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for the author to fling his thoughts and citing neither nudge nor wink. conceptions up on stronger wings than throughout of high moral rectitude, an uninformed and meticulous realism immaculate save for the little tang of that is accurate enough but no more. suspicion engendered by that word It would be difficult to find a master- "anonymous”, which, biographically piece that is not based upon symbols, speaking, has come to connote the unthe terms of which have more or less savory. It conjures up pictures of passed into the daily parlance of our sneakings down backstairs, of smugspeech.

glings out by servants, of eyes at the If the younger American novelists keyholes of lavatory doors, of furtive most of them so informed, so excellent, jottings on the cuff under the meagre so keenly reactive to the sensations of light of street lamps, of watchful lurklife about them - could more fully ings in the club o' nights in the hope of circumscribe their pictures of contem- overhearing something good, of dawn porary life in symbols it is to be sus- spyings in the corridors of country pected that their work would reach houses: and then at last the trading for infinitely higher planes than it does at thirty pieces of silver. ... At least present. It is true enough that some "Margot” had the courage of her inof these younger writers sense the discretions. power in the symbol, understand that It seems to us that self revelation, more may be conveyed by its use than confession, is the only excuse for anoby reams of precise naturalism in prose. nymity; though, paradoxically enough, But they do not carry it far enough. the psychology of self revelation seems They are too intent upon a photo to make not for a screen but for a megagraphic recreation. They should re- phone. The unsigned revelations of taïn this effective approximation of the faits et gestes of others, living or reality but, at the same time, they dead, seem to us to be altogether inshould inform it with a symbolic value. excusable, to be indeed an adult reproOnly in this way can literature be lifted duction of the manners of those quesfrom parochial standards into a univer- tionable urchins who scrawl on the sal category.

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 inTHE IMMORALITY OF ANONYMITY

vert our thumbs.

SINCE

INCE Margot Asquith came to

these shores to follow up the triumph of her literary indiscretion, there

THE GREAT BOOK OF THE WAR

have come into being — and have since To Gihipoli" Sohn Masefield writes

o the thirteenth edition of his

passed out Dusters” and “Mirrors” and “Recollections”, censored and otherwise, which, like children born of unknown fathers, have made the neighbors nudge and wink. In some cases the content of these nameless utterances could be accused of ex

an introduction that is honest, clear, forceful. He explains that his description of the great campaign was written frankly as propaganda, that it is a mere sketch. He refers the reader to the authoritative books on the campaign, He speaks bitterly of censorship and its which the terrors and struggles of war, power, the limitations it placed upon and the humanity of the soldier in face truth telling. “This censorship was of tremendous odds, are so aptly told. submitted to by the public", he writes, What a mastery of prose rhythm! This "in every country, in the belief that it prose is almost poetry, yet starkly simwould be a sword in the hands of their ple. Homer is the name that comes to skilful generals. No doubt in some mind. Any page carries with it a sense cases it proved to be so; but far more of the march of history. If "Gallipfrequently it served as a shield to hide oli" is not a proper textbook for those the incompetence of generals, staffs, studying the history of the war, it is War Offices and the politicians who set essential for an understanding of the them moving, or checked them (or set spirit of the war, and it should be on them moving and then checked them), every library and home shelf that as their ambitions or their cliques dic- boasts the inclusion of modern literary tated. Early in 1916, this censorship masterpieces. We quote at random: was not, in this country, such a power This word of victory, coming to men who as it afterward came to be, but, as a thought for the moment that their efforts

had been made in vain, had the effect of a matter of course, it barred out the two

fresh brigade. The men rallied back up the most important sources of possible in- hill; bearing the news to the firing-line, the formation, the Admiralty and the War new, constricted line was made good, and

the rest of the night was never anything but Office.” In effect, this prose epic was continued victory to those weary ones in the written as a message to America. It scrub. But 24 hours of continual battle stands now, accurate or inaccurate, as a

exhausts men, and by dawn the Turks,

knowing the weariness of our men, resolved saga of heroism. Mr. Masefield finds

to beat them down into the sea. When the himself puzzled by unwillingness to sun was well in our men's eyes they atglorify war, yet no book could possibly

tacked again, with not less than twice our

entire strength of fresh men, and with an do more to make for peace than one in overwhelming superiority in field artillery.

