Page images
PDF
EPUB

(Nouvelle Revue Française). A remark- hero, the second an excellent example able article of his, “Un Nouveau Mal of Soupault's cinema style, the life of a de Siècle”, which came out in the vagrant told in brief affirmations, from "Nouvelle Revue Française" last ship to bar to gold mine. "Les Frères spring, gives the nature of his preoc- Durandeau" (Grasset) is also a result cupations. "Etienne" is a tragedy - of moving picture technique — another a summary perhaps, or a concrete gesture, another movement of the arm. instance, of the mal de siècle. Little We see the three brothers' photographs by little, we are brought from the for a moment on the screen, then the moment of apprehension of a gigantic houses they live in and the women they dés@uvrement to its recognition, then to live with; the various ordinary epiits analysis; now we are confronted sodes unroll. We must follow quickly with its concrete manifestation in the since the narrator never retraces his lives of the personages of this book. steps; and when the lights are turned With one step further we shall be forced on we go out of the cinema theatre. to deal with it in the lives of the people The difficulty with this book is that themselves. The French are begin- Soupault is an acrobat, and an enthuning to demand that our affirmations, siast with certain male delicacies. His or our negations, extend beyond the energies are not at their best in treating realm of literature. In “Etienne", of a bourgeois family. This former Arland has given himself the problem dadaist, this inventor of theories and of seeing a living creature work out his practices, has given himself too small a own inquietudes. He leads Etienne, frame and has kept too exclusively outafter having given him the full quota of side of its edges. We can't help exexperience at the age of sixteen, to a pecting a great deal from Soupault. blind and exasperated state of failure. He is the possessor of that perhaps But no one has “failed” at sixteen, it supreme quality — charm. We have has been objected, and a sequel is never quite had the cup full of the best suggested. I doubt if Arland believes wine with him. in the value or the possibility of solving Nicole Stiebel, in "Jacqueline, ou problems. That he has presented us Le Paradis Deux Fois Perdu”, has sucwith a good one should be enough. ceeded not only in marking her special "Etienne" has been severely criti- terms of action and reaction with the cized on the ground that Arland has too century and these people we live well read Gide's “Isabelle". Although among, but in doing it in book form, as the question of influences is always in- a composition, not as a confession. teresting as a matter of history, it Rare for a woman and difficult. Their should not be allowed to take all the qualities do not lie that way. This is a attention from the book. I persist in book that women will read with someliking “Etienne”, not because it is well thing more than attention, because a written so many books are that - woman exists in it and is not dwarfed but because it is a ferment.

and overshadowed by the giant size of Then there is Philippe Soupault. I the man author. More humble than think I must have spoken before of his Arland, she does not demand that the two novels, “Le Bon Apôtre" (Simon condition of non-adaptation to the Kra), and “A la Dérive" (Collection world be universal. On the contrary, Colette). The first is another psycho- those that maintain an equilibrium are logical study of Paris in relation to a enviable; her criticism is directed only

[ocr errors]

G

against herself. The novel is an inter- future be achieved without a narrow esting development of a woman's two nationalism making of each State a marriages, first to a devoted and con- fetish and a juggernaut. tented husband, then naturally to the A book which is exciting much intormenting and indifferent egoist. The terest at the moment is Hendrik Van "Paradise Twice Lost" interprets from Loon's “Story of Mankind” which has the opposite standpoint, and in a cer- been translated and published just in tain honest measure, a state of affairs time for the Christmas book season and recurrent enough. It is handled with is to be found in every bookseller's accelerated speed rates, and corre- window. Beside it, in equal popularity sponds in its paradox to the exigencies next to the new Hauptmann, Mann, of our time.

and Wassermann, reposes OssendowPIERRE DE LANUX

ski'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 Prisoners, Prizes, and New

this fantastically orderly people does German Books

not seem to care for this interesting EORG HIRSCHFELD, for many standard of popularity. In Germany

years the intimate friend of the one calculates the success of a book great theatre director Otto Brahm, only by hearing everyone talk of it and has published a volume of correspond- discovering that everyone has read it. ence under the title “Briefe und Ossendowski's success has been inErinnerungen” (Georg Stilke, Berlin). creased by a semi-scandal. Professor The famous apostle of naturalism in Sven Hedin, the well known expert on the theatre reveals himself in his letters things Tibetan, charged him with reas man and artist, and the collection, lating good stories as hard facts. supplied with copious notes and ex- Voices arose in defense, and the matter planations by his devoted friend, will is not yet settled; it is reported that be devoured by those interested in the quarrel will end in a legal action. theatrical history and in the forerunner An important political book which of Max Reinhardt.

