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The vicissitudes of Soviet Russia's literati continue. The word from Moscow is that Poet Evgeny Evtushenko, 36, has been dismissed from the editorial board of the influential magazine Yunost (Youth) because of some controversial poems and imprudent comments on the invasion of Czechoslovakia. But there was one moment of cheer last week for Moscow's literary circles. The news got around that Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who incurred the wrath of the regime for his allegorical novels (The First Circle, Cancer Ward), has been elected to honorary membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the National Institute of Arts and Letters. He thus joins Dmitry Shostakovich and the late Boris Pasternak, the only other Russians to receive the honor.
While two singers clutched each other in classic Jeanette MacDonald-Nelson Eddy fashion and crooned out the endless "you-hoo-hoo-hoo's" of Indian Love Call, all eyes in the Chautauqua, N.Y., audience were on the animated accompanist at the piano. At 89, the song's composer, Rudolf Friml, was a lively reminder of the day when schmalz was king. His hair was still brown ("It's all mine, and the color is not out of a bottle"), his step was still sprightly as he presided over the program staged in his honor, playing bits of Liszt and Chopin between such Friml favorites as Donkey Serenade and Only a Rose. What's more, the composer of 33 operettas thinks he may still have a trick or two up his sleeve. "One fellow wants to do a show with me called Castle in Spain," he said. "Maybe I will. I have lots of music ready."