HUSHED MIDNIGHT

By John Hall Wheelock

I

HEARD the owlet call,

A little, quavering call —
Timidly, timidly out of the dark it cried:
'Twas midnight,
By candlelight
I sat alone, and the light was burning low;
And I thought of you that once had loved me so,
And of my lonely youth, my stubborn pride.
Heart of my heart, it was you out there in the night -
It was you that cried!

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

N that wave of revealing introspec- our own. The illusion of difference

tion that has swept over American comes partly, though not wholly, from literature in the last few years, we have the fact that the American remembers had discovered to ourselves by writers a distilled and purified Europe upon as different as Sherwood Anderson and his return. He recalls, not the facSinclair Lewis that American life suf- tories and unemployment of Birmingfers from standardization, mediocrity, ham but the promenaders in the wide and externality. We have learned spaces of the Tuileries Gardens. He that the American scene offers no place remembers, not the grime of Manchesor shelter for eternal and beautiful ter but the green of Salisbury, not the things, and, what is worse, no stimulus soot of the Five Towns but the or encouragement to the kind of life thatched cottage and the cathedral that flowers into art. We have been close. told till it hurts that we are lost in the The indictment that sensitive and morasses of mechanism, industrialism, creative minds make against the conand materialism. We have been con- ditions of American life is thus not an victed of wallowing in haste, waste, accusation against America; it is a and greed. There has been compara- charge against that industrial revolutive silence as an answer to the charges tion whose operations and consequences that there is nothing in our continent are most clearly seen in America where, or in our civilization that gives a since it is a young country, there is so characteristic savor or meaning or little of the lovely persistence of older loveliness to our lives.

and more beautiful vestiges and ways Now anyone who has traveled much of life. The troubled critics of the abroad knows that what these writers American scene are making practically say is wrong with the American scene, the same charges that Matthew Arnold has been more or less wrong with the was elegantly thundering against the world since the industrial revolution. British middle class fifty years ago. Much of the joy that an American The comfortable citizenry was living finds in Europe is not the glamor of a upon the fruits of a terrible and beautified present, but the halo of a dwarfing labor. It was spending its dying past. The loveliness is that of energies in an equally terrible and individual relics and monuments linger- footless leisure. ing in the midst of a civilization not Our own recent critics have, on the much less mechanical or external than whole, been concerned not with the hardnesses of the labor on which our world about them. In the middle of civilization rests, but with the rotten- the nineteenth century, along with ness, dulness, and absurdity of the those optimistic giants of reason, leisure which it makes possible. The Comte and Mill, they and we night industrial millennium has not arrived. have evolved for ourselves sufficient But what depresses those concerned for faith and exuberance in the possibilities the future of our life on this side of the of progress to have founded and found Atlantic is what that millennium would spiritual satisfaction in a religion of be like if it did arrive. They have humanity. The war — and the peace their suspicions, drawn largely from an - have disillusioned us. The prophets observation of what preoccupies the of sensitive despair have fled to the time of those economically on the yon- ivory tower.

