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exchange and stock market transactions. It may have been a recollection of this fact which caused one of his dear confrères to say of Morand the other day: "Poor fellow, he's looking badly lately and no wonder. His next book is called 'L'Europe Galante'. Just think what he must have gone through to get his facts!"

Before leaving the subject of exotism in recent French literature it is essential to speak of the wholly delightful volume entitled "L'Honorable Partie de Campagne" by Thomas Rancat. The author, an engineer who has lived several years in Japan, here makes his début as a professional man of letters. It is an altogether auspicious one. May he speedily abandon his steel bridges, dynamos, motors, or whatever form of mechanical contrivance he may deal in, and give us more of these charming pictures of a country and people very different from the conventional lay figures of Loti's "Madame Chrysanthème". The honorable O Tara San, aged two but with a hat, his honorable mother and her honorable friends, to say nothing of the station master, are remarkably vivid creations.

How many American readers of French are there who have discovered Joseph Delteil? If one can stomach Rabelais and can, in spite of a certain almost incredible coarseness of language, enjoy prose which is incandescent with highly colored and original metaphors, then one should read his "Sur le Fleuve Amour", "Les Cinq Sens", or better still, "Cholera". This author, who up till now has appeared as a modern of the moderns, a disciple of Freud at his most explicit, announces that he is about to present us with the first really adequate biography of Jeanne d'Arc! It is safe to predict that his book will be

something very different from the scholarly compilation of Anatole France or the panegyrics of more orthodox writers. The chapter which appeared not long ago in the "Nouvelle Revue Française" had in it, besides a certain naive realism, a dignity and tenderness which one would hardly have expected to find in Delteil. To have made Anatole France devout and Delteil pure is reason enough for pronouncing Joan a worker of miracles.

No French author in the past ten years has received more praise from foreign critics than Marcel Proust. The next volume of Proust's great cycle "A la Recherche du Temps Perdu" will appear in June. As previously announced, it will be entitled "Albertine Disparu". We learned, in the fragment published by "The Criterion" last spring, that Albertine is killed by being thrown. from her horse. The opening of the new volume goes on and shows us, with all of Proust's characteristic minuteness, the various reactions which this event arouses in the heart of the man who has loved her. But that is by no means all. One of Proust's favorite doctrines was the fragility of human sentiments, and we are not altogether surprised to find his hero taken up with a new intrigue. The latter is made the more piquant by the fact that the woman in the case is none other than

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quiou, his sometime friend, was one of those men about whom legends spring up even in their own lifetime. Montesquiou's memoirs in an abridged form are to be published shortly in English. Certain of these legends, dealing both with Proust and Montesquiou, are retold pleasantly in a book that has

just appeared by the Duchesse de Clermont-Tonnerre. The author knew the two men of letters intimately, and her volume with its number of hitherto unpublished letters throws some interesting sidelights on these two unusual characters.




By Maxwell Bodenheim


You win the love of men

Who look upon you as a soft

And indiscreetly reassuring minx.

You stand upon the street corner

Of their trysts and felonies.

Underneath your glance

Their disappointments grow less harsh

And assume a charmed, theatrical pose,

While their momentary victories

Feel an ardent ownership of life.

Again, to other men you seem
Obnoxious, cloying, and replete

With remedies that merely drug the wound.

To them, you wander through the sharp

And carnal vagaries of life,

And make the faces of men and women

Blind beneath your perfumed handkerchief.

Yet, you are none of the figures

Engraved upon you by the needs of men.
You stand, invincibly compassionate;
Disguised by frail, poetic mockeries;
Held up by an ephemeral erectness

Whose finely knitted lies

Are often better than the stripped

And grossly stooping honesties of life.

You wait for men to corrupt you
With their snivelings and heavy smiles,
But at your best you add

A quickly graceful, valiant compensation
To the underpaid and slowly wilting
Slaveries of minds and hearts.



To Was Your rather puzzled query, "How Sell, Why Buy?" which appeared in the March BoOKMAN a rhetorical question, or would a reply be permissible? It seems to me that there are some definite reasons why people buy one particular book instead of another very much like it in size and color", and also why publishers find advertising an effective means of selling their wares.

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Generally speaking, readers are of two types - those to whom reading is as much a necessity as eating and sleeping, and who form their own literary judgments; and those admirable souls who read only the most talked of books. The laudable aim of these readers is to be "up" on literature, or else they are pursued with the American's great bogy, fear of missing something.

