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The Green-Room

ISSUE:  Spring 1945

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

With this anniversary issue the Virginia Quarterly Review begins its twenty-first year as “a national journal of discussion .published in the South . . . peculiarly concerned with themes growing -out of the life and problems of the people of the South and especially cordial to the work of able Southern writers, yet . . . in no sense . . . a magazine of a section.” Its aim, now as in 1925, is to be “liberal but reasonable; open to the discussion of all topics and to all stimulating and engaging points of view.”

Through twenty years, in a changing world, the Virginia Quarterly has held steadily to its purpose as n journal of independent thought. The current number has been planned with the view of including only authors whose work has appeared in the magazine before. Its contributors represent many diversified and even conflicting points of view and manners of expression. Yet each has had a share in the Quarterly’s past as well as in its present.

Since 1930, John Temi’mo Gnaves bus written for the Virginia Quarterly ft number of articles discussing the problems of the South and the principles of Wilsonian democracy, lie now adds to that number “The Chance-Taking South” in which lie formulates the seven chances that he thinks the South must take now and after the war. Widely known as a lecturer and author, Mr. Graves is a member of the editorial staff of the Birmingham Age-Herald, and his syndicated editorial column appears in all the Southern States. His latest book is “The Fighting South” (1948), the title of which was taken from one of his Quarterly articles.

“Getting Down to Brass Tacks” is confined, in the interests of simplicity, to the European scene, but its author, Walter Millis, holds that “if its suggestions arc of value they might be transferred with necessary modification to the Far Eastern problem.” In the Autumn, 1983, issue of the Virginia Quarterly, Mr. Mills

discussed “The Roosevelt Revolution” and since then in a scries of significant articles he has analyzed the course of the New Deal and pointed out significant issues in recent electoral campaigns, A native of Georgia, Mr. Millis is on the editorial staff of the New York Herald Tribune. Among his books are “The Road to War” (1935) and “Why Europe Fights” (1940).

In two earlier articles, “War at Sea” (Winter, 1943) and “Revolution in the Pacific” (Autumn, 1944), Lieutenant Bernard Brodie discussed some of the changing techniques and unchanging fundamentals of naval strategy. His current article, “Our Ships Strike Back,” tells a part of the story of the magnificent performance in this war of the Navy’s Bureau of Ordnance. The views expressed are those of the author and do not reflect the official opinion of the Navy Department.

In peace time Lieutenant Brodie is a professor of political science at Dartmouth. Since receiving his commission, he has organized the historical project in the Bureau of Ordnance in the Navy Department, undertaken a special work in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, and has recently been transferred to the office of Secretary Forrestal. Lieu-tenant Brodie is the author of “Sea Power in the Machine Age” (1941) and “A Guide to Naval Strategy” (1943), the latter of which is required reading in all Naval R. O. T. C. courses.

Walter Prichard Eaton, professor of playwriting and acting chairman of the department of Drama at Yale University, has diversified interests in articles as well as in attics. Those that he lias written for the Virginia Quarterly range from “Revolt from Realism” (Autumn, 1934) to “Spring in Death Valley” (Summer. 1941). Apropos of his current essay, “Up Attic,” he has sent us the following dialogue:

“And what,” said my wife, looking over the attic, “would wo ever do if we had to move?” “I once hoard Charles Eliot remark,” said I, “that lie would probably be the last old man in America to die in the house where he was horn.”

“The house where I was born,” said she, “was removed to build the Pcnn. Station in New York.”

“I have been told my birthplace is now a filling station,” I retorted.

“We are getting on,” said my wife.

“We have got,” said I.

A number of poems, “Preludes,” and a distinguished short story, “Silent Snow, Secret Snow,” by Conrad Aiken have preceded this present poem, “Mayflower,” in the pages of the Quarterly. Mr. Aiken is a native of Savannah, Georgia, but after a number of years in England he is now living in Massachusetts. His latest book is “The Soldier,” a poem which is, he writes, “a simple little essay on evolution, or, if you like, a pocket history of man, which nevertheless seems to hide its meaning from the critics just as ‘Silent Snow’ did.” He has just revised his two anthologies for the Modern Library, “A Comprehensive Anthology of American Poetry” and “Twentieth Century American Poetry,” and is collaborating with his wife on a book of nonsense verse, “A Little Who’s Zoo of Mild Animals.” “Beyond this,” he writes, “a highly peculiar novel, ‘Ushant,’ for which I have the notes, but for which, alas, I’d also need a year of stipended leisure, and that seems unlikely. The title, therefore, is appropriate.”

