She moved into a room with Mrs. Richardson on Blackstone Avenue to the East. Mrs. Richardson was a romantic southerner and indulged with a twinkling eye his quiet intrusions by day or night, but they slept most of the time at his place, located amidst La Vie de Boheme, as you might laughingly call the light heart of the grand University, where Steinway's Drugstore was the nearest thing to Les Deux Magots, and the Rive Gauche stretched out to embrace International House, Hanley's and the UT, the Kenwood Garden Apartments, the gymnasiums, Ida Noyes, the Reynolds Club -- there was nothing like this, of course, in Paris. A bit of red revolution festooned, as I mentioned, from the Ellis Street coop.
Nearest in spirit to the student quarter in Paris was the collection of decrepit houses and useful stores on Fifty-seventh Street two blocks East of Mandel Hall. Woodworth's Book Store was there; on the corner was Steinway's drugstore, which carried a full menu for all meals. Mrs. Goff was the Madame of a couple of frame houses cut into independent pieces and tied together somehow by a passageway or balcony, and out in back were other tacky houses that might or might not be hers. So that "Mrs. Goff's" came to be a generic term, not necessarily "of Mrs. Goff," but rather "looking like it might be Mrs. Goff's."
To this cluster came the student in search of Mrs. Goff, and found her, as Jill and others said she would be, dowdy, wispy grey-haired, a distracted expression, slipping silver-rimmed spectacles, falling stockings and low oxfords. She had for rent, just across the hall from Bob Cole (where no doubt the rumor began) a modest room with windows to either side and a door entering upon a toilet and another upon a kitchen, perched out over the rear of the house. Crazy, you say? No, eminently satisfactory, positively elite. The Student dragged in a large dumpy bed, chairs, table, bureau, radio, kitchen stuff he collected from his mother, from Jill, from his brother, buying here and there, borrowing for keeps. He put up a curtain. He turned on the gas, the light, the heat, it all worked. He neatly laid his clothes in the drawer or hung them on hooks on the door. He washed his face, took a piss. He was all set. Bob Cole was pleased; he liked to chortle and giggle and bounce all over the place, up and down and around; he was also an inveterate gossiper. A quiet shapely young anthropologist was a neighbor, downstairs, Julie Harrison; "Smudge" Vera Miller was there darting about, organizing communist party activities.
It wasn't long before Smudge got Jill to get Al and got Bob to get others to make up a contingent for demonstrating "student solidarity with the workers" of the International Harvester Plant on the West Side. Their Strike had grown long and bitter. The Strike Committee decided that a parade was in order, to reinforce picketing, to impress the employees still at their jobs inside the spate of brick buildings behind the high wire fences. Jill put on her new mock fur coat, debonair, reddish brown, she looked like a Hollywood ingenue; he wore a suit and overcoat; they were practically the best dressed marchers in the parade, and were placed in the lead, fittingly, in a mixed group that included the leaders, and then came the motley crowd of real workers with their banners, shouting slogans and chanting a song or two. Along the flanks ambled the reporters and photographers, their cameras at the ready.
The crowd was large. It marched stoutly ahead. The police had told the leaders, you can go along this street and that street, but not this other street. The leaders wanted action, (certainly the commies were all for action, this being their ten-months of the Nazi-Soviet peace pact, hence against preparedness for war) so they paused, considered, and then plunged forward, ignoring the police command to turn right but instead shouting that they had the right to march where they pleased, because this is a free country, ain't it?
Disagreeing, the police formed in ranks and marched toward the strikers (and these paltry students, their addlepated spearhead). With shouts of "Strike! Strike! etc., Finks! Scabs! etc." the paraders pushed right on. The police charged, swinging their clubs. The Student looked at them and saw fright glazing over their eyes and rage exuding from the terror as they swept forward. "Stop it!" he commanded them loudly as they closed in, "What's got into you! They're not doing anything!" They looked at him queerly and passed him by. He turned and kept shouting, but they had reached the real workers and were pounding lumps upon them. Over his head flew tear bombs, smoking, and from the other direction a few stones clattered. The cameramen closed in from the sides. The scene dissolved into confusion. Strikers and sympathizers retreated, with the police boring in upon them, and the newspaper cameramen hurrying after. Several men were groaning and holding their heads; they were stumbling around off to the sidewalks; no one seemed to mind them.
The pair of lovers stood there -- all was lost except honor -- then walked forward along the forbidden route, soon quiet, with the noise of the battle receding, only a faint shout to be heard, until they came to the streetcar line and took a car home to Mrs. Goff's. The next day there was a large picture of her on the front page of the Chicago Sun-Times, looking beautiful as she marched along, with a caption explaining Students March in Support of Harvester Strikers. She proudly sent a copy to her sister Daisy, who had paid for the coat as a birthday present.
