The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio on January 7, 1979 · Page 107
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The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio · Page 107

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Sunday, January 7, 1979
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THE CINCINNATI ENQUIRER Sunday, January 7, 1979 - F-7 D Books On Smoking And How Not To BY PEGGY C0NSTANT1NE 1979 Chicago Sun-Times How about starting the new year by sitting in an empty room, with no TV or even a window to look out? You sit there to smoke. Nothing else occupies you. Just a pack of cigarettes and a stopwatch. You light up and take a puff every six seconds until you reel from nausea, dizziness, dry throat and burning tongue, or you get through three cigarettes, whichever comes first This is called "rapid aversive smoking." The Idea is to realize how awful smoking is when you aren't eating, drinking, talking or associating a cigarette with something pleasant The next step is to call the whole smoking tnlngoff. ' It is lousy to suggest you start the new year with self-improvement resolutions. But new self-help books toward a Better You tend to appear at this time of year. The "rapid aversive" idea comes from psychologists Brian G. Danaher and Edward Lichtenstein's Become an Ex-Smoker (Prentice-Hall, $4.95). Their basic idea is behavior therapy to divert, redirect and relearn your habits, particularly your need for the weed. The book has exercises to relieve tensions and ideas for changing bad habits for good ones. It does not dwell on the physical harm of cigarettes. ANTHONY OWEN Colby, MD, never lets up on the harm of cigarettes. His A Doctor's Book on Smoking and How to Quit (Contemporary Books, $4.95) tells you very gently about heart and lung diseases and how much physical harm you can avoid by simply giving up smoking. Colby gives a two-week program to ease yourself off cigarettes, a program similar to Danaher and Lichtenstein's. '- JACQUELYN ROGERS, who founded Smoke-Ender, has ' written You Can Stop ( Pocket Books, $1.95) based on the expensive program. She also advises behavior therapy, including a hard look at self to see why and when you smoke and how you can do something else -during those crucial moments. She also gives of case' histories of ex-smokers. ! If you need one of the nonsmoking treatises, pick Colby's, The physician doesnt waste as many words as the other authors, . , ROGER WILLIAMS Harris-How to Keep on Smoking and Live (St Martin's Press, $3.95) is cheaty. He calls his system the "world's second best way to give up smoking." All he requires is that you switch to low tar and nicotine cigarettes until you are ready to give up smoking altogether. He's stretching a point, writing a book based on tables of popular cigarettes' tar and nicotine, information you can read in newspaper ads. WITHOUT A cigarette, there's no question that you're going to get tense. All the more reason to stand, lift, walk, climb and carry things every day to be physically and emotionally sound. That's the kind of advice, and how to do it, that you get from Laurence E. Morehouse and Leonard Cross' Maximum Performance (Pocket Books, $2.50). It starts off with a "tension checklist," a quiz everyone passes hands down. Are you squinting? Are your teeth clenched. Are you scratching your face? Hunching your shoulders. Tapping your feet? You're tense. Stop it through exercise and right thinking. Here is a book full of little exercises to get yourself off that tension list: Turn your head or pull up your legs, no matter where you are, and you'll feel better. Sq Jhe authors promise. CORRECT SPELLING is an area of life ignored by nearly everyone these days. What's wrong with saying you'll make spelling better your new year's resolution? There's a good book to help. Educational editor Lee C. Delghton concentrates on spellings of 20,000 troublesome words in Handbook of American English SpeMng(Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, $1.95 ). He doesnt have any definitions. You know which words you always trip over. Some of the toughies some reporters named and included in the book: assassinate, calendar, stationery (writing materials), bigamous, souvenir and yield. ' He also gives simple rules to remember if you have to figure out how to spell a word. Among . his handy hints: "A limited number of words In American nance reerularlv end in re: those in the common language are . . . acre, genre, mediocre, macaore, massacre, chancre, wiseacre, timbre, ogre and lucre " The Gnome That Turned Into A Giant BY BARBARA VARRO 1978 Chicago Sun-Times From tiny gnomes, giant product promotions do grow. At least that's what art-book publisher Harry N. Abrams Inc., not known for its wild and crazy ways, discovered when it launched a marketing blitz based on seller Gnomes by Wil Huygen and Poortvliet The spawning of paraphernalia by the book is almost eerie. It's as though the gentle little people who live quietly in the bowels of the earth have turned into competitive capitalists intent on flooding the world with gnomabilia. Some facts