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The Green-Room

ISSUE:  Spring 1941

“Here’s a marvellous convenient place for our rehearsal/’

The leading article of this issue, with its forthright admonition to American colleges, comes from the pen of Alfred Vaots, a native of Han-over who served with the German Army from August, 19It, to Christmas, 1918, having been twice wounded and twice decorated. His efforts to “make sense” of his war experience by writing war poetry proved unsatisfactory to him. During a voluntary exile from Germany in the middle 1930’s, he undertook to warn the English-speaking public of the dangers to them of German rearmament in a series of publications in English, including a magazine article entitled “Reichs-wehr over Europe,” published in 1935. “These found nothing,” he says, “but a succes d’estime and judgments like ‘emigre’s hysteria,’ but enough attention in Berlin to move the Reich government to take German citizenship away from the Vagts family, two-thirds of which were American already.” Mr. Vagts is now an American citizen, “is American married, has an American son, and lives in an American house on American acres.” He is at present engaged in research at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, New Jersey. He is the author of “A History of Militarism,” published in 1937. This is his first appearance in the Virginia Quarterly.

Max Lkrnkr is well known as the author of books of political import, including “It Is Later Than You Think,” published in 1938, and “Ideas Arc Weapons,” published in 1939. In 1934 Mr. Lerner served as Director of the Consumer’s Division of the National Emergency Council. He is a public lecturer, a former editor of The Nation, and has been a contributor to many magazines, including this one. In the present article, his contention that many so-called totalitarian means are actually not totalitarian in origin but the heritage of our entire Western civilization, lends support to Alfred Vagts in his view that warfare can and

should be prepared for in the defense of our democracy.

David Cornel DeJong writes us concerning his story, “Seven Boys Take a Hill”: “By some odd coincidence the first poem you printed of mine was called ‘Seven Boys Sit at Night,’ which makes mc think (almost) that there is something in numerology.” The story is superimposed upon the North Carolina landscape with which Mr. DeJong became familiar as a student at Duke University. “Somehow,” he says, “the landscape called for the story, or vice versa, I don’t know exactly which or to what degree. All I know is that they’re inseparable.” His latest novel, “Light Sons and Dark,” was reviewed in the Winter issue of this magazine.

In “French Canada: A Modern Feudal State,” Burton LeDoux presents an analysis of what has been called the “most significant political minority in the Western Hemisphere.” According to Mr. LeDoux, his father, in the 1880’s, “walked into the United States from a small village in French Canada.” Although he is a native American himself, he still views the region of his ancestry with sympathy and understanding, and thus is in a position to present a fair-minded study of it, especially in its relation to the United States. Mr. LeDoux has been working for the past three years on a history of the French Canadians.

John Malcolm Brinnin, with Ins poem “Death of This Death,” is first presented to Virginia Quarterly readers in this issue. We have often published poems by Robert Francis, whose latest volume of verse is entitled “Valhalla and Other Poems.” Robert P. Tristram Coffin, also a veteran contributor to this and to many other magazines, is a prose-writer and a teacher as well as a poet. His new novel, “Thomas-Thomas-Ancil-Thomas,” will be published early in April. Charles Edward Eaton, an instructor in English at the University of Missouri,

* t

a is now at work preparing for publication his first volume of verse; this is his first appearance in these pages.

A review by Philip Van Doren Stern appeared in the Winter issue of the Virginia Quarterly, where he was introduced as an author of the most varied interests and accomplishments. He is the author of a mystery story, a book on typography, a book on Lincoln and another on the man who killed Lincoln, and is the editor of a volume of selected writings of Thomas Dc Quincey. Two forthcoming works by him arc “How to Torture Your Friends,” a book of puzzles, written in collaboration with James Newman, and “Jonathan Bradford,” an historical novel about the anti-slavery movement in America. His article in this issue, “The Case of the Corpse in the Blind Alley,” may be taken as commemorative of the hundredth anniversary of the birth of detective fiction, which occurred in April, 1841, with the publication of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” in Graham’s Magazine. It seems appropriate that this anniversary article should appear in the pages of the Virginia Quarterly, the editorial offices of which are within a few steps of 13 West Range, University of Virginia, known as Poe’s room, with the words “T)ovius Parva Magni Poetw” inscribed in bronze above its door.

