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ume does not disappoint one's expectations: it contains real gems and masterpieces.
A striking proof of the vitality of the exiled literature lies in the fact that not only old writers continue to write, but also new ones, talented and original, emerge. Such are Aldanov, Grebenstchikov, Lukash, Mrs. Tzvietayeva, as well as a few others. Here I shall mention only one of their works "The Devil's Bridge" by Aldanov ("Sovriemennya Zapisky"). It also is an historical novel, forming the second part of the trilogy "The Thinker". Its first part, "The Ninth of Thermidor", appeared about a year ago and won the warm praise of Russian and foreign critics. The two novels cover respectively the last years of the great French Revolution and the Napoleonic epoch. History is novelized in them with a rare art and skeptical elegance, combined with an impeccable knowledge and understanding of the epoch.
It is typical that the mind of a Russian writer émigré should turn to the French Revolution. There is a deep and interesting analogy between the Russian exiled literature of today and the French exiled literature of one hundred and thirty years ago. History repeats itself. Read (or reread) Châteaubriand's "Mémoires d'outretombe" and you will think that you have read the history of Russian exiles. Châteaubriand himself, Count Joseph de Maistre, Rivarol, and many others matured into famous writers in exile. Just as there is now a Russian Paris, there was then a French London with French newspapers, publishers, etc. And, before his situation improved, Châteaubriand, like almost all his Russian colleagues of today, had passed through months of misery and privations. Add to this the striking similarity of some ideas and reflections,
and you will see that history really does repeat itself, at least once in a while.
ALEXANDER I. NAZAROFF
Notes from France
BOOKS are written in series and read
in series. This is due, first, to the fact that everyone in Paris reads and writes. Ten years ago there were a great many good books written on various subjects, from various points of view, by men, generally speaking, of from thirty five to forty five. These writers are not replaced, they still exist, but they are for the time overshadowed by a group of men of from twenty four to thirty who seem to have sprung up together, at the same time, and who have something of the same earth about them. Cadmus's army again — and from still more fertile fields. They produce one book after another, generally novels of us, and of now bearing certain interior signs of similarity. If I find they share in the same heredity, that there is some relationship among them, I shall be severely criticized by their indefatigable self analysis. They do resemble each other in this: They have had the same education, and they have done the war. Their education has given them the same starting point of purgation, they do not feel obliged to repeat what has been said before; and second, all of them have the same instinct, idea, hallucination — call it any name you can find that their time is horribly limited, and that in this short time they must succeed in a concentration, intemperate and desperate, of the best they have.
All these books are something more than good books.
There is "Etienne" of Marcel Arland
(Nouvelle Revue Française). A remarkable article of his, "Un Nouveau Mal de Siècle", which came out in the "Nouvelle Revue Française" last spring, gives the nature of his preoccupations. "Etienne" is a tragedy a summary perhaps, or a concrete instance, of the mal de siècle. Little by little, we are brought from the moment of apprehension of a gigantic désœuvrement to its recognition, then to its analysis; now we are confronted with its concrete manifestation in the lives of the personages of this book. With one step further we shall be forced to deal with it in the lives of the people themselves. The French are beginning to demand that our affirmations, or our negations, extend beyond the realm of literature. In "Etienne", Arland has given himself the problem of seeing a living creature work out his own inquietudes. He leads Etienne, after having given him the full quota of experience at the age of sixteen, to a blind and exasperated state of failure. But no one has "failed" at sixteen, it has been objected, and a sequel is suggested. I doubt if Arland believes in the value or the possibility of solving problems. That he has presented us with a good one should be enough. "Etienne" has been severely criticized on the ground that Arland has too well read Gide's "Isabelle". Although the question of influences is always interesting as a matter of history, it should not be allowed to take all the attention from the book. I persist in liking "Etienne", not because it is well written so many books are that but because it is a ferment.