Claude G. Bowers’ first contribution to the Virginia Quarterly was “Jefferson, Master Politician,” in the Summer, 1926, issue; “Architect of the All-American System” appeared in the Jefferson Bicentennial Number in Spring, 1943. His current article is “In Defense of Politicians.” For many years Mr. Bowers has been in politics as writer and speaker, helping frame party platforms and making keynote speeches in Indiana and as chairman of the National Convention in 1928. In 1933 President Roosevelt made him ambassador to Spain where he remained six years. He was a stout champion of the democratic Republic of Spain during the fascist war to destroy it.

On the recognition of Franco, he left Spain and in 1939 President Roosevelt sent him as ambassador to Chile, where his experiences in Spain would be valuable. He is still there. Author of numerous books, he is publishing this spring the third of a Jefferson trilogy, “The Young Jefferson: the Making of a Nation,” which was preceded by “Jefferson and Hamilton,” (1925) and “Jefferson in Power,” (1936).

Many times since 1925 the Virginia Quarterly has been fortunate in publish ing the distinguished work of Walter la Mare, ranging from stories like “The Three Sleeping Boys of Warwickshire” (Autumn, 1925) and “Willows” (Au-tumn, 1929) to poems like “The Vision” (Autumn, 1940) and “The Tomtit” and “Lullay” in this anniversary issue.

In the Summer of 1938 the Virginia Quarterly printed two poems by Harry Brown, whose short novel, “A Walk In the Sun,” has been widely read this past year. Mr. Brown is now continuing his writing overseas as a private in the European theater of operations: “I’m In the middle of a play and as a result, there is not much time left to me for other writing.” There has been time, however, for the writing of a few poems, one of which, “The Tragedy of Small Things,” appears in this issue. An early poem by James Still, “Mountain Dulcimer,” may be found in the Summer, 1935, issue of the Virginia Quarterly. Mr. Still writes us from Africa: “During my three years in the army I have written little. Duties as Personnel Sergeant Major for the 8th Air Depot Group, AAF, take most of my time and creative energy. I have been overseas since September, 1942.” From Africa, however, his thoughts have turned back to Troublesome Creek, which he has celebrated in verse and prose before this, with “Drought on Troublesome” as a result. Lawrence Lee was editor of the Virginia Quarterly in 1939 and 1940 and has been a frequent contributor of poetry since 1925. Mr. Lee is now a lieutenant in the United States Naval Reserve, on active duty. “Troops Ascending the Beach Called Omaha” reached the Virginia Quarterly from overseas.

xxviii Josephine W. Johnson, whose story “Easter Procession” appeared in the Spring, 1989, issue of the Virginia Quarterly, writes us of “Story without End,” which appears in this issue: “I am glad you liked the story. It’s one of my own favorites—although a gloomy thing. I have finished a new book—a novel—butit’s not typed yet and took a year to write by a very slow process. . . . That’s about all the news except that I teach art at the People’s Art Center and have a class of Negro children who do very fine work.” Miss Johnson’s best known novel is “Now in November,” which won a Pulitzer Prize in 1984.

An essay by SeAn O’FaolAin, “The Cruelty and Beauty of Words,” first introduced him to Virginia Quarterly readers in the Spring of 1928. Since then his essays and stories have often appeared. A distinguished man of letters, Mr. O’FaolAin lives in Dublin, where he edits an Irish journal, “The Bell.”

“If we cannot get together as a united nation,” writes James Trublow Adams, “wc will Balkanize the North American Continent, and I am wondering just how much this war may do to unite us together.” His conclusions concerning “The Unity of the United States” arc presented in this issue. Mr. Adams is widely known for his studies in New England history, including “The Founding of New England” (1921) and “The Adams Family” (1930), yet he stresses his Southern ancestry: “Of course, my family is Virginian, although I was born north and there arc all sorts of cross currents. The Adamses of my line are purely Virginian and some of my choicest possessions are things which Martha Washington gave to my great, great grandmother.” An earlier essay by Mr. Adams, “The Dilemma of Edmund Ruffin,” was published in the Virginia Quarterly in Summer, 1984.

