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The Green-Room

ISSUE:  Summer 1928

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

No section of America is more in the magazine spot-light than the states familiarly, called The South. The Virginia Quarterly has published recently several articles on themes growing out of Southern topics: among them “The Democratic Party” by William Cabell Bruce, “A Tilt with Southern Wind-Mills” by Gerald W. Johnson, “The Dilemma of Democracy” by William E. Dodd, “These Things Doth the Lord Hate” and “Those Southern Repudiated Bonds” by J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton, “Our Social Revolution” by Sara Haardt, “The Negro and the South” by M. Ashby Jones, “Fleshpots in the South” by Broadus Mitchell, “A Human Episode” by Edwin A. Alderman, “The Democracy and Al Smith” by Louis I. Jaffe. Eugene Szepesi’s “Migrating Cotton Mills” presents another phase of what the author calls the “greatest economic drama of the century” from that of Broadus Mitchell’s discussion of the industrialization of the South in his “Fleshpots” of a year ago. The author is an efficiency engineer whose work is largely one of adjusting difficulties into which other engineers get themselves. Most of his writing hitherto has been for trade papers. The study of shifting conditions in the world of cotton will form later a chapter in a book which Ms, Szepesi is planning.

Mary Lee Davis has spent eight years in interior Alaska, where her husband, John Allen Davis, was in charge of the United States Bureau of Mines work, stationed in Fairbanks. It was a period in which she could watch “the Territory pass through its difficult transition period, with the war and the coming of the railroad, the depreciation of gold—the passing of the early pioneer type and life”: and gather material for a notable series of articles for Scrib-ner’s, and for “Our Passage to Asia.” Mrs. Davis followed her years at Wellesley with graduate work at Rad-cliffe and abroad. With her husband, a Boston Tech. mining engineer, she “has been wandering about the face of America,” in Wyoming, in Colorado, in a tent on the eaves of the continent “where for eight months she did not see another woman”—and after the years in Alaska, back to Washington where she had lived at intervals before. A child of the east, she has “broken horses and broken trails” wherever she has gone.

Many delegates have been elected since “Democrats and Republicans” was delivered to the editor, but the author has probably had no reason to change his views since writing it. Arthur Hobson Quinn, professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania, a specialist in the literature of the American Theatre and an active participator in. public affairs, presents a point of view from which many readers will dissent but which was found in The Green-Room stimulating and suggestive.

William Ellery Leonard had been recognized as a poet of exquisitely peculiar genius by a few people before his powerful sonnet-novel, “Two Lives,” made him famous. Clarence E. Cason, who has written the intimate study of his friend and teacher, has been a teacher of English and journalism at Wisconsin and Minnesota and has been a newspaper man in Washington, New York, and Louisville. Lie is a native of Alabama and went from the University of Alabama to Wisconsin for his graduate work. He goes next year to head the department of journalism at the University of his native state. Mr. Leonard—a “collected edition” of his poems, by the way, is to appear this fall—wrote Mr. Cason: “I’m glad you’re to do it. I’m sure it will be a good article—probably the best in real understanding.” We’ve stolen those words from a precious litWillis j. Abbot, editor of the Christian Science Monitor of Boston, returned from a long visit to Europe impressed with the menace of sensational journalism to international amities. The first fruit of his interest in the topic is his paper “Dragon’s Teeth.” Since writing his paper Mr. Abbot has spoken on the same theme before the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations and the Twentieth Century Club in Boston. He has planned, also, other articles in the hope of stimulating “a very lively agitation concerning the method of reform.” Association with The American and The Sun in New York, the Chicago American and Collier’s Weekly has given Mr. Abbot wide knowledge of the newspaper field.

The group of poems by Carl Sandburg, the American poet, will be followed in a later number by other of Mr. Sandburg’s work. Mr. Sandburg will soon issue another volume of verse.

Geoffrey Johnson, author of the quaintly individual poem, “The Norwich Road,” lives at Ely, Cambs., England. He is a London University man and has studied at Oxford. His work, poetry and short stories, has only recently begun to appear both in England and America. Allen Tate, whose “Idiot” in the July issue of the Virginia Quarterly aroused much discussion, was one of the group whose work became widely known through “The Fugitives,” published at intervals in Nashville. Mr. Tate now lives in New York; his recent study of “Stonewall Jackson” is reviewed in this number. The poetry of Lawrence Lee, who passed from Alabama and Virginia to literary work in New York, has been familiar to readers of the Virginia Quarterly since July, 1925. Mr, Lee is assembling his verse for publication in book form.