Then there is Philippe Soupault. I think I must have spoken before of his two novels, "Le Bon Apôtre" (Simon Kra), and "A la Dérive" (Collection Colette). The first is another psychological study of Paris in relation to a
hero, the second an excellent example of Soupault's cinema style, the life of a vagrant told in brief affirmations, from ship to bar to gold mine. "Les Frères Durandeau" (Grasset) is also a result of moving picture technique - another gesture, another movement of the arm. We see the three brothers' photographs for a moment on the screen, then the houses they live in and the women they live with; the various ordinary episodes unroll. We must follow quickly since the narrator never retraces his steps; and when the lights are turned on we go out of the cinema theatre. The difficulty with this book is that Soupault is an acrobat, and an enthusiast with certain male delicacies. His energies are not at their best in treating of a bourgeois family. This former dadaïst, this inventor of theories and practices, has given himself too small a frame and has kept too exclusively outside of its edges. We can't help expecting a great deal from Soupault. He is the possessor of that perhaps supreme quality - charm. We have never quite had the cup full of the best wine with him.
Nicole Stiébel, in "Jacqueline, ou Le Paradis Deux Fois Perdu", has succeeded not only in marking her special terms of action and reaction with the century and these people we live. among, but in doing it in book form, as a composition, not as a confession. Rare for a woman and difficult. Their qualities do not lie that way. This is a book that women will read with something more than attention, because a woman exists in it and is not dwarfed and overshadowed by the giant size of the man author. More humble than Arland, she does not demand that the condition of non-adaptation to the world be universal. On the contrary, those that maintain an equilibrium are enviable; her criticism is directed only
against herself. The novel is an interesting development of a woman's two marriages, first to a devoted and contented husband, then naturally to the tormenting and indifferent egoist. The "Paradise Twice Lost" interprets from the opposite standpoint, and in a certain honest measure, a state of affairs recurrent enough. It is handled with accelerated speed rates, and corresponds in its paradox to the exigencies of our time.
PIERRE DE LANUX
Prisoners, Prizes, and New
EORG HIRSCHFELD, for many years the intimate friend of the great theatre director Otto Brahm, has published a volume of correspondence under the title "Briefe und Erinnerungen" (Georg Stilke, Berlin). The famous apostle of naturalism in the theatre reveals himself in his letters as man and artist, and the collection, supplied with copious notes and explanations by his devoted friend, will be devoured by those interested in theatrical history and in the forerunner of Max Reinhardt.
An important book of value to historians is Friedrich Meinecke's "Idee der Staataräson" (Oldenburg, Munich). In this deeply reasoned book the attempt is made to define the right of the State to overpower the individual and demand his subordination to the whole. How dangerous the too entire subordination can be, the world war has shown us; and Meinecke has laid the idea of State bare of all would be beautifying phrases about the "natural order of things" and so on. He builds up the ideal of service to the State and shows how it may in the
future be achieved without a narrow nationalism making of each State a fetish and a juggernaut.
A book which is exciting much interest at the moment is Hendrik Van Loon's "Story of Mankind" which has been translated and published just in time for the Christmas book season and is to be found in every bookseller's window. Beside it, in equal popularity next to the new Hauptmann, Mann, and Wassermann, reposes Ossendowski's "Beasts, Men and Gods", which would certainly some time since have climbed to the place of best seller if the Germans had the statistic habit in respect to book sales. It is queer that this fantastically orderly people does not seem to care for this interesting standard of popularity. In Germany one calculates the success of a book only by hearing everyone talk of it and discovering that everyone has read it. Ossendowski's success has been increased by a semi-scandal. Professor Sven Hedin, the well known expert on things Tibetan, charged him with relating good stories as hard facts. Voices arose in defense, and the matter is not yet settled; it is reported that the quarrel will end in a legal action.
An important political book which is being much read is "Aus Meinem Leben", reminiscences of Prince Alexander Hohenlohe, published by the Frankfurter Societäts Druckerei. As second son of the Chancelor Hohenlohe affectionately known in the people's tongue as "Uncle Chlodwig", this prince had every opportunity to peep behind the screens of kings and diplomats. His nose for gossip is good and his judgments sound. His pleasure in telling truths, whether convenient or not for all his hearers and readers, is probably not lessened by the fact that he fell into disgrace with the former Kaiser Wilhelm II for editing and pub
lishing his father's memoirs in 1906. Forced to live unwillingly in political retirement, Prince Hohenlohe lost no whit of his interest in things political, as these fascinating memoirs prove.
