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The Wilderness. By Boris Pilniak. Alfred A. Knopf.

The Clock. By Aleksei Remizov. Alfred A. Knopf.


By Richardson Wright

FORMAL design is axiomatic wher

ever gardens played a part in domestic and artistic evolutions. From the beginning gardens were made not to imitate nature but to challenge her. This type of design goes far back into the race roots. The formalism of Italian gardens carried on the heritage of Greece; French gardens learned formalism from Italy; and English gardens, in turn, from France. In Spain formalism came through the Moors, who transplanted the idea from the Persians, those same Persians who, going eastward, took formal garden design into India. And the Persians, for their formal designs, were indebted to the Egyptians! In America garden design, like its sister art, architecture, is a synthesis of all the experiments and achievements of the past.

This universal concept of garden design is evident in the three sumptuous books under consideration. M. Forestier, who has to his credit many fine gardens in France and Spain, and who created the roseraie at the Bagatelle in Paris, offers what he calls "a notebook of plans and sketches". This work, originally published in France some years back, has been capably translated by Helen Morgenthau Fox. Plot plans and perspective drawings show variously sized garden problems. Details of garden architecture-steps, summer houses, seats, fountains, pavements are drawn in practical detail. Plant lists are included. The book is

ideal for those who plan to design a garden, whether large or small, and for those who study landscape architecture, since each detail is so beautifully and helpfully explained. The gardens, of course, bear the heritage of La Notre in the geometrical formalism of their design. In the main the plant material suggested by M. Forestier is used in this country or equally good substitutions can be found; certainly the type of design he suggests fits our suburban problems exactly. It is adaptable to many kinds of houses in practically all sections of the country.

Miss Nichols's "Spanish and Portuguese Gardens" is another inspiring aid to garden design. Of late there has been a revival in California and in Florida of what is termed Mediterranean architecture Spanish and Spanish and Italian types of houses. For such houses the gardens of the Iberian Peninsula are a natural concomitant. They are Moorish gardens, enclosed, formal, precise, dependent upon water, color, architecture, and a studied design for their effects. Heretofore this style of garden has been practically unknown to American gardeners. The oriental word for a garden is "a paradise"; it was a place to live in. The newer gardens of Spain and the author assures us many are being made today being made today are recreating this Eden spirit.

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Apart from its architecture, the pronounced feature of the garden of the Iberian Peninsula is water. The hot climate made the water tank and the water channel as necessary in Spain as it did in India. Likewise the same brilliant arrangement of color that is found in the rugs of Persia and India is found in the flowers and architecture of Spanish gardens. Miss Nichols surveys each of these features in her study of the oriental background and in explaining the Moorish transition of them

to Spain. She describes the pleasure grounds of the Renaissance, gardens of Majorca, the eighteenth century developments in Spain, the smaller gardens and patios and the Portuguese pleasance. Her lists of the plant material used in these gardens constitute an especially illuminating feature of the book. The illustrations have been selected and reproduced with great care.

"Beautiful Gardens in America" is a revised and enlarged edition of a previous work by Miss Shelton. It is an indication of the amazing improvement both in gardens and in garden interest that has taken place in this country in the past ten years. Introductory chapters speak of the problems of climate met in this country and give historic data where necessary; otherwise this is a picture book, a rich, inspiring, and helpful display of gardens from every section of the country. The variety of these gardens is impressive. Italian types are here, Spanish, English, Dutch, naturalistic, water gardens, rock gardens; but in all design is evident. In short, it seems that American garden owners are at last impressed with the necessity for laying out a garden in a well defined design. The variety of flowers, trees, and shrubs is also a commendable feature, for despite a prohibitive embargo against plant importation, we manage to make gardens in this country that compare favorably with gardens in the Old World.

These three volumes can be recommended for that section of the library which, in country houses today, has

Gardens. By J. C. N. Forestier. Charles Scribner's Sons.

Spanish and Portuguese Gardens. By Rose Standish Nichols. Houghton Mifflin Company.

Beautiful Gardens in America. By Louise Shelton. Charles Scribner's Sons.

become both necessary and popular the garden shelves. They are authoritative, inspiring, immensely helpful.