“I lived in various countries of Latin America for seven years,” writes Thomas Rourke, “working as a civil engineer for oil and mining companies and later as a free-lance writer.” Mr. Rourke is the author of many short stories and of four novels, three of which are set in a Latin American background. His biography of the late dictator of Venezuela, entitled “Gomez, Tyrant of the Andes,” is regarded as one of the most important modern works on that country. His latest book is “Man of Glory,” a life of Simon Bolivar which was published last year. Mr. Rourke is an officer in the United States Naval Reserve and is now on active duty. “A New Western World” is his first contribution to the Virginia Quarterly. “I should like to have made a few revisions in my article in the light of recent developments,” he writes, “but there

isn’t time. For instance, some of the Latin countries themselves are taking steps along the lines I have indicated bj forming a league for intercontinental trade and tariff regulation. Also our Export and Import Bank has been pouring big loans into South America, following the same old procedure of lending to governments, instead of to private busi-ncss, and accomplishing nothing therebr in the way of effective aid.”

Richard A. Lester, Assistant Profei-sor of Economics at Duke University, hj » found time in the intervals of a teaching career of ten years to act as economic analyst in the United States Treasury, « research assistant for the National He-sources Board, and as assistant to tbc vice-president of a large life insurance company. He is the author of the volume “Monetary Experiments—Early American and Recent Scandinavian,” published in 1939, and of numerous articles on economic subjects. His latest book, “The Economics of Labor,” was published in February. “My interests,” he writes, “have been divided between money and banking, unemployment, and labor—subjects which I believe to be very closely related to one another,”

The Virginia Quarterly claims the honor of having published the work of the distinguished Irish man of letters, SeAn O’Faolain, in 1928 while he m still comparatively unknown. We hire often published stories and articles bj him since. His latest novel is “Come Back to Erin.” He has also recently published “An Irish Journey” and » biography of Daniel O’Conncll entitled | “King of the Beggars.”

Albert Guerard, the distinguished liberal thinker and writer who lias contributed four articles and a number ol reviews to the Virginia Quarterly, writes apropos of his review in this issue: “1 have said quite a few times—but, as it is scrupulously true, it bears repeating that my three foremost teachers were the quays of the Seine, Toynbee Hall in Whitechapcl, and the Dreyfus case. Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas JefpbiB Butts is on active staff duty in Washington, D. C He has often contributed reviews to this magazine. Euoenb P. Chasi is a member of the department of Government and Law at Lafayette College and the author, among other writings, of “English Government and Politics.” The work of Earl Leslie Grioos as a literary scholar in the romantic period of English poetry is widely known and has been productive of many volumes; his latest book is “Coleridge Fille; a Biography of Sara Coleridge,” published in 1940. Turner Rose, who describes himself as a “country boy” who “would like to sit under a black gum tree and think until the sun sets,” is a member of the editorial staff of The Washington Post. Dumas Ma-lone, who was editor-in-chief of the “Dictionary of American Biography” and is now Director of the Harvard University Press, is at present working on a comprehensive biography of Thomas Jefferson; his biography of Edwin Anderson Alderman was reviewed in our Winter issue.

Thomas C. Cochran, the historian, fa the author of “New York in the Confederation” and of a forthcoming volume “Our Industrial Culture: A History of the Hamiltonian Tradition,” written in collaboration with William Miller. Thomas Perkins Arernethy, whose latest work, “Three Virginia Frontiers,” ig ^ viewed in this issue, is also the author among other works, of “Western Landj and the American Revolution.” Hews Hill is the Administrative Secretary ol the National Policy Committee and the author and editor of numerous books and articles dealing with political and economic problems; she has been a frequent contributor to the Virginia Quarterly. James Southall Wilson, the founding editor of this magazine -who is now Dean of the Department of Graduate Studies at the University of Virginia, i$ the author of many articles on contemporary poetry and fiction.


Edited by Archibald Boiling Shepperson William Jay Gold, Managing Editor

Advisory Board

John Calvin Metcalf  James Southall Wilson

Garrard Glenn  Hardy C. Dillard

R. K. Gooch  Carroll Mason Sparrow

Ashley G. Davis, Secretary

A National Journal of Literature and Discussion published since 1925 on the fifteenth of March, June, September, and December. Subscription rates: one year, $3.00; two years, $5.00. Canadian and Foreign: one year, $8.50; two years, $6.00. Single copies, 75 cents. Indexed in The Readers’ Guide to Periodical Literaiun and in Public Affairs Information Service. Title page and annual index available in November.

Manuscripts must be accompanied by postage for return and addressed to The Editor. The magazine does not assume responsibility for the views expressed by contributors of articles.

All letters relative to advertising and other business matters should be addressed to The Managing Editor.

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