When the Quarterly invited Allen Tate to write an essay to follow the theme of his earlier article, “The Profession of Letters in the South” (anniversary number, 1985), it was left to him to present his own ideas in his own manner as he has done in “The New Provincialism:

with an Epilogue on the Southern Novel. The views expressed are those of the author. A free-lance writer since 1924 Mr. Tate has been a Guggenheim fellow (1928-1980), a resident fellow in writing at Princeton University (1989-1942), has held the chair of poetry at the Library of Congress (1943-1944), and is now professor of English at the University of the South and editor of the Sewanee Re-view.

Gerald W. Johnson’s first essay in the Virginia Quarterly was “A Tilt with Southern Windmills” in the Summer 1925, issue. Since then Mr. Johnson has tilted verbally with many windmills both Southern and otherwise, in the page of this magazine and in such books as “The Wasted Land” (1987), “Roosevelt Dictator or Democrat?” (1941), and “American Heroes and Hero Worship (1943). “Prometheus Patton,” in this issue, casts the general in an unexpected role.

James Southall Wilson was editor of the Virginia Quarterly Review from it inception in 1925 until 1931 and has been chairman of the advisory board since the founding of the magazine. For the past year Louis Untermeyer has been editing books for the Armed Services Edition “a full-time job,” he writes, “for we it now printing 40 new titles every month and the first printing of each is now 140,000.” Mr. Untermeyer is widely known both as a poet and as the editor of numerous anthologies.

Joseph Warren Reach has recently published two new hooks, a volume poems, “Beginning with Plato,” and “A Romantic View of Poetry,” essays deal-ing mainly with the Romantic poet. He is the author as well of two books on the novel, “The Twentieth Century Novel” (1932) and “American Fiction 1920-1940” (1941). F. Cudworth Flint is professor of English at Dartmouth College. His critical comments on co temporary poetry have frequently ap-peared in the Virginia Quarterly.

John Calvin Metcalf has been an advisory editor of the Virginia Quarterly since its initial appearance. He is the author of “The Stream of English Biography” (1980), “De Quincey—A Portrait” (1940), and other books. Thomas Perkins Abernethy is professor of history at the University of Virginia and an advisory editor of the Virginia Quarterly. His books include, among others, “Western Lands and the American Revolution” (1987) and “Three Virginia Frontiers” (1940).

Stringfellow Barr was editor of the Virginia Quarterly from 1930 to 1984 and an advisory editor until 1937, when he became president of St. John’s College in Annapolis. C. Herman Pritchett teaches political science at the University of Chicago. He is now completing a study of Public Administration Clearing

House, an organization which Beardsley Runil was instrumental in founding.

Articles on the South by H. Clarence Nixon, lecturer in social science at Van-derbilt University, were featured in the Summer, 1948, and Summer, 1944 issucs of the Virginia Quarterly. He is the author of “Forty Acres and Steel Mules” (1938) and “Possum Trot” (1941), Charles Pergleh, dean of the National University School of Law, is at present on leave, writing, giving a course on the governments of Europe in the graduate school of Social Sciences at Catholic University, and serving as analyst five times a week for WINX, the Washington Post station.

An Open Letter to Our Printer

Mr, Samuel Arundale The Michie Company Charlottesville, Virginia

Dear Sir:

The editors of the Virginia Quarterly know that more must go into the making of a good magazine than bwxvl-tdge and skill. Through twenty years, under changing editors, you have had the supervision of the printing of the Quarterly. When an editor says to his printer that in all that time there has never been a ground for complaint, he has said all. It would he an incredible compliment, if in onr case we. did not know it to be simply an experience recorded.

Some time ago a distinguished editor told this story to one of us. A group of editors and publishers had made general outcry that the printing of boohs and periodicals was declining in America. He arrested their attention by saying that he had read one periodical since its first number and had never detected an example of a misprint (you and we know better) or bad printing. There was an agreement, xvhen he named the Virginia Quarterly, that it was unsurpassed in America for beauty and correctness of its printing. We set that in record here without a blush for our modesty. The credit, Mister Printer, it yours.

