« PreviousContinue »
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.
"Everybody's Cook Book" is quite 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.
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 tie, apparently in memory of Elbert 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. I found the author of "A Story Teller's Story" in the main cheerful. ple, he told me, had found this last work less objectionable than his novels, and he thought perhaps there was something the matter with it. Perhaps he was growing old and staid. Anderson talks with effect; perhaps he inherits this trait from the father of whom he writes so much. It is by no means a conventional speech he gives, this discussion of the modern writing movement in America; but he makes his points clearly and cleverly. With most of them, I happen to disagree; but that is one of the chief reasons for going to lectures. In the course of the evening Anderson made the statement, "Puritanism is practically whipped." Now just what Stuart Pratt Sherman's answer to that would be, I don't know; but if Mr. Anderson's definition of Puritanism is the same as mine, I think that the picture of Mr. Anderson and his band of modernists trying to spank the lusty brat is an amusing but improbable one.
$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
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 scene. 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.
ADELA ROGERS ST. JOHNS
JOHN FARRAR, Editor
THE POINT OF VIEW
EW of the critics who have lavished praise on Amy Lowell's fine biography of John Keats know the tremendous strength of will which went into its making. It was only when this New England poet was forced to cancel her trip to England, where she was about to address various learned bodies, that it became apparent how unwell she had been for several years. She was determined to finish the task she had set herself. She brought all of her New England courage to bear upon the problem, and by a system of rigorous discipline completed a work which entailed labors of research and of actual writing that would have been remarkable in one enjoying perfect health. Recently Boston gave her a complimentary dinner, at which various critics and friends told her honestly and sincerely how much they admired and honored her. Then they asked her to read a poem. It was only a few friends who realized, as she read the final moving lines of "Lilacs", how exhausted she was; for she made the New England
lyric dramatic and beautiful, although she was pale and her voice did not have quite its usual ring. Perhaps this tribute to her courage is unnecessary. as an example to young writers to old writers for that matter - this woman, with her sense of form and of duty, her genius and her intellect brought to bear upon it to accomplish the seemingly impossible, should be an inspiration. Of her "John Keats" many things have been said, but the fact that it is a textbook for the young writer may not have become apparent. No book on how to write poetry, on how to live the artistic life, can equal it. In the mistakes of Keats, Miss Lowell points out the duties of others. One of the reasons why she was able to write so knowingly of the dreams and difficulties of youth is that she has always been unsparing in the amount of time she has given struggling youth. Night after night, she has interrupted her work to go over, line by line, word by word, the poems of aspirants to literary fame in whose gift she believed. Their troubles were her own. Her influence has been far reaching, and many of our
finest poets are ungrudging in their acknowledgment of debt to her vision. and honesty. Unflinchingly critical of her own work, she does not spare others, and her advice is never lightly given. We should like to wish her quick recovery from her illness and to assure her that wherever there are lovers of poetry and of the writing craft, they will grieve that she is not well. Miss Lowell can rest assured that her public is a growing and an affectionate one.
R. SAMUEL JOHNSON in "The Rambler", No. 64, had something to say concerning "The Wickedness of Loose or Profane Authors":
By the instantaneous violence of desire, a good man may sometimes be surprised before reflection can come to his rescue; when the appetites have strengthened their influence by habit, they are not easily resisted or suppressed; but for the frigid villainy of studious lewdness, for the calm malignity of laboured impiety, what apology can be invented? What punishment can be adequate to the crime of him who retires to solitudes for the refinement of debauchery; who tortures his fancy, and ransacks his memory, only that he may leave the world less virtuous than he found it; that he may intercept the hopes of the rising generation; and spread snares for the soul with more dexterity?
Thus spoke the eighteenth century sage, and his remarks ring with pertinence today. With all the talk of censorship, of criticism of present day theatres and books, it is necessary to reiterate several points.
The lady in The lady in pronounced
upstate town who "Soundings" and "The Nymph" obscene could not in the eyes of this magazine be justified in any degree. It would be difficult to persuade any jury that either of these books "spreads snares for the soul". Never
theless, it is conceivable that any book, no matter how sweet perhaps even "Pollyanna" might be capable of ensnaring a particular soul. A psychiatrist recently pointed out that in many cases of developing abnormality he had traced the influence of a certain volume published a decade since, a volume not in any sense an obscene book, which could not be suppressed, yet which is harmful. Books and plays are the expression of the hearts and the minds of a people. We cannot change these hearts and minds by frowning on them, or by trying to influence their artistic output. If we try to destroy the works of artists, we shall some day burn a Michelangelo. Decent minded people do well to protest, as did Dr. Johnson, against "the calm malignity of laboured impiety"; but in so doing it is well to look into the heart to discover whether such criticism is justified or merely fussy.
AUTOBIOGRAPHY ON THE INSTALMENT PLAN
T the time of the publication this year of "Mark Twain's Autobiography", reviewers guessed that it was incomplete. Now, to the New York "Times", Albert Bigelow Paine, editor of the Autobiography, discloses "that the full text would fill six volumes similar in size to the two already published". Mark Twain did not wish any vicious statements about living persons or their immediate descendants to appear until long enough after their death, so that there could be no possibility of offense. It does not seem evident to his literary executors or to his publishers-nor, apparently, did it occur to Mr. Clemens that there would be no possibility of defense, ei