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writers named have done work that is being talked of and possesses a permanency worthy of a place in this manual. H. L. Mencken receives comment only in relation to Nietzsche and language; and though Marguerite Wilkinson's "New Voices" is mentioned, the reference is too casual to suggest its great value to the bookseller and the student of modern poetry. The omission of any reference to books for children is comprehensible. The four chapters contained in the serial publication of the manual merely grazed the subject.
The classics for children mount high in number, and are augmented by the multitude of illustrated editions of each title. This absence of comment on juvenile literature can be forgiven more readily since the information it might have contained may be gleaned from the pages of that excellent little book "What Shall We Read to the Children?" by Clara W. Hunt.
A chapter that might have been included but probably was never even thought of, is one on the various literary prizes offered. What is the history of such awards as the de Goncourt and Nobel Prizes abroad, the Pulitzer Prize in America, the various other prizes to which publishers seem to attach importance in their announcements? It is easy enough to learn the names of such awards but next to impossible to learn, without research, the
conditions, emoluments, and honors attaching to them.
If more space has been given in this review to what Miss Graham did not include than to what she did include, it has not been intended as faultfinding. The Manual is so crammed full of lists, facts, and authoritative criticisms that it would be impossible to begin their recital. The only hope for the reviewer is to direct attention to omissions in an effort to indicate how extensive are the facts included. The Manual's detailed information about translations of great classics calls for special praise, while the impersonal tone in which the criticisms of many books are given will render these criticisms helpful in placing each book in its proper rank.
A work such as Miss Graham's does much to assist the professional bookseller in spreading the knowledge of good books and fine literature in his community. It gives him the encyclopædic information so much needed in his daily round, it enables him to speak with authority on work that has been done. Yet never for a moment may he relax his vigil and forget "to read unceasing & unceasing read", for it will be many years before he again receives so admirable an assistant.
The Bookman's Manual, A Guide to Literature. By Bessie Graham. New, revised edition. R. R. Bowker Company.
IN BRIEF REVIEW
HE first satisfying thing about "Casanova in England", edited by Horace Bleackley (Knopf), is the binding which is done in three colors one dares not mention together. Then the book opens, if one is fortunate, upon the lovely Duchess of Hamilton, her delicious face peeping out of a peaked hood trimmed with tufts of satin and tied with a bow. It is distressing that she plays so small a part in Casanova's visit. Mr. Bleackley has let Casanova himself tell his adventures in London, with the exception of occasional asides of explanation or humor. Our hero describes his presentation at court, his night in Newgate prison, his affairs with countesses and courtezans, his hasty flight from London. It is an exciting tale. Mr. Bleackley says of the "Memoirs": "In spite, however, of the variety of the material and the vigor of the narrative the work in many respects does not reach the highest excellence. In no case does he succeed in drawing a masterly portrait. Similarly, he fails entirely to convey an impression of the places he depicts." But certainly Casanova, from the material Mr. Bleackley has collected, does not fail in the unconscious revelation of himself.
The diverse intellectual riches of H. G. Wells are abundantly displayed in "A Year of Prophesying" (Macmillan), a collection of recent journalistic essays and reviews on subjects of a wide and timely variety. But the chief concern of this singularly liberal and broadly gifted mind is here, as always, with the stubbornly tangled aspects of world problems. Wellsian views are invariably stimulating, keen witted, profoundly
rational; and his present lusty airing of them betrays no falling off in vigor of utterance. The perennial enthusiasm with which he continues to attack the reactionary enemies of world progress and international unity should prove infectious to the younger readers of this work, the generation to whom Wells, in the early pages, addresses a direct and eloquent appeal.
The jacket of J. Ramsay MacDonald's "Socialism: Critical and Constructive" (Bobbs-Merrill) calls it the standard work on socialism, which it certainly is not; for it attempts only to set forth the point of view of the former Labor minister and not to elucidate all the ins and outs of a stupendous subject. Yet it is the better for its lack of exhaustiveness and critical aloofness. In the political utterances of Mr. MacDonald, even his most vigorous opponents have had to admit his beautiful lucidity, his sincerity of utterance, and a restraint. far from common even in the most august of parliamentary arenas. This is a new edition brought up to date by the addition of a few notes and buttressed by an idealism undimmed by years of energetic struggle. There is no need here to repeat the arguments and expositions which Mr. MacDonald presents; they are not new, and he makes no boast of having made conspicuous contributions to socialistic theory. The value of the work has nothing to do with newness, but lies in a clarification of the position held by the great middle party of Socialists, who have as little sympathy with proletarian dictatorship and the class struggle as they have with capitalist waste.
