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Notes on Current Books

ISSUE:  Winter 1942

and social renaissance of a hundred years ago. It is a piece of vivid reconstruction, grounded on a wealth of factual details. The insatiable intellectual curiosity and passion for life of this extraordinary woman, who knew and associated with Emerson and Hawthorne, and talked with Mazzini, Geoiges Sand, and Carlyle, arc revealed on every page of this brilliant book. If Margaret Fuller decided to “accept the universe,” it was certainly not with a passive acquiescence; for like “the transcendental cow” contributed by her to Brook Farm, she was recalcitrant: she kicked over the conventional milk-pail of thought and usage. Those who think of Margaret Fuller as n chilly embodiment of mental energy must change that conception in view of Miss Stern’s emphasis on her hunger for human love as shown in her romantic attachments. Her life is more interesting than her books, and its dramatic close by shipwreck in sight of her native shores, when she perished with her Italian husband and child, makes her the most tragic figure among the New England reformers.  Button $8.7 it

The Doctors Mayo, by II. B. Clapesattle.

This well documented volume is not merely an account of the Mayo brothers and their father; it is a layman’s history of American medicine from Minnesota pioneer days to the present, and from the common sense and crude skills of tho early practitioner to the methodical craftsmanship of the modern surgeon and the science, of the laboratory. Because of his many-sidedness the parent emerges as a more real character than the sons, whose lives are almost indistinguishable from their professional activities. The book sustains interest well without resorting to histrionics.  Minnesota $-1.7,5

American Giant, by Frances Win war.

“My book.” writes Miss Winwar in her introduction, “is a refutation of the cliche ‘good gray poet.’ ” Mb.s Winwar feels that the real Whitman has been obscured under a number of controversies, such as that over the poet’s possible sexual abnormality, which are not of real relevance in the appraisal of his genius. She therefore has attempted to clear the air of both the too lurid, charges and the too purifying defenses. The result is an

Below the Potomac


By Virginius Dabney

Editor Richmond Times Dispatch

HPlTAT a new South is rising out JL of the ashes of the old is the theme of this important book — a new South which is somewhere in between the nostalgic, traditional picture of the sentimentalists and the preoccupation with sadism, degeneracy and crime characteristic of the Caldwell-Faulkner school. With this as his theme, the author then examines the most persistent questions both Northerner and Southerner arc asking about the South today : Southern politics and the effect of the recent political purge, the enthusiasm for the New Deal, the poll tax which is on the hooks of eight Southern slates, the safeguarding of civil liberties, the South’s colleges and universities, the position of the Negro, the prevalence of gerrymandering in the South, the decline of sectionalism, the effect of the present war upon the New South, and finally what the future holds for the South.

Illustrated. $3.00

/// //// Booksellers

D. APPLETON-CENTURY CO. 35 West 32nd Street, New York

iViViVlil at least comprehensive work in which the objectionably romantic qualities of some of Miss Winwar’s previous literary history are( less in evidence and therefore less objectionable.  Harper $3.1)0

Anthony Wayne, by Harry Einci’,;,m Wildes.’

Although not one of America’ < greatest soldiers, Mad Anthony Wayne was a colorful and dynamic figure. This readable biography, by an author better versed in the history of Pennsylvania than in that of New England and Virginia, is based in part on hitherto unused manuscripts,  T far court $3.75

Charles De. Gaulle, by Philippe Barres.

M. Barres is an ardent supporter of J.he Free French Movement, and he has written a book to support that cause. It is of some moment for its presentation of the facts of Dc Gaulle’s career and its elucidation of his military ideas, but it is in no sense a critical biography. The author has made no attempt to evaluate objectively De Gaulle’s policies and actions as the leader of the Free French or bis fitness for the task be has assumed.

Doubleday $2

Byron in Italy, by Peter Quennell.

The distinguished young English man of letters here presents the Byron who lias just bade farewell to England forever and carries the story forward to the eve of the Grecian adventure and death. “At Venice, there had been dissipation; at Ravenna, love; and when love waned, the dreams of a united Italy.” Quennell tells it all in a crisp and charming style, with great mastery of detail. lie blinks no facts of Byron’s shadier conduct, but puts the proper emphasis on literary and other friendships, courage, and an astounding poetic production.  Viking $8.50

John Sterling, by Anne Kimball Tuell.