From London John Gould Fletcher sent “Magnolia,” flower of his last visit to the South a year ago. Mr. Fletcher, born in Arkansas and essentially a Southerner in temperament and timbre, has long lived in England and from the publication of his “Fire and Wine” in 1913 he has been as well known as a poet in the country, of his residence as in that of his nationality. Other poems of Mr. Fletcher’s will be published in future issues of the Virginia Quarterly.

No reader of “Captain Pye”—Virginia Quarterly, July, 1927—will have forgot the author of the new Maine Coast essay, “Codfish Chowder and Sun.” Mr. Coffin is a poet with several volumes of prose and verse to his credit. He is a product of Bowdoin, Princeton, Oxford—and Maine sunshine. Wells College is his winter home.

Phyllis Bottome is an English novelist who is now living in Austria. Among her novels are “Old Wine,” “The Kingfisher,” and “The Belated Reckoning.” Her story, “The Waiting Room,” was published in the Virginia Quarterly. In July, 1927, in “This England” Phyllis Bottoms interpreted her own people to Americans; in “Hidden France” she attempts a similar task for the French. While the author is English, she has lived much out of her England.

The activities into which Thomas Jefferson threw himself were no more various than the writings upon him since have been; but who could have foretold a vivid reconstruction of an episode in his life so vivacious as it is made by the letters of Maria Cosway? Marie G. Kimball, who has brought the Cosway letters to light and properly related them to Jefferson’s life and correspondence, is the wife of the eminent architect and writer, Fiske Kimball, now of Philadelphia. Mrs. Kimball is not new to the field of Jefferson investigation and among her writings one of the most interesting was a study of Jefferson’s friend, William Short.

Among the authors in the literary section who appear for the first time in the Virginia Quarterly, Mary Johnston is the distinguished novelist whose books from “Prisoners of Hope” to her recent “The Exile” have taken an important place in American literature. “I never do reviews,” she wrote the editor: but it was a characteristically generous impulse that sent an hour later another note—”I have had a return upon myself. I want to speak of her work.” It was not just the request to review a book, but to say what she thought of Margaret Montague’s “Up Eel River” that won her from her considered resolution. Benjamin DeCasseres is the author of “The Shadow-Eater,” “Mirrors of New York,” and “Forty Immortals,” to name just a few of his books, some of which Remy de Gourmont translated for France: of him an admirer says “De Gourmont and Maeterlinck and Thomas Hardy have honored him, but the Sancho Panzas of our Academies and the Don Quixotes of our Intellegentsia will not pay him the homage of a reading.” The author of “The British Constitution,” H. Heaton, is a well known writer in his special field and the professor of History at the University of Minnesota. Harry Clemons, formerly of Princeton University and for fourteen years librarian at the University of Nanking, is now librarian at the University of Virginia.

The other writers who discuss new books in this issue have written before for the Virginia Quarterly. John Hyde Preston lives in New York and Greenwich, Connecticut. Allen W. Porterfield, formerly of the editorial staff of the New York Evening Post, later at Randolph-Macon Woman’s College, Virginia, is now at the University of his native state, West Virginia. His “Modern German Stories” ($2.00) has just been published by D. C. Heath and Company. Deirdre O’Shea has lived in New York since graduation from Bryn Mawr. Potjltney Bigelow of Malden-on-Hudson added to his long list of published books “Seventy Summers” in 1925. George Fort Milton is editor of the Chattanooga News and a frequent contributor to magazines. Charles Lee Snider of North Carolina writes for various reviews and is an active journalist. Walter A. Montgomery of the College of William and Mary has for many years been a contributor to periodicals.

The virginia quarterly review

Edited by james south ALL WILSON â– 

Advisory Editors i Edwin A. Alderman  Carroll M. Sparrow

John Calvin MetcalF  Bruce Williams

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.

Contributions should be accompanied by postage for return and addressed to The Editor of The Virginia Quarterly Review, 8 J West Lawn, University, Virginia. The University of Virginia and li the Editors do not assume responsibility for the views expressed by 1’ contributors of signed articles.

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F. StringFELLOW Barr, Managing Editor



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