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and provide the advertising that sustains the magazines.
I suppose in an ideal world, the people who write could sustain each other, much as the inhabitants of the Scilly Islands do, by taking in each other's washing, but till that golden age arrives I am afraid the contemned business man must be tolerated, and might be treated with kindness. After all, not every business man prefers Eddie Guest to Amy Lowell. But the sad thing is that no business men can admire each other with the unadulterated pride that young writers do. Yours very truly,
HARRY E. MAGEE.
ment of life true that only gives one half the truth, and leaves the uninformed with a false impression of the world war as a whole? Half truths have been ranked as worse than lies, as being harder to refute. Is anything a work of art that deals in half truths?
The acting in_“They Knew What They Wanted”, with Bennett in the leading rôle, was superb, but as before stated, we are weary of the exploitation of the drab experiences of the low life of near morons.
Give us something appetizing for a change, and stop feeding us husks, they are too strong for a steady diet.
MARIE TELLO PHILLIPS.
EAR MR. FARRAR:
DEA called "Naughty amic. Belasco Pied the Dean the May issue of THE BOOKMAN THE GOSSIP SHOP
Simon Pure quotes the English nurseryman and points out the highly colored language in which he presents his wares to the public. These quotations have eloquence and beauty, and the style might well be adapted to some of our American advertising which runs (too frequently to “cliché" and convention.
The florist, however, whose advertising appeared in Chicago some time ago cannot be accused of the commonplace or the “cliché”. His street car cards are little gems of poetic beauty. Here is one:
writer, when on a recent visit to New York, to see the three plays therein lauded (“Candida”, “They Knew What They Wanted”, and “What Price Glory?”).
If these three plays are the best New York can offer, it is a sad commentary on New York. They all deal with illicit love, and while they may be true to the segment of life with which they deal, audiences must be weary of looking at these unpleasant segments microscopically delineated by the plays of today.
Do we not get enough of the sordid and commonplace in the newspapers and life generally? Why must we be compelled to grovel in it? This does not apply to “Candida", which like many of Bernard Shaw's plays is food for the intellect, appreciated better in the reading than on the stage. It is incongruous, as it is acted. The poet, who causes the minister-husband such anguish, in the play seemed crazy enough to be locked up, and too absolutely unattractive to ensnare any sane woman.
We have heard “What Price Glory?” mentioned as by far the best play in New York. All through it, we waited for something to lift it out of the purely sordid, to get a glimpse of the other side of the picture, but we left disappointed. There is another side to the picture. Is any detached seg
A GLIMPSE OF PARADISE The windows of the Master Florist now ablossom with the beauty of the earth, give each day to the passer-by a little hint of heaven.
And for a poetic interpretation of the hackneyed “DO IT NOW", what can compare with the following:
SUMMER PARADISE Bathe now in their beauty. Bask in their brightness, for in a few short weeks they go, and with them goes some of life's sunshine.
The Master Florist
No, neither of these "ads” told the passenger to “SAY IT WITH FLOWERS”.
JOSEPH T. SCALLON.
CLEMENT SHORTER has
"LEMENT SHORTER has re- Sinclair Lewis has returned again to
cently made some ridiculous as- America. He is about to undertake a sertions in the English press about Amy book which gives him a better chance Lowell's death. With the instinct of a than anything since "Main Street”. true journalist, he has found it proba- I have not seen the subject announced, ble that Edmund Gosse, J. C. Squire, and I don't want to betray a confiand a few other English reviewers who dence, so I shall let you guess as to the did not feel, as most of us in this coun- particular section of American buntry do, that Miss Lowell's “John combe he is about to attack. At any Keats" is a great biography, were rate, under the circumstances I judge active agents in bringing about the that he himself will be a character; if death of this heroic woman. Fortu- not the hero, certainly a close relative. nately, editorial writers have come to Edna Ferber vanished suddenly from Miss Lowell's defense. No more ab- town. One day I heard she was going surd conjecture has ever been made. to Vermont, the next, her mother told Mr. Shorter claims to have had a letter me she had sailed for Europe. She from Miss Lowell which showed great writes from St. Jean-de-Luz, “I'm in bitterness concerning her English re- Europe for some obscure reason. I'm viewers. The letter, a copy of which I more surprised than anyone to find myhave seen, shows only amusement, to self on the other side of the ocean. I my way of thinking! I talked to her didn't in the least mean to go. about these same reviewers, and I can The ocean is just below my window assure Mr. Shorter that had she lived (don't you loathe letters that say that!), to make the English excursion, he and and the Pyrenees are purpling the the other gentlemen concerned would horizon!” People are most kind to rehave found out how very little indeed member me in the heat. I hope Miss any critic could affect Miss Lowell's Ferber is working on the new novel health, or her poise, or her courage to now, or swimming on the delightful accomplish the work she had appor- beach pictured at the top of her letter, tioned to herself. Surely J. C. Squire or sailing in one of those silly little sailcould tell Mr. Gosse how wrong he was, boats of the varicolors. Thomas Boyd for his own encounter with her must writes from Woodstock, Vermont, that have convinced him that she was not a he has finished his new book, and that person to mope over her reviewers. If the scenery takes his breath away conher friends have leaped to her defense stantly. How could he help liking the and given Mr. Shorter the publicity scenery? You should have gone to which he must have known would re- Vermont, Miss Ferber. I remember sult, it is only because they feared that the first time I ever saw the Pyrenees. someone who did not know her might True, they are lovely; but a trifle have misunderstood personality austere, don't you think? They canthat was always triumphant, and a not touch Escutney under a purple genius that was constant and entirely haze, or the Twin Peaks swirled around serene.
