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ther. Would it not be more courageous and fairer to the public if the entire book had been published at one time? Did not the occasion demand a firmer statement of fact at the time of publication of this first instalment? Mark Twain's stature will not gain by fumbling over his manuscript effects. Surely, if his convictions were strong enough so that he put them on paper, a man of his greatness need not fear the criticism of time. If enemies are worth having, they can be met in the open; there is an element of cowardice about not wishing to offend the living, while we plan to harass their ghosts in, say, a hundred years. "Mark Twain's Autobiography" as it stands is too good a book over which to quibble; but the full text is undoubtedly better. Mr. Paine's judgment in selection is usually excellent. Nevertheless he now makes a statement, "There is no reason why a considerable portion of it should not be used whenever the public seems ready for it. There are also chapters which it would not do to publish for a generation or two." Why not? We think the public may righteously demand a statement on that point. In a generation or two will not literary executors be putting Samuel Clemens in the unenviable position of striking blows in the dark?
between authors and publishers. Nowadays the right to control literary and artistic matter is of primary importance to the motion picture producers and theatres, the musical record industry, and the broadcasting stations. The change is quite clearly shown by the extent of the printed testimony before the House Committee in the four long hearings during January and February.
There are two important results which revision of the copyright law should bring about: first, a clearer statement of the rights of the owners of copyright, so that they may successfully control all markets; and second, the entrance of the United States into the International Copyright Union, from which it is the most conspicuous absentee.
A clearer statement of the rights of owners of copyright is needed, because a writer has not only book rights to think of but serial and second serial rights, moving picture and dramatic rights; in all these business transactions, he needs a clear control of his property. Under the present law, copyright protection depends on the act of publication. Oftentimes, in the case of literary material first published in a periodical, editors have neglected to transfer the rights to the author or the magazine has failed before such transfer was made, with the result that the author never can obtain the clear title with which to negotiate profitably for other income.
But the second result, i.e., the entrance of the United States into the International Copyright Union, is of still more importance. Once the United States is in the Union, a book written by an American author or a play, song, or what not is automatically protected in every other country of the Union; vice versa, everything of literary and artistic value produced in
the other countries is automatically protected here. At present, an American writer must obtain foreign rights by publishing in a Union country, usually in London.
At the time of drafting our first international copyright law of 1891, copyright was made dependent on manufacture here. Such restrictions are not in accord with the agreements of the Union. American printers felt that a manufacturing clause was necessary to protect their interests, but in practice it has beer four that books are likely to be manufactured here if there is a market for a sufficient quantity; if there is not, no er ount of restriction will inducer.cturing. It is expected by
privilege of copyright is to give the owner the exclusive right "to print, publish and vend" such a work, and that this exclusive right to vend means nothing if the market is open for any edition which may be made elsewhere. They point out that while the English or Canadian author will not be obligated to arrange for an American publisher, and while he can cover the American market through his London publisher, still his privilege of assigning American book rights should not be invalidated by An erican legislation, particularly as such a ruling would certainly mean fever books sold in this country.
to Paris to compete with the French As long as life continues to be de
edition. But, in planning for the succe sful marketing of a book in the English language, the author wants active publishers, if he can get them, in England, the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. It is, therefore, very important that he shall have the power to assign, and his publishers to enforce, restricted territorial rights. The American publisher of English authors can hardly be expected to look cheerfully on the plan, proposed in the new bill, which would permit the American market to be served by editions from London and Toronto as well as by his own, especially after he has carried the burden and expense of promotion.
Publishers point out that a basic
will its exposition in anything approaching impressiveness require symbols. bols. Words, of course, are symbols, and so, too, are images. But there are other symbols. There are symbols of atmospheres, symbols of urges, symbols of desire, symbols of human intents and defeats, symbols of mystical approximations. The shears of Delilah are a symbol and the Dove flying from the Ark is a symbol. In reading the literature of any single season in America, how often do we find a novel that understands the strength, the majesty, the intellectual force, the infinite power of suggestion that may be induced by the supreme use of symbols? There is vast room for improvement here, room
for the author to fling his thoughts and conceptions up on stronger wings than an uninformed and meticulous realism that is accurate enough but no more. It would be difficult to find a masterpiece that is not based upon symbols, the terms of which have more or less passed into the daily parlance of our speech.
If the younger American novelists most of them so informed, so excellent, so keenly reactive to the sensations of life about them could more fully circumscribe their pictures of contemporary life in symbols it is to be suspected that their work would reach infinitely higher planes than it does at present. It is true enough that some of these younger writers sense the power in the symbol, understand that more may be conveyed by its use than by reams of precise naturalism in prose. But they do not carry it far enough. They are too intent upon a photographic recreation. They should retain this effective approximation of reality but, at the same time, they should inform it with a symbolic value. Only in this way can literature be lifted from parochial standards into a universal category.
citing neither nudge nor wink. throughout of high moral rectitude, immaculate save for the little tang of suspicion engendered by that word 'anonymous", which, biographically speaking, has come to connote the unsavory. It conjures up pictures of sneakings down backstairs, of smugglings out by servants, of eyes at the keyholes of lavatory doors, of furtive jottings on the cuff under the meagre light of street lamps, of watchful lurkings in the club o' nights in the hope of overhearing something good, of dawn spyings in the corridors of country houses: and then at last the trading for thirty pieces of silver. . . . At least "Margot" had the courage of her indiscretions.
