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Dr. Konstantin Issakovich has had an odd idea and has believed in it strenuously enough to publish a book about it himself. The title of the volume is "Your Life, Written by Yourself". Dr. Issakovich tells you just what you should put into an autobiography, then furnishes a lot of blank pages at the end upon which the casual reader is urged to indulge his autobiographical fancies. The earlier pages are devoted to a sample of this type of narrative, in which Rufus Franklin tells his day-by-day experiences. This is the sort of thing that the Doctor would have you write:
The most important motive that operates over the field of human activities is service. Explain in your Book what you understand by the spirit of social service - the basis of modern life, how you worked out and what you gave to society. Explain why in your experiences through life notwithstanding you had different interests in different spheres - in each of them was found the spirit of social service. Write how from childhood you used all the rights and acquiesced in all the obligations of a member of society, voluntarily. What you and your children will write may possibly bring about a more complete understanding of social service. Thus you write social history.
You remember your duties to your family. You helped your mother in the household, your father in his business, your younger brothers and sisters in their education, your neighbor in creating order, in enforcing some law. These first duties and services are of great importance to a record of your life.
From Georgia comes acquaintance with the famous poet J. Gordon Coogler, a precious copy of whose immortal works was loaned me by a kindly Savannah matron, who promises to set her husband's hunting dogs on me if I do not return it. Have you never seen the work of this bard, celebrated by Don Marquis and others? It was published in 1897 at Columbia, South Carolina, and copies are almost impossible to obtain. In his preface the poet
quotes many reviews, among them one from THE BOOKMAN which we take pleasure in repeating:
We were going to write quite a lengthy review of this inimitable little volume; but the author has made such a thing practically impossible by reprinting in the Introduction a collection of the comment and commendations already bestowed upon his verse by the most eminent critics from Bill Nye to the literary editor of "Munsey's". These comments so perfectly anticipate all we should ourselves have said as to make it needless for us to do more than subscribe to them as expressing our sentiments exactly..
We trust that this fifth volume of his verse may have many successors; and we are pretty sure it will, for a little poem we cull from page 28, is fraught with golden promise for the future:
"You may as well try to change the course Of yonder sun
To north and south,
As to try to subdue by criticism This heart of verse,
Or close this mouth."
Nor should this paragraph pass unnoticed:
As a frontispiece to his little volume, Mr. Coogler prints a tasteful, half-tone engraving of himself. He is a fine, manly-looking young fellow of some twenty-nine or thirty, with a broad, high forehead, earnest deepset eyes, prominent ears, and a small dark mustache. He is dressed in a neat, wellfitting suit of some dark shade. Of the quality of Mr. Coogler's verse, we prefer not to speak. As he says, his style and his sentiments are his own; and who are we that we should say them well or ill?
Just a couple of verses from that matchless lyric "A Mustacheless Bard":
"His whiskers didn't come, his mustache is gone,
And to-day he's standing ashore Enjoying the breeze with a cleaned shaved lip,
Relieved of the burden it bore.
He's feeling so lonely, dull and forsaken,
Ring Lardner has returned from Europe, having spent much time there with the F. Scott Fitzgeralds.
Mr. Lardner, tall, dark eyed, indefinite of expression and manner, is a most impressive figure as he walks across Forty Second Street at Fifth Avenue. He pays no attention whatsoever to traffic; even the large policeman who refuses passage to smaller mortals like myself is dwarfed when the author of "How to Write Short Stories" ventures into the stream of buses and taxicabs. Fitzgerald is apparently enjoying the soft air of Italy and France. Not so, Dorothy Speare, who writes that her opera début and her invitation to sing before the Queen of Italy must both stand in abeyance, since she has been quite ill. W. E. Woodward and Homer Croy, however, both report from Europe that they are enjoying the best of wealth. Handwriting is difficult, and even though the author of "Bunk" has a perfectly legible chirography, I can't quite make out what the title of his new book is. I think he writes “Bread and Circuses" - of the circus part I am sure; not so sure about the bread. Mr. Woodward, at any rate, is well and happy in Paris and, rumor says, also at work on a Life of Washington which removes some of the "bunk" from the general impression of that great and presumably human American figure. Ernest Boyd's good wife, Madeleine, has sailed on the "Paris" for France, and on the same ship, Britton Hadden, the editor of “Time”. The Floyd Dells are to spend the summer abroad; in fact, I know of few writing people who do not plan to do it this year in Vienna, Madrid, or near the Bois. Does that mean that the few who are left at home will be the ones actually to get the work done? Perhaps it doesn't matter. Surely, a rest will do them all good; perhaps the color of the Continent will flare forth from future books.
