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contains some of the most engaging stories of mysticism and madness that ever sprang from the human brain. I can remember living with this book under my pillow at the age of fifteen or so, and trying to figure out whether or not it was really possible for Glooskap the hero to lash the stars with his spear point, and to make a canoe out of a skipping stone. The Indians had remarkably childlike minds filled with beauty and imagery. What odd things children think of to do! I happened in on Anthony Dell the other evening after he had gone safely to bed, and found him urging a nest of rabbits to lay chocolates for him. He seemed to figure out that if the rabbits did lay a chocolate it would be quite all right for him to eat it, even though just ordinary human chocolates had been strictly forbidden by his author father. Henry James, my own revered small cousin, is not so poetical; he has coined a large vocabulary of cuss words from the pages of "Rootabaga Stories" and is making them fit the sublime uses of "The American Language". Well, if you like fairy stories, I recommend the Algonquin myths.
Why is it that all the great popular novelists are so interested in the poor Indian? Meeting Harold Bell Wright for the first time the other day, I found him a tall, rangy, quiet mannered gentleman who might pose for either a preacher or a prosperous farmer. shook his hand, then listened to his conversation, and found that it was concerned for the most part with problems of Indian reservations and the rights of the much-put-upon aborigines. It is true that Mr. Wright makes his home in Tucson, Arizona, where I presume this problem is more evident than it is on Forty Second Street and Broadway. I did not want to talk with Mr. Wright
about his novels, lest he think that I was patronizing him. He has always written honestly, and he has had a message. That he chooses to preach his sermons in fiction, is his own affair. Surely more folk have read Harold Bell Wright's books than have ever heard Billy Sunday preach. A new book of his, now appearing serially, will shortly be published, the first in some time. To town also recently came Dean Inge of St. Paul's, London. He astonished the reporters, who had heard he never allowed himself to be interviewed, by giving them pertinent sayings on a variety of subjects. A contrast to Michael Arlen and James Stephens, this latest English visitor showed in his pictures, over a clerical collar, the bravest smile of all, in spite of the fact that he has been known has he not? as the "gloomy dean". For clarity of writing and inspirational value, Dean Inge, among modern religious philosophers, cannot be equaled. For a visit from England came also Alice Williamson, with several manuscripts, I imagine, tucked safely in her trunk. Since her husband's death, she has not flagged in her pursuit of the golden story, and her fiction bubbles. along gaily. There came also the Messrs. Pinker, stalwart young gentlemen, worthy sons of an honored father who was one of the very great literary agents. They, too, are apparently finding our shores hospitable, and are carrying on ably the tradition of their father. Ships, both going and coming, are crowded; all of Europe is determined to spend the summer in America, and vice versa. I shall become exceedingly lonely for Americans as I ply my typewriter during the dog days high up on Murray Hill, with only Irish and Italian riveters to keep me company as they noisily build a skyscraper alongside.
Zelma Brandt, another favorite literary agent, recently gave a dance, in a high vaulted studio somewhere on Madison Avenue, with a jazz band that sent even the stodgiest authors into dancing mood. Such a mixture of writers and publishers never was seen. Here was Alfred Stanford, tall, light haired, and in a grey suit. He is at work on a biography. Everyone is writing biography. Perhaps you will remember his "The Ground Swell", a sea story with good atmosphere. Elliot Holt, recently married, also in grey, was talking earnestly, when I saw him, to Rosemary Benét. Mrs. Alfred Knopf, beautiful and dexterous, found the floor and the music excellent, and Imade a few trenchant remarks about publishing, while Mrs. Horace Liveright, also beautiful and dexterous, preferred to talk wisely of Palm Beach and amateur theatricals. Here was Scudder Middleton, the poet, and Lucien Cary, the short story writer, and Mrs. Fletcher from the west. Mrs. Fletcher has aided James Stevens in his story of Paul Bunyan, and has herself made explorations; she declares she cannot excuse those who mix Tacoma with she'll never forgive me, but I can't remember with what anyway, it's one of those large western villages. Phyllis Duganne, too, has returned to town with her young child, and is trying to write and play nursemaid at the same time. She says it's much more fun to roll a baby carriage up Riverside Drive than it is to spin out novelettes for the magazines. She claims that she is no longer a member of the younger generation; but there is much to be said against that opinion. Will Irwin, her uncle-in-law, has just finished, by the way, a play from the Chinese, adapted in collaboration with Sidney Howard. They tell me that a recent trip to the Chinese theatre playing in lower New
York with success, proved somewhat puzzling. I should think a trip through New York's foreign language theatres would prove fascinating. I only recently awoke to the fact that it would be possible in the course of a week to see plays in practically every known language within the confines of Manhattan. Wells Root's column in the "World" has been publishing a list of these, and for anyone who enjoys the exotic and the remote, we recommend such a pilgrimage. You could start with Italian comic opera and end with Yiddish vaudeville, and what could be better than that?