The vogue for Victorian revaluations descends to a minor figure and rescues from comparative obscurity this “child of light, who had been accumulating wis-

(Continued in back

dom all In’s life . . . for the hoped for leadership which never came.” Undeterred by the distinction of Sterling’s earlier biographers (Hare and Carlyle) and encouraged by access to a niiiub.:y of unpublished letters, the author studies the mind of Sterling as a Victorian phc nomcuon. Despite a somewhat mannered style and an excess of academic paraphernalia, the book compresses into pithy paragraphs a wide and rich garner of Victorian memoir, Victorian religious experience, Victorian thought.

Macmillan $3.50

Sir-age Landor, by Malcolm Elwin.

The poet of classic grace and prose writer “whose aim and achievement was the ideal dignity of language” will never be a widely popular writer, hue bis long, contrasting, and tempestuous life, here presented in detail and with a frankness impossible to earlier biographers, may well win for the young rebel .and old Titan himself—and along with the man, for some of his works .also—a considerably wider interest and appreciation. Elwin rescues Landor from Dickens’s caricature of him as Boythorn in “Bleak House,” and now supersedes the Victorians, Forster and Colvin, as standard biographer.

Macmillan $//

A Venture in Remembrance, by M, A. De Wolfe Howe.

Here a distinguished biographer reports tb(’ discretions of bis youth and the discriminations of his maturity. The book’s pungency, or aridity, is that of its world, which is Boston. Not all the anecdotes are. good, but they arc all about good people. The account of “highbrow levity” will make the reader shudder slightly, but usually Boston appears at its best. Henry James described it with characteristic indirectness. Walking one day with Mr. Howe, James gazed down a most respectable thoroughfare and asked. “Do you feel that Marlborough Street |”a pause] is precisely [a longer pause] passionate?”

Little, Brown $.150

advertising pages.) It’s Time to Read—


By John J. Parker, Charlotte, M. C.

United States Circuit Judge, Fourth Circuit

100 pages which hold a special interest to every American mar and woman in these perplexing days of Dictatorship. Judge Parker ends with a note of hopeful conviction:

“We must realize that it is not enough that men be free. They must find in their freedom opportunity for development and happiness and security. These will come with the working out of the democratic ideal, which finds the glory of the state in the dignity and happiness of the individual.” $1.50


Charlottesville, Virginia (Continued from front advertising pages.)


The Double Man, by V. II. Auden.

Two long pieces: a fifty-five page “New Year Letter” followed by eighty-odd pages of notes, epigrams, improviza-tional atid bibliographical addenda; and a sequence of lyrics rather sentimentally conceived halfway between Hans Christian Andersen and b’razier’s “Golden Hough.” The “New Year Letter” is obvi( usly written on the margins of Make, Rimbaud, Baudelaire, Rilkc, and other great clinicians of Renaissance duality, and concerns the “double man” of good will and divided faith, adrift in the multiplicity of events, in both its shortcomings and its achievements, the poem is Auden’s own. At its best it shows an equilibrium hardly to be matched by any of Auden’s contemporaries, and the intelligence which has been directed upon the materials is at all times humane and venturesome. On the other hand, the line of its discourse itself is marred by an undergraduate bookishness which carries its homework to the text undistillcd. His professed model in the venture, doubtless, is Dryden, whom he invokes as “the master of the middle style”; the ring of the poem, however, is vers de socictc. A better model might have been found in Yeats.  ’ Random

Collected So<iwls, h Kdna St. Vincent Millay.

Miss Millay has in this volume collected Kit sonnets. In writing so many, she has necessarily had enough practice to master the form, and a few arc very good. Hut in most of them one cannot help feeling that she protests too much about her love and thinks too precisely on the event. Indeed, she has left little of it iinscaniied, unforced into a sonnet or two, all naked as it is.  Harpers $-1

Poems, by Anna Maria Armi.