It seems to us that self revelation, confession, is the only excuse for anonymity; though, paradoxically enough, the psychology of self revelation seems to make not for a screen but for a megaphone. The unsigned revelations of the faits et gestes of others, living or dead, seem to us to be altogether inexcusable, to be indeed an adult reproduction of the manners of those questionable urchins who scrawl on the school door, "Billy Jones loves Susie Smithers!" and then run away. The adults call it literary biography, or recollection, or reminiscence. We call it the immorality of anonymity and invert our thumbs.
He speaks bitterly of censorship and its power, the limitations it placed upon truth telling. "This censorship was submitted to by the public", he writes, "in every country, in the belief that it would be a sword in the hands of their skilful generals. No doubt in some cases it proved to be so; but far more frequently it served as a shield to hide the incompetence of generals, staffs, War Offices and the politicians who set them moving, or checked them (or set them moving and then checked them), as their ambitions or their cliques dictated. Early in 1916, this censorship was not, in this country, such a power as it afterward came to be, but, as a matter of course, it barred out the two most important sources of possible information, the Admiralty and the War Office." In effect, this prose epic was written as a message to America. stands now, accurate or inaccurate, as a saga of heroism. Mr. Masefield finds himself puzzled by unwillingness to glorify war, yet no book could possibly do more to make for peace than one in
which the terrors and struggles of war, and the humanity of the soldier in face of tremendous odds, are so aptly told. What a mastery of prose rhythm! This prose is almost poetry, yet starkly simple. Homer is the name that comes to mind. Any page carries with it a sense of the march of history. If "Gallipoli" is not a proper textbook for those studying the history of the war, it is essential for an understanding of the spirit of the war, and it should be on every library and home shelf that boasts the inclusion of modern literary masterpieces. We quote at random:
This word of victory, coming to men who thought for the moment that their efforts had been made in vain, had the effect of a fresh brigade. The men rallied back up the hill; bearing the news to the firing-line, the new, constricted line was made good, and the rest of the night was never anything but continued victory to those weary ones in the scrub. But 24 hours of continual battle exhausts men, and by dawn the Turks, knowing the weariness of our men, resolved to beat them down into the sea. When the sun was well in our men's eyes they attacked again, with not less than twice our entire strength of fresh men, and with an overwhelming superiority in field artillery.
ART FOR PHILISTIA
By Irwin Edman
EDITOR'S NOTE: In this series of articles, the first of which was "Philosophy for the Lawless", the second "Religion for the Faithless", Dr. Edman seeks to show that, although present day intellectuals talk much of changed codes, of religion destroyed, of a challenging of convention, there can be for them a stability in the midst of their chaos. He attempts to point the way, to speculate as to what standards will arise from the ashes of the old, if the old is to be truly destroyed.
IN that wave of revealing introspec
literature in the last few years, we have had discovered to ourselves by writers as different as Sherwood Anderson and Sinclair Lewis that American life suffers from standardization, mediocrity, and externality. We have learned that the American scene offers no place or shelter for eternal and beautiful things, and, what is worse, no stimulus or encouragement to the kind of life that flowers into art. We have been told till it hurts that we are lost in the morasses of mechanism, industrialism, and materialism. We have been convicted of wallowing in haste, waste, and greed. There has been comparative silence as an answer to the charges that there is nothing in our continent or in our civilization that gives a characteristic savor or meaning or loveliness to our lives.
Now anyone who has traveled much abroad knows that what these writers say is wrong with the American scene, has been more or less wrong with the world since the industrial revolution. Much of the joy that an American finds in Europe is not the glamor of a beautified present, but the halo of a dying past. The loveliness is that of individual relics and monuments lingering in the midst of a civilization not much less mechanical or external than
our own. The illusion of difference comes partly, though not wholly, from the fact that the American remembers a distilled and purified Europe upon his return. He recalls, not the factories and unemployment of Birmingham but the promenaders in the wide spaces of the Tuileries Gardens. He remembers, not the grime of Manchester but the green of Salisbury, not the soot of the Five Towns but the thatched cottage and the cathedral close.
The indictment that sensitive and creative minds make against the conditions of American life is thus not an accusation against America; it is a charge against that industrial revolution whose operations and consequences are most clearly seen in America where, since it is a young country, there is so little of the lovely persistence of older and more beautiful vestiges and ways of life. The troubled critics of the American scene are making practically the same charges that Matthew Arnold was elegantly thundering against the British middle class fifty years ago. The comfortable citizenry was living upon the fruits of a terrible and dwarfing labor. It was spending its energies in an equally terrible and footless leisure.
Our own recent critics have, on the whole, been concerned not with the