Sincerely yours, THE EDITORS


The Tragedy of Mind

tiy William tilery Stdtjwick. “Athoughtful attempt to comprehend the unfolding of a great writer’s personality. . . Mr. Sedgwick’s work would seem to be final of its kind. It adds a distinguished item to the rapidly growing shelf of mature American literary criticism.”— 5V. y. Herald Tribune Hook Review. $2.75


Hy Willi Jpel. “Rates as one of the finest books on music ever to reach print. . . I don’t see how any person seriously interested in music can afford to let it go by.”—Voslon Herald, $6.00


by Archibald T. Davison Musical Lxamples. $3.00


by Howard ‘Mumford Jones. $3.00


by Wallace V. Mini. $3.00


by Alexander and Dorothea LeUjhlw. $4.00


A Study of Labor In Chinese War Industry by Xuo-heng Sbib. $2.50

HARVARD UNIVmiTY PRESS Cambridge 38, Mats

[This letter first appeared in the April, W5, anniversary issue of the Virginia Quarterly Review. It is reprinted here with no change except the added cmplinsis of ton ” «* years.] Here’s a marvellous convenient place for our rehearsal.”

In the Autumn, 1933, issue of the Virginia Quarterly, Walter mils analyzing the first hundred days of President Roosevelt’s first administration, ended with n question: “Is he one of those accidental leaders who serve only to disturb the course of history, or is he one of the figures who are recognized, in retrospect, as the appointed instruments of evolution?” Twelve years later he answers that question in “Roosevelt in Retrospect,” an estimate of what the United States and the world owe to “a very great man and a very great American.”

Since 1924 Mr. Mills has been on the editorial staff of the New York Herald Tribune. His books include “The Martial Spirit” (1931), “The Road to

War” (1935),and “Why Europe Fights” (1940).

Ralph II. Gabriel is Director of Yale Studies for Returning Service Men, and Lamed Professor of American History at Yale. In 1942 he was a collaborator in the educational program of the Second Army, and in 1943 he was a member of the faculty of the War Department’s School of Military Government at Charlottesville.

Mr. (Gabriel is the author of such books as “The Course of American Democratic Thought” (1940) and “Main Currents of American History” (1942) and has been lecturing this spring on the nature and development of American idealism.

In “Freedom of the Press for Whom?” Earl L. Vance indicates some qualities of the press today that were unknown to the Founding Fathers and that may have escaped the notice of many people today.

Mr. Vance is a native Texan, a graduate of Baylor University and the University of Pennsylvania, and associate professor of English and journalism at Florida State College for Women. “The only claim I make,” he writes, “(and a claim that I modestly do make) to distinction as a teacher is to have placed more emphasis on journalism as a social force

than is usually the case. The study of journalism is almost universally regarded as a professional subject; journalism as a social force has received far too little attention in our schools and colleges.”

Arthur Lee Kingsolving has been rector of Trinity Church, Princeton, since 1940. A graduate of the University of Virginia, he was a Rhodes Scholar from Virginia at Christ Church, Oxford, from

1920  to 1923, and in 1924 graduated from Virginia Theological Seminary. He was rector of Grace Church, Amherst, from

1924 to 1930, and of Trinity Church, Boston,

from 1930 to 1940.

Of the theme on which “The War and Our Religious Condition,” which appears in this issue, is based, Mr. Kingsolving writes: “I believe that no subject deserves more attention , . . than the spiritual condition which underlies our culture and our life.”

Discussions of the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations Organization make Helen Hill Miller’s “Combined Operations - Afterwards” of especial interest. In it she analyzes the little-known work of the Combined Operations Board and points to its potentialities for the future.

Mrs. Miller is Executive Director of the National Policy Committee and American Editorial Representative of The Economist of London. Her books include among others “Beyond Herman Victory” (1940), in collaboration with Herbert Agar, and “Yours for Tomorrow” (1944),

Harry Brown is a poet, a novelist, and a private in the United States Army. He has been serving in the European Theater of Operations, from which he expects to return shortly.

“A Spanish Poet in New York” shows Frederico Garcia Lorca as a sympathetic and understanding American, Herschel

Brickell, saw him. From 1941 to 1944 Mr. Brickell was Senior Cultural Rela-tions Assistant to the American Ambassador to Colombia. He is now Assistant Chief of the Latin American Branch of the Division of Cultural Co-operation of the Department of State.