It is the statement of a creed, and as such it is worthy of the respectful study of both friends and foes.
That the demise of "The Freeman" was indeed a loss to the country is made evident from the array of wise and well written essays, sketches, editorials, and book reviews collected in "The Freeman Book" (Huebsch). While not every selection included attains a high standard both as to style and content, and while (as Mr. Huebsch freely admits in an explanatory note) it was found necessary to omit many pieces as good as those included, yet the volume as a whole manifests a range of thought, an earnestness of presentation, a scholarly reach, and an individuality of tone that would lend distinction to any periodical; and it says much for the quality of the book that the bulk of its contents, while possibly not of permanent value, are as interesting and as timely today as when first made public in "The Freeman".
Something of the usefulness of glassware must have departed with the coming of the Prohibition Amendment, yet the value of old glass rises steadily in the eyes of collectors, and the story of glassmaking from the days of the Egyptians up to modern times is an Arabian Nights' tale. "Old Glass: European and American" (Stokes), by Mrs. N. Hudson Moore, treats exhaustively of the rise and fall of glassmaking in various countries and at various times in the world's history. Even a cursory glance at the numerous beautiful illustrations will show how characteristic of the national traits of their makers were the examples of Venetian, Flemish, German, Spanish, and English glass. When we come to American glass we discover many European traits, accounted for by the fact that hun
dreds of glassworkers were imported to this country in early Revolutionary times. The story of the notorious "Baron" Stiegel is a chronicle in itself, as are the quaint and often hideous flasks and bottles pressed in designs to commemorate the life and times of various early American statesmen. We have a notion that it is necessary for the fastidious collector to cultivate a taste for the great range of whisky containers manufactured by our convivial forebears. But it is not difficult to understand a passion for the delicately tinted, marvelously wrought glass that is the prize of the antiquary's heart. And it is gratifying to learn that American glassmakers have turned out some superb pieces that, even in this day of ingenious duplicators, defy imitation.
One finishes reading Rheta Childe Dorr's autobiography, "A Woman of Fifty" (Funk, Wagnalls), with a consciousness of having followed intimately the career of a woman distinguished for her courageous and practical idealism, her determination to become one of the "human race", and her valiant efforts to free the weaker sex of chains by means of the ballot. Her life seems to have been an incessant struggle broken now and then by equally arduous experiences as a press correspondent in various unquiet regions of Europe - for the cause of bettering the social, commercial, moral, and intellectual conditions of modern American womanhood. In recounting it, she has produced a book as thrilling as a romance and infinitely more valuable because true.
sive, and withal warmblooded treatise on modern art that the eyes and minds of even the most wilfully ignorant and prejudiced would be opened by it. "I have chosen", he says, "the primer method—and title—because it seemed to me that what we need most, to widen appreciation of contemporary creative art, is to escape for a while from High Learning and get back to a child's directness of approach." Yes, a child's directness of approach, but a very mature individual's patience and grasp of the problem - the huge problem - set before him. Mr. Cheney devotes most of his time and attention to the pure arts of painting and sculpture, from their branching out from Impressionism to the present; but adequately (for a primer) includes architecture and the theatre, showing their tremendous importance in the creative current. He explains and comments upon Cubism, Futurism, Vorticism, and all the inevitable schools, fads, and sensations tagging on the main movement, the art of mobile color (which he seems to think vitally important), and Expressionism, illustrating his points with a remarkably comprehensive collection of contemporary works, from the slightest sketch to the most massive marble, the automobile to the skyscraper. Even to the enlightened and initiated this Primer is worthwhile, for its clarifying of fundamental artistic issues and its outward beauty of printing and paper.