is being much read is “Aus Meinem An important book of value to Leben", reminiscences of Prince Alexhistorians is Friedrich Meinecke's ander Hohenlohe, published by the “Idee der Staataräson" (Oldenburg, Frankfurter Societats Druckerei. As Munich). In this deeply reasoned second son of the Chancelor Hohenlohe book the attempt is made to define the affectionately known in the people's right of the State to overpower the tongue as “Uncle Chlodwig", this individual and demand his subordina- prince had every opportunity to peep tion to the whole. How dangerous the behind the screens of kings and diplotoo entire subordination can be, the mats. His nose for gossip is good and world war has shown us; and Meinecke his judgments sound. His pleasure in has laid the idea of State bare of all telling truths, whether convenient or would be beautifying phrases about the not for all his hearers and readers, is "natural order of things” and so on. probably not lessened by the fact that He builds up the ideal of service to the he fell into disgrace with the former State and shows how it may in the Kaiser Wilhelm II for editing and pub

one

man

lishing his father's memoirs in 1906. chuckle, many a droll picture and Forced to live unwillingly in political quip, the wanderer through these retirement, Prince Hohenlohe lost no volumes finds himself absorbing a good whit of his interest in things political, dose of cultural history, seeing a naas these fascinating memoirs prove. tion's soul revealed, its fantasy and its

The same publisher has just issued a oddities, its particular way of looking remarkable book by Gunther, Freiherr at life and the world. von Pechmann, “Die Qualitätsarbeit" That

journal,

Der (Work of Quality), which the author Querschnitt", original, somewhat flutcalls in a subtitle "a handbook for tering and unstable, full of quips and merchants, industrials, and commer- quotations, illustrations, and the percial politicians” by which he means sonality of its editor, H. von Wedto appeal of course to those who make derkopf, has passed into the hands of commerce into politics, not those who the mammoth Ullstein Verlag. But make politics into a commerce. Als since the editor remains unchanged, the though written for Germans and deal- magazine will probably retain its ing with German conditions, the book original character. treats of such universal thoughts and An enthusiastic yet restrained appreproblems that the native of any coun- ciation of that delicate, fantastic yet try would be stimulated by reading it. powerful master of etching and illusThe high ethical standard taken up in tration, Ferdinand Staeger, written by this practical question of the value and Reinhold Conrad Muschler, has just use of high-quality work in the general been issued by Max Koch, Leipzig. market, is typical of the attitude which Staeger's name and work are famous more and more gains ground here far beyond his native land, and many among industrials of importance - will be glad to possess this critical the Werkbund ideal the desire to account of painter and achievement. keep up the standard for the standard's An interesting novelty lies in the fact sake, not only because of the impor- that the cover and end papers for the tance to trade. “What is true of the book were designed by Staeger himself; individual is true of the nation; it and the reproductions of the illustragrows toward the goal it sets”, declares tions, over a hundred and fifty, mostly the author, and the sentence might full page, and the type employed were serve as a motto for this deeply in- chosen under supervision of the artist. teresting book.

A pleasure for lovers of Staeger's “Five Centuries of German Humor" fanciful hand, reminding one somewhat - a long dose and a strong one. He of Walter Crane, and a surprise for who finds no risibilities tickled here those unacquainted with his art. must confine himself to the home prod- The “Reichsverband der Deutschuct. Seriously, this comprehensive en Presse” (German National Press work in two volumes, collected by W. League), meeting in Berlin, has been Franger and published by R. Piper and discussing a project for a journalistic Company, Munich, is much more than statute. The journalists, not content a long roar of laughter through the with the freedom from without which centuries. A people betrays itself in is now practically their own, now its laughter far more than in its tears. demand freedom from within. That is, Tragedy masks, comedy discloses; and they desire to create and maintain a under cover of many a smile and class of free and responsible editors who

[ocr errors]

will dare to withstand any attempt to scratching by the announcement, and exercise undue influence on the part the only thing the authors will fear is a of the publisher of the paper, with his new devaluation. business and other interests. The The evangelical Synod of Germany responsibility of the editor must be has begun

has begun a process against the world twofold, declares the proposed statute famous humorous weekly “Simplicis

commercial responsibility toward simus” of Munich, on the score of his concern and moral responsibility blasphemy! One cannot expect an toward his public. The journalists evangelical synod to have a sense of want to do away with any attempt on humor, but if the case is not settled the part of the publisher to exercise out of court it should provide some direct editorial influence, unless he be amusing reading. capable of establishing himself as Thomas Mann has just returned to editor, with editorial responsibilities; his home in Munich after a most sucotherwise publishers' views must be cessful lecture tour in Denmark. He printed as such, apart from the edi- gave his lecture on Goethe and Tolstoy torial ægis. An inspiring fight for and was received everywhere with newspaper probity; one may watch great enthusiasm. He proposes to with interest the development of these make a lecture tour to Norway and ideal projects to see whether this Sweden in the spring. sketched out statute ever becomes law. The Drei-Masken Verlag set a