Individuals who comprise the first class differ widely in taste, of course. As you say, some booklovers buy Zane Grey's perennial novel as faithfully as they buy the Newsboy's Annual on New Year's Day, while others wait expectantly for new books of James Branch Cabell or of Aldous Huxley. But after all, every reader's list of favorite contemporary writers is comparatively short, and while some of these readers rely thereafter upon the "classics", a greater number are open to suggestion. point the ubiquitous book advertisement enters, and I really believe that advertisements even of books leave an impress on one's consciousness.

At this

I have selected, almost at random, several book advertisements from a weekly literary review. The writer whose book is announced in the following is virtually unknown, hence the reader is given an idea of the book by the method of comparison:

THE CONSTANT NYMPH By Margaret Kennedy As witty as May Sinclair at her best-fascinatingkeen!

If the reader is particularly fond of May Sinclair's books, he will indignantly read "The Constant Nymph" to verify his preconceived decision that Miss Kennedy is not as witty as May Sinclair. On the other hand, if he is addicted to Harold Bell Wright and has never heard of May Sinclair, it is an even chance that he will not be interested in "The Constant Nymph". But he certainly wouldn't have been, anyway, if the advertisement had not appeared, and there is a possibility that the title may attract him!

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The thousands of "Evening Journal" readers are unswerving in their loyalty, and "Martha" will undoubtedly be a best seller in the most lucrative sense of the word.

Human beings, or at any rate, Americans, cannot resist the announcement of a bargain sale an announcement to which is appended the warning:

COME EARLY- The DEMAND for these stockings will far exceed the SUPPLY-NO MORE THAN SIX PAIRS TO ONE PERSON!

Consequently, advertisements like the following react with great effect upon those who read to be "up" on literature:

13 Times

We have reprinted

Because of the insatiable demand - etc.

Since advertising in this country has been raised to a stage of perfection wherein "more than a million of us weekly" spend five cents to admire the artistic pictures of superb automobiles, browned biscuits, and several brands of toothpaste, each of which is the only way of avoiding frightful diseases of the teeth, small wonder that we cannot avoid the reading of book advertisements! As a result of years of travel in street cars, subways, and in motor cars, we have unconsciously acquired the habit of examining every spot of bright artificial color. One placard informs us that some enterprising American has invented an unfailing system of developing dimples where none have

flashed before; another has a method for starting Ford cars in winter without discomfort.

We have learned to rely upon advertisements as an escape from ennui, if for no other reason; and we would not be representative Americans if we did not read and profit by proclamations of products as prosaic comparatively speakingnew books!





I've been about lately and had work to do so I have had no opportunity to tell you how glad I was to see Mrs. Conrad's letter reprinted in THE BOOKMAN. I had heard of it but had not seen it, so I was hampered and bothered by a lack of first hand knowledge. Because I had read F. M. Ford's book and thought, and still think, that it is a most fascinating and remarkable study. There has been much comment upon the flare up on the part of the Conradistas led by Mrs. Conrad, but the comment has been singularly lacking in imagination. The theory that a writer's wife is necessarily an infallible guide in matters concerning her husband's literary activities and friendships is novel and amazing. Mrs. Conrad's letter and her previous excursions into print lead one to suspect that had she not happened to be Conrad's wife, she would never have read Conrad's books. Her dislike of Mr. Ford has nothing to do with the case. Mr. Ford has written a brilliant study of Conrad. He premises at the outset that he is going to write a novel about Conrad. In doing this he has presented Conrad to us in an entirely satisfying and legitimate light. Because Ford has not had the luck or the cunning to secure an American public it is assumed that he is therefore small beer and of no importance. There are many writers in England who are just as legitimately the objects of our interest as Arnold Bennett, Walpole, Arlen, and others, and these fortunate writers would be the first to tell you so.

When Mrs. Conrad says that Ford's book is detestable she is expressing her own opinion, but it has no value beyond that of any other lady. Those devoted adherents of the Conrad cult are doing their hero a serious disservice in decrying Ford's book. It is a greater tribute to the dead master than most of the stuff ground out now by people

who allowed Conrad's books to be pirated all over the place and were not even aware of his existence when he was not yet the vogue.