Anna Maria Armi is announced as the discovery of Mark Van Doren and W. H. Auden. Her poems show an advanced technical mastery of the language and a

sensitive imagination. They lack, however, that close fusion of image and idea which makes the. compactness of the best poetry, and they are ti rc.fore, often rather tenuous and lacking in impact.

Random $2

The Listening Landscape, hy Marya Za-turenska.

Miss Zaturenska’s third volume pursues the theme, of sanctuary in an clement of hall-lights, serenities, and muted effects of trance and melancholy. Many of these lyrics arc delicately assembled, though the “quiet” which they celebrate brings the author even farther into the realm of genre and artifice. The landscape here is confessedly after I’oussin. Repose is achieved primarily in terms of pleasing arrangements, rather than resolved experiences: “secret lakes,” islands, forests, “q,iiet countries,” where the monstrous, the innocent, the mythic contemplate terror “in an always tranquil clime.”  Macmillan $t.7f>

If est of Midnight, by Paul Kngle.

The poem which gives this volume its title proposes the image and sets the theme: America and the daylight of democracy lie to the west of the dark, bomb -rcuded night of Europe. Kngle versifies so smoothly and chooses his images so judiciously that he forces one to call him competent, yet his poetry goes not very much, if at all, beyond a certain smooth competence. And as far as the meaning of democracy is concerned, he has been able to add little to what Irving llerlin has already set to music.

Random >$ii

Colieeteil Poems of Louis MacNeice.

In collecting his work for publication in a single volume, Louis MncNcico reminds the reader that “all poems are not written the same way,” that there may he legitimate occasions “for flatness and hyperbole, for concentration and diffuse-ness, for both the unusual and the obvious,” The difference between the earlier pieces and the later ones in the present

,v,iiviii CHAPEL HILL

volume—a dill’erciicc between the intense, the compact and the garrulous, the perfunctory—docs not present a very attractive brief for bis argument. Like Auden, MacNeice is doubtless arguing for the “middle style.” Like Auden, MacNeice, in l!).’J8, works at commonplaces in an “Autumn .Journal,” the “debris of day-liy-day experience.” The genre is not without its appeal; but in the end, the journalist ‘nas both disarmed the poet and devaluated his function: as a craftsman, by a slapdash vulgarity (“nifty hero,” “Ireland is hooey”) and a pervasive rhythm of personal fatigue; as a “man of good will,” by an ethical mm cominit-talism; as a lyricist, by the tired complaint that “All I woidd like to be is human.” The issue is worth posing in terms of a charge, because two-thirds of Ibis collection nu’kcs it (dear that one is dealing with a port of lively and superior endowments.  Random $,.’..r>()

Backbone of the IFcrr’nif/, by Curtis Uok.

Do not let the title of this book frighten you. It is a delightful book, rich in insight, dotted with humor and written in a prose which, despite occasional evidence of “fine writing,” combines real power and much grace. The author opens by saying: “This book is about justice.” (The title is taken from the oath on the Isle of Man: “. . . to do justice . . . as equally as the backbone of the herring doth lie midmost of the fish.”) Hut you do not have to read far to sec that to the author justice is a very human thing indeed. It is true bid inadequate to say tliat here are short penetrating glimpses into the lives of certain litigants wdio happened to appeal to a Philadelphia judge still in his forties. This is inadequate simply because the author goes deeper. Indeed, he is close to the great tiuinanists of the sixteenth century who knew that tragedy and humor were akin and that dignity, an inner thing, is never solemn. For the learned let it be said that the author’s genial approach to law seems near to the “realism” of Max Ratlin and will thus be suspect by those “juris-prudes” who prefer abstractions to human beings.  Knopf $8

PEMBERTON: Defender of Vicksburg

By John C. 1’embeiton. A review of the life of I lie Confederate general who opposed (Irani at Vieksburg and a rc-evahialion of the military .situation in Mississippi as it was in 1862 and T>3. Illustrated. $3.50


