« PreviousContinue »
his contempt for the literature which treatment of Rupert Brooke is touched was created by hangers on of the govern- with real beauty and understanding. ing and capitalistic class. From the He states frankly that he does not expoint of view of both critic and revolu- pect people to agree with everything he tionist, this epoch bore no fruit that says nor even, perhaps, with a majority could sustain the proletariat. In his of his views. However, whatever attisucceeding chapter on literary "fellow tude one may take toward the “ecstatic travelers” he describes the various muse”, one will be sure to find in this schools of transitional art from which fair minded and candid volume a most any new literature in Russia must be interesting expression on poetry by a born. Such writers as Kliuev, Yes- poet of no mean reputation. senin, Ivanov, and the more familiar names of Nikitin and Pilnyak he ana- Here is one poet who has time to stand lyzes with a scrutiny that is partly and stare. W. H. Davies, whose “Seliterary and partly political. Futurism lected Poems" (Harcourt, Brace) have he calls a link between the creative recently appeared, is not of any known intelligentsia and the people, to be re- school, though he follows the traditions garded therefore as an important step of Blake and Wordsworth more nearly forward. Though he describes the than he does the moderns. Indeed for Formalist school as "arrogant and im- all the twentieth century influence he mature", he gives the devil his due betrays, he might have written a hunin praising its scrupulous, if bigoted, at- dred years ago.
His diction is clear tention to technique. If we cannot fol- and possesses a rightness that never low Trotsky clear through to his glow- calls attention to itself. He sees life ing predictions of a greater Socialist art with as fresh a light on it as on grass where "the forms of life will become after a rain, and his craftsmanship has dynamically dramatic", we can get from no unlovely contours. Woodcuts by this sharply outlined analysis and posi- Stephen Bone illustrate the book, catchtive criticism some sort of picture of ing exceedingly well the atmosphere. contemporary art developments in Russia today. It is not too much to It is agreeable to quit for a time the say, also, that much of the clearness of
company of jazzing flappers, cocktail the book is due to its expert translation, mixers, and modern grandmothers, in in the hands of Rose Strunsky.
order to join Arthur Train “On the
Trail of the Bad Men" (Scribner). In “The Muse in Council” (Hough- Being deluged with prosaic facts ton Mifflin), John Drinkwater endeav- usually means being correspondingly ors to “relate to the theory of poetry bored, but that is not possible in this and the practise of several poets”. instance. With humor, and in readHe considers, in turn, the poet in re- able fiction form, Mr. Train succeeds gard to tradition, conduct, and com- in giving some interesting and amusing munication, and adopts the general information on both old and modern attitude toward poetry governing all law. His book will instruct you gratis the various conditions of the art. His on "Is it a crime to be rich?”, on maroutlook is not biased with favoritism, riage and divorce, on being a juror, on and Mr. Drinkwater looks benignly, just what happens if your dog steals, albeit critically, upon both the ancient bites, and trespasses, and the astonishand modern altars of poetry. His ing trials of animals about the year
1400. One only regrets that, with man Readings" (Houghton Mifflin), such easy fluency, more actual facts compiled by Roger Sherman Loomis, happened to be omitted.
lecturer in English at Columbia Uni
versity, makes still another, “still Robert Lynd has that species of more so". Autobiography, exposition, mild mannered, middle class, middle- character sketches, narratives, "defiof-the-road English humanity which nitions", essays, editorials, and a Seligmakes for modest charm in the hands man-Scott Nearing debate touch almost of the intelligent essayist who leans everything
verse and playtoward conformity rather than intol- writing — that can legitimately shoulerance. In his new volume, “The der into a freshman English year. Peal of Bells" (Appleton), his pointed Most personal touch of all here, howpleasantries are pleasant enough with- ever, to make this anthology practical, out being too pointed, proving that you is its inclusion of such more or less can escape obviousness without neces- unorthodox fellows of yesterday as sarily bristling with prejudice and ec- Hazlitt and Huxley; and Max Eastcentricity. His essays are well within man, Sinclair Lewis, John Dos Passos, the English tradition. Suave rather Shaw, Mencken, Santayana, Henry than sprightly, his humor and fancy Adams, James Harvey Robinson, Berplay about the well known truths with trand Russell, and Scott Nearing of a gentle lambent glow that saves him today.
