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Anything that tends to strengthen the growing popular opinion in favor of settlement of international disputes by some rational process of arbitration instead of by war is, no doubt, of value. Whatever one may think of the possibility of the "outlawry of war" (the phrase is a manifest ineptitude, involving loose, incorrect use of language) it is desirable to understand the attempts that have been made in that direction. "Security Against War" (Macmillan) by Frances Kellor, with Antonia Hatvany as collaborator, is a useful outline sketch of the various controversies that have kept Europe in turmoil since the formation of the League of Nations and the establishment of its Court, though the book needs to be used with some caution. It is also interesting as an analysis and discussion of the "machinery of peace" and of the international courts. Perhaps the best chapPerhaps the best chapter is that dealing with the two Hague Courts, which brings out clearly and correctly the essential differences between the older Hague tribunal, created on a sound basis of juridical theory, and not attempting to do the impossible, and the Court created as a byproduct of the war and controlled by the League.
"Colombia, Land of Miracles", by Blair Niles (Century), is very much. more than a mere travel book. But then Mrs. Niles herself is so very much more than a mere traveler. She is a lover, not alone of places and of brave adventure, but of humanity and human
motives also. A lover, too, of beautiful, poetic words in which to frame impressions. Her new book is a volume to be set down, at the last word, with a sigh of regret. The Colombia of which she tells is a land of miracles indeed, where ultramodern aeroplanes fly matter-of-factly over villages that seem to have progressed not one whit from the mediæval; where proud history has its shrine along with the saints; where progress marches shoulder to shoulder with age-old custom. An infant land, in spite of its tale of years; precocious, even advanced in many things, but an infant all the same. The book is most attractively illustrated with photographs taken on the spur of the moment, as it were, so that they render the book all the more pleasing — by Robert L. Niles, Jr.
The one quality which the anthologist should possess above all others is the faculty of selection, the ability to discriminate between that which is second rate and mediocre and that which bears the hallmark of perennial interest. It is precisely in this quality that L. A. G. Strong is most deficient. His collection of "The Best Poems of 1924" (Small, Maynard) contains many selections of imagination, beauty, and technical excellence by poets known and unknown; but it likewise abounds in selections of no excellence whatever by poets equally known and unknown. The compiler seems to have no definite and clear cut conception as to what constitutes poetry; he appears to be lacking in that sense of exclusion which is quite as important in an anthologist as the sense of inclusion; consequently, the reader is annoyed at finding the most exquisite and richly poetic expressions placed side by side with those that are most prosaic, raucous, and tawdry.
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
"When the photoplay of 'So Big' was shown here it was impossible to fill the requests for the book; the waiting list ran into the hundreds", writes a middle west librarian. It is an interesting circle. A book jumps into popularity and immediately that popularity is capitalized by the movie people, who rely upon the book's popularity to advertise the film. Then the book publishers follow up the film with the book, relying on the popularity of the film to sell more books. During the showing of the film version of "Notre Dame" the writer overheard a conversation something like this: "D'ja hear they'd made a book from this picksher? Joe got it out o' the lib'ry." "Gee! That so? Is it any good?"
"Naw. Joe said 'tain't anything like the picksher. Some Frenchman done it that can't write English very good.”
"So Big" and "The Thundering Herd" are the only books in the current score that have been shown on the screen as yet, but it was the writer's privilege to witness the filming of the opening scenes of "The Little French Girl". Which is about all that seems to call for comment in the March list. The three new titles, particularly Mr. Bok's latest, were inevitable. - F. P. S.
6. Life and Letters of Walter H. Page Burton J. Hendrick
FUNK & WAGNALLS
Maurice Francis Egan
H. G. Wells
*This title has not before appeared in the Monthly Score.
THE SEVEN SEAS
War Memoirs-Dostoyevsky - The Loeb Library-Chronique Scandaleuse - Gobineau— Light on Modern Spain - Historical Discoveries — Nitti-Compulsory English in China - An Aviation Yearbook — Royal Love Letters - English and American Books Translated - Balzac
HE memoirs of M. Poincaré are now in preparation. I hear that it has taken the French ex-Premier some little time to make up his mind what form his reminiscences should take. Like all statesmen who have played an important part in international affairs at a critical period of history, he finds himself confronted with the difficulty of condensing the experiences of twelve years into two volumes. Only the practical objections of publishers have induced him to abandon his original intention to publish two volumes a year over a period of five years, ten volumes in all! It is not certain even now that he will consent to the compression of his experiences into two volumes.
The publication of the second volume of Admiral von Tirpitz's new war book is likely to be delayed, owing to opposition on the part of the left parties of the Reichstag. This volume ought to make interesting reading, dealing as it does with the fateful days of July, 1914, onward. Some startling extracts from von Tirpitz's diaries are promised, which shed a new light on the Berlin-Vienna relations during the crisis. The political opposition caused by news of the second volume has invested the book with an unusually high degree of interest, at any rate in Germany. The first volume, which is yet to be published in England and
America, sold 17,000 copies from November 3 to December 7 last year. These figures will surprise many who are of the opinion that war books are dead.
Arnold Bennett, recently interviewed in London by a French journalist on the subject of André Gide's "Dostoyevsky: Essays and Addresses", made this interesting pronouncement:
I must confess to you that Gide seems to me an essayist born, not a novelist. And his masterpiece might well be this Dostoyevsky, which is truly a great book. Gide is above all things an intellect. Moreover, his studies of Dostoyevsky may be regarded as the Confessions of André Gide. Viewed in this light, they give a record of supreme importance.