By Charles R. Walker

HOUGH not equaling the bulbous masses of proletarian literature, there is a growing body of writing definitely devoted to what Nietzsche used to call a "master morality". In all the democracies of recent times, not excepting our own, there have been intellects, of course, who worshiped the aristocratic ideal, preaching the sole and everlasting validity of strength, energy, and blood. But no one ever preached it with an intenser passion or a wider erudition than Arthur Gobineau, author of the "Essai sur l'Inégalité des Races Humaines" and citizen of France during the deadly mediocrities of the early French republic. The Count's essay was translated as a slavery tract in the middle of the last century and printed in America. from then till now, when "The Golden Flower" appears in a translation by Ben Ray Redman, few Americans have acquainted themselves with the French



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If "The Golden Flower" stirs the interest of readers to go on to "The Renaissance" or to learn more of its author diplomat, historian, Roman Catholic, pro-Aryan, Nietzschean - it will have been printed to good purpose. In Europe, Gobineau's thirty odd years of neglect have been turned into an almost excess of eulogy. The Gobineau cult in Germany has an able priesthood in the Gobineau Society, with Dr. Ludwig Schemann as its editor-pope. In England, Dr. Oscar Levy has popularized the "Essai", and "The Renaissance", and in France in recent years all of Gobineau's principal books have been reissued. The Count wrote novels, philosophy, history, and poetry; but however subtle and erudite, he will doubtless always be best remembered for his racial and aristocratic gospel. It is a little odd that few Americans know more of the man than his name.

The ideas which burst out with such energy in the dramatic rhapsody, "The Renaissance", and in "The Golden Flower", were put down as hard scientific dogma much earlier in the essay on inequality. Gobineau sets out with the simple aristocratic thesis that neither government nor environment nor religion nor reform nor any other social force matters in giving genius or vitality to a nation, but race alone. This simplified social theology he still further limits by announcing that only one race possesses the authentic blood, the Aryan. Lothrop Stoddard, Madison Grant, and the Society of Descendants of the Mayflower could go no further. A bulwark of erudition supports the thesis in the "Essai", but it has been battered by time and science. As with

any oversimplified sociology, a skeptical and polyracial posterity has choked it with scorn and evidence.

But it is not so much Gobineau's dogmatic Aryanism, or even his PanGermanism (much denied), that gives him an interest today. It is his insistence, with the emphasis of religious intensity, on the whole catalogue of the aristocratic virtues and his abhorrence of democracy and all her children. It is chastening to any age to be talked about by a man who believes in none of its virtues.

To the above should be added a word of caution for any fellow Fascists and members of the Ku Klux Klan who think they have uncovered a literary Kleagle. They must not look too eagerly to the Count as a defender of the faith. They might find a flaming cross on one page which they could grasp, only to uncover a pitchfork on another in a compromising position. Others, it should be noticed, have tried to bend him to special uses. The "Essai sur l'Inégalité" was published many years ago under the direction of one H. Hotz, an American slave holder. He dedicated the book to the "Statesmen of America", believing devotedly that he had found in it an apology for slavery. The Count is said to have remarked: "Our friends, the Americans, think I am encouraging them to lynch their Negroes, but they cannot abide that part of my book which really concerns them." Cave, cave!

In "The Renaissance", the Count drops theory for drama, pageantry, color, and enthusiasm. It is a rhapsodic essay on that violent and masterful period done in the form of a drama of five acts, each built about an outstanding Renaissance hero Savonarola, Cesare Borgia, Julius II, Leo X, and Michael Angelo. The Renaissance is of course a logical period

wherein a Nietzschean may seek out his giants. The Count uses his material well without allowing history to nudge his elbow. Characters and events blaze and soar across the pages, giving a violent, distorted, fascinating, passionate embodiment of the vitality of the time. Passages are sometimes weakened by overemphasis and a too unbroken flood of eloquence, but an impression of churning energy, whipping back and forth between the bestial and the divine, passes into the reader's imagination.

The reader must make up his mind, however, to the convention of a dra

matic form that is not dramatic. Like Hardy's "The Dynasts", "The Renaissance" could not be staged, and was not so designed. It is much less a play even than "The Dynasts”. There being no chorus to drain off geographic and spiritual settings from the speaking characters, these must all be pressed into an overcrowded dialogue. But even with this burden, the form seems to justify itself. Each character is marked off strongly from the others

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Whether the Renaissance energy glows in the fanatic eye of Savonarola who for a space governs luxurious Florence by his power of Puritan fervor, or in the brutal vigor of Borgia the rising through crime to the papacy, impression is one of the nobility of energy, the enduring and conquering validity of genius. This is the passionate "message" of "The Renaissance" and "The Golden Flower" of Count Gobineau. Both books should serve to stimulate if not scandalize any republican in good standing.