The BOOKMAN contest for club papers has been remarkably successful. The essays have come in from all over the country, from both men and women, and they are of an exceptionally high quality. The committee and the magazine want to thank all those who took part in it in any way. Mary Roberts Rinehart, one of the judges, who has taken a deep personal interest in the contest, unfortunately did not return from Europe in time for a decision to be reached in this month's magazine. We shall therefore publish the announcement of prizes in July. We regret this delay, but it affords a chance for careful perusal of all the essays, and a considered decision from the judges.
Little news of Chicago has drifted this way recently. True, Marcella Burns Hahner came in to say how-doyou-do, with much news of Harry Hansen's success as a radio purveyor of books. In fact, she so assured us of the power of the radio that we have instituted from WEAF "The BOOKMAN Review". It is to be given once a month at first. Mr. Wells of "Harper's" told me the other day that the
amount of mail which Harry Hansen receives from his book section in "Harper's" is extraordinary. Keith Preston, of the Windy City, occasionally drops us a line here, and now and then I catch a glimpse of Llewellyn Jones flitting across Broadway; but Gene Markey, that æsthete of æsthetes, no longer darkens our doorway. Recently I heard of him through Arlen, whom he had lunched or dined or wined on his native heaths. What has become of Carl Sandburg? Anyone who reads this note is hereby commanded to give me news of my favorite midwest poet. The Chicago Bookstore, which is new to my ear and eye, sends an announcement of lectures to be held in its "grotto "— sounds rather special. The first one was on "The Philosophical Poetry of William Vaughn Moody" and was delivered by Ferdinand Schevill; the second by Alfred Kreymborg, the incurable "Troubadour". Incidentally, his book is racy and rare. It is one of the gayest of autobiographical narratives and can be recommended for almost any taste.
I'd like to be a wanderer,
A Kreymborg or a Burton,
With any kind of shirt on.
I'd like to own a dancing bear,
"When Mr. Pickwick Went Fishing" is an exquisitely printed little volume by Dr. Samuel W. Lambert, New York's eminent physician. In it, Dr. Lambert explains simply and with utter conviction the Robert SeymourCharles Dickens controversy. Robert Seymour's brain, it seems, invented the character of Pickwick, who was to be president of a cockney sporting club. Dickens, when some of Seymour's illustrations were shown him and his
publishers told him the idea, was amused by it. He was not, however, a sportsman. Therefore Seymour's original idea was changed, and his interview with Dickens is supposed to have induced one of the fits of melancholy which caused him to take his own life forty eight hours afterward. This was after the publication of the first number, and the meeting in question was the only occasion on which "Boz" ever met his collaborator. Later in life Dickens forcibly denied that Seymour had originated Pickwick, although he had practically admitted it earlier. Dr. Lambert's book is one of much charm. It should be in the library of any bibliophile, and in many another. It proves Dickens to have been the vain man I have always. suspected - but how human! If you knew authors as well as I do and probably you do you would know that they glean ideas from everywhere, and promptly think the ideas belong wholly to themselves. I once rewrote a play without the author's knowledge. When he saw a performance he was furious, but as time went on and people liked his play he honestly believed that my lines were his — and why not? We must get ideas from somewhere. We must make them our own before turning them out. Poor, sensitive Seymour. He had as little sense of humor in his way as Dickens had in his only his lack of humor cost him his life; Dickens, only some respect and both of them humorists, at that!
roomless, so he decided to go to the Far East. We quote:
One week before the publication of his new novel "Ethan Quest", Harry Hervey, novelist and traveler, has departed for the Far East on an expedition into Indo-China. This young man, who is an authority on many Far Eastern subjects, and has brought the authentic atmosphere of the Orient as well as its glamor to his books, believes that hidden somewhere in the fastness of the Indo-Chinese jungle are broken piles of sun bleached stones that may add another chapter to the story of the Khmers, the lost builders of the mysterious and magnificent city of Angkor in Cambodia.
Mr. Hervey sailed recently from the west coast. On the way he will stop a while in Japan and China, then go on down the coast of Indo-China to Saigon, turning inland, up the Mekong River to Angkor, the dead city of the Khmers. After a sojourn in Angkor, his caravan will press into the jungle, cross upper Siam, and move north toward Luang-prabang, searching for the secrets of the builders of Angkor.