today. But, not strangely, this book, from extinction without quite flashing dedicated to Frank A. Patterson into distinction.
and Donald Lemen Clark, presents
generally pretty "safe" selections “Best Books, and the Very Best” from these individualistic gentlemen. according to Heywood Broun, the curse Many of these voluminous selections of billboards, our changing civilization, seem not to be the best ones but the southern factory towns, Roosevelt's worst ones. To cap the climax, manly virtues, Walter Lippmann's Columbia's old trick of parading (New York “World”) politics, Van “colleagues and friends” from Pulitzer Wyck Brooks's highbrows and low- to — purgatory - obtrudes. brows, how they do it at Eton according to A. C. Benson, at Western Re- "Edward Everett, Orator and Statesserve according to President Emeritus man” by Paul Revere Frothingham Thwing, and in Columbia's Dramatic (Houghton Mifflin) is a biography that Museum according to Brander Mat gives back a lost reality to one of the thews-these are some of the things most picturesque figures of early Amera young boy as well as a young girl ican history. Everett's long and richly ought to know. All these things, as varied career, largely political but well as a dash of Charles Dudley War- partly literary, partly editorial, partly ner, Colonel Higginson, and the author academic, is perhaps not so well rememof "A Man Without a Country", have bered today as the man's attainments been dumped into this second series merit; but none of the blame is Dr. of "Forum Papers" (Duffield), edited Frothingham's if Everett is not resurfor high school use by Charles Robert rected into popularity, for the biogGaston, Ph.D. And if all this makes rapher
rapher has performed a thoroughanother safe and sane anthology for going as well as an interesting piece of high school juniors and seniors, “Fresh- 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".
- F. P.S. FICTION
1. The Little French Girl 2. Arrowsmith 3. The White Monkey 4. The Constant Nymph 5. The Green Hạt 6. So Big 7. Soundings 8. The Thundering Herd 9. The Mother's Recompense * 10. The Carolinian 11. The Reckless Lady 12. Love *
Anne Douglas Sedgwick
LITTLE HARPER APPLETON HOUGHTON
1. Mark Twain's Autobiography Samuel L. Clemens
HARPER 2. John Keats
HOUGHTON 3. Twice Thirty
Edward W. Bok
SCRIBNER 4. Ariel: The Life of Shelley
APPLETON 5. Saint Joan
George Bernard Shaw BRENTANO 6. The New Decalogue of Science Albert Edward Wiggam
BOBBS 7. Woodrow Wilson
William Allen White
HOUGHTON 8. The Fruit of the Family Tree Albert Edward Wiggam
BOBBS 9. My Garden of Memory
Kate Douglas Wiggin HOUGHTON 10. Life and Letters of Walter H. Page Burton J. Hendrick
DOUBLEDAY 11. A Woman of Fifty *
Rheta Childe Dort FUNK & WAGNALLS 12. Etiquette
FUNK & WAGNALLS
* This title has not before appeared in the Monthly Score.
THE SEVEN SEAS
The P. E. N. Club Convention in Paris-The Revolt of the “Negres" —
"HE outstanding literary event of the international activities of the club
the past few months in Paris was were discussed. It was agreed that the the convention of the P. E. N. Clubs, next meeting should be held in Berlin which I mentioned briefly in my last during May, 1926. It was interesting notes. The P. E. N. is an international to note during the discussions the way association of Poets and Playwrights, in which the various delegates, while Essayists and Editors, and Novelists. maintaining their national point of Founded several years ago in London view, were willing to accept suggesby Mrs. Dawson Scott, it now num- tions, to make concessions, and to work bers some three thousand members in harmony for the common good. living in twenty two different coun- Among the countries which took active tries.
