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limned here academically yet richly. That Flecker had genius for social as well as æsthetic criticism, "a most vigilant humor, pomp and parade" about him as well as about his lovely words and rhythms, together with all sorts of "sharp-edged clarity", not only Douglas Goldring and now Dr. Hodgson have shown us unforgetably; in addition his own prose works, such as "The Grecians" (valuable suggestions looking toward educational reforms), attest.
A work of unusual historic importance is 'Austria in Dissolution" (Doran), the personal recollections of Stephan, Count Burián, who during the years 1915-17 and 1918 held the high diplomatic office of minister for foreign affairs in the government of AustriaHungary. Count Stephan writes with a strict adherence to the facts of international wartime relationships between the Central Powers and the Entente. He deals successively in his opening chapters with the varied internal and external forces that compelled ultimate participation in the war by the numerous nations which in 1914 declared their neutrality. The subsequent chapters cover with perfect frankness the inner workings of Austro-Hungarian diplomatic policies and problems, peace overtures and negotiations, the gradual undermining at home of the Empire, the persistent but unavailing efforts of Count Stephan for a settlement of the catastrophe, which ended finally in the downfall of the dual monarchy.
No amount of Pepysiana can ever match the charm of the great Diary itself, but it is to the researches and sympathetic scholarship of such men as J. R. Tanner that we owe much of our real knowledge of Pepys, man and statesman. As one of the chief authori
ties on Pepys, Mr. Tanner has succeeded in giving us a book that is in essence a succulent sampling of the Diarist's work, as well as a careful biographical sketch of that part of his life not covered by the Diary. He calls it "Mr. Pepys" (Harcourt, Brace). Here we see Mr. Pepys at home; Mrs. Pepys of the "comely person" who irritated her neat husband by leaving "her things lying about"; the Diarist as a public servant, good fellow, humanist, and insatiable taster of life. It is a book for students of Pepys's life and times, as well as for those readers who enjoy the Diary simply as the chronicle of a singularly full and interesting life. Most busy readers nowadays have dipped into the Diary just enough to look forward to some time of unprecedented leisure for its further perusal. To those who are unwilling to wait till old age has left time on their hands for just such longed for delights, we recommend this book as a clearly outlined full length portrait of "Mr. Pepys".
Whatever hero worship there is in R. F. Dibble's "John L. Sullivan" (Little, Brown) is hero worship with the tongue in the cheek. Of Alfred Dreyfus, after his acquittal and restoration to military rank, it was cynically said that his only virtue was his innocence. John L. Sullivan's only virtue was the honesty in the ring which he was forever proclaiming to the world. To the end of his days he was blatantly shouting on every occasion; "Yours on the level, John L. Sullivan." Viewed coldly, Sullivan is one of the ugliest figures in all the long annals of the prize ring. He was a moron and the most cruel of bullies. Like all bullies, he had a strong vein of cowardice in his nature. That did not show in the ring, for there he was always too supremely confident. The generosity with which
contemporary music? Value, he answers, is constant, and so one who distinguishes it in music of the past can also distinguish it in music of the present. And so Mr. Newman may now distinguish them with impunity, for what he does not enjoy is not first rate. what of the argument that unfamiliarity of idiom may prevent enjoyment, and of the fact that music at first not appreciated for this reason was appreciated when the idiom had become familiar? Mr. Newman finds a convenient distinction between new harmony that talks sense and new harmony that talks nonsense, and insists (1) that only the second will fail to be appreciated, while the first will from its very nature impress the listener with its logic, and (2) that this has always been the case. But, in the first place, as Mr. Newman's own development shows, there is a limit to the receptivity of one's ear; and so, in the second place, a great deal of harmony that we recognize today as talking sense was not appreciated at first. Mr. Newman points out that there were some who judged rightly of their contemporaries, and concludes that he is safe in judging his own. But there were many who judged wrongly, and he may be wrong, too. And so he has brought us no further than we were.
"A profound break in history, that is, a rearrangement of classes in society, shakes up individuality, establishes the perception of the fundamental problems of lyric poetry from a new angle, and so saves art from eternal repetition." In the introduction to his "Literature and Revolution" (International Publishers) Leon Trotsky thus postulates the existence of a new post-revolutionary art. In order to put his finger on the break, he devotes a chapter to pre-revolutionary art, sparing no words in expressing
his contempt for the literature which was created by hangers on of the governing and capitalistic class. From the point of view of both critic and revolutionist, this epoch bore no fruit that could sustain the proletariat. In his succeeding chapter on literary "fellow travelers" he describes the various schools of transitional art from which any new literature in Russia must be born. Such writers as Kliuev, Yessenin, Ivanov, and the more familiar names of Nikitin and Pilnyak he analyzes with a scrutiny that is partly literary and partly political. Futurism he calls a link between the creative intelligentsia and the people, to be regarded therefore as an important step forward. Though he describes the Formalist school as "arrogant and immature", he gives the devil his due in praising its scrupulous, if bigoted, attention to technique. If we cannot follow Trotsky clear through to his glowing predictions of a greater Socialist art where "the forms of life will become dynamically dramatic", we can get from this sharply outlined analysis and positive criticism some sort of picture of contemporary art developments in Russia today. It is not too much to say, also, that much of the clearness of the book is due to its expert translation, in the hands of Rose Strunsky.