Little flame-colored Smudge also brought the Student a woman to clean his pad, "She's a communist, and she's black," she explained by way of endorsement. The student left a twenty-dollar bill on his table when he went over to Steinway's where Jill was waiting, then rushed back to get it, but it was gone. "Where is the money I left here?" he inquired.
"The twenty-dollar bill. It was right here on the table."
"I don't have no money."
"Yes, you do. Give it back to me."
He stood watching her.
"I have to go to the toilet," she said.
"No you don't," said he, but, when she insisted on her right to go to the toilet, he said, "You can go in this pot, here," handing her the largest pot in the kitchen.
She did urinate in the pot, as he stood with his back turned. When she arose, she took the missing bill from beneath her skirt and handed it to him. He left to go to breakfast.
He had returned to Chicago to work, and finished up promptly the study of Short-Wave Listening Habits that Professor Harwood Childs had originated from Princeton University, that had Gosnell as its Chicago partner. Its ultimate financier was possibly a government agency, which could be the FBI or the Federal Communications Commission -- the Student did not know who, when Gosnell handed over the project to him, for these were still the naive times of American social research; but both realized that the study was getting riskier by the week, as the war crisis divided Americans more and more sharply into isolationists and interventionists.
Lists of purchasers of short-wave equipment were obtained from Hallicrafter dealers and students were despatched to track down owners who did not respond to the mailed inquiry. The elaborate questionnaire asked everything from a person's country of origin and his opinions about the War to the hours of the day that he listened to short-wave emissions from specific countries. If it appears incredible that so intrusive an investigation could be conceived of at so critical a time, even more incredible was the considerable response that was obtained. Considerable does not mean adequate for generalization, that is, valid; in fact, as an historical document on how Americans learned from abroad fifty years ago, the study is more useful and reliable than it was or is concerning the number of Axis sympathizers existing among short-wave buffs. The report was published under Gosnell's name.
He begins to inquire deeply into the meaning of the greatest concept of democratic institutions: representation. It was absurd how little of value had been written on the subject. He completes the article mentioned earlier, the one analyzing the concept and formulating it. It becomes the first chapter of a book of Gosnell absurdly entitled by Gosnell himself, Democracy: Threshold of Freedom. Once he had completed his definition of the concept he began to study its history and its comparative usages in political systems. These also became chapters in the course of the year and were later duly incorporated in G's book, G being all this while in Washington.
He read much. One of his favorites was Hans Vaihinger's Philosophy of `As If' that Sebastian called to his attention. He was struck by the great variety of materials of the sciences and humanities that could be encompassed in the theory of fictions, not simply false stories, of course, but myths, assumptions, premises, religious dogma, illusions, delusions, and scientific hypotheses and theories. He cogitated the connections between all this and Franz Alexander's work on psychosomatic medicine, socio-somatism in general he believed it to be. Then suddenly the idea came upon him as he was contemplating a passage from Karl Mannheim's Ideology and Utopia.
He conceived it as follows:there could exist no political and institutional device that was not connected to a psychic or social state of mind, an ideology, a belief system. Nothing dangled isolated, without connection, not in politics nor in any other field of knowledge. Politics were infernally complex and dissembled, dissimulated, dissociated, but nevertheless the every demand, the every invention, device, practice, had a source in one's outlook on the world. This idea when fully researched and developed became a master key to several fields of politics such as elections and representative government, but also to the study of bureaucracy, corporate behavior, and voluntary associations. He found that it made possible to upgrade instantaneously the weighty volumes of the Webbs on trade unions government, to edit sharply Lindsay Roger's new book on public opinion polls, to match Alexis de Tocqueville's picture of the American people with the tendencies in the ideas of the American Revolution and Constitutional Period.
This was the beauty and excitement of real Theory. No one around understood him; perhaps no one ever would. Still, thenceforth he would consider all problems as theoretical ones, even the tiniest of them: facts would only make sense and be worthwhile in the light of theory. This made him sometimes precipitous, contemptuous of piles of data, annoying and arrogant: there is no reason for you to like someone who won't collect your trivia, who will ask too many "why's?", who will claim to explain a problem you've been puttering with for ages.
He went ahead to establish what might be called the representational psychology: it was a less publicized but significant element of the Chicago School approach to Behavioral Science. Briefly, it set up the field to study the relationship between a person (usually a voter) and another person (usually a candidate or legislator) who claims to reflect a flock of his traits and opinions. He ended up with a huge number of variables (such as the age of the two or their education) that had been declared at one point or another historically to be politically important and therefore worthy of the spilling of blood. It would take a lifetime of research, of the research of hundreds of specialists, indeed, to determine with any fair degree of accuracy how these systems of relationships worked and how each variable made a difference, if it really did make a difference, in the choice between the two persons and their behavior following the choice or rejection.