about the book and the ness, call it happy hype, that it has generated: The book has been on the best-seller list for a year and more than 700,000 copies-of the hardcover book priced at $17.50, have been sold. A special Bantam paperback edition, costing $9.95, will be out Feb. 14. Since October, 1977, when "Gnomes" hit the book stores, more than $10 million of gnome-related items have been sold, thing from baby hats and bottles to posters and hand-painted porcelain figurines. More than 200 items based on the book are being marketed by the publisher as well as licensees. A hundred department stores country used a gnome theme for their mas decorations. CBS-TV-Tomorrow Entertainment will produce a one-hour animated Gnomes, written by Ray Bradbury, in ber, 1979. LENA TABORI, Abrams' vice president of special sales, admits that the success of gnomes has exceeded the publisher's expecta tions. "We discovered that we cannot un derestimate the power of the gnomes," she said. "Everything about the book has been remarkable. For instance, It hit the national bestseller lists Just three weeks after it came out, which is unusual for an art book that sells for $17.50." ' She said that Abrams had a hint was on to something big at the 1977 booksell ers convention where "Gnomes" was In Myth And Metaphor, Man Invented the Wolf OF WOLVES AND MEN, by Barry Holstun Lopez, Scribners, $14.95. BY JOHN LEONARD 1979 N.Y. Times News Service It is the thesis of Barry Lopez that we have "invented" the wolf, Imagined him in myth and 'metaphor, made him stand for everything from the devil to our sexual unconscious, and that for the most part we have not been kind. It is his hunch that we will be kinder in the future, at least in our thoughts, as "from the prisons of our cities we look out to wilderness'' and sense that wolves "are somehow correct in the universe and we are somehow still at odds with it." By then, most wolves will be dead. . - TO BE sure, the idea of the wolf as warrior-hero and the idea of the benevolent she-wolf the nurturing mother of Romulus and Remus - are older than recorded history. And Apollo was variously mixed up with wolves. And Fenris, according to most accounts of Teutonic mythology, was a "pleasant-tempered" wolf until the gods chained him up and Jammed a sword through the roof of his mouth so he couldn't howl, which led eventually to Got-terdammerung and Wagnerian opera and other bad things. ' But most of the time, in legend and literature and folk lore and our dreams, the wolf is associated with twilight and evil, wars and witches, whores and feral children, cannibalism. He is the scapegoat onto which we project our own "sins of greed, lust, and deception." Consider werewolves and "Little Red Rid-inghood." Consult Aesop and Dante and Shakespeare, or Daniel Defoe I'd Rather Be A Canary BY LARRY SWINDELL, Knkjtrt-Ridder Newspapers In Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis, Gregor Samsa awakens to find himself turned Into, a huge insect William Wharton's Birdy Is about a boy's obsession to become a canary. Wharton's story otherwise hasnt the most remote resemblance to Kafka's except In its power to make an outrageous premise believable. And I'll suggest one other feasible association: Both works may be classics. The Kafka, published in 1915, already is that; and 64 years from now, readers may still be applauding Wharton's tantalizing first novel. Astonishingly original In conception, Birdy Is remarkably conventional in execution. This is not experimental writing; there is no preciousness in Wharton's prose. The narrative achieves credibility precisely because, it is direct and articulate, and the Issue is further stabilized by Wharton's employment of alternating narrators, both In the first person. THE STORY, framed for the flashback device, begins and ends in the psychiatric ward of a World War II military hospital. Al, although seriously wounded and facially bandaged - he is scheduled for astically received. "That's when we decided to make a commitment to produce qualitt prod-ucts through our Abrams Art Papers division," she said, "and to make arrangements with reputable licensees. We knew we were on to something when the book almost sold out that Christmas. Then, instead of slid-ing off the best-seller lists after the Christmas season, which generally happens with art books, Gnomes remained on the lists." The first item to be produced by Abrams was a 1978 Gnomes calendar at $6.95. More than 400,000 of them were sold within a couple of months. Then came note paper and puzzles and gift wrapping and on to licensed products, such as watches and clocks and soap and Christmas tree ornaments. And there is more to come, including dolls with the distinctive cone-shaped caps, music boxes, sheets and towels and even kitchen accessories drawing on a pun for its name: "gnome on the range." WHY ARE people so turned on by some mythical little people who rubbed noses to greet each other and lived happily to a ripe old age of 400? To get some answers to that question, the publisher went to psychologist Joyce Brothers. According to Tabori, "Brothers thinks it's because