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The Authors' League asks that the following information be printed:
The Authors' League Fund, incorporated under the laws of the State of New York in 1917, is an organ designed to give aid to artists, authors, dramatists, etc. in need through age or misfortune. It is the only organization to which members of its allied professions can apply for quick, confidential service in the form of loans without interest or security. No sex, age or race limits are drawn, neither need the recipient be a member of the Authors' League, the only stipulation being that the case be pressing and deserving.
Although established and conducted by the Authors' League, the Fund is a distinct organization, and no part of League dues goes toward its support, which is maintained solely by voluntary contribution, all donors of five dollars or more becoming members for the period of one year. The books are audited by certified public accountants and reports made at frequent intervals to both the Fund and the League.
The Fund hopes shortly to be able to establish a permanent endowment, the principal of which will be preserved intact and the interest used for needy cases. A benefit entertainment will soon be held to obtain money with this object in view. Pensions and a home for aged and incapacitated authors and artists is another end toward which the Fund is striving.
The officers of the Fund are George Creel, president; Charles Dana Gibson, first vice president; Booth Tarkington, second vice president; Owen Davis, third vice president; Ellis Parker Butler, secretary; Luise Sillcox, treasurer. The Board of Directors, the majority of which must be League members, consists of George Ade, Irving Bacheller, George Barr Baker, Rex Beach, Eugene Buck, Ellis Parker Butler, Irvin S. Cobb, C. B. Falls, Edna Ferber, James Forbes, Montague Glass, John Golden, Arthur Guiterman, Ruth Hale, Will Irwin, Orson Lowell, George Barr McCutcheon, J. Hartley Manners, Alice Duer Miller, Kathleen Norris, Harvey O'Higgins, Mary Roberts Rinehart, Tony Sarg, Charles Scribner, Frederick A. Stokes, Julian Street, Walter Darwin Teague, William Allen White, Mrs. Payne Whitney, Jesse Lynch Williams.
Here is a cause of interest to all who care for writing and writers.
"Sonnets of a Simpleton" is a good title for a book. It was given to a series of genial verses by A. M. Sulli
van, and published, curiously enough, in Newark. Grant C. Knight sends a copy of his "Superlatives" to the Gossip Shop. I have a feeling that he has a sly suspicion that the superlative habit is one which is not to be overlooked in these pages. However, I liked his book: it is clever, and has informative value as well. In case you have not seen it, he writes of things literary under chapter headings such as "The Greatest Rogue", "The Most Unreal", etc., etc. Having abandoned the editorial "we" in the Gossip Shop, I find myself wondering what prompted Mr. Knight to use it throughout an entire volume. his own taste.
However, each man to Roland Holt's "A List of Music for Plays and Pageants" is a carefully put together and useful little book. For collectors and not, to me at least, of great literary distinction - are Joseph Conrad's "Tales of Hearsay" and Lewis Carroll's "Novelty and Romancement". The former are stories by the great novelist hitherto unpublished in book form; the latter a newly discovered story by the author of "Alice in Wonderland". Each month I collect on the corner of my desk these tidbits of one sort and another. The record of plays produced under the direction of David Belasco, autographed and explicit, naturally gives me a few twinges about the editorial in the March BOOKMAN, but no record of past achievement can quite blot out this season in my mind. "Fancy's Garden" from the Rowny Press of Los Angeles is a beautifully made and illustrated volume. It contains poems by Luisa Re Mondini. Now I hate to carp, but for a beautiful book the case is execrable in my humble opinion, of course. The orange backing is ugly and the proportions seem to me all wrong. However, the inside is lovely, I'll admit.
Sinclair Lewis. $2.00 By Virginia Woolf. $3.50
Count Hermann Keyserling's
of a Philosopher
The most important foreign book to be published so far this year.
"One of the most absorbing of all recent books. The writer may yet emerge as one of the great ones of the earth."-N. Y. Times.
2 vols. $10.00
M. R. Werner's
By the author of
As a background for his biography of the great Mormon leader Mr. Werner tells of the birth of Mormonism, its persecution, and its establishment in Utah. Illustrated, $5.00
In this World
Harold Bruce. $3.00
Harcourt, Brace & Company, 383 Madison Ave., N. Y.
JOHN FARRAR, Editor
THE POINT OF VIEW
ST. THOMAS CHATTERTON
HE religion of literature has always had its patron saints. Flaubert is one of these; and Chatterton is another -the patron saint of the distressed and miserable and hopeless, of those who write without recognition, without reward, without even the bare means of livelihood. The story of Francis Thompson, to whom Chatterton appeared at a crucial moment, is worth retelling in this connection. It is quoted from the conversation of the elder Meynell by Wilfrid Scawen Blunt in the second volume of "My Diaries".
Meynell, it appears, had printed an essay of Thompson's and sent him a check. The check had been returned, since Thompson no longer lived at the address given. Meynell took pains to find the poet, who presently came to see him. "His appearance was then terrible in its destitution. When he came into the room he half opened the door, and then retreated, and did so twice before he got courage to come inside. He was in rags, his feet without stockings showing through his boots,
his coat torn, and no shirt. He seemed in the last stages of physical collapse." Invited to dinner, he talked until about ten o'clock, "when he became uneasy and said he must be going. I asked him what obliged him, and he explained that he was obliged to earn tenpence every day to live. This he did by waiting at the doors of theatres and calling cabs, and by selling matches in the neighborhood of Charing Cross." And then Thompson told Meynell the story of the moment when Chatterton had appeared and saved his life:
'He used, before I knew him," said Meynell, "to sleep at night under the arches of Covent Garden, where every quarter of an hour he was liable to be kicked awake by the police and told to move on. It was in an empty space of ground behind the market where the gardeners throw their rubbish, that, just before, he had resolved on suicide. He then spent all his remaining pence on laudanum, one large dose, and he went there at night to take it. He had swallowed half when he felt an arm laid on his wrist, and looking up he saw Chatterton standing over him and for
fair play will prompt the publishers to stop the publication of such material; and that we pledge ourselves to constantly advocate newspaper advertising for laundries.
This amazing paragraph sprang from anger caused by the syndicate publication of an essay dealing with laundries written by one of our most famous humorists. One must not jibe at the laundry, lest perfervid orators spring up on street corners to defend the sanctity of the perfectly tailored sheet. It must not be written down that laundries occasionally stray from the path of cleanliness.
From this idiotic effort at press muzzling, two points may be made. First, that the brazen attempts by various groups in America to control public opinion are real and serious barriers to the freedom of speech. The lack of humor that might prompt undertakers, plumbers, dentists, cross word puzzle fans, or even editors to band together to keep the newspapers clean of fun, might conceivably put "Life" out of business but could not greatly affect the Constitution of the United States. Other organizations, functioning likewise, could wreck a nation. H. L. Mencken is forever laughing at America, along with reformers of one sort or another. As long as Mr. Mencken can laugh at himself he will be a successful editor, and as long as we can laugh at Mr. Mencken, Dr. Frank Crane, and other propagandists, we shall be safe from their wiles.
The other point that the serious minded wielders of sud and iron have overlooked is the advertising value of humor. As many men have been made by a joke as have been ruined by one. Suppose Mr. Ford had attempted to stamp out the Ford car joke. Fancy President Coolidge issuing an edict that stories of his taciturnity must cease. Personality is the result of divergence