By Walter l’ Taylor. The first serious appraisal of (he novel of social protest in America. The author’s estimate of such figures as Mark Twain and W. D. Ilowells supersedes earlier work in its careful intcgra-(ion of causes and motives. $4.00


A Handbook for the MidOk oouth

By lilisabelh Lawrence. A collection of practical notes on Hardening jn (]u. South—what flowers to plant, when to plant them, where to get them, and how much to nurse them. $.100



Their Interpretation and Revision

By Conlcy Hall Dillon. A timely discussion of the International Labor Organization’s making, application, and particularly revision, of international treaties. It points a practical path for future international law. $3.00


By Milton B. Kennedy. A study of the orations in .Shakespeare’s plays, including their sources, classification, structure, dramatic integration, and relation to Elizabethan oratory and education. $3.00


By Wylie Sypher. A careful study of anli-slavery literature of the eighteenth century, with revealing accounts of slave-ship horrors and West Indian revolts. $3.00


lidiied by I’redson Bozvcrs. A manuscript play attributed to Thomas Randolph, here printed for the first time. With textual and critical notes.


tMe University of North Carolina Pres

aWiViv lilack Lamb and Grey Falcon, by Rebecca West.

This book tells a history of events centuries long and written mainly in blood and suffering, but its purpose is that of true history: to illuminate the spirit of the peoples who make up Yugoslavia. The form, that of a travel book, has a triviality about it that suits neither the aim nor the achievement. Hut this must be. accepted. “I was obliged.” says Miss West, “to write a long and complicated history, and to swell that with an account of myself and the people who went with me on my travels, since it was my aim to show the past side by side with the present it created.” It is tin important hook because it has more than the sharp immediate life of individual perceptions, and more than the satisfactory solidness that comes from knowledge. It has also the dignity of synthesis; it fulfils the duly of judgment that writers of our time most consistently evade. It records, therefore, the values of national traditions different from our vn in terms common to all human organizations not based on terror, in the terms on which we must depend if our civilization is lo stand: the worth of the human spirit and the truth of courage, fortitude, and love. Two volumes, illustrated,  rikinu $7.5(1

Intimate i’irijinianu, by Anne Fontaine Maury.

Selections from letters and diaries written by members of the much trat led Maury family from the day of the Black Rail line packets to the first steam trains.

Diet:: $:{/>()

The Creation of I’urchasiiiif Power, bv David M. Wright.

Rccaiisc of the tremendous increase in our ability to produce physical wealth—-which has been accompanied by great unemployment and economic distress-the important problem of our peacetime economy is the maintenance of siiflicient purchasing power. Mr. Wright directs his attention to this problem. After first considering the important factors in stabilizing purchasing power, be presents his interpretation of various schemes which


have recently been proposed and selects from these a set of proposals which he considers to be most suitable for the solution of this important problem.

Harvard $8

The F.mjUsh Notebooks, by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Kditcd by Randall Stewart.

Hawthorne, drew upon these journals in writing “Our Old Home” and Mrs. Hawthorne published in 1870 “Passages from the English Note-Rooks.” Neither of those publications gave, a fair idea of the frankness and freshness of the Notebooks as Hawthorne first wrote thein. This edition, printed from the original manuscripts, reveals Hawthorne’s mind and personality richly, and gives a more satisfying impression of the man than any of the biographies. Hawthorne was speaking truly when he wrote: “they arc much too good and true to bear publication.” There are racy accounts of the people he met and the occasions which he attended. He described the places he visited with fidelity and vigor. The introduction is a valuable essay on Mrs. Hawthorne’s editing and on Hawthorne, in England.

Modern Lani/iiat/e Association $0

James Joyce, by Harry Levin.

This is the portrait of an artist who ’ rejected the culture of cities to build his own fabulous city with love of language aiid upon the Iclicf that the artist has some function ec-n in a world which exiles poets. Avoiding the excesses of esotericism ami the defects of pedantic philology, it is the best study of Joyce yet to appear. Rut although excellent on thr significance of Joyce’s work for Joyce, it is weak on the significance of that work for its readers. New Directions $1M0

From the Land of Silent People, by Robert St. John.

