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The Green-Room

ISSUE:  Spring 1931

Raymoni) leslie buell, author of a two-volume work on “The Native Problem in Africa” and long a close student of African affairs, is perhaps as well qualified as any writer in America today to explain in their necessary context the recent disclosures of chattel slavery in Liberia. Not the least interesting of his conclusions is that our State Department must assume a large measure of responsibility for the present muddled condition of Liberian finance. Not only is Mr. Buell’s paper a comment on American business imperialism but Southern readers of the Virginia Quarterly will doubtless find special interest in the paradox of freed American slaves returning to Africa and setting up a social and economic system patterned in many respects on that of the Old South.

In the January issue of the Virginia Quarterly, Aldous Huxley discussed in lighter vein some of the limits human nature imposes on all Utopias. In this issue Mu. Huxley gives some interesting reasons why contemporary literature has temporarily turned away from pure tragedy. Mr. Huxley’s own reputation for telling the whole truth will ensure a hearing for “Tragedy and the Whole Truth.”

Most of Broadus Mitchell’s previous contributions to the Virginia Quarterly have dealt with the Southern industrial scene. In “A Blast against Economists” lie attacks the members of his own academic guild for their profitable neglect of “the common wealth.” Mu. Mitciiki.i, appeals from private profit to a great tradition, the Jeffersonian tradition of what an elder generation called Political Economy. To many thoughtful readers it will be good news thai our economists, caught in the cul-de-sac of industrial depression, are turning again though timidly to a study of the commonwealth.

Daxiki. Gkkooky Mason, composer and writer on music.

has not contributed to the Virginia Quarterly since his paper on “Sensationalism and Indifference” was published in its first number. Those readers of the Virginia Quarterly who lament the absence in America of a widely diffused appreciation of good music, and particularly, those who have enjoyed the London Promenade Concerts, will find in “The Lesson of the London ‘Proms’ ” some sane advice for reorganizing the American theory of musical concerts. Though Mr. Mason is the author of a number of books, the success of his “Chanticleer” Overture and of his Second Symphony with orchestras throughout the country has made him in the eyes of the public, at least temporarily, more a composer than a musical critic.

That Horace Walpole was a “good American” is not widely known; but even those readers who are already familiar with his cordial admiration for Washington’s ragged army will thank emily Stone Wiiiteley for her refreshing picture of a great wit in an elegant and sophisticated society. The author of “Horace Walpole–Early American” is a Baltimorean who has contributed a number of historical essays to the Virginia Quarterly.

Louis Untermeyer is widely known not only through many volumes of poetry but as the editor of numerous poetry anthologies. Tie has contributed before to the Virginia Quarterly. Frances M. Frost is well known to the Quarterly’s readers. Amelie Rives Troubetzkoy published a one-act play. “Out of the Midst of Hatred,” in the Virginia Quarterly for April, 1920; but this is her first poetry contribution. She is even more widely known as a novelist than as a poet and dramatist; her latest novel is entitled “Firedamp.” Allen Tate, poet, critic, biographer, has contributed before to the Virginia Quarterly.

Clarence E. Cason’s article, “That Southern Languor,” published in the January number of the Quarterly, attracted wide notice. In “The Mississippi Imbroglio” Mr. Cason tells what lies behind the recent onslaughts by Governor Bilbo on academic freedom in Mississippi. Mr. Cason has chosen to explain rather than to denounce, and has thereby thrown a flood of light on the internal development of a characteristically Southern commonwealth.

The familiar essays of Robert P. Tristram Coffin do not require an introduction in the Green-Room. But it is doubtful if even Mr. Coffin has ever rnore^ completely recaptured the robust atmosphere of his native Maine than in this gay picture of a country fair. Incidentally, “Tipsham Fair” really exists — though of course under an assumed name. So, in a way, this is an expose.

From ‘way down in Mississippi, indeed from “Happy Hollow” itself, comes Harold Taylor’s answer to the joys of the Maine countryside. And Happy Hollow, like so many Southern things, no longer exists. Or worse. For, as its author writes in a letter to the Green-Room, “Happy Hollow has gone to hell. Its stick’n’ dirt chimblys are replaced by Sears’n’Roebuck heaters. Its lean, athletic Marquis of Queensberry hogs, prepared to defend themselves at all times, have given way to profitable and unenterprising Poland Chinas and Tamworths.” Mr. Taylor looks back on Happy Hollow now from the desk of a Chicago newspaper, after “working during the last thirteen years on twenty-three newspapers, five steamships, three ship-yards, two sawmills and a paper mill.” In the intervals he “attended Rice Institute and the University of Chicago with a certain lack of success.” This is his first magazine article. No wonder he looks back with an observant eye on the dog whose name was Vicissitudes.

Who are America’s heroes? Not the heroes of the school text, but those giants of modern America whom American boys instinctively pattern themselves after? If we can find the answer, we are well on the way to answering that other question that the whole post-war world is asking: ‘What Is America?” In “Heroes for America” George Soule attempts an answer. Mr. Soule is one of the editors of The New Republic and is the author of several works on economics.

Edwin Bjorkman, novelist and translator, formerly of New York, now lives in Asheville, North Carolina. William E. Dodd, professor of history in the University of Chicago, is an authority in the field of Southern history and an enthusiastic student of Jefferson. Robert Penn Warren is the author of “John Brown: the Making of a Martyr.” Felix E. Schelling is a professor of English literature in the University of Pennsylvania and the author of numerous studies of Elizabethan literature. The reviewer of the Scott and Burns books, Charles David Abbott, is a graduate of Haverford and Oxford who at present teaches English literature in the University, of Colorado. As in the case of Professor Schelling, this is his first contribution to the Virginia Quarterly. Edward Wagenknecht has frequently contributed to the Virginia Quarterly. His most recent book is a “Portrait of Jenny Lind” which Houghton Mifflin is publishing this Spring. T. J. Bktts has spent many years of his life in China. He is an army captain, at present stationed in Washington. In 1026 he was captured by Chinese bandits. Gerald Stanley Lee is a lecturer on literature and the arts in modern times, in Smith College; and is the author of numerous books. Ernestine Evans, besides serving as foreign correspondent for American and English newspapers, engaging in magazine editorial work, and contributing prolifically to numerous magazines, is at present attached to the publishing firm of J. B. Lippincott. She will be remembered by many readers as the author of “South to the Caucasus,” published in the Virginia Quarterly for April, 1928. James Southall Wilson edited The Virginia Quarterly Review from its beginning in 1925 until last October, and since his resignation has remained on the editorial staff.



Advisory Editors

Edwin A. Alderman  John Calvin Mi-tcalf

James Southall Wilson  Carroll M. Sparrow

The Virginia Quarterly Review is published at the University of Virginia: in April, July, October, and January. Subscription rates: $3.00 the year. Canadian, $3.25; Foreign, $3.50. Single copies, 75 cents.

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Lambert Davis, Managing Editor




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