Thus the Student came to produce additional and more significant reports that went down ultimately under Gosnell's name. He continued to develop his interest in representation; he had agreed with Gosnell when he returned from the East that his major job would be here and in the closely related field of elections.
Abruptly, Harold Gosnell decided to accept an appointment with the Office of Emergency Management in Washington; he would be paid twice as much, have a short work week; the University was remiss in forwarding him to full Professor; the war spirit was heating up. He turned his office over to his assistants, arranged for the appointment of Alfred de Grazia and Morris Cohen to divide up and teach the course on Comparative Political Parties, and bid the campus good-bye, never to return. Cohen took up the lectures on political parties, the Student the lectures on elections and representation.
Thus he began his teaching career at the age of twenty, before a graduate class, with what, assiduously prepared, would be some of the best lectures of his life. They were loaded with the latest and farthest-ranging references to election systems, suffrage requirements, and all the socio-econo-psycho-cultural variables he could find to correlate with the methods of voting and kinds of party systems. The approach was far ahead of any other in the country and probably in the world, not in France, for example, until Maurice Duverger in the 1950's at Bordeaux and the Sorbonne, though perhaps in the wrecked Weimar Republic of Germany with Karl Braunias. The Chicago School had been raging full blast in these youngsers who were being unleashed. He found the students, all older than himself, most attentive and cooperative. They scribbled vigorously, it seemed, upon his every word.
The Spring over, Morris Cohen left, the Summer began; he had a fine office with a great collection or materials and books; it looked down upon the lush green foliage of the medievalesque yard; the circle, the campus entire, grew dark green and warmly still, as the Class of 1940 hastened off behind its uncertain trumpets. He had his big love, and she might come by at any time, and certainly to pick him up at the end of the afternoon.
They ate about six-thirty, often at International House now, where refugees madly gay and deadly serious like George and Bill de Huszar, and Nicholas Domans, who was writing a book on The Coming Age of World Control, and Bob Lochner, and Dieter Dux, and Brutus Reitman, and Johnny Wiggins, and Polly Osgood, and Rosable Velde, and Irving Askow, and other friends would gather at table, gloomy over the doom of Europe, happy over the prospects of America. After dinner they would play ping-pong in the basement -- he taught her to play well -- or hung around the lounge or went somewhere to drink a beer. (They drank no alcohol at table.) They might go farther; Bob Cole bought a car and they drove across Washington Park into the black ghetto for spare ribs at the Palm Grove. (He did not forget his parents and brothers on the North Side. They rode the "El" to visit them, ate like pigs, played with the boys and developed an easy relationship all around.)
Lake Michigan had warmed enough for swimming, even in the evenings, and they walked to the rocks around the end of Fifty-fifth Street. She would swim, rather heavily but well, far out, too far out it seemed to their friends, even to him. He wondered whether she was expressing an urge to oblivion, to be swallowed up in the great world ocean. But she always trudged back and was the happier for the experience. He preferred to jump and dive and spent half of his time underwater.
On some mornings, especially on Sunday, they would go out from his rooms at Mrs. Goff's and cross the sunny street to buy the fat Chicago Tribune and eat a breakfast of bacon and eggs with toast and juice and coffee. This certain morning, the headlines screamed that the Germans had invaded the Soviet Union; so much for their treaty of friendship of ten months before. The students were astonished and encouraged, for, they reasoned, how could Hitler succeed where Napoleon had failed? It was now June 23. They had their own plans, but now began the vigil of the Soviet Front that was to claim their attention daily for four years.
Her plan was to take the long-postponed train trip to San Francisco to visit her brother Paul. His was to negotiate with Hobart College, in the course of a visit there; the Hobart Search Committee had expressed an interest in his teaching there beginning with the Fall semester. Afterwards he might join her, if he could assemble the needed dollars. (Why, he asked Ed Shils, do I need money when I am earning twice as much as last year; because, said sage Ed, your perspectives have changed. The Student cogitated: it was the inception of an idea still far ahead, of human attitudes as offshoots of social levitation; as one grows up, his wants grow, and his perception of his prospects grow faster.)