with early morning cloud. There are
those, too, who favor Connecticut: mind of a heat thought, which must Genevieve Taggard, for example, who necessarily be absorbed by the person comes to town only once in a dog's age who hears your remark. It isn't fair! (she has just written a charming piece This caricature of the president of the about cats). She arrived this morning Players was made by Roland Young, with two manuscripts under her arm, one the “Masses and Liberator" anthology of poetry, over which she has been working for three years; the other, her own new volume of poetry, “Time Out". Taking care of her young child up in Connecticut has not changed her greatly. She is still one of the six beautiful American poetesses. Fast on her heels arrived Joseph Auslander and Leslie Nelson Jennings. Mr. Jennings, one of the members of the staff of the defunct“Current Opinion”, has turned again to writing verses. Joseph Auslander has completed a play, and a
John Drew volume of verses dealing with industrial subjects. He says that he is per- and published in his book of caricafectly willing to be persuaded to lec- tures, "Actors and Others". Young, ture, if the occasion arises. Surely a I haven't seen in some time. His poet with
mustache should be performance in “Beggar on Horsepopular.
back" will long be remembered as one
of grace and effectiveness. His caricaThe Players Club revival of “Tre- tures are good, though of course they lawney of the Wells” was marked by cannot touch those of Ralph Barton. much gaiety as well as pomp, and John Barton, by the way, has just returned Drew's masterly performance was from Paris, where he says that he can cheered to the echo! The success of find more American celebrities to limn this venture in the warmest week of the than is possible in New York City. I summer proves not only that the New saw Joseph Hergesheimer give the York public is interested in revivals, artist, who was making pictures between but also that the Players Club has acts at “Artists and Models”, a crisp established its annual affair in a most bill, and I couldn't make out what he creditable and profitable manner.
did it for. Was he paying for the supLaurette Taylor made a beautiful pression of a caricature, had he bought Trelawney, and the cast was a jolly and a sketch of the lady he was with, or a vigorous one in spite of the tempera- what? Perhaps it does not matter. It ture. The lady behind me spent the was a noble gesture. Hergesheimer entire evening saying, “It is much too gains in distinction as the years go by. hot to go to the theatre.” Well, it was He was one of the most impressive much too hot to stay at home! Talking figures at the Winter Garden last night, about the heat seems to me to involve not counting, of course, the Gertrude a certain principle of physics. You say Hoffman girls. His book about his “Isn't it hot?” and you relieve your house in West Chester is going to ap
pear this autumn, and the old house looked at the ribbon of road down below won't know itself.
half expecting some tragic sight, some tre mendous force at work, perhaps something
heartbreaking. There was that potent About once a year, from his farm in
emotion in his words.
