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Three Fulbright Winners Prepare for International Work

April 27 Glee Club Concert to Feature Faculty Progeny

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Professors Benfey, Cobb, Nicholson, and Savoy Honored with Faculty Awards

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Nota Bene

Front-Page News

This Week at MHC

Mount Holyoke College News and Events Vista The College Street Journal Archives

April 25, 2003

Front-Page News

Cornering Art “Culture corner,” an article in the “Travel” section of the April 20 Boston Sunday Globe, highlighted the “world-class art” at the museums of the Five College area, including the recently renovated and expanded Mount Holyoke College Art Museum. “Such a culture would get lost in the bustle of a big city,” wrote Christina Tree, Globe correspondent and coauthor of Massachusetts, An Explorer’s Guide. “Against a backdrop of abrupt hills, fields, orchards, and classic old New England towns, though, the quality of the art found in campus museums makes the Five College Area one of Massachusetts’s better-kept secrets.” Tree noted that Mount Holyoke’s art museum has been collecting since the 1870s, focusing on Pompeian frescoes, medieval European statuary, Japanese screens, and nineteenth-century landscapes. The result, wrote Tree, is a “superb” permanent collection. Highlights, she noted, include an “exquisite white marble head of the empress Faustina, William Glackens’s muted Skaters in Central Park, and Annie Lavelle, a vivid portrait by Robert Henri.” She also mentioned the art museum’s current exhibition, A Visual Feast: Promised Gifts and Recent Acquistions, “which features a stunning Milton Avery, a delicate gouache by Miro, and a powerful expressionist canvas by Hans Hofmann, among many others.”

Acting Locally The community-service efforts of two Mount Holyoke staff members were spotlighted in articles in the April 10 “Holyoke Plus” section of the Republican. One article profiled MHC Science Librarian Sandra N. Ward, who helped set up the recently opened Holyoke Consumer Health Library at Nuestras Raíces in Holyoke. She got the idea for the library three years ago, after reading a newspaper article about the Holyoke Health Center’s plans to open a medical mall. Ward told the Republican, “I thought, there has to be a health library, it’s got to be free and have materials available in both languages.” She and other volunteers solicited donations, gathered materials, and put together a Web page for the library, which offers books in Spanish and English on consumer health issues. MHC’s student organization La Unidad donated the proceeds from its Halloween party—more than $300—for purchasing books, and the College gave shelving from its former art library.

A separate article chronicled Linda Young’s involvement in planning festivities for South Hadley’s 250th anniversary celebration in July. Young, senior administrative assistant in the biology department, is chairing the parade subcommittee, a job that entails everything from getting bands to march to asking local groups to build floats (one of which—planned by the First Congregational Church of South Hadley—will feature historic town notables, including MHC founder Mary Lyon).

Novel Approach Novelist Joseph McElroy “is a vigorous promoter of what might be called the ‘novel as mental Nautilus machine’ school of fiction,” and his latest book, Actress in the House, is no exception, writes Sven Birkerts, MHC lecturer in English, in the April 20 issue of the New York Times Book Review. The story turns “on the impact of a single glimpsed action—an actor slapping an actress with unfeigned force during the performance of a play—as it registers on Bill Daley, a man in the audience,” Birkerts writes. “The fact of the slap then gathers implication and mystery as Daley returns to the theater after hours and meets the actress, Becca; and finally spirals outward as the two get involved and begin, as any couple might, to ask questions and tell their stories.” McElroy’s approach to developing that story, Birkerts writes, results in “a prose that offers readers very few handholds and minimal reassurance of ‘getting it.’ Turning the pages slowly, we feel as if we were moving underwater, with visibility available only in sunlit flashes; there is a distinct (but by no means unpleasant) sensation of obscure currents moving this way and that. Instead of plot we experience what might be called ‘congealing moments,’ where random actions and observations suddenly suggest intense significance. The moments are at once lifelike and inexplicable.” In the end, Actress in the House is the “most singular and stylistically uncompromising of novels” that, alas, “fences out the determined, ambitious reader.”he counter is 2,556

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