She would go first, and did. A swarm of sailors boarded the train with her, and had little in common with Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra. So she wrote. He wrote of his visit to Upstate New York, of the sweet little college, of a lurching train ride of twelve hours from Geneva to New York City, and of the offer that followed: viz. "we could not in fairness to the other people here offer you more for next year than an instructorship at $1,800," but there would be a new Department of Political Science created and there would be therefore "a wide open field in it right up to the full professorship.. From our point of view we are making a somewhat daring experiment in offering a position with such a future to someone so young and experienced as yourself; we are obviously, however, being guided by our appreciation of the fact that you alone out of many candidates have the qualities which counterbalance the otherwise almost insuperable factors of age and inexperience." In New York he dropped in on Lindsay Rogers, who was concerned with Puerto Rico politics and his retirement cottage there; and found Bill Evers earning summer money ($20 per week) at a big law firm (Breed, Abbott and Morgan).
It is July 1, 1941; he is twenty-one years old and he must now register for selective service with Local Board #9: On his card he is ticked off as White, with Brown Eyes, Black Hair, and a Dark Complexion (as opposed on the one hand to Sallow, Light, Ruddy and on the other hand to Freckled, Light Brown, Dark Brown and Black. His weight is 145 lbs., his height 5'10". Whatever the White Race may be, the others were designated to be Negro (for segregation in the armed forces), Oriental (for some unforeseen discrimination), Indian (maybe for riflemen), and Filipino (for Navy mess-boys). No one asked whether the youths would fight badly, reluctantly, readily, or enthusiastically. No more information on 20,000,000 men than just this, before they were called up to eat shit and bleed on foreign shores. Their Soviet counterparts were now being slaughtered by the thousands daily as the Nazi juggernaut moved East.
He wrote to her by the Golden Gate, "O imago aurorae!" on a beautiful postcard of archaic lovers that he had saved from his trip to Italy. And he penned a story that would amuse her.
"I talked with (Rosable) and got the latest bit of Aaron Bell dementedness. His mother came to town in order to see the doctor and walked in on Bell as he was studying. He got very angry, demanding what business she had walking in on him. Taking as a pretext that Art (Lidov) was staying with him, he ordered her away, but was afraid to put her up in a hotel. Instead he called Rosabelle (Rosable) and asked her whether Mrs. Bell could stay with her since Art was staying with Aaron that night. Rosabelle consented and Mrs. Bell moved in on her. No word from Aaron for almost a week, with Mrs. Bell showing no signs of leaving. She attended classes with Rosabelle, had lunch and dinner with her, and stayed in the rest of the time. Finally, in desperation, Rosabelle called Aaron and asked whether it wasn't about time that Art went home (all thirty minutes' ride). Aaron said he couldn't stand his mother around him. Whereupon Rosabelle blew up and threatened to evict her bodily. Aaron came in a cab and a hurry and took his mother's luggage away. It was O.K. for someone else to suffer so long as he didn't. When she told me that, I almost got blue in the face reproaching her for her foolish kindness."
Rosable was a longtime aficionado of the University, horse-faced, horse-haired, pretty, slender-bodied, sleek, wealthy (her father owned Joseph's Furniture Store on the West Side and indulged her), and ready of wit; she snared several beautiful men: Bob Velde, under whose name she rode as divorced wife, was a fine quiet blonde who looked great in her new convertible; so did powerful Herb Blumer, the sociologist of fashions, whose bulk disposed of the need for any normal man and brace of red setters. Rosable was lovable for her generosity, her mocking self-criticism, her acquaintanceship with the Chicago Institute of Psychoanalysis crowd, on whose couches she might be found over time. She loved Jill, and liked to be with the Student, too; both were several years younger, more attractive, cleverer, and in love. Her big affair now was with the psychologist, J. F."Bus" Brown, who was a lush on and off, and then behaved pettishly mean to Rosable; the Student, driving one time, turned around and threatened to bop his distinguished senior if he didn't stop pinching and prodding Rosable; usually the four of them would drive about in the open car of summer in a happy state. Rare is the party gayer than intellectuals who have left Jew-Gentile writhing in the dust behind.
West by the Golden Gate, looking down upon the Embarcadero and over the Bay from the third floor bay window of an old frame house on Chestnut Street lay our heroine, writing a full stream. She has walked all over town, sailed on the Wades' boat, and read, Ben Hecht's An Egoist in Love, Bud Schulberg's What Makes Sammy Run, and Aldous Huxley's After Many a Summer Dies the Swan. She moves from Hecht's book to new "lucubrations."
"I brood mightily of us -- analyzing, re-acting, emoting, in general, confounding myself with the seemingly insolvable problem of defining me, you, and love. I miss you, I guess. Sometimes I miss sharpening my dull wits against your hard shiny intellect. Sometimes I miss being loved and fondled and made to feel beautiful. However, I've found I don't miss quarreling -- nor do I regret your absence in the role of my super-ego. (I've got a perfectly good super-ego of my own, sir).