The same publisher has just issued a remarkable book by Gunther, Freiherr von Pechmann, "Die Qualitätsarbeit" (Work of Quality), which the author calls in a subtitle "a handbook for merchants, industrials, and commercial politicians" - by which he means to appeal of course to those who make commerce into politics, not those who make politics into a commerce. Although written for Germans and dealing with German conditions, the book treats of such universal thoughts and problems that the native of any country would be stimulated by reading it. The high ethical standard taken up in this practical question of the value and use of high-quality work in the general market, is typical of the attitude which more and more gains ground here among industrials of importance the Werkbund ideal the desire to keep up the standard for the standard's sake, not only because of the importance to trade. "What is true of the individual is true of the nation; it grows toward the goal it sets", declares the author, and the sentence might serve as a motto for this deeply interesting book.
chuckle, many a droll picture and quip, the wanderer through these volumes finds himself absorbing a good dose of cultural history, seeing a nation's soul revealed, its fantasy and its oddities, its particular way of looking at life and the world.
That one man journal, "Der Querschnitt", original, somewhat fluttering and unstable, full of quips and quotations, illustrations, and the personality of its editor, H. von Wedderkopf, has passed into the hands of the mammoth Ullstein Verlag. But since the editor remains unchanged, the magazine will probably retain its original character.
An enthusiastic yet restrained appreciation of that delicate, fantastic yet powerful master of etching and illustration, Ferdinand Staeger, written by Reinhold Conrad Muschler, has just been issued by Max Koch, Leipzig. Staeger's name and work are famous far beyond his native land, and many will be glad to possess this critical account of painter and achievement. An interesting novelty lies in the fact that the cover and end papers for the book were designed by Staeger himself; and the reproductions of the illustrations, over a hundred and fifty, mostly full page, and the type employed were chosen under supervision of the artist. A pleasure for lovers of Staeger's fanciful hand, reminding one somewhat of Walter Crane, and a surprise for those unacquainted with his art.
The "Reichsverband der Deutschen Presse" (German National Press League), meeting in Berlin, has been discussing a project for a journalistic statute. The journalists, not content with the freedom from without which is now practically their own, now demand freedom from within. That is, they desire to create and maintain a class of free and responsible editors who
will dare to withstand any attempt to exercise undue influence on the part of the publisher of the paper, with his business and other interests. The responsibility of the editor must be twofold, declares the proposed statute
commercial responsibility toward his concern and moral responsibility toward his public. The journalists want to do away with any attempt on the part of the publisher to exercise direct editorial influence, unless he be capable of establishing himself as editor, with editorial responsibilities; otherwise publishers' views must be printed as such, apart from the editorial ægis. An inspiring fight for newspaper probity; one may watch with interest the development of these ideal projects to see whether this sketched out statute ever becomes law.
One of the oldest established and most popular magazines in Germany, "Velhagen und Klasing's Monatshefte", offered a prize of ten thousand marks for the best short story. The result is just out. Faced with three competitors of equal merit, the publishers generously increased the prize. The prize winners are all well known in the short story world-Friede H. Kraze, Dr. Oskar Jellinek, and Wolfgang Goetz. They receive five
thousand marks each. A Munich newspaper, the "Münchner Neueste Nachrichten", has offered one hundred thousand marks for a serial novel· extremely high, reckoned even in dollars. Many pens will be set
scratching by the announcement, and the only thing the authors will fear is a new devaluation.
The evangelical Synod of Germany has begun a process against the world famous humorous weekly "Simplicissimus" of Munich, on the score of blasphemy! One cannot expect an evangelical synod to have a sense of humor, but if the case is not settled out of court it should provide some amusing reading.
Thomas Mann has just returned to his home in Munich after a most successful lecture tour in Denmark. He gave his lecture on Goethe and Tolstoy and was received everywhere with great enthusiasm. He proposes to make a lecture tour to Norway and Sweden in the spring.
The Drei-Masken Verlag set a fashion in facsimile reproduction of famous manuscripts, and two other publishing houses have now followed suit. The Paul Zsolny Verlag, Vienna, has published Gustav Mahler's "Tenth Symphony" in facsimile, even going so far as to imitate the covering portfolio and the paper of the original. Still more interesting is an exact facsimile of Beethoven's "Ninth Symphony". This appears in Verlag Kistner und Siegel, Leipzig. The reproduction, from the original manuscript preserved in the Prussian State Library, is beautifully done, and must be a joy to all adorers of the greatest German musician.
ETHEL TALBOT SCHEFFAUER