"Dostoyevsky" contains a remarkable self portrait as revealed in his letters, an illuminating survey of his moral, religious, and political beliefs, and an appreciation of Dostoyevsky's masterpiece, "The Brothers Karamazov". An address read at the celebration of his centenary emphasizes the need for revision of our estimate of the great Russian novelist and of measuring his worth by standards unfamiliar to western criticism. But perhaps the most interesting part of the book is André Gide's sketch of Dostoyevsky's life up to his banishment to Siberia; the influence of the years of prison on his mind and genius; his study of the
Gospels which bore fruit in the introduction of Christ's teachings as the primary motive behind Dostoyevsky's creations.
The novelist's methods of working are also recorded. He was no notebook theorizer or mere speculative philosopher but an explorer of the dark recesses of the human soul. His own disease epilepsy - perhaps influ
enced his outlook on life. M. Gide recognizes the Russian master's affinities to Nietzsche, Browning, and William Blake. Dostoyevsky is well described as a very Rembrandt among novelists.
A series of lectures on Dostoyevsky, or to give him the Scandinavian spelling, Dostojewski, delivered by Konrad Simonsen at Copenhagen University, is published in book form by P. Haase. and Son, Copenhagen. The author is a Communist. He explains that he joined the Church of Rome as a result of his study of religious works, inspired by the writings of Dostoyevsky and Rathenau.
The founder of the Loeb Classical Library, Dr. James Loeb, has just received the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws at Cambridge University. He He is also the recipient of an honorary degree from the University of Munich. It will be interesting to see whether his alma mater, Harvard, will follow suit. Dr. Loeb, who is now writing a book on Italian terracottas, is responsible for some excellent translations from the French of Decharme and other French authors. He was once connected with the famous commercial firm of Kuhn, Loeb and Company. Literature may be said to be his hobby, for it is doubt ful whether the Loeb Library pays as a business venture; but Dr. Loeb is content to go on making classical authors
France en Pantoufles". More than 100,000 copies were sold in Paris within a few weeks of publication. Mr. Brousson was at one time Anatole France's secretary, and in this candid book too candid for the liking of many - he strips bare in most scandalous fashion the private life of his master. The book is full of comments and anecdotes in very dubious taste, recording book-chapter-and-verse details of his amorous peccadillos, his egotism, his garrulity, his ignorance, his insincerity. Apparently Parisians do not subscribe to the theory of de mortuis nil nisi bonum, for "Anatole France at Home", judging by its sales and the discussions it has provoked, has been a source of diversion to all Paris. What useful purpose can be served by such an exposure of human weaknesses? To the scrupulous minded there is something indecent in this chronique scandaleuse rushed into print within a few months of the celebrated writer's death.
With each new reprint of Gobineau's work in France his amazing versatility and ingenuity are demonstrated afresh. The "Cahiers Verts" (Paris: Grasset) have now published his first long historical novel, "Le Prisonnier Chanceux", a story in the manner of Walter Scott, which appeared serially in "La Quotidienne" in 1846. Only one hundred copies were then printed in book form, so that the romance is for practical purposes now published for the first time. The revival of interest in the works of the Comte de Gobineau is exemplified in "L'Abbaye de Typhaines", which, although a complete failure when first published in 1848, ran through seven editions in a few weeks when published a year or two ago. Without any claim to the grandeur of Scott or the amazing verve of the elder Dumas, Gobineau is still well worth reading. "Le Prisonnier Chanceux" is a sixteenth century romance full of spirited action, fair ladies and gallant soldiers, encounters between Huguenots and Catholics, robbers, faithful and treacherous servants, and a quixotic hero who meets with an astonishing variety of exciting adventures.
Modern Spain has too long been regarded as an indolent and backward country. So false is the impression which generally prevails among armchair travelers that if, as I fully anticipate, an English translation appears of "Las Responsabilidades del Antiguo Régimen, 1875-1923" por el Conde de Romanones (Madrid: Renacimiento), it will change many views. Although some districts in Spain remain purely mediæval, chiefly owing to the difficulties of communication, the Spain of today is a country very different from tradition.
ish liberal leader, shows in his new book what Spanish statesmanship has accomplished in the last fifty years. He is an enemy of bureaucracy ""a serious disease in the organism of the State" and an avowed parliamentarian, though he deplores the weakness and vacillations of recent ministries. Spain's abundant resources can be developed still further only by political reform and the spread of education, not by sudden revolution with its inevitable hardships and subsequent years of chaos.
M. Charles de la Roncière, who is the historian of the French navy, has published in Cairo under the auspices of the Royal Geographical Society of Egypt a study of the discovery of Africa in the Middle Ages. Prior to the beginning of the sixteenth century, Africa was a legendary country. M. de la Roncière's book, which consists of two volumes containing many admirably reproduced mediæval maps, is a valuable contribution to geographical literature.
The same author claims to have found the actual chart used by Christopher Columbus on his first voyage to the west, and has published in France an interesting book dealing with his discovery.
A definite impetus is given to the controversy about the nationality of Columbus by the news of the forthcoming publication in Spain of a book
written and compiled by an English lady and her husband - which produces striking documentary and other evidence that Columbus was actually born a Spaniard. Historically the point is of interest.
One of the most remarkable books
Count Romanones, who is the Span- published in Italy for some time is