I am surprised no one has seen the amusing side of Mrs. Conrad's letter. I have personally known of married men who had affiliations and friendships unknown to their wives. I have known wives who were so prejudiced against men friends of their husbands that the husbands have soft pedaled those friendships.

But I am more interested in the reaction of the public lately to the Ford-Conrad squabble because I think most people underestimate "Romance", the book Ford and Conrad struggled with for so long. To me it is one of the best of the lot. It is not Conradian in the sense that "Nostromo❞ and "Youth" are Conradian, but it is one of the best stories of the lot. It is so magnificently built, it seems to stand the strain of years and constant rereading. It owes much to Ford, and I for one wish some of the other books had had some Ford in them "The Rescue" and "The Arrow of Gold", for instance. Mrs. Conrad said a plot was of no use to her husband, which is true in one sense. But it is a sense that can be easily carried beyond reason. To say that Conrad was independent of plots is to misunderstand the whole business of writing. In Conrad's first book, written before he met Ford, "Almayer's Folly", there is a very skilful and intricate plot structure. To say that Conrad could not use another man's plot means nothing. No writer can use the other man's plot as the other man hands it to him. But he can make it his own. As an example, I had a plot given me by another man. Indeed, he had made a story of it but it did not function. I took it. I agreed to use it. I stripped it to the bare bones. I even took the bones apart and reconstructed the skeleton. I provided new scenes, new characters, a fresh climax, and added several other improvements. But the idea came from the other man, and without his preliminary plot my story would never have been written.

This is explaining great things by small, but we are all human, I suppose. What I want to protest against is the embalming of Conrad in a grand tomb. Ford shows us the living man. Let us keep him living. Already publishers are beginning to advertise new books by authors who (strange to say!) resemble Conrad. Let us keep him human. He was a great man, but rect me if I am wrong only a mortal man.




CCASIONALLY the quibbles and the quiddities of literary folk became boring. I was amazed recently at the attitude taken by Thomas Hardy's English publishers toward Ernest Brennecke's biography. Here is a young American student and journalist, a kindly, forthright person who has spent the best years of his life studying Hardy, whom he greatly admires. Perhaps his American publishers made undue claims for the book

I don't know. On the whole it is an excellent piece of work, and it seems to me that all those connected with Mr. Hardy should feel grateful for the undertaking and its accomplishment. I suppose in banking or in the canning business such unpleasant episodes constantly occur; but one is always hoping that publishers and authors still have some ethics, some sense of art and taste. However, it does not seem to be so; and there will be quarrels forever and anon. Speaking of quarrels, have you ever talked with a lecturer on poetry concerning the attitude he is expected to take on the subject of Edgar A. Guest? Mr. Guest, by the way, the last time I met him, had had an excellent Ford presented to him by the manufacturer; now, however, he has apparently decided to drive in other makes. A nice and shy poet of national reputation was talking in Detroit recently. Someone demanded an opinion of Mr. Guest. Somewhat fearing, but nevertheless courageous, he answered that in his humble opinion Mr. Guest was no poet at all. After the talk a lady swathed in furs approached him. "Do you drive a car?" she asked. He shook his head sadly.

"Mr. Guest", said the lady with hauteur as she swished away, "owns a Packard!" And that, after all, is the answer in America! Sometimes we are driven to a Menckenish state of mind. (I use "we" to mean those poor folk who try to steer a liberal course in the hurlyburly of American opinion.) Speaking of Mencken, the reports of Mr. Nathan's marriage are still at large, although that gentleman denies them. However, so many people deny so many things that turn out to be true. I can think of nothing more delightful than that Mr. Nathan should marry, unless it should be that he and his fellow editor should have a double wedding! Now that would be a wedding!

It never pays to write about parties to which you didn't go, even if you were invited. It seems that Constance Linsay Skinner's tea for Stefansson and Zuloaga was entertained by the music of Cecil Arden of the Metropolitan, who sang Spanish-American folk songs and also Miss Skinner's "Wild Woman's Lullaby" set to music for her by Buzzi-Peccia. Alas, that the chance to hear a wild woman's lullaby was missed. Could anything be more soothing? Miss Skinner is the lady who writes Indian poetry, or adapts it or translates it or whatever it is one does to Indian poetry. The other day a gentleman who once sat about council fires and heard the folk tales of various tribes, came into the office, and brought with him a book that recalled childhood memories. Have you ever looked at a little book called "Algonquin Indian Legends", by Leland? It

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