Always just ahead of the invader, an American correspondent fled from Yugoslavia to Greece to Crete to Alexandria. This book is his report on the disastrous Balkan campaign. It is an exciting personal adventure and it reveals military NEW DIRECTIONS BOOKS NEW DIRECTIONS BOOKS NEW





“James Joyce, A Critical Introduction” by Harry Levin ($1.50)

“The Wisdom of the Heart”—Stories and Essays by Henry Miller ($2.50}

“The Real Life of Sebastian Knight”—A brilliant novel by Vladimir Nabokov ($2.50)

Goethe’s “Faust”—New translation by C. F. Maclntyre, illustrated by Rockwell Kent ($3.50)

“New Directions 1941”—Our sixth annual volume, featuring this year a survey anthology of Soviet Russian poetry and complete plays by Bertolt Brecht & Delmore Schwartz ($3.50)

“Five Young American Poets 1941”—Goodman, Mills, Shapiro, McGahey & Schubert ($2.50)

A new edition of Gertrude Stein’s “Three Lives” (New Classics, $1.00)

“Shenandoah”—A verse play by Delmore Schwartz ($1.00)

Send for our free complete catalogue New Directions, Norfolk, Conn.






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The booksellers of America have just made their annual award for the


(the most worthwhile 111 11 book which didn’t have the audience it deserved)



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Ask your bookseller lo show you a copy


Members Everywhere

.T costs so litue to enjoy 1 lit* superb accommodations and services offered by The JKPPKKSON — the Showplacc of the South.

RATES I-ROM $2.” WITH BATH Write for Free Folder

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y facts that censorship had .suppressed, lint these things are incidental to Mr. St. John’s main purpose, which is “to tell vou what I saw and studied and heard,” to report the intimate daily experience of destruction, terror, and death.

Doiildedai/ $>t

Tin- Sim;/ of Modem Art, liy Sheldon Cheney.

Unlike his proselytizing “I’rimer of Modern Art.” which has led more Americans by the band through the isms of contemporary painting than any other single volume, Mr. Cheney’s new book is a compilation of no longer controversial material into the most convenient form it has so far been given. The illustrations are profuse and skilfully selected.

1 “thing if”Si

Shakespeare without Tears, by Margaret. Webster.

Margaret Webster, who directed the Maurice Evans Shakespearean plays, has wri’.a’ii a book as refreshing in its own I ty as I.ogan Pcarsall Smith’s “On .ending Shakespeare.” She is intelligently familiar and sympathetic with the best modern Shakespearean scholarship, but she writes not as the scholar but as the play producer thinking of Shake spcarc’s dramas in terms of the theater. In the first part of the book she attempts to set the Elizabethan stage and recapture the spirit of the plays as Shakespeare saw them played. The second section discusses the plays in seven groups, play by play, with sensitive understanding of the characters and of the modern playhouse. A hook to be read for pleasure, it cannot be read without profit.

IVitiltlese„ .%>.7r,

The Heart of Europe, hy Denis de Hougc-menl and Charlotte Muret.

Hy describing and analyzing Swiss culture and institutions, tin- authors convincingly support the thesis that Switzerland is a working model for a future Europe pursuing a federative way of life. Because it recognizes that political institutions have a context of culture, the book

is worth a bale of current legalistic blueprints for world confederation.

Duell JfttiM

‘The Destiny of Sea Tower, by John Philips Cranwcll,

The. tank and the bomber, together with their auxiliary machines, may he expected to follow sea power’s lead both in problems of strategy and in technical design; for sea power is the parent of mechanization and is thus east in the role of instructor to land and air power. Of course, sea power’s chief function is to keep the sea lanes open, and hence, until air transport matches sea borne commerce it may be expected that sea power will continue to be a vigorous if not dominant partner in the trinity of power. In time, however, it will be. displaced by air power as the dominant partner. The author sustains this interesting and timely thesis both historically and analytically. If at times his analogies seem oversimplified it is a price gladly paid for a work which the expert is not apt to disdain and which the layman will find richly rewarding.  Nor I on $2.7 fi