"You probably wonder why I don't say I miss loving you, as well as being loved. That's what I've been having so much trouble to define. In a way, you're hard to love -- the way Ann loves Paul, or the way my other sister loves her husband. In part, they feel rather protective about their husbands. There's nothing to protect about you -- you're perfectly able to take care of yourself -- incidentally an ideal which you consciously or unconsciously urged me to emulate (Remember the way we used to talk about Liz when we first knew one another -- an implicit invidious comparison between her and me). Sometimes I don't think you need love as a necessary adjunct to your life, but that you want it as a symbol and affirmation of your power and superiority. Yet then I realize that my thinking this way may be a rationalization of my own selfishness. To quote you -- why should you pick on a girl like me if you would want that kind of love-adulation? (The answer may well be, of course, that indications of affection from such as me are infinitely heightened by virtue of their turgid source.) I wish I could get over these ideas -- they're probably very unfair to you, not to mention the fact that you are probably infuriated by them beyond reason. (Suddenly with the vision of you raging and helpless under the impact of this unjust pronunciamento, I find myself loving you very much.)"
The next day she retracts whatever it was that she should not have said (it all seems fair enough). "Darling - I just got your letter, which was wonderful, and left me feeling very repentant for all the crap I wrote you last night. Do disregard it -- the crap. As you can gather I a) have been reading too many novels and b) was feeling in a particularly manipulative mood. As a matter of fact, I was going to toss the whole thing out this morning, or at least, revise and edit, but we rushed off to the boat at an early hour and I decided that anything was better than no letter at all...About your coming out here -- it would be wonderful -- you know I think so."
And he does go to her. But not before he stanches the old flaring fires of jealousy and proves to himself that his love for her goes beyond easy, enjoyable, and repetitive copulation. He casts his eye about and fixes upon buxom Julie Harrison and wiry Mary Kozak, an assistant in Economics. He knows them both; they have long traded smiles and small talk, even tall talk of the world crisis. So they have a most accepting attitude when he propositions them over a drink. He hardly plays the great lover; no music and flowers; no grand displays and preliminary orations. It just seemed rather nice and logical that, after happening to be hanging around together or lunching together that they should end up in her place, Julie the neighbor, as I said, Mary at her apartment just beyond the 55th Street carline.
Julie, as befitted her body, was cordial before and after, accultured as an anthropologist should be to the temporary elaboration of warm intensity in a friendship. Mary, a proper economist, held her tight long olive-skinned smooth body as if she did not want to lose it, and grumbled afterwards that he had not given her enough; he should have been more affectionate beforehand, more adept, more ready to resume after a decent interval; but he had none of this to offer her, and couldn't work up to more than the basic lust required for ejaculation. Perhaps she should have left her glasses on and pretended she was being violated; she was too matter-of-fact.
His truancy ended, he turned to moving his stuff out of Mrs. Goff's into storage, finishing a paper by working from dawn to dusk, and arranging through a classified ad in the Trib to drive West with two brothers who had bought a new station wagon and were giving two guys a ride in return for paying for the gas and oil. The other rider was a roughneck, untrustworthy in appearance, but, as the days passed, proved himself a congenial uncomplaining companion. The brothers were frightened for the welfare of the new care and treated it like a baby across the great prairies and over the two grand mountain ranges.
Finally the Student was seeing his Golden West. Much of it was a continuation of the Illinois landscape, then dull and bleak and even flatter, then the long slopes up and down of the Rocky Mountains, too immense and far-flung to grab his guts, but the Sierra Nevadas and the California hills proved golden indeed, and he couldn't have been more charmed than when he was finally let off before the quaint house on steep Chestnut Street and ran up to find his girl. There was celebration in the old town that night. Paul and Ann fed him dry martini's, gave him a huge Turkish gong to bang on, and took him vibrating and reverberating up and down the hills to New Joe's, where they provided him with Italian food and steaks of a quality he could not believe existed in restaurants.
He found in Anne, too, so marvelous a cook that he would do nothing but eat had they let him. Luckily they loved him. They loved jazz and classical music, sports, cuisine, drink, and laughter, all of which he was full of, and so they loved him and he them. They took him sailing and he smartly slipped his foot in the loop of a trailing rope to let himself be pulled by the lackadaisical craft and almost drowned when a gust of wind sent it skimming and mechanically angled him below water; he barely managed to crawl up on himself to unfasten the hemp. No one aboard had noticed his disgraceful plight. They were busy tacking and dropping the spinnaker.