Suddenly I saw, and seeing became life Fayetteville, Arkansas, comes to the less-still. On a slim locust thorn, not eight great city Charles J. Finger, short story yards away, a cardinal was perched, a bird writer, children's story writer, roman
entrancingly beautiful in its brave red
against the tender green of a tall sycamore. tic biographer, editor of "All's Well". And when an arrow of sunlight fell on it, it His sturdy appearance and his homespun suits give the office a new tone. His laugh and his ability to tell the unusual anecdote are a blessing. He told me of a recent visit Carl Sandburg paid him in the wilds of Arkansas. Carl never comes to see me any more, when he arrives in New York. Occasionally he used to spare me a breakfast, which is his favorite meal; but I'll forgive him, for he's been exceedingly busy on his Life of Lincoln. Mr. Finger has a new book coming along for autumn publication. It's to be another series of portraits and he's calling it something pleasantly vicious like "Romantic Rascals”, “Ribald Rogues”, or "Raucous Rakes”, I forget which. He told me about Carl's visit, then I
Charles J. Finger found it all written out in his magazine, so I'll let him tell it in his own words:
became more brilliantly beautiful. So near
it was, so clear was the light, we saw its We had been sitting on a hillside overlooking a great stretch of country, and our
sparkling eye, its jetty edged bill, its princely
crest. As if all that loveliness was not talk was mainly of the songs of hoboes and
enough, it burst into triumphant music for of waterside men. I hummed a tune or two
us until an answer in song came like an and he pricked it down in some queer no
echo. For a full minute it perched in our tation of his own which was quite incom
sight, balancing delicately on the swaying prehensible to me. Presently, as he talked,
branch, then took to flight, a flash of living I fell to watching the ants on an ant trail at
fire, darting into the green glade where my feet, while listening. In the middle of
were fern-fringed boulders, bent upon some a sentence Sandburg stopped abruptly, but I did not look up, supposing him to be pon
high and splendid business.
But there had been an answering rapture. dering. There are often chasms in his talk which you must bridge as best you can
In Sandburg was appreciation of the thing
exquisite and fine. But who, except a true if you are unable to fly with him. Sometimes he too is elliptic. So I waited. And
poet, can be amazed and astonished day by
day? soon with a note of deep awe in his voice, half-whispering as if some tremendous thing had burst into view, almost indeed in A most interesting development of the manner of a man who expressed deep
recent years is the increasing imporemotion at sight of some sudden calamity or disaster, he said: "My God! Look at
tance of the south as a book market. that!” Then silence fell.
As a fiction market, that is; for the The shadow of a fear was on me. I
classics and religious books have allooked up, startled; glanced at him and his far-seeing eyes; looked away at the hill; ways been in demand. But it seems to have taken considerable enthusiasm on short novels are almost as good. Of the part of litterateurs to establish their these, I like best "Blind Raftery". point that modern fiction is worth- For this opinion, he frowned on me, while reading. A column always in- since it seems he considers it a trifle too teresting both for its quality and its full of sentiment; but I explained to vigorous "booming" of this sort is him that here is one sentimental book “The Literary Lantern”, run by C. A. reviewer that he will have to reckon Hibbard of Chapel Hill, North Caro- with when he writes a sentimental lina, and syndicated to a number of the book, he will have to expect it to be most influential southern papers. I liked. From his conversation I judge was especially attracted recently by a that he is still more interested in bookcopy he sent me, signed “Telfair, Jr.”, makers than he is in authors. His which he had devoted entirely to dis- knowledge of the English turf strikes cussion of this matter under the title, me as little short of marvelous. I like “Thar's Gold in Them Hills”. He horse races, myself; but one must be a listed many novels now on the stands very successful author in order to like by southern writers, more than I had them too well. Donn Byrne is now at thought there were. McDavid Horton, work on a long novel dealing with the managing editor of “The State", life of St. Paul. It's a great theme, and writes me occasionally from Columbia, he seems much excited over it. One South Carolina, where he is the centre other short book will be published beof a group influential in southern let- fore the longer one. He says that his ters. Other promoters of the cause of publishers were not more astonished the modern novel are John McClure in by the shortness of “Messer Marco New Orleans and Mrs. J. K. W. Baker Polo" than they will be by the length at Shreveport. These editors have all of this new book. Incidentally, one of a profound background by which to his publishers has written a new book. measure and to judge, and their influ- Barry Benefield, of the Century Comence is measurably great. Who knows pany, is a small, keen gentleman who whether Brentano's and Womrath's writes excellent short stories, and should are not planning to invade the south? write many more than he does. He has
now completed a long novel which, I From Ireland and England, for a hear, has already been sold to the visit of ten days which he spent in movies. It is called “The Chickengolfing, riding, rushing about, came Wagon Family”; I shall leave the book Mr. Brian Oswald Donn-Byrne, fa- itself to explain the quixotic title. miliarly known to America as Donn Publishers will play
will play occasionally. Byrne. He has changed little since he Take the English Putnam's, for examleft these shores two years ago.
He ple. I don't know whether or not seems larger, although one would never George Grubb is the responsible party; think of calling anyone in such good but their publicity sheet always, or condition as Mr. Byrne, fat. He has often, bears a little bookish joke. I changed little in his manner of conver- repeat two of them here so that you sation, and he has not lost his brogue, may judge of their quality: which stands him in such good stead in
MOTHER: “William, did you put father's his books. Everyone who reads these new book in the bath this morning?" pages must have perused by now his
SMALL Boy: “Yes, mother, I did. I heard
father say last night that it was too dry “Messer Marco Polo", and the later for him."