In spite of its triteness, one must repeat the familiar comparison between dogs and humans upon reading "Dogs and Men" (Scribner) by Mary Ansell, for the dog biographies she, gives are well calculated to show the psychic superiority of the best of dogs over the general run of two legged creatures. Yet hers are always consistently doggy dogs, never improperly endowed with a hu
man psyche. Some are dogs of note, such as Luath the Newfoundland who played the part of Nana in "Peter Pan". And there was Porthos, the St. Bernard who invaded the pulpit of a Scotch Presbyterian church to the horror of the congregation. "Dogs in Scotch churches", says the author, "seem liable to lose all control of themselves. A friend saw . . . whilst she was waiting for the Holy Communion, a terrier, an Aberdeen, sit up on his haunches and beg before the Elements." Altogether, a delectable collection of amusing and illuminative dog stories. The physical nature of the dog is very fully considered in "Dr. Little's Dog Book" (McBride) by George Watson Little, D. V. M., who writes both as a qualified scientist and as a veterinary of the widest experience. It is a readable as well as an authoritative manual on the care, training, and treatment of dogs both in sickness and in health: liberally illustrated and well indexed.
Books on religious matters were formerly in the majority on second hand bookstands. Not so long ago, writings on the Great War came into first place. And now that mournful leadership is being contested by literature on Russia. "The Reforging of Russia" (Dutton) deserves a better fate than many of its companions. Edwin Ware Hullinger, who wrote it, was the United Press correspondent in Moscow until he was ejected. He does not pretend to write an unbiased tale; but his prejudices are manifest, candid, and not at all rancorous. His ideal of democracy is the American one. The turn of event which wrought hardship on his friends of the upper classes is obnoxious to him. He dislikes the Tcheka which he blames for his expulsion. And with all this in mind, he writes a good newspaper man's story of the period of the new economic
policy and a plausible interpretation of its meaning. Too bad that Hullinger could not have stayed to tell us of the fall of the Nep.
To talk of little matters of everyday life in a way that is humorous, practical, and pathetic seems to be the aim of Ian Hay in "The Shallow End" (Houghton Mifflin). At the same time he gives us, or tries to, an international viewpoint on a few selected subjects. The first four sections, named for the seasons, deal with London. The atmosphere of Piccadilly Circus, Haymarket, and the moods of the crowds in the parks, cinemas, and night clubs are cleverly depicted. In fact, we wonder just why Mr. Hay considered it necessary to wander from these interesting little studies to New York and the national game there called "Hunt the Hooch". Was it to give English readers a taste of life abroad or to make New Yorkers feel at home? To recent visitors to London "The Shallow End" cannot fail to be of interest; and even those who have never been to London may find a congenial topic in the theatre, boxing, cricket, boating, animals, or human nature therein.
There may be some foundation for a feeling that Howells has been subjected to the process which H. G. Wells (in his incomparable "Boon") has labeled, in ribald fashion, as "greatening". But his solidly enduring qualities no doubt are real enough to survive even injudicious praise. No American man of letters of our day, save Mark Twain, has been so fully discussed by the critics and expositors: the incomplete bibliography of books and articles about him appended to "William Dean Howells" (Harvard) by Oscar W. Firkins covers nearly two pages.
Firkins's study, however, differs from most of its predecessors in that it is more an interpretation, an illuminating commentary, than a critical estimate. It is, of course, critical and analytic, but its aim is more to portray the man and his work than to appraise him. The conclusion reached by Mr. Firkins is that justice has not yet been done to Howells as critic or as poet, and that "due recognition" has not yet been given "to three great elements in his fiction - its vitality, the surpassing distinctness and variety of its characterization, and its firm grasp of some of the rarer and more elusive aspects of everyday reality". The book is handsomely printed and well indexed.
"A great architecture is something to be seen and felt and lived in. By this criterion most of our pretentious buildings are rather pathetic", writes Lewis Mumford in his "Sticks and Stones: A Study of American Architecture and Civilization" (Boni, Liveright). This reviewer appreciates and agrees with Mr. Mumford's statement. You have but to observe the monotony of skyscrapers and the ugly similarity of the "robot" made apartment houses of this world we live in to realize its truth. Until the coming of the machine age, as the author illustrates, the steadily developing American architecture had many beautiful achievements to its credit, particularly in the New England villages. But architecture without personality is not art, and the machine age does not encourage individuality.
Apparently there is a perennially eager audience for the conventional travel book that appears ever so often from the pen of some painstaking traveler. The formula is a simple one, and consists of a cheery, narrative style