The Golden Flower. By Arthur, Count Gobineau. G. P. Putnam's Sons.

(though they all, to a degree, speak A NEW LINCOLN BIOGRAPHY Gobineauiste), and there is a strong illusion of action and "progression d'effet".

Above all it is the release of passion, energy, and genius in which Gobineau is interested, and which he communicates to his readers in both "The Renaissance" and "The Golden Flower". Like Nietzsche he is thoroughly unmoral, or rather the Jesuit of a "master morality" which he preaches in the words and violences of his heroes. boldly in the words of Alexander VI, defending Cesare Borgia (the latter has just murdered the husband of his sister, Lucrezia):


He is not a monster... for that kind of person whom fate summons to dominate others, the ordinary rules of life are reversed and duty becomes quite different. Good and evil are lifted to another, to a higher

By Luther E. Robinson

hat have been incubating about NE by one the legendary bubbles

the name and fame of Lincoln are being pricked and deflated and replaced by the positive or the negative facts of persistent investigation. Many a biographer of the great emancipator, because of the missing links in the chain of his ancestry, has been compelled to employ the warmed over surmises of his perplexed predecessors and to apologize for adding "another" to the roomful of books already to be had on the seemingly unfailing theme. One cannot help admiring, however, the unflagging efforts of those relatively few researchers who have accepted the

challenge of the gaps in the line and have little by little discovered the precious bits of information needed to give completeness to the account.

Every Lincoln student familiar with the status of these investigations has been expectant of the promised biography by Dr. William E. Barton, completing the third of his important contributions to Lincoln history. The first member of the Barton trilogy was "The Soul of Abraham Lincoln", reviewed in THE BOOKMAN almost five years ago. It remains the best and most amply documented treatment that has been published on Lincoln's religion, and at once gave high rank to the author as an investigator able to handle his materials in an interesting manner and with philosophic grasp. Then followed "The Paternity of Abraham Lincoln ", made necessary by ever expanding rumors damaging to the good name of Lincoln's mother and threatening to become established traditions in certain sections of the country. The reviewer recalls reading a "learned" paper written by a university professor purporting to identify Lincoln's father, not with the Kentucky Thomas, but with a citizen of North Carolina! Even Patrick Henry and John C. Calhoun came to stand as rivals for the distinction. Dr. Barton's labors reduced these absurdities to their foundations, and the information he assembled in this book gives it the position of a document to be consulted by the future historians of Lincoln.

Outside of these matters, the numerous unsettled points that have been left over by preceding biographers justify this third work of Dr. Barton's, for the reason that he is able to offer a remarkable record of documentary evidence and personal testimony from many Lincoln kinsmen hitherto un

discovered, as well as from persons who knew Lincoln. The result is that the reader finishes this new work with a feeling of admiration for the author and his good humored obstinacy in completing the task he set before himself, and shares the author's satisfaction that he has at last been able to set in their proper place many of the elusive little links needed to piece out the biographical chain.

For example, in spite of the long line of diligent fact finders from Herndon and Mrs. Hitchcock to such important investigators as Miss Tarbell and Waldo Lincoln, the ancestry of Abraham Lincoln had not been traced with unbroken evidence. Elements of conjecture have long lingered around the half legendary figure of Lucy Hanks, whom Dr. Barton establishes as Lincoln's maternal grandmother, whose existence and relationship have been suspected since Lamon's blunt intimation of irregular paternity in 1874, and since the publication of John Hanks's letters to Herndon bade fair to leave a perpetual cross word puzzle to the world. Although this discovery has no value whatever for its connection with the personality or the limitless service performed by Abraham Lincoln, it is highly important as setting at rest the unleashed effort of a whole generation of search for the identification of the enigmatical woman who became the premarital parent of Nancy Hanks Lincoln, and the faithful spouse of Henry Sparrow, as well as the forebear of a large nest of Sparrows still living their uneventful lives in Kentucky and elsewhere.

Among the most interesting original discoveries of Dr. Barton is the fact that, during the campaign for the presidential nomination, Lincoln became the proprietor of the German-American "Staats-Anzeiger" of Springfield,

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