In "The Muse in Council" (Houghton Mifflin), John Drinkwater endeavors to "relate to the theory of poetry and the practise of several poets". He considers, in turn, the poet in regard to tradition, conduct, and communication, and adopts the general attitude toward poetry governing all the various conditions of the art. His outlook is not biased with favoritism, and Mr. Drinkwater looks benignly, albeit critically, upon both the ancient and modern altars of poetry. His
treatment of Rupert Brooke is touched with real beauty and understanding. He states frankly that he does not expect people to agree with everything he says nor even, perhaps, with a majority of his views. However, whatever attitude one may take toward the "ecstatic muse", one will be sure to find in this fair minded and candid volume a most interesting expression on poetry by a poet of no mean reputation.
Here is one poet who has time to stand and stare. W. H. Davies, whose "Selected Poems" (Harcourt, Brace) have recently appeared, is not of any known school, though he follows the traditions of Blake and Wordsworth more nearly than he does the moderns. Indeed for all the twentieth century influence he betrays, he might have written a hundred years ago. His diction is clear and possesses a rightness that never calls attention to itself. He sees life with as fresh a light on it as on grass after a rain, and his craftsmanship has no unlovely contours. Woodcuts by Stephen Bone illustrate the book, catching exceedingly well the atmosphere.
It is agreeable to quit for a time the company of jazzing flappers, cocktail mixers, and modern grandmothers, in order to join Arthur Train "On the Trail of the Bad Men" (Scribner). Being deluged with prosaic facts usually means being correspondingly bored, but that is not possible in this instance. With humor, and in readable fiction form, Mr. Train succeeds in giving some interesting and amusing information on both old and modern law. His book will instruct you gratis on "Is it a crime to be rich?", on marriage and divorce, on being a juror, on just what happens if your dog steals, bites, and trespasses, and the astonishing trials of animals about the year
1400. One only regrets that, with such easy fluency, more actual facts happened to be omitted.
Robert Lynd has that species of mild mannered, middle class, middleof-the-road English humanity which makes for modest charm in the hands of the intelligent essayist who leans toward conformity rather than intolerance. In his new volume, "The Peal of Bells" (Appleton), his pointed pleasantries are pleasant enough without being too pointed, proving that you can escape obviousness without necessarily bristling with prejudice and eccentricity.
His essays are well within the English tradition. Suave rather than sprightly, his humor and fancy play about the well known truths with a gentle lambent glow that saves him from extinction without quite flashing into distinction.
"Best Books, and the Very Best" according to Heywood Broun, the curse of billboards, our changing civilization, southern factory towns, Roosevelt's manly virtues, Walter Lippmann's (New York "World") politics, Van Wyck Brooks's highbrows and lowbrows, how they do it at Eton according to A. C. Benson, at Western Reserve according to President Emeritus Thwing, and in Columbia's Dramatic Museum according to Brander Matthews these are some of the things a young boy as well as a young girl ought to know. All these things, as well as a dash of Charles Dudley Warner, Colonel Higginson, and the author of "A Man Without a Country", have been dumped into this second series of "Forum Papers" (Duffield), edited for high school use by Charles Robert Gaston, Ph.D. And if all this makes another safe and sane anthology for high school juniors and seniors, "Fresh
man Readings" (Houghton Mifflin), compiled by Roger Sherman Loomis, lecturer in English at Columbia University, makes still another, "still more so". Autobiography, exposition, character sketches, narratives, "definitions", essays, editorials, and a Seligman-Scott Nearing debate touch almost everything everything save verse and playwriting writing that can legitimately shoulder into a freshman English year. Most personal touch of all here, however, to make this anthology practical, is its inclusion of such more or less unorthodox fellows of yesterday as Hazlitt and Huxley; and Max Eastman, Sinclair Lewis, John Dos Passos, Shaw, Mencken, Santayana, Henry Adams, James Harvey Robinson, Bertrand Russell, and Scott Nearing of today. But, not strangely, this book, dedicated to Frank A. Patterson and Donald Lemen Clark, presents generally pretty "safe" selections from these individualistic gentlemen. Many of these voluminous selections seem not to be the best ones but the worst ones. To cap the climax, Columbia's old trick of parading "colleagues and friends" from Pulitzer to purgatory — obtrudes.
"Edward Everett, Orator and Statesman" by Paul Revere Frothingham (Houghton Mifflin) is a biography that gives back a lost reality to one of the most picturesque figures of early American history. Everett's long and richly varied career, largely political but partly literary, partly editorial, partly academic, is perhaps not so well remembered today as the man's attainments merit; but none of the blame is Dr. Frothingham's if Everett is not resurrected into popularity, for the biographer has performed a thoroughgoing as well as an interesting piece of work.
THE BOOKMAN'S MONTHLY SCORE
Compiled by Frank Parker Stockbridge, Life Member of the American Library Association, in Cooperation with the Public Libraries of America
Nine biographies, four of them "auto", out of twelve most popular general works in June. What lies behind the current passion for the study of the private lives of persons many of whom are not in any real sense famous or well known? One suspects here, as in many other manifestations of public taste, the influence of the movies. In the beginnings of the cinema, the moving shadow shapes upon the screen were as impersonal as the characters in a novel. But the primitive human craving for reality has led to the creation of press agent myths which have established a cult of "fans" to whom the personalities of the actors themselves are more interesting than those they portray on the screen. From the same social stratum as these fans has been developed the reading class which supports the enormous output of "true" magazines, whose fiction is written in the first person and whose stories are never twice attributed to the same author. The next stage in the literary education of this class is biography. Fed on the pictorial daily press and the movie, hundreds of thousands are reading biography in blissful unawareness that what they are reading is "literature”.
10. Life and Letters of Walter H. Page Burton J. Hendrick
* This title has not before appeared in the Monthly Score.