in times of trouble or depression, people want to be able to relate to someone who says to them, 'There, there, dear,' as the kindly gnomes do. She calls It the 'there, there, dear' syndrome." Another theory offered by others who tried to analyze the phenomenon, said Tabori, is that many people In these hectic modern times feel a need to exercise their fantasies. The book gives those people an opportunity to invest their imaginations into the lives of the gnomes. Tabori herself believes the current fascination with fantasy is a major reason why Gnomes, a book that isn't selling sex or self help, is doing well. "Look at the success of the science fiction movie, 'Star Wars' and the products emanating from It" she said. "And in publishing, gothic romances that take readers back to another time and another world are the strongest selling genre. People obvioulsy are interested In escapism." its best Rien inspired super - busi worth every In the Christ special, Novem that it enthusi and Wllla Cather and Jack London. " He's the beast in us, which must be killed. So much for what might be called the Freudian gloss on wolf-imagery. THERE IS also a Marxist gloss, although Lopez doesn't call It that. The wolf is an enemy of property rights. Property begins with agriculture and the domestication of animals. Our manifest destiny was to get nature down and break its rhythms, to draw lines on the land and build fences, to own. The tireless, silent wolf, alone or in packs, crosses property lines; his relation to the world is far from bourgeois. No matter that he avoids us when he can, and that more livestock are killed by feral dogs than by wolves, who would prefer caribou. The wolf stares back at us; slaughter him, preferably from an airplane. Lopez tells us: "Bounty hunters kill wolves for money; trappers kill them for pelts; scientists kill them for data; big game hunters kill them for trophies." And: "A lot of people didnt Just kill wolves; they tortured them. They set wolves on fire and tore their jaws out and cut their Achilles tendons and turned dogs loose on them. They poisoned them " with strychnine, arsenic, and cyanide, on such a scale that millions of other animals were killed in the process." Finally: "In the 20th Century people pulled up alongside wolves in airplanes and snowmobiles and blew them apart with shotguns for sport." NOW CONTRAST these Freudian plastic surgery arrives on a special mission. His old pal Birdy seems to have flipped out, and Army doctors cannot communicate with him. Al begins to talk to Birdy familiarly, patiently about the adventures of their teen years, when they played baseball and shared a hobby fascination for pigeons. Birdy merely hops around the floor, appearing to make no connection with Al. But as soon as the narrative begins to be conveyed in Italic type, we realize that we are sharing Birdy's innermost thoughts. We are absorbed immediately, but with deepening Intensity, Into Birdy's story, as both Birdy and Al retell It Before the war, they are boys in a small Pennsylvania town (apparently a suburb of Philadelphia). Al, belonging to a combative Sicilian family, is seen from the beginning .as an agreeably raffish contrast to the introverted Birdy. In adolescence their close friendship erodes as Al becomes more fascinated by girls and less so by birds of the more conventional order. Birdy, though, is captivated now by the canary. He listens Intently to the canary's song, until he has divined the bird's "Language". He observes the canary's habits and behavior. Above all, he envies the yellow bird's capacity for flight. SHE MAINTAINS that adults respond to Gnomes because many are still children at heart. "The response is similar to that for J.R.R. Tolkien's hobbits," she said. "People love the gnomes because they are good and they represent a return to nature and the simple pleasures in life. Gnomes treat others with gentleness and warmth and love. They are hard-working woodworkers. They are conservationists who use solar energy. They don't overpopulate (gnome couples have twins to replace themselves). They are friendly to everyone, including animals." Among the many promotion activities for the book, the one that was the most amusing, Tabori said, was a "gnomenclature contest." Among the puns that are now immortalized on such items as buttons, bookmarks and bumper stickers. Gnome wasn't built in a day. There's no place like gnome. You're gnome-body till somebody loves you. A city gnome is a metrognome. Jolly fat gnomes who love to eat are gastrognomes. Gnomes avoid drafts lest they catch gnomonia. Commercial hype, of course, but silly fun nonetheless. No one can be sure when gnomania will end, but Abrams already has another book about little people of the netherworld ready to take over. The book Faeries, by Brian Froud and Alan Lee, has been out for a couple of months. Tabori is watching it closely, but at the moment no marketing blitz is planned. "There is quite a difference between gnomes, who are benevolent beings," she said, "and fairies who are primarily malevolent. Whereas Jnomes dealt with the culture of those little people. Faeries