part in the different discussions were The gathering at Paris was a dis- Belgium, Germany, England, Italy, tinguished one, the speakers at the Roumania, Austria, Poland, Mexico, banquet including, in addition to John the United States, Spain, and Holland. Galsworthy, president of the English Throughout the convention the prescentre, Paul Valéry and Georges Du- ence and enthusiasm of John Galshamel, who spoke in the name of the worthy contributed largely to its sucCercle Littéraire International (the cess. Although Mr. Galsworthy was French branch of the P. E. N.), Ger- far from well (he had been in bed for a trude Atherton from America, Piran- week with influenza before leaving dello from Italy, Heinrich Mann from England and fell a victim to typhoid Germany, Alexandre Kuprin from Rus- fever early in June), his idealism anisia, Johann Bojer from Scandina- mated and stimulated the delegates. via, and Miguel de Unamuno from The social side of the meeting was Spain. Besides Mrs. Atherton, there tactfully and successfully managed by were present other well known Ameri- Benjamin Crémieux, secretary of the can authors: Alice Hegan Rice and French Cercle Littéraire International. Cale Young Rice, Gelett Burgess, Lula Vollmer, W. E. Woodward, the official delegate from the American Teachers and parents frequently P. E. N. Club, Henry K. Marks, whose find it difficult to choose suitable readnovel “Undertow" has proved so suc- ing matter in French for Anglo-Saxon cessful in French, Martin Flavin the boys and girls of the high school age. playwright, and Pierre Loving.
I feel justified in predicting that young During the executive sessions vari- people will enjoy a new series of volous important matters connected with umes entitled “Nobles Vies: Grandes
Euvres" which the Librairie Plon has color but one of those unfortunate begun to publish. Written especially scribes who, for a mere pittance, supfor young people by such well known ply their more celebrated colleagues authors as Henry Bordeaux, René with material which the latter publish Bazin, Paul Appell, Mary Duclaux, over their own signatures. It might Paul Hazard, and Georges Goyau, be added that this reprehensible system these books describe in a simple yet is by no means confined to the banks of vivid way the lives and aspirations of the Seine. The enterprising "Journal such men as Guynemer the airman, Littéraire" came out with several arJ. H. Fabre the naturalist, Charles de ticles on the subject, going so far as to Foucault, the explorer of the Sahara, give names and figures. Naturally Victor Hugo, and other famous per- these exposures aroused a burst of desonalities.
nials and protests. Two of the authors particularly incriminated were Willy,
whose famous “Claudine" series is The heroic side of prominent men now generally admitted to be the work and women, especially if they are our of Madame Colette, and Félicien contemporaries, interests us less as a Champsaur, whose name has been rule than their "human, all too hu- affixed to any number of "shilling man" characteristics. Two volumes, shockers" which sell in thousands of “Le Gazetier Indiscret” and “Le copies all over the world. Théâtre Indiscret", provide an inter- The employment of a nègre is in no esting peep behind the scenes of the sense limited to professional novelParisian literary and dramatic world, ists. In fact, it is still more common catch authors, publishers, producers, among celebrities who, having achieved and actresses off their guard, and re- notoriety in some walk of life in which a port a number of the most piquant literary training is not necessary, conanecdotes which have formed a part of sent, either for the added glory or more the chronique scandaleuse during the tangible returns, to inform the public past twelve months. Though the pub- how they become famous or tell some lic abroad is not likely to know all the "inside" stories about their profespeople whose saying and doings the sion. One of the best known French authors have chronicled so maliciously, nègres, the humorist Curnonsky, adthe foreign reader can still appreciate mitted recently that he had been the wit and sparkle of their repartee. employed both by a well known comic Enough figures of international reputa- actor to write a novel of stage life and tion like Cécile Sorel, Paul Morand, by a member of the d'Orléans family Jean Cocteau, Anatole France, Piran- to describe his exploits in big game dello, Madame Simone, and Léon hunting in Africa. Curnonsky added: Bakst are mentioned to satisfy the "Not a single critic recognized how most inveterate lion hunter.
much alike the two books were!"
Something of a storm in Paris pub- Lovers of Paris everywhere will relishing circles has recently been pro- joice in the album of illustrations voked by what may be called “The accompanied by explicative text which Revolt of the Nègres". In Parisian Marcel Poète has just issued as the slang a nègre is not a gentleman of second part of his monumental work