One of the oldest established and fashion in facsimile reproduction of most popular magazines in Germany, famous manuscripts, and two other “Velhagen und Klasing's Monats- publishing houses have now followed hefte", offered a prize of ten thousand suit. The Paul Zsolny Verlag, Vienna, marks for the best short story. The has published Gustav Mahler's “Tenth result is just out. Faced with three Symphony" in facsimile, even going so competitors of equal merit, the pub- far as to imitate the covering portfolio lishers generously increased the prize. and the paper of the original. Still The prize winners are all well known more interesting is an exact facsimile in the short story world — Friede H. of Beethoven's “Ninth Symphony". Kraze, Dr. Oskar Jellinek, and Wolf- This appears in Verlag Kistner und gang Goetz.

They receive five Siegel, Leipzig. The reproduction, thousand marks each. A Munich from the original manuscript preserved newspaper, the "Münchner Neueste in the Prussian State Library, is Nachrichten”, has offered one hundred beautifully done, and must be a joy to thousand marks for a serial novel all adorers of the greatest German extremely high, reckoned even in musician. dollars. Many pens will be set

ETHEL TALBOT SCHEFFAUER

IN THE BOOKMAN'S MAIL

My Pinotice that in your short review of

who recently died. Since that time this

problem has been solved in California by new books, "Paulus Fy" is reviewed as exactly the agency which Miss Putnam "an unsuccessful attempt at sophisticated claims will not supply the need. She writing". I might with equal authority say says “The public libraries will not solve that is sheer nonsense. And that it is this need and there is no use putting up more than merely a matter of opinion. that argument." Yet in forty two of If it were only a matter of opinion, there California's fifty eight counties one can are some seventeen reviewers who disagree go to the remotest school and find a live, with yours.

new collection of children's books and Just what does your reviewer mean? school books which are changed constantly It is an attempt at sophisticated writing. throughout the year, and this because the And since it is an attempt, and the attempt schools pool their funds with a library at has come about, it is successful. How the County Seat which buys with their can such an attempt be unsuccessful? needs in mind, making it a point to meet If it is a question of whether the writing teacher and children and pay attention to is sophisticated, what does sophistication their individual requests. These books mean? Amusing? An ultramodern view- go over mountain and stream, often on point? No bourgeois compromise? Unex- muleback in the mountainous counties, aggerated? Novel? Naive? “Paulus Fy" but they go. Only through cooperation is all of these and more.

could this have been accomplished. But all of this is beside the point. The

Yours sincerely, point, from my standpoint, is that in

ESTELLA DEFORD, this day of so few beginners of promise, County Librarian, Napa, California. it seems to me that there is a duty on the part of THE BOOKMAN, which I and many others use as a guide and help. A duty of saying which book is “a first”. And a duty to consider it rather more carefully DE

EAR EDITOR: than “the arrived". And if, as "Paulus

Kindly lend an eye to my Fy", there's evidence of extraordinary talent, it should not be dismissed with

BACK-TALK a line of scoff. “Paulus Fy" was written by Helene Mullins and her sister. Some In passing a news stand recently, my of the finest verse written by an American eye, accustomed to devouring title pages has appeared in F. P. A.'s column by en route, lighted on this — “How to Stay Helene Mullins. I venture to predict Out of the Movies”. Observing also that that THE BOOKMAN will one day herald this article appeared under John Farrar's her as a great force in American letters. editorship in THE BOOKMAN, I delightedly Sincerely yours,

pressed forty cents upon the bored magS. JAY KAUFMAN. azine vender and went my way with said

BOOKMAN tucked cozily under my arm à la
Ben Franklin. I consumed with

curiosity and my funnybone considerably DS EAR MR. FARRAR:

tickled at seeing such a title in THE BOOKRuth Hale's article “As a Child Reads" MAN — I could not help but wonder what in the November BOOKMAN brought to the subtitles were! Presently I had a mind two things: my grandfather's fond- chance to regale myself on a Hershey bar ness for the old Alsatian proverb, “Paper (you don't have to be thin to write for is patient, one can print anything on it”, Pictures) and the surprising How to and Owen Wister's onetime description of Stay Out of the Movies”, chuckling away something of Harold Bell Wright's as a in the privacy afforded by a full train • "bewildering mess of mildewed pap". bound Somewhere on a holiday.

And then a letter by Amy E. V. Putnam My suspicions were confirmed this in THE BOOKMAN'S Mail for September effusion proved to be merely a part of has been rankling in my mind. Her John Farrar's consistent and laudable camcomplaint on the lack of suitable reading paign against all those stepping studioward. matter for pupils in schools reads like However whimsically, sarcastically and letters written twenty five years ago by dishearteningly written it may be, it does Dr. Burke, the noted California educator contain several truths apparent to the

was

« PreviousContinue »