They took him into the mountains to King's Canyon where Anne's parents had a totally assimilated cabin, rambling, comfortable, brown as the soil and tall trees about, merging in a kind of rusty green with the foliage. They put her inside for the night but the Student brought her outside onto the wooden platform where his bed stood so that they could sleep together and make love, never mind that Anne's mother was a straitlaced schoolmarm and piano-teacher. Her father had inherited a joy in panning for gold but had not found the gold his folks had dug up when they had come out West with the Forty-niners, and was generally as loose-strung as his wife would let him be. The Student was awe-smitten by the giant sequoias and the rushing streams; he would stay there forever -- no, he would stay in San Francisco forever. Again, why did he not do so? How could his few possessions bring him back to Chicago, to a family he had learned to do without from one month to another, to his brother already on his way East to Washington to work for the Foreign Broadcast Monitoring Service. He was interested in his work on elections and representation, surely, but he could have continued it in the Department at Berkeley or at Stanford perhaps. He could find some kind of work, although it might take awhile. And she, why would she not have thought of the same, so that they might both have remained?
The movements of people are strange: at one moment taking off like a bat out of hell, then again sticking when there would be every reason to go. Was it, one wonders, that they had gone into a subconscious state of expectation of war, that they felt such decisions would be made for them willy-nilly by the Government in Washington? Or did they really feel Chicago, their piece of Chicago, the University community, was their real home, from which they would not want to escape. He had turned down the Hobart College offer, despite the advice of Sebastian, Gosnell, Leites, Rogers, and herself. Ithiel de Sola Pool had come up next and did finally go to teach at Hobart. But this immobility, too, might have been owing to an unconscious sensing that an immeasurably grave event was about to occur.
So Anne's friend, the famous footballer Ernie Nevers, put him in touch with an outfit that took a little money from you to arrange a ride East, and he found himself departing in a crowded old sedan that looked like it couldn't make it. And it didn't. It got to Salt Lake City, where they stayed overnight. But it gave its halting excuses the next morning on the way out (after having dropped one passenger and picked up another at an insalubrious location where a suspicious type hung out and did such business), and started hobbling. The driver left with it to get it fixed, and never returned. The others disappeared. He remained, furious, demanding compensation from this character, Abe, who claimed no involvement. He had no money to continue on. Finally he got Abe to phone the Frisco contact who got in touch with Ernie who called Anne who told him to guarantee something in the way of payment to Abe who meanwhile had let the Student telegraph the Dad for funds in Chicago who sent them immediately by Western Union, and so it ended up with his having a choice of a free car ride by the next vehicle or going in style by train. He chose the train. Abe had turned from hostile to friendly meanwhile, because the Student had been whiling away the time having a long conversation with his adolescent son, explaining to him the mysteries of college education and the professions, telling of the life of students and scholars, and there is no readier way to a Jew's heart. He drove him to the train.
He returned to opportunities in abundance. Franklin Meine wanted free-lance articles for Nelson's Encyclopedia. The Department of Political Science had recommended him for an Instructorship in the Home-Study Department. Gosnell had managed this stint in times past. He accepted and all at once became an authority on all fields to happy wretches all over the world who were building up credits by doing papers and answering questions from prepared syllabi and forwarding the answers to this unknown instructor who, if like the Student, simply graded them, usually approving, made a remark when called for, and sent in the final grade when all was done. Since the course outlines and readings were fairly well chosen and by the regular faculty teaching these courses, no mental harm was done and there wasn't much better one could do with one's leisure time in America, was there? Some soldiers were already seen on the lists of students. Once more, the University of Chicago was ahead.
But honestly, it was a bit of a fraud. Or is it the other way around: that is, it was proper but the auspices were fraudulent. This needs explanation. Pick up the catalog: "Announcements, the University of Chicago, Home-Study Department, 1941-1942". Turn the pages. All departments of the University are listed in a Table of Contents. There follows a list of the Officers of Administration: Robert Maynard Hutchins, President of the University, Emery Thomas Filbey, Vice-President of the University William Benton, Vice-President of the University, and so on, including Carl Frederick Huth, Director of the Home-Study Department. There follows a list of Officers of Instruction: Members of the Faculties of the University of Chicago, beginning with Edith Abbott, Ph.D., Litt.D., LL.D., Professor and Dean of the School of Social Service Administration and running through all the Professors, Associate Professors, Assistant Professors, Instructors, and finally Assistants, and who but Alfred J. de Grazia, A.B. is Assistant in -- no, not Political Science, but, par erreur -- Business! Most of the Assistants, by the way, hold Ph.D.'s. No flies on these boys and girls (about one-third are women, itself a startling figure, considering that exactly one woman is listed among the Professors, the eminent aforesaid Edith). In this profitable bowel of the Ship worked those like the Student, granting credit for work that they would never be entitled to teach in the classroom. They earned a pittance. Need I say that he was less than assiduous in his duties, furthermore? And I imagine that this must have been the case with many another. Yet at the postal box on the other end certainly were eager hands, grasping their returned papers, thrilled at their contact with the great center of learning, disappointed as the best of students when a question has been misunderstood and failed.
