Asinine Feast: The Undergraduate Curriculum in the 70’s; Style from Square One, a beginning textbook for courses in style, and Styles for Study, a selection of prose styles.

Another lover of language is J. D. O’hara, a poet, literary critic, and teacher. Mr. O’hara is a professor of English at the University of Connecticut. One of his former students is Ann Beattie, whose short story, “Eric Clapton’s Lover,” appeared in VQR last summer.

The Latin poet Virgil is not much read these days, but, as David M. Halperin clearly shows, his work, the Aeneid, is ageless, probing factors and forces which involve mankind to this day. A University Fellow at Stanford University, Mr. Halperin received the Rome Prize in Classical Studies last year and is thus now in residence as a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome. “My fascination with things Roman derives somewhat illogically from my fondness for Italy and the modern city of Rome,” he writes. “Furthermore, Latin literature reminds me of our own self-conscious artistic traditions; its high degree of artifice and complexity challenge our powers of appreciation.” His essay he describes as “in part an attempt to deal with my early dislike of Virgil in the light of my deepened understanding and (if I may say so) passionate sympathy.” Mr. Halperin feels that America sorely needs an artist like Virgil who “could reconcile the atrocities and the greatness of American history in an overarching of our country’s origins and of man himself as an historical being.”

Our powers of appreciation are also challenged by the writer B. Traven, a mysterious figure who spent most of his life in Mexico. Michael L. Baumann became interested in Traven while living in Switzerland in 1964. He has now expanded that interest into the first general study in any language of Traven’s literary output in the book, B. Traven: An Introduction, published last year by the University of New Mexico Press. Mr. Baumann received his doctoral degree from the University of Pennsylvania and now teaches English at California State University, Chico. The publication of his article, he reports, “signifies what is, to my knowledge, the first appearance, in print, of a critical examination of Land des Frühlings— anywhere and in any language.”

The Romantic poets have been a life-long interest of John W. Stevenson, who is the Chas. A. Dana Professor of English at Converse College in South Carolina. Mr. Stevenson has devoted more than a quarter of a century to college teaching, and “every year I keep hoping I will find the key that will let students discover that writing a good clear sentence is more salutary than finding their identity.”

A widely published poet, Frederick Morgan is also the editor of The Hudson Review. His latest book, Poems of the Two Worlds, will be published in March by the University of Illinois Press. His first work, A Book of Change, was a 1973 National Book Award finalist.

Herbert Morris is the author of poems which have appeared in numerous publications, including Mr. Morgan’s Review, Antaeus, and the American Review.

Gary Margolis is Director of Counseling at Middlebury College in Vermont. He is spending this year as a Resident at the Millay Colony for The Arts to complete his book, Talking Away the Wind.

John Carr is a native of Mississippi, has an M. A. in English from Hollins College, and was writer-in-residence at Phillips Exeter Academy in 1970—1971. He is the editor of Kite Flying and Other Irrational Acts, a series of interviews with twelve Southern writers published by LSU Press in 1972. His proofreading poems will appear in an anthology of Southern poetry scheduled for publication later this year.

A retired Foreign Service officer now living and writing in Paris, John Bovey had many opportunities as a diplomat to observe Le Grand Charles de Gaulle in action. And he concludes that General de Gaulle did indeed possess the qualities of majesty—maddening though he could be.

An O. Henry Short Story Prize winner and one of the authors whose work appears in the current edition of Martha Foley’s Best Short Stories, Alice Adams grew up in the South and thus has an intimate experience with Southern morals and mores. Her first novel, Families and Survivors, was published in 1975, and her second, Listening to Billie, will be published by Knopf next fall.

A native of Mississippi and contemporary of Eudora Welty (“we both worked on a short-lived college magazine”), Ruth McCoy Harris has written both fiction and non-fiction for numerous popular magazines. One of her stories, published in the Antioch Review, was later selected for one of Martha Foley’s Best Short Stories collections. Mrs. McCoy Harris has a novel in progress and is also compiling a selection of her short stories, published and unpublished, for publication in book form. She has two grandchildren who are, in her words, “already adept at story-telling of one kind or another.”

One of America’s leading poets and critics, Hayden Carruth is a prolific author, whose books include From Snow and Rock, From Chaos and Dark World. He is also a recipient of VQR’s Balch Poetry Prize.

A Rhodes Scholar who received his doctorate in economics from Oxford in 1955, Jonathan Hughes is a professor of economics at Northwestern University. His books include The Vital Few—American Economic Progress and its Protagonists, Industrialization and Economic History: Theses and Conjectures, and Social Control in the Colonial Economy.

Allan H. Pasco is an associate professor of French at Purdue University and author of a forthcoming book on Proust, The Color-Keys to A la recherche du temps perdu.

An associate professor of history at the University of Virginia, Michael F. Holt has previously taught at Yale and Stanford Universities. He has written Forging a Majority: The Formation of the Republican Party in Pittsburgh, 1848—1860 and several articles on the Know Nothings, and he is presently writing a book about the political origins of the Civil War.

Donald Jackson is leaving the editorship of The Papers of George Washington, at the University of Virginia, after eight years of organizing, collecting, training of staff, and production of the first two pub-

lished volumes. He will move to a mountain home in Colorado and continue to produce his widely known documentary studies of America’s westward growth, including a work on Jefferson and the American West.

The profession of English is one with which William Kerrigan is intimately familiar. An associate professor of English at the University of Virginia, he received his doctorate from Columbia University, is the author of The Prophetic Milton, and is now working on a psychoanalytic treatment of Milton, with the working title of The Psychogenesis of Paradise Lost.

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VQR is pleased to announce that Ward Just’s short story, “Dietz at War,” published in the autumn 1975 issue, was selected as one of Martha Foley’s Best American Short Stories, 1975.


Advisory Editors W. W. Abbot William S. Weedon Robert Jennings Harris J. C. Levenson Roger Shattuck Ian Stevenson J. Harvie Wilkinson, III Elisabeth R. Aaon, Business Manager

A National Journal of Literature and Discussion published since 1925 in January, April, July, and October. Subscription rates: one year, $7.00; two years, $12.00; three years, $15.00. Canadian postage, 50 cents a year; foreign postage, $1 a year. Single copies, $2.00. Title page and annual index available in November.

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