The Mind of the Maker, by Dorothy L Savers,

I,ike a modern Augustine, Miss Sayers develops an intellectually delightful feast of analogies between the creative activity of the human artist and the creative activity of God. In these chapters, the theological propositions concerning the Trinity cease to he musty ecclesiastical dogmatisms and become the vital, illuminating principles of our most familiar human experiences and actions. On the other hand, her analysis of human creative work, and the (dear, lofty perspective in which she places artistic activity, put to shame the respected modern theorists of u’.sthetics and criticism, and reveal their shallowness.  Hareottrt $2

The Intent of the Critic, edited bv Donald A. Htauffcr.

A collection of four essays concerning the function of literary criticism. Edmund Wilson proposes the historical approach; Norman Eoerster suggests a tlcli-

nf en ist int an th. as >ti eff an off wo of



by Va siv Mi










:vlii cote bnlimce between the ethical and esthetic factors as bis standard of criticism. John Crowe Ransom measures the artist’s value by his ability to embody a special dimension of abstract form; W. II. Auden requires literature, to present a single human life or experience as “an isoniorph of a general human life.” In n general way, all agree that literature, to have enduring significance, must root itself much deeper in the fertile soil of our Western tradition. Princeton $iiftO

J,ct Us Now Praise Famous Men, by James Agee and Walker Evans.

Despite gratuitous passages that remark critically upon the arts and complain about the hazards of communication by language, this portrait of three Alabama tenant families is as honest and real as any yet presented; better yet, it is more accurate and complete. The portrait is partly in the nature of a document, secured partly through the use of photographs, partly through reportorial details that catalogue even the contents of bureau drawers, and partly a lyric, secured principally through its impressionistic images and its many moments of intense emotion. Because Agee, living among the Gudgcrs, the Ricketts, and the Woods, tries to make the. reader feel as he felt, the book is also a psychological ^itdy of Agee himself. If the desperate effort to communicate produces some torn I and wrenched writing, it is more than offset, as in the consummate description of working the cotton crop, by other passages of striking be/inty. Houghton $;{/>()

The if Taut/hi Themselves, by Sidney Janis.

The clement of suspicion which the “modern primitive” inspires is dispelled by pictures like Pickett’s “Manchester Valley,” and by the extraordinary expressive, lucidity of paintings juxtaposed by Mr. Janis against photographs of their subjects. Suspicion is re-established by the second-rate work included, and particularly by the insistence., in the biographies, autobiographies, and photographs of the painters, upon their novelty as characters. Rut if the book is only

| partially .successful as a missionary, it is completely so as an engaging, beauti-

! fully printed volume.  Dial $Sf,0


In Early Editions

Over :!,()()() items, in a new catalogue of l.’JO pa^cs, free on request.

All items are carefully described and annotated, and reasonably priced,

ARGOSY BOOK STORES 114 East 59 Street  New York City

Cntalotjucs of old, raff, and out-of-print books on oil subjects issued rrijulurly. .1 posit art! ‘.{‘ill put you on our luuilintj list.


“Grcemvay Rise”, VIRGINIA

All Episcopal Country School for girls. New buildings on 23-acre estate. College Preparatory and General Courses. Separate dormitory for younger girls. All sports. Hiding. Music. Art. For Catalogue, address the Headmistress.


Ninety-ninth Year. An Kpiscopal school emphasizing best in Southern traditions anil culture. Ivll’cetivc luel’.-tration for C. lv. II. examinations .’inil for colleges admitting on certificate, General Course for N’oii-CoIIckc Girl. Music, Art Dramatics, l.ower School. Courses for lii^li school graduates in intensive college preparation, anil Srcrctai i.’tl. Modern Academic HuildiiiK, nynina-siuni and tiled swimming pool. Outdoor .sports. Itiiliny the year round. 1’or liooklet address

OPHELIA S. T. CARR, Prin., Box J-Q, Staunton, Va.


will be. delivered to your door by the postman if you order them through The Rook Service, All books in print are available al list prices, post free. Address:

The Book Service The Virginia Quarterly Review Charlottesville, Virginia



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