The idea of correspondence courses, now practically universal, was practically original with the founder of the University of Chicago, not John D. Rockefeller called the Founder, but Samuel Harper, the bustling little divinity prof, who was a great innovator, totally unappreciated by the Student and his confreres, though greater in all regards but one than the Student's admired Hutch. Hutch believed in reaching out, and did so with Adler and Benton, but all three let the Home-Study Department and even the Downtown College with their many thousands of students decay, uninspired.
But now another opportunity offered itself. The Student could become Instructor at the East Chicago branch of the University of Indiana. He could ride down through the world's most productive industrial complex -- and what a mess it was -- a couple of times a week and teach the people of this industrial suburb what American Government: National, State and Local was all about and do the same for those wishing to understand the Party System. He joined a faculty, truly, and the Dean was please to have him and introduce him around and he became an invited speaker on this and that occasion when the League of Women Voters and others decided upon a special day to whomp up civic participation or another festivity. Whom did he notice in class? There was no genius. Hence, he looked for beauty. He found it in a sultry Slavic countenance. He was too taken up with his own love to take it for what it was worth, namely, a good deal. He looked, too, for typicality, and found it in the furrowed brows of steel workers and chemical workers old before their time.
Did he give himself to his tasks, did he act the dedicated teacher? No. This was not the name of the game, this was not home, this was not the collection of auricular organs attached to cerebella of the ultimate superiority, these were not students who could challenge, who could teach their professor -- such were the ones he wanted -- but could he ever find them? -- doubtful. Never a question of social status of the students, mind you, but intelligence, and after intelligence, beauty. Yet he could always respond, he was a humane and sociable type: when someone was in an agony of ignorance, a pain of doubt, he responded with vigour. So he could not be all bad.
He hated the commuting. The country was "preparing," and it got in his way. His slow bus to and fro had to stop with seeming interminability as an infinity of freight trains dragged themselves back and forth across tracks that when he had been a child were romantically overgrown with the grass of the Great Depression. Now they gleamed, these rails, and he fumed at the delays. He wanted to get home to 5729 University Avenue, the apartment that Miriam and Sebastian had lived in and had been rented to him when they went to Washington.
They kept in touch, and Bro Bus congratulated him upon his appointment to the Indiana University Branch. The Student had been asked by Mr. Leonard White to stop by for a visit, and when he dutifully reported, he was told that Sebastian was readying for publication in the Journal of Psychiatry the quasi-psychoanalytic study he had written about President Roosevelt. Mr. White considered that, given the war emergency, it would be harmful to the national interest, that the article could be used by the enemies of F.D.R. He asked the Student to intervene against the publication. The Student felt this a rather strange request but, without raising questions, said that he would pass along his reflections to his brother. Which he did.
Sebastian was of no mind to be censored and went ahead. He had other gripes too, his letter of September 18 evidencing them:
Here's the pie in the sky before you die:
First, thanks for the dope on humbug Asstolick. I'm biding my time until I pounce on him. The related disagreement I had was with him -- he relegated himself to third person. Maybe I gave you the impression I was worried about his influence -- I'm not. Incidentally the LMC [This must mean Lower Middle Class, not Louis] Wirth who is not known for great human penetration is responsible for the present position of this cruddy obesity. If you're interested I'll tell you more if I see you next month. [This person must remain thankfully unknown.]
Second,thanks for alibiing for me but Mom should know I'm too occupied to write letters. Why should I start a circle of correspondence with Uncle Charlie and Aunt Lilly? It's enough Mom gives people like Johnny Naples my address so they can descend on us for week-ends or what-not.
Third, thanks for the reprints and notes.
Congrats on your teaching job; it sounds good. Gosie told me about it Tuesday.
He's still the same dolt. It's nice he was offended at my letters. That was the intent. Afraid of exposing his name in senior authorship on something he knows nothing about yet craving the versatility, he procrastinated with the mss too goddam long -- suggesting insane changes and passing it around to innumerable dopes to read. [This must be the F.D.R.article] Also [Bernard} Berelson said HG. had read practically ipsissima verba my poll paper at the Communications Convention without so much as a by your leave. Another grievance: the other articles in the States book appeared in some journal with joint authorship -- but because there wouldn't be anything new in the book if the poll chapter were published elsewhere...... Pisonim. Besides he's soooo stupid.
We may go to the APSA convention at Xmas if we don't go home and we won't go home if we go home this October. I'll leave it up to Mom-- whichever she prefers.
Again thanksverymuch for everything.
