Friday, February 08, 2008

New TDR: Fitzgerald at Winter Carnival

There's a new issue of The Dartmouth Review up online, inside:

10 comments:

John Bruce said...

On Fitzgerald, it interests me that the respectable novelists of the second half of the last century haven't had much to say about his generation of writers. Eventually, if I carry out my designs, I will.

Fitzgerald is one sort of Romantic, but there's another sort. Bukowski is more of the Shelley-Byron sort, and in my view he's the major post-Steinbeck writer. In the late 1930s, as he thought about his own writing aspirations, he looked at Hemingway's and Fitzgerald's public personas and asked himself if it was really a writer's calling to be hobnobbing about Europe with rich people. Later, he also had questions about Fitzgerald's version of alcoholism -- considering Bukowski gave up writing in the mid 1940s to devote himself wholeheartedly to the art of drinking, his remarks have some authority. I'm inclined to think that throwing a show at a ritzy place like Dartmouth (or on the front lawns of Long Island estates, as he did to mark Joseph Conrad's visit to the US) is a poor second to getting beat up in a MacArthur Park alley in LA.

Hemingway is truly awful; there's a version of my reconsideration of The Sun Also Rises up at New Partisan -- but I wrote that before I realized that Henry James had done the same subject in What Maisie Knew, only much better. Some of the other folks that are still in the canon, like Katherine Anne Porter, need to be taken to the curb like clapped-out sofas.

Nobody has been doing this work.

Anonymous said...

The first count on which the judge ruled that the alumni had indeed made sufficient allegations is the claim that the 1891 Agreement is a contract and it was breached. Not "the Board’s action in 1891 was legitimate because it was ratified by both the Board and the Association." In the Wright editorial.

"The current system of approval voting dates from" 1990, actually, not from the Steel era (1980). The post-Steel petition candidates were defeated without any change in the rules.

The idea that "the alumni are tolerated so long as they don’t presume to put a likeminded alumnus on the Board" presumes that alumni can "put" anyone on the board. There is a better than even chance that the board will soon prove that presumption false once and for all.

It's stupid to refer to "A five person committee on governance, which had no petition trustees on it..." The committee was almost entirely made up of alumni trustees, the very category whose proportion was being reduced. No petition trustee had any experience earlier than 2004 anyway -- they were all newcomers who were not part of this standing committee.

Note also that all but the ex-officio trustees are "elected trustees." The distinction between "elected trustees and appointed trustees" is a false one.

Rep. Mooney's bill would not only "require any change in the Board’s composition to be accepted by the New Hampshire government" but would require any amendment whatsoever to the charter to be approved by the New Hampshire legislature.

Anonymous said...

It's always good to check your facts before you call something stupid. What year was Haldeman put on the Board? Hmmm. 2004, maybe?

Anonymous said...

Cate Lunt's article is brilliant, laugh-out-loud satire. Outstanding.

Anonymous said...

"It's always good to check your facts before you call something stupid. What year was Haldeman put on the Board? Hmmm. 2004, maybe?"

What? It is both stupid and idiotic to fault a board committee that has 5 of 18 people on it for not having any "petition" trustee on it. There are only four petition trustees and they are all new. Therefore there is no reason to put them on. The committee is already unfairly stacked with alumni trustees. What difference does it make that Haldeman is also new? Novelty is not a reason to kick someone off, it's evidence that someone does not necessarily need to be appointed. And anyway, Haldeman's a charter trustee -- he's much more qualified than the "petition" trustees, who were generously elected to the board in spite of their potential ignorance, bias, poverty, and inexperience.

Anonymous said...

The heart of the governance issue--- elitist arrogance versus a confidence in the judgement of Dartmouth alumni.

"Haldeman's a charter trustee -- he's much more qualified than the "petition" trustees, who were generously elected"

Anonymous said...

Since when have corporations been prohibited from acting arrogantly? The government should get involved every time a board makes a decision that uninformed outsiders perceive as offensive in some way.

Personally, I think we should clamp down on GEICO for those offensive caveman ads...

Anonymous said...

Nothing prohibits the arrogance.

But does the commenter above agree it exists in this example?

Anonymous said...

Who cares whether the board has ever acted arrogantly? It doesn't matter. Do you think being offended by the board ("a victim") gives you special status or special rights?

anon. 9:38 said...

No, I would not agree the board was arrogant. Every decision the board makes for Dartmouth is a failure to feed the starving children in Africa, so you could say the board appears arrogant all the time. But it's required to act in the interest of Dartmouth and no one else. That means you. It could not give you the special favors you request if it wanted to. You are arrogant to take offense at the board's decision.