ivory tower. In the exquisite cultivader side of Paradise. Lewis Mumford tion of beautiful moments, they have in his striking"Story of Utopias" points found the only hope of grace in a graceout that the implicit and controlling less world. The concert hall has ideal of our civilization is the Country become the new cathedral, in which House, with all that it implies of the sounds without meaning have been way life should be lived. If the meas- found to be the only pure pleasures in ure of our civilization is to be found by a meaningless world. what we do or would wish to do with But those who flee to art have a our leisure, we are convicted, most of profounder reason. They have shaken the critics assure us and with pain- off the rusty shackles of old foolish fully accurate justice - of doing with moralities, and they have, in a latter it nothing or worse than nothing. day paganism, discovered anew the They insist that the tempo of our life is Greek identity between the beautiful Philistine, and that it lacks the quality, and the good. What is good is not the presence, or the possibility of art. what was commanded by a law no Our leisure is as regimented as our longer believed in. What is good is labor. Our amusements are as com- what is moving to the senses, emotions, pulsory and as standardized as and the mind. For art comes to us, in work. It is not golf they object to, Pater's famous phrase, proposing but the whole regimental rigmarole of frankly to give nothing but the highthe country club. They do not be- est quality to the moments as they moan the radio, but the jazzy disinte- pass, and simply for those moments' gration of the radio programs. It is sake. And in the perfect moments of not that we are pressed and penniless; pure pleasure in color, word or sound, but that having, by current standards, or the free and perfect spontaneity of the major wealth and leisure of the artistic production, prophets of the world, we live in luxurious barracks, newest paganism see not only a stimfind pleasure in excited and standard- ulation but a morality, not merely ized revues, and have neither the indi- a pleasure but a religion. vidual passion of producing nor the Meanwhile the average man in the private peace of enjoying art.

street has become increasingly susFor these critics, art and beauty picious of and insensitive to art as a have indeed become the new religion. thing, a life, a cult. There is no quesHaving nothing much left to believe in tion that in America, for many intelliin the way of a world to come, they gent minds, art is a foolish epithet look for something to cling to in the adored by effeminate sillies. It is

our

associated with museums that one was their original. They know there never enters and books that one never are more important concerns for living - voluntarily - reads. It is profound, men than the tinkle of a rhyme or the unctuous, and essentially unimportant. last nuance of a color. They are justly It is as serious as a religious service, suspicious of those who think there are and as dull. Or it is an embroidered not. dissipation indulged in by elegant

Yet one

can believe that in the wastrels. It suggests the sultry non- quarrels between the æsthetes and the sense of the fin de siècle and the worst hearties, the meaning of art in its widest of Oscar Wilde. The wholesome, nor- human sense has been forgotten. They mal, full blooded he-man with the have both failed to see in art that which tangible goods of swift motors, weekend has made the most profound and golf, and the rattat intoxication of jazz, vertebrate of thinkers, from the Greeks sniffs at museums, concert halls, and down, find in it the type and pattern libraries with all their dull and deadly of civilized achievement. They must arts. If he tolerates art at all, it is with both fail to understand why these same the breeziest of the intellectuals in thinkers have found that a civilization their canonization of the lively arts of without beauty was not a civilization jazz, vaudeville, and the comic strip. at all. Oddly enough, the call to art

The wholesome hearties who feel the as the type of perfect experience and futility of much irrelevant prettifying perfected life has come in our generathat passes for art, are expressing a tion most urgently not from an æsthete certain justice in their reactions. Many at all. It is Havelock Ellis, after a who produce or are absorbed in the lifetime of frank and mellow survey of fine arts in our generation are having all the depths and radiations and the experience, not of art, but of day- heights of human passion, who has dreaming. When poetry degenerates pleaded for beauty as a criterion of into a thin playing with irrelevant morals and art as the most expressive verbal music, it is not an art but a and generous pattern of life. tinkling escape from the major concerns It was Aristotle who long ago fixed of life. It is a flight to fantoms and the most significant and pregnant arabesques from a civilization left no meaning of art. He contrasted it with less brutalized and unadorned. Noth- nature; it is artfulness or artifice; what ing could be more wan and depressing man does to nature; it is what man than an evening spent with a group of does to a nature which was not made people whose only concerns are with for him, but which he must accommothe choice between mauve color and date himself to and subject to his own rose, and who have no life outside the best uses. Bridging a river or broiling exquisite titillations of the fine arts. a steak are instances of art in its Their passions seem puerile and their simplest and most rudimentary sense. subject matter nil. One understands All civilization is in essence an art; why Bernard Shaw believes that in a human intelligence applied to the really adult civilization, like that pic- conditions of nature, and human tured in the last part of “Back to dreams turned through the technique Methuselah”, art would take its place of sciences and institutions into somealong with other toys proper to chil- thing like order and delight. If withdren. The Sancho Panzas of our day out government, as Hobbes insisted, are not complete fools, no more so than life would be “poor, nasty, brutish and

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