From the middle west to Vermont is a long leap; but it has been taken successfully by Lynn and Lois Montross, authors together of the much talked of "Town and Gown", and separately of
other works, including many short stories. To be sure, they write short stories together, too. Here are a collaborative pair who have seized upon the literary world with determination and with a fine sense of perspective. Recently they visited New York, had a gay time, but soon went back to Woodstock, Vermont, where they have found hearty and amusing friends and the leisure to turn out stories, while they survey Killington and Pico, and admire the sun shining on the snow along the Green Mountain ranges. Lois Montross has a turn of phrase, a quiet and mouselike mischief as she surveys life, that is easy to recognize in their joint work. Lynn is steady, firm in his opinions, with an eagerness of mind
that should make him, ultimately, an excellent portrayer of character. Together they make a team that should be hard to equal. I envy them many things; most of all, perhaps, the fact that they live within walking distance of the loveliest valley in the world, just north of Bridgewater-Four-Corners.
A prize fight and Sherwood Anderson lecturing offered choice to me recently at Indianapolis. I deliberated for some time, then I ran across Mr. Anderson in Mr. Beach's attractive bookshop. Mr. Beach is a slim, intense gentleman, who knows good books and how to sell them, who publishes a monthly bulletin of much wisdom and charm, and who wears a flowing black
"Everybody's Cook Book" is quite tie, apparently in memory of Elbert
the most voluminous and attractive book of its sort I have ever seen. It is compiled from the records of the School of Household Science and Arts of Pratt Institute by Isabel Ely Lord, and contains 3,400 tested recipes. One interesting thing which I learned from this huge volume was that “dash, pinch, or speck" in a recipe is equivalent to 1/4 saltspoon or 1/16 teaspoon. That will help! To this statement in the introduction I give hearty applause:
No normal person enjoys eating something just because it is "good for" him. What he wants is food he likes, and the planner of meals has the task of making him like the thing she wants him to eat.
I have often envied Grant Overton on more counts than one - but principally because he comes into the office with tales of the most savory dishes prepared for his lordship by Mrs. Overton. And now I have found another wife to go down on the list with Mrs. Overton and Mrs. Joseph Conrad. Lettie Gay, the young and more than attractive bride of Gerald Carson, I learn is with the "HeraldTribune" Institute. Each day it is her duty and privilege to take a cooking lesson from a French, Armenian, Chinese, or other variety of chef, test the food, eat it, and write a column about it in the newspaper. My friend Jerry is noticeably fattening under this diet. There is something to be said for courses in the domestic arts.
Hubbard. Here was Mr. Anderson, looking a trifle more jovial than when I last saw him, wearing a rough brown coat, a brown suit, brown spats, a wide and very bright blue tie drawn through a large ring studded, I think, with garnets, or possibly rubies. This decided me. No fight, no matter how fast, could possibly compete in my af
fections with Mr. Anderson's neckwear.
Author of "Caravans by Night"
$2.00 at any Bookstore
ROMANCE never lives in your street. It's always
round the corner. Pursuing it, you find only the fragrance of its departure in the air. So you seek it in books. Here is a book that simultaneously takes you out of, and into yourself. The story of a romanticist yoked to the prosaics of life. Your story, and mineif we admitted it. Ethan Quest is a wholesome American youngster who, in his search for the ideal, jettisons conventions that have been sacred to him. Beckoning horizons lead him into the mystic East on an odyssey of the soul. There is pace of emotional action in his story that leaves the reader a little breathless; there is lyrical charm in the telling that prophesies an important future for a young writer.
Publishers Osmopolitan Book Orporation New York
$2.00 at any Bookstore
UCH has been written of Hollywood and of the inhabitants of the motion-picture planet. But more than a novelist is needed to interpret the spectacular A good reporter with Kleig-like vision has written a first novel the realism of which transports the reader to the movie lots where both actual and mimic life is so kaleidoscopic. Mrs. Adela Rogers St. Johns is a discerning critic because as a former newspaper writer her sense of values nicely balances her sympathetic inclinations. In "The Skyrocket" she portrays the Hollywood of fact around the story of a girl snatched up by cinema fame from "down by the railroad tracks" and swiftly pinnacled in the affection of the American public.