deals with legends and lore about strange, enchanted creatures who are mischievous at best and dangerous at worst." SO YOU think Abrams is hung up on little people? Not so, Tabori said. Next September the firm will publish Giant. "It's going to ex plore the myths and legends of the big people, most of whom were viewed as evil, but it seems that there were some good giants." Entrepreneurial types may think there is more gold to be mined from other legendary ' little people. They may be right. Among the categories of mythical wee folk who may and Marxist glosses with the point of view of pre-agricultural societies, nomadic hunting tribes like the American Indians and the Eskimos. The wolf was respected, even imitated, and got a favorable mention . in various creation myths. Wolves, like people, were hunters and providers, individualistic and yet loyal to a social unit. Wolves, like people, were a part of nature, a fact and a mystery and a pulse. According to the Pawnees, a wolf could hear a cloud passing overhead. LOPEZ REFUSES to romanticize the wolf, althqugh he seems to be suggesting that a little mystery is good for us and scientists won't ever understand as much as they think they already know. And he does ; moon on a little about "the conversation of death" between the predator and the prey. And he sounds a bit like Norman Mailer on the sacred character of meat that has been hunted down versus the profane nature of steak and lamb chops. But he is dry eyed: wolves have been known to kill people. They do occasionally kill more than they can or want to eat. They also kill one another. On the other hand, they play tag with their pups, scare pintail ducks for the fun of it and practice "a kind of fallow field farming by not killing deer in certain parts of their territories for four or five years, letting the prey population recover there." We don't, he says, really know what they're thinking. "Of Wolves and Men" is Just as interesting on the descriptive level as it is on the interpretive level. A poet slips quietly out of Lopez's matter-of-fact prose, like an eye on a long nerve-string, to dance and feel. The illustrations abet this poet by never being cute. Poetry isn't cute, and neither are wolves. Both hear the cloud passing overhead. To quote Robinson Jeffers: What but the wolf's tooth whittled so fine The fleet limbs of the antelope. A very nice book. BIRDY ALSO has dreams; and rather like Don Quixote, he begins to be dominated by them. Al may be a Sancho Panza equivalent who sees things as they are, but in any event he is not privy to the fantasy existence to which Birdy capitulates. In a recurring dream that creates its own continuity, Birdy "becomes" a canary. He meets and adores Perta, a female, and mates with her. They raise little yellow songbirds. And Birdy begins to attain a serenity that human existence -has never yielded. The reviewer is sternly challenged to make this novel seem anything but ridiculous. It isn't ridiculous. Under William Wharton's spell, credulity isn't even strained. If imagination is the triumph of art over life, Wharton extends the issue until art triumps over imagination. The reader, lit a trance of his own, not only accepts the protagonist's extraordinary dilemma, but identifies with Birdy, even cheers him on. This is a stunning psychological novel, revealed by two wildly different persons whose voices, however, are about equally charming. I wonder which voice, if either, is more nearly William Wharton's; and I really wonder about Wharton, who seems to have come from out of nowhere, and of whom his publishers (apparently obeying his own whim) are saying approximately nothing. The Orient ir i iwmniiniHni i iirir u .i w ji r-wr r- "- iih i it Famous Train, E.H. Cookridge, BY KRISTIANA GREGORY The Los Angeles Times Mystery, murder, romance. For nearly a century the Orient Express spelled Intrigue: Double agents smoking pipes in velvet-couched trains speeding through .Balkan countryside and Alpine" villages; grande dames sipping champagne while being wooed by Viennese violins. E.H. Cookridge tells intimate tales of the pampered courtesans, kings, crooks, spies, diplomats and millionaires who traveled "history's most famours train." Alfred Hitchcock filmed "The Lady Vanishes" on it. Writers Graham Greene, Eric Ambler, Agatha Christie and Idn Fleming plotted the train into some of their most famous crime escapades. Drama lurked in every car. "THIS UNIQUE caravansary on wheels was a microcosm of the world's intrigues, human passions and unbridled ambitions," Cookridge writes. When first launchedin , 1883, the "Magic Carpet to the Orient" was compared to the luxury of a first-class ocean liner. . Belgian entrepreneur George Nagelmacker envisioned hts train railing the length of the European continent and adopted revolutionary designs from American George Pullman. Nagelmacker hoped to and did cater to the wealthy nobility, businessmen and government officials who were among the few long-distance travelers of the time. Elegance was the way. "The train's Interior . . . had teak and mahogany paneling with inlaid marquetry . . . deep armchairs