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Buchen, Walther (ed.) / The Wisconsin magazine
Vol. VII, No. 8 (May 1910)

Editorial,   pp. 40-41 ff.

Page 40

  The Vilas prize has been given special
attention in this issue. It needs no furth-
er exposition. Now that a prize of such
importance and material worth has been
generously offered there can be no excuse
for a lack of interest unless expressed
through the lack of ability.  The work
submitted in the recent prize story con-
test is hardly worthy of the opportunity
offered to show the unknown powers of
some young Zola or aspiring Balzac to our
anticipating readers. The prize story con-
test is a worthy institution. It deserves
the sort of literarv production that comes
from natural ability strengthened in its
effort for expression by honest, intelligent
study and careful execution.     A  story
dashed off on the impuls3 of the moment
for the money in it is neither a credit to
the scribbler nor of use to the board of
editors, unless it be to try their patience.
Perhaps there has not been enough
money offered as a reward to bring out
the best material. Next year the Vilas
prize will do away with this implied argu-
  We hope to see stories of interest and
of power submitted for this contest. Sure-
ly among all who have ability to write
well at Wisconsin there are some who can
produce through experience and inspira-
tion a work worthy of the reward. There
ar- several months in which to work out
this great story vou are going to write to
win the Vilas Prize.. And let the story
be real, let it be vivid as seen by eyes that
know what they see; let it be of Your own
world and of your own people. Dreams
are fine thing- but their chief mission is
to teach us Reality in our wanderings
through the silv-r maze of the Empvrean
Ideal-whatever that is.
            MARK TWAIN
  Mark Twain is dead. He leaves in
work and his memory a monument as
during as the true heart of America.
saw into the depths of mysteries that are
Life. He told what he saw to the world
in a way that made Care a jester crowned
in cap and bells. Some kind, church-go-
ing lady of your acquaintance may tell you
that Mark Twain was sometimes profane
in his work and not always nice. Yet you
will smile and know that the lady does
not understand the life that her eyes have
lost and that her prayers have never been
said to bless. We know that his kindly
humor and his art takes away the tinseled
threads and leaves us the honest home-
spun. Yet often Mark Twain goes beyond
the Real and shows us the beauty of his
dreamland, and it rests the eyes weary
with counting up columns of figures, and
gives new life to hearts numb with the
toil for bread, while even the humor of
realism could not please.
  We know that Mark Twain will live in
the world with the millions of hearts that
beat to the same pain, the same hopes and
the same love; and that this world of his
own people will be happier and better
because he lived and wrote to them of the
joy of living.
  The success of "Alpsburg" as given by
the Haresfoot players has attracted atten-
tion even beyond intercollegiate bounds.
The excellencies of the production-the
combination of a good book, good music,
good lyrics and a near-professional pres-
entation. need no comment. We saw and
heard all; we applauded: we went home
satisfied, even if the other fellow did take
our one girl, our best girl, and hide her
in the back row. We thought of the phil-
osophical tramp rompinr away with cir-
cumstances and pondered that this other
fellow had asked the best girl three weeks
before we h)ad. Isn't it wonderful how
circumstances alter cases even today?
   "Alpsburg" has done more than please
audiences and make us proud that it is of
Wisconsin's own. It has made the U~ni-
versitv of Chica(go take rather keen no-

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