Across the dulness of a weary evening flashed the large and cheerful yellow of "The Complete Limerick Book" by Langford Reed. I intend to keep this gay, delightful book as hostage against other occasional evenings of the same sort. Mr. Reed has prefaced his book with an entertaining history of the limerick, and has divided his collection of four hundred examples into sixteen chapters. One chapter is devoted to Lear, who, while not the originator of this verse form, was the one who made it popular in his "Book of Nonsense", that gorgeous piece of foolery which he composed for the grandchildren of his patron, the Earl of Derby. Other chapters concern limericks topical, tongue twisting, clerical, and literary. On the whole the book is a joy, in spite of the fact that about one third of the examples which Mr. Reed selects are pointless or structurally bad, and that he omits many of my old favorites. It is too bad to handicap a book of many merits with a too inclusive title. But one of the nice things
about the format of this book is that it has very wide margins, on which one may jot down such omissions. BookMAN readers ought to be especially interested in the "limicritical reviews". They suggest a jazzed review medium, doing for books what "Processional" tried to do for the theatre. How's this for an epitome of the Dell (Ethel)
From "The Complete Limerick Book"
A strong silent man on a ranch
So take my affection, carte-blanche."
The book is happily illustrated by H. M. Bateman.
Charles Norris was about to start for his ranch in California when I last saw him. His new book "Pig Iron" safely finished, he was indulging in a few days of speculation and enjoyment. His wife, Kathleen, was hard at work on a short story. Her "The Heart of Juanita" is appearing in the "Cosmopolitan"; and about the same time as her husband's novel is published, another one of hers, which has not been used in a magazine, will see the light of publicity. Mrs. Norris says that winter in New York City has proved to her that it is possible to work here if you
really wish to do so. As a matter of fact, Kathleen Norris is one of the few women writers I know who really like to write. She enjoys telling stories, and putting them on paper, too. If you haven't read her autobiographical sketch, "Noon", I strongly advise your doing so. There could be no better textbook for the ambitious girl, or boy either for that matter. The same day, not far down the avenue, in her apartment which afforded a grand view of spring trees and drives black and shiny with rain, I found Edna Ferber, packing to go down into the North Carolina mountains. Was this a pleasure trip? Not at all. It seemed that she was going into the hills, miles from a railroad, to collect material for the novel on which she is at work. Having heard that she was writing a story of Chicago in the last century, I was curious; but since no information was volunteered, like the perfect interviewer which we all aim to be, I remained discreet. Why is it that, suddenly, everyone is writing stories of the south? Roy Helton, tall, dark, with a soft Kentucky drawl, arrived not long since and informed me that he was writing a story of old Kentucky days. Even as he told me this, I could hear Irvin Cobb's voice dictating a letter in the next office. Presently in drifted DuBose Heyward and his wife Dorothy, fresh from lectures and South Carolina, with manuscripts of plays, poems, and novels aplenty. The Heywards have found themselves a cottage on the Sea Islands, and after a summer at the Peterboro Colony they will retire to the simplicities of plantation life, to turn out more products of southern literature. From Baltimore comes an energetic young gentleman named Polan Banks. He can't be more than twenty and he looks eighteen. He tells me that his costume romance has just
been accepted by a major publisher. I was much impressed by his light grey hat and his peg topped trousers. Young novelists flourish! Eighteen year old Michalena Keating, who has been acting some years with David Belasco, writes a story in her dressing room while she understudies a famous star. It is called "Fame", and is a rattling good story, now naive, now sophisticated, but readable throughout. Miss Keating is rather too goodlooking to be a writer. She tells me that she expects to appear in the stage version of Dorothy Speare's "Dancers in the Dark", and that she is hard at work on another novel dealing with the trials and tribulations of three geniuses. None of them, she assured me angrily, was herself. She is not a genius, and prefers to be known as a simple girl who enjoys sitting on the floor listening to a radio or, perchance, dancing the Charleston. What is the Charleston, anyway? And why is it named for that charming and dignified city?
Devotees of A. A. Milne's "When We Were Very Young" (which means practically everyone) will be delighted with the collection of "Fourteen Songs" from it set to music by H. Fraser-Simson, decorated with gay thumbnail sketches, and containing waggish directions to children for the manner in which the songs are to be sung. The tunes are simple and, as in "Hoppity" for instance, admirably fit the words. I suspect that grown ups as well as children will have great fun singing them. Another group of delectable songs is to be found in "The Book of Diversion". Here Deems Taylor has compiled folksongs, cowboy songs, spirituals, and other odd bits not included in the usual family or college songbook. If you are not of the liederkranz fraternity, skip this part of the