covered in soft Spanish leather embossed In gold patterning, spring-loaded roller blinds that could be lowered to exclude drafts and ensure complete privacy, augmented by the flowered damask drapes held back when not in use by silk cords and tassels of gold thread." Sleeping cars were warmed by wool blankets, eiderdown quilts and silk sheets. Flower-adorned chamber pots hid discreetly under porcelain basins, and a silent atend-ant waited nearby to clean the toilet cabinet after each passenger's use. Rare tapestries hung In deeply carpeted-corridors, and a gentlemen's smoking salon with its heavy leather fauteuils and foreign newspapers rivaled trie ambiance of an elite London club. For les femmes, a separate drawing room resembled "the lady's wing of a French chateau." WAITERS SERVED exotic, eight-course meals on woven linens with solid silver cutlery, Baccarat cyrstal and goldrimmed china. Pre-World War I, they wore silk stockings,-vel-vet breeches, silver-buckled shoes and powdered wigs. Those lavish interiors, gluttonous meals and persnickety passengers are well described, but Orient Express at times Itches like an eighth-grade history lesson and plods tediously through pages of wartime politics. A FEW great yarns of misadven represent limitless possibilities for commercial exploitation: Brownies: Shaggy, and sometimes very ugly, creatures (found in Scotland and Wales and the Isle of Man) who generally adopt a household. They've been known to come out of their hiding places at night to complete the chores left unfinished by humans. Dwarfs: Originally in Germany and Scandinavian countries, these are strong and usually bearded beings who mine precious metals. Because of their association with Walt Disney's "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," adults and children think of them as appealing tykes. Elves: Ancient fairies in Norse mythology. The good ones, tailed light elves, danced in the air and on the grass and rested in trees. The bad ones, known as black elvesr lived in the ground and moved through the earth as though it were water. Some were ugly with humpbacks, and they could be dangerous,' causing disease in humans and animals. Gremlins: Troublesome creatures that allegedly caused mechanical difficulties in airplanes. They were supposedly originated by British pilots during World War I, but became more popular during World War IL Hobgoblins: Mischievous sprites, generally with pointed ears, found in the British Isles. One of the most famous hobgoblins is ' William Shakespeare's Puck, In "A Midsummer Night's Dream." Leprechauns: Sly, solitary cobblers of , Irish heritage who wear tri-cornered hats (which enable some of them to spin on their heads like tops) and live under leaves or hedges. - Pixies: Urchins with pointed ears who , sometimes take the shape of hedgehogs. Thought to have originated In Dartmoor section of Cornwall, England. They generally wear bells that can be heard softly tinkling on the moors. Trolls: Scandinavian dwarfs who have an aversion to daylight and live in caves or hills. These mean little creatures with funny faces were around in doll forms during the late '50s and early '60s when they were the rage with college students. ' ' Exoress: t Ttf jl in i vs erv ; ii i n i iji iiir? wvin in a fviuai Random House, $12.95. ": ture are weaved througri the verbi- age. i lie presiueiu ui me r icuuii Republic (in 1920) fell off the train i Ul 1 IV... t,. A in ilia utuauiaa. uic cauich juuiucu . track and crashed into a Frankfurt -restaurant; the train was marooned in a raging blizzard for a week, nearly "starving and freezing (the passengers) to death"; It was hijacked by Turkish bandits: King Boris of Bulgaria insisted on driving the train, causing a near calamity. Cookrldge's best lines are quotes from famous passenger F. Scott Fitzgerald describing the Orient Express as "unlike American trains, absorbed in an intense destiny of their own and scornful of people in another world less swift and breathless, this train was part of the country through which it passed. Its breath stirred the dust from the palm leaves, the cinders mingled with the dry dung in the gardens Although the book is a bit dry and dusty itself, nostalgic photos and drawings chug the reader along. best sellers Compiled by Publishers Weekly Fict ion l WAR AND REMEMBRANCE Herman Wouk 2. CHESAPEAKE-James A. Mt-chener 3. FOOLS DIE Mario Puzo 4. THE STORIES OF JOHN CHEEVER-John Cheever 5. SECOND GENERATION Howard Fast 6. THE FAR PAVILLIONS-MM. Kaye : 7. THE COUP-t-Joftn Updike ' '. "I 8. EVERGREEN Belva Plain 9. SIMARILLION-J.R.R. Tolkien '. TNI tn f t n I A DISTANT, MIRROR Barbara W. Tuchman 2. MOMMIE DEAREST-Christuia Crawford , 1 AMERICAN CAESAR-William ' Manchester 4. IN SEARCH OF HISTORY Theodore H. White , 5. FAERIES-Brian Froud & Alan Lee 6. GNOMES-Wil Huygen 7. IF LIFE IS A BOWL OF CHERRIES-Erma Bombeck 8. THE COMPLETE BOOK OF . RUNNING James Fixx . 9. TUTANKHAMUN: THE UNTOLD STORY-Thomas Hoving HfiOOKRACK . Parkack iMki ; , - TRADE 2 for I 1H SPRINGFIELD PE Springda ' 3096 W. ALBRAITH Groostwck Mon.Sal.

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