Love from Miriam,
Your lovin' pal,
Yes, 5479 University Avenue, when in the gathering dusk of the fall of 1941 his jolly-cranky bosom friend and lover Jill would be waiting for him and they would put on some sort of show of cooking or go out to International House to the happy crowd that realized so painfully that the world was being rapidly destroyed. This apartment was the eighth living space he had inhabited since entering the University six years earlier. (Add away from the University community the score of rooms in Europe, Cavalry Camp, San Francisco, the North Side family apartments, Moen's Lake Resort, shipboard, and a few others.) He now felt that he had spent a whole life here; he recalled his former life, but in the sense of its death and his reincarnation in the University.
The flat had a large living room fronting on the street that was used as a bedroom, connected by a lengthy corridor where a bathroom sided, and ended in the large kitchen with a dull courtyard view where they spent a lot of time. It was here on a Sunday morning, December 7, that they sat eating breakfast, reading the newspaper, and listening to the news on the radio. It was a completely uneventful morning, with the slight exhilaration of a Sunday, except that the music was interrupted for an announcement that ships and planes of the Japanese Empire had attacked the American base at Pearl Harbor. The excited announcements, the stories, the details of damage, the orders, the proclamations -- all were shocking and stirring! Yet the paramount feeling in his mind, the conviction, assumption, unshakable premise, from the first minutes onwards was: "The Japanese have made a fatal error; they are crazy; they will be destroyed."
Like a leitmotif, this idea repeated itself to him paralleling every minute of the broadcasts, which went on and on until he got tired of listening, and felt like they must go out and talk to other people. It occurred to him how this assault might tie into the war in Europe. Germany and Italy would logically stay out now, at least for the time being, to let the Japanese do their stuff and then, after finishing with the Soviet Union, turn to help the Japanese. Not at all. Within the next days, Italy and Germany had declared war upon the United States. He said the same thing: "They have destroyed themselves! What fools!" So great was his confidence in America.
While the world walked about alternately dazed and furious, Gozzie in Washington put in his hours at OEM and wrote to his Assistant in the evening. Two days after Pearl Harbor, he asks the Student "How would you like to do a little ghost writing?" an article for an encyclopedia yearbook, adding that it would be in his name but the check would be turned over to the Student. His P.S. reads, "Please turn over the "Grass Roots Politics" mss to the Council on Public Affairs, Washington, D.C... with a covering letter signing my name." Not a word about the Declarations of War. Life goes on.
The Student knew that his own days were numbered. He inquired of the Navy and Military Intelligence in the Army whether they had need of an ensign or lieutenant. The soundings were negative. He asked Gosnell to find him one of the multiplying war jobs of the Federal Government and to inquire of Sam Stauffer whether he needed help in his Morale Division at Army headquarters. Gosnell said you can come right away to my office; I need help. Lacking better, he entrained, leaving his sweetheart behind for another ten days of correspondence, without her fountain pen, which he had taken along. He went to the Capital mostly to explore, because he was to be called up at any time, still he was entered upon the payroll, and the civil service routinely guaranteed him permanency if he came back without total disablement. Her letter, typed, reads, "It seems incredible that I have been alone three whole days and that by the time you get this letter you will be about to come back."
On February 10, "..IT happened. The expected yet the exciting..the festive yet the melancholy.. the event we 1,200,000 South Siders have hope and dreamed for, yet feared. Yes, my darling, at 3:00 yesterday afternoon and until 12:00 midnight the Kenwood Gardens blazed merrily." The old huge tenement had housed large numbers of University bohemians and the poor. There were no casualties. It was quite gutted. "And you missed it, to both our everlasting regret."
Other news: a ski trip to Wisconsin; and a new job. Of the latter: "Saturday I spent mostly getting ready to go downtown to answer a call from Esquire to interview their publisher, a Mr. Smart who, if you remember, has been indicted on every charge from stock-watering to beating his grandmother. He looks it too. He is one of these egocentric red-headed little Mockie boys that Ben Hecht does such a lovely job on in his books. He told me to see his editor Monday, so that is all I know about that. It was a rather painful interview, I might add. Mr. Smart and I had absolutely no rapport whatsoever." Whereupon she was hired.
When he arrived home, they had little enough sack-time. They had then quickly to pack and move North to his parents before the stentorian call to arms reached him. Robert Maynard Hutchins promptly put the University into the War up to its gills; he was done with his stint at isolationism. The man who was adamant in defending academic freedom against all assailants, who had been foretelling stifling bureaucracy and physical ruin from going to war, now withheld nothing from the Washington octopus. The Student would have found life impossible where it had been heretofore a very good life. Besides, it will be recalled, he was an interventionist.