EDUCATION: Writers' Teacher

In the top rank of U. S. writers is a large and loyal cult whose members are bound together by a common axiom of composition that they had to memorize in college: "Individualize by specific detail." They were all students of Yale's famed Professor John Milton ("Johnny") Berdan. Last week Johnny Berdan's former students, now heavily concentrated in Hollywood and Manhattan, as one man rattled their teacups (a Berdan way of saying they were unnerved). They had just learned that Johnny, after 38 years, was retiring from Yale.

To Yale men this was...

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