A translation of Ricardo Rojas’ life of San Martin, “Knight of the Andes,” which Mr. Brickell did with Carlos Videla, has just been published, and he contributed chapters on Colombia and Venezuela for a new book, “What the South Americans Think of Us.” He has just finished the 1945 O. Henry Memorial Prize story volume, of whnch he is editor, and is now editing a collection of short stories to be published in Spanish, with a 5,000 word introduction covering the history of literature in the United States.

Walteh Pach, who has been painting and writing on art for some forty years, is at present engaged on a book for the Rockefeller Foundation, in which he is studying the problem of the art museum in America. The problems of modern art which he treats in “The Role of Modem Art” are, he thinks, “essentially museum problems, even though many people still see the past as the domain of the museum.”

In 1934, H. G. Wells published an “Experiment in Autobiography,” in which he wrote frankly and at length of his life as he saw it. In “The Betterave Papers” in this issue of the Virginia Quarterly, he conducts another experiment and through the medium of one W. B. Bette-rave ironically dissects his life from quite another point of view. The first of “The Betterave Papers,” “The History of Harold Swansdown Up to Date.” cushions yet acts as a foil to the latter two parts in which Wells attacks himself with the same irrepressible vim and gusto that have characterized his more than fifty books.

Mr. Wells was born in Bromley, Kent, England in 1866. As the author of his “Outline of History” and of political pamphlets, and newspaper articles, he has been as much of a figure in the public life of Great Britain as he has in the world of letters. Always popular in the United States, he hits frequently been on the “best seller” lists. His current contribution to the Virginia Quarterly is complete in itself, but it can be most enjoyed by those who have read his “Autobiography” or are otherwise acquainted with his many activities.

Dan S. Norton teaches English at the University of Virginia. A native Californian, he was formerly a member of the staff of the University of California Press. He is the author of “Malice in Wonderland” (1932) and co-author with Peters Rushton of “A Glossary of Literary Terms” (1941). Carlos Baker, assistant Professor of English at Princeton, has published both prose and verse in various periodicals. He is the editor of “The American Looks at the World” (1944) and, with Willard Thorp and Merle E. Curti, of a two-volume anthology, “American Issues.” A book by him on Whitman and Emerson will be published shortly. This is Mr. Baker’s first contribution to the Virginia Quarterly.

James Southall Wilson, founding editor of the Virginia Quarterly Review, is chairman of the advisory board and a frequent contributor. Louise Pound of the University of Nebraska is an editorial associate of American Speech, and is on the advisory staff of the Southern Folklore Quarterly and of College English. She is the author of many articles on linguistics, folklore, and education.

Ned Calmer spent seven years in Europe as a foreign correspondent before the war and returned there as a war correspondent for the Columbia Broadcasting System, which now employs him as a news analyst, He is the author of two published novels and is at work on another. His review in this issue is his first contribution to the Virginia Quarterly.

John Calvin Metcalf, an advisory editor of the Virginia Quarterly, is the author of “De Quincey—a Portrait” (1940) and other books’ Josef Hanc is one of the Czech delegates at the San Francisco Conference. He was formerly the Czech Consul in New York and is now Director of Czechoslovak Economic Service in this country.

Williams Witiikiis is Associate Professor of Economies at Queens College, Flushing, New York, Vice Chairman of the Liberal Party, and author of “The Public Debt” and other books on taxation and public finance. He recently debated Stanley Rukeyser on Bretton Woods on

hi the Wake Up America radio program. Rupert B. Vance is the author of numerous hooks on sociology nnd the South, including “Regional Reconstruction for the South” (1935), “How the Other Half Is Housed” (1936), and “Rural Relief and Recovery” (1939). He is research professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina and has frequently been a contributor to the Virginia Quarterly. Davis McCord Wright is associate professor of economics at the University of Virginia and was Economic Consultant of the National Planning Board (1943). He is the author of “The Crea-

tion of Purchasing Power: a Study in the Problem of Economic Stabilization” (1942).

A graduate of the University of California, Heinz Eulau has been an associate in the Experimental Division for the Study of War Time Communications at the Library of Congress, a Senior analyst of a Special War Policies Unit in the United States Department of Justice, and is now an assistant editor of the New Republic. He has published a number of articles on historical and political subjects in various periodicals. This is his first contribution to the Virginia Quarterly.


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