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Notes on New Books

ISSUE:  Autumn 1941

The gkeex-room

tram Coffin is the New England poet who by his lectures and phonographic recordings is helping to make poetry a “public function.” In the spring Mr. Collin will deliver the Patten Foundation Lectures at Indiana University; these will be published under the title “The Substance That Is Poetry.” He contributes his first book review to this issue; we have often published his poetry. Scott Buchanan, Dean of St. John’s College at Annapolis, Maryland, has frequently contributed reviews and articles to this magazine. Garrard Glenn, Professor of Law at the University of Virginia, will be remembered by readers of the Virginia Quarterly for his pungent comments on social institutions, both medieval and modern; a previous review, “The

Tired Business Man,” was in part a discussion of Thurman Arnold’s “The Folklore of Capitalism.” John W, Wheeler-Bennett is a British subject who has spent many years in this country; his latest work, “The Forgotten Peace,” is the story of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. He is at present Assistant Director of the Britisli Press Service. Walter L. Myers, a contributor of long standing, is professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh. He is a short story writer, a critic, and the author of “The Later Realism.”

The Virginia Quarterly Review publishes in a supplement to this issue “The Merry-Go-llound,” a five act play by D. H. Lawrence now presented to the public for the first time.

The virginia quarterly review

Edited by Archibald Boiling S/ieppersou William Jay Goltt, Managing Editor

Advisory Board

John Calvin Mktcalk  Jamks Soutmall Wilson

Gauhakd Glknn  Hardy C. Dillaud

R. K. Goocii  Cahholl Mason Spar now

Ashlcv G. Davis, Scerctarv

Published at the University of Virginia in March, June, September, and December. Subscription rates: $3.00 the year. Canadian and Foreign, $3.50. Single copies, 75 cents. Indexed in The Headers’ Guide to Periodical Literature.

Contributions must be accompanied by postage for return and addressed to The Editor. The University of Virginia and the Editors do 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.

puhlication & kditoiiial oitick: 1 wkst ItAN’OK, chaul0ttksville, viroinia FICTION

Give Mc Liberty, by John Erskinc. Can it be the influence of George Washington himself that causes all Revolutionary novels to be so devoid of humor? Even John Erskine, wittiest of writers, becomes bogged down with dullness in his “Give Mc Liberty.” The story concerns a young orphnn plantation owner who is influenced by Patrick Henry, the wonder boy, and by Parson Maury, whose school Thomas Jefferson also attended and with whom Mr. Erskine seems very intimate. The last pages have real beauty—but on the whole let Mr. Erskinc avoid Washington’s influence.  Stokes $2.50

Count Ten, by Hans Otto Storm.—-At last wc have the long-awaited full-length novel bv the author of “Pitv the Tyrant” and “”Made in U.S.A.” “ ‘This is the story of how a man of character, depth, imagination, and decency came finally to make terms with life without sacrificing his principles. The story is big in scope, and carries the hero through the World War as a conscientious objector, through the post-War period first as a laborer nnd then as an “executive.” The scene is all of America, including Latin America. The writing is always honest, frequently demanding much of the reader. But the result is rewarding. Longmans $2.50

Light Sons and Dark, by David Cornel DeJong. <—> Against the background of a farm that will not yield, Mr. DeJong lias placed the poverty-stricken Dav-ises. They are a miserable lot of failures until Joel returns from the college he lias worked himself through to snve his mother and oldest brother. Death and bootlegging intervene before he realizes the beginning of his dream. Disturbing nnd at times unpleasant, but moving and beautifully written.

Harper $2.50

The Ox-Eoxo Incident, by Walter Van Tilburg Clark. -—’ This is a first novel

which promises much for the future of its author. It is an account of a lynching in the West, but out of such material, by now almost trite, this book extracts every drop of action and character development—to such an extent that one is tempted to say that no one has ever written of the West like this. The writing is “straight”—unmannered and completely effective. Random $2

The Family, by Nina Fedorova. ’ An Atlantic Prize novel, not easily classified, with a little of everything and a special charm of its own. It is about a family of Russian refugees who kept their heads and hearts while slowly starving in China. It takes skill to tell a story like this without mawkishncss; that is one reason why “The Family” is so satisfying. Little, Brown $2.50

Westward the Tide, by Harold Sinclair. Despite a certain heaviness of style, this novel should be appreciated as a very valuable contribution to our knowledge of American history. A fic-tional study of George Rogers Clark’s expedition, the story moves along well and is full of Indians, starvation, and heroism. There is of course a beautiful French girl, nnd believe it or not, she marries the hero, an ensign in Clark’s company.  Doubleday $2.76

Mighty Mountain, by Archie Binns. ^ This somewhat melodramatic story of the early settlers in Washington state is only an average contribution to the current output of pioneer novels. Various scenes of horror sustain the interest in the account of the Indian war nnd the reclamation of the wilderness.

Scribncr’s $2.76

Troubled Waters, by Roger Vercel, translated from the, French by W. B. Wells. — In a small French boat fishing on the Iceland grounds, father and son arc parted and then reconciled by their emotional relationship to the unfaithful mother. The contrast of the Arctic background nnd the warm humanness of the characters is effective in this interesting and beautifully written novel.  Random $2.50

The Fields of Paradise, by Ralph Bates. <— The Mexican equivalent of the author’s “The Olive Field,” this novel tells how a backward region of Mexico finally had the revolution brought to it when the people found a leader. And it is as much a story of persons as it is of a country, a time, a movement. It is evidence also of Bates’s ability to get into the very skin of Latin peoples he loves, admires, and understands.

Button $2.50

Sons of the Fathers, by Albert Halper. ‘—- The best of this novel is in its earlier chapters, which detail the struggles of a Jewish immigrant family against race prejudice and unfair business competition. Later chapters carry less conviction. They employ the distresses of the family during the World War to present an undeviating disapproval of American participation. Harper $2.50

The Great Crusade, by Gustav Rcglcr. .—A novel about the Spanish War which calls real names and is about real actions. To those who did not follow the course of that war the book will not always be clear. To others it will speak eloquently of complex human relationships at a time of national and international tragedy. There is n fine introduction by Ernest Hemingway.  Longmans $2.50

You Can’t Go Home Again, by Thomas Wolfe. —’The last of his posthumous novels. Like everything else Wolfe wrote, it is autobiographical, long, rhetorical, passionate, clumsy, and inspired. There is no “new” Wolfe here. More ruthless editing would have helped.  Harper $3

No. 21 Castle Street, by H. W. Katz. —’ Without ringing in rampant emotion or political bias, the author of “The Fishmans” mirrors the disintegration of the Weimar Republic in the lives of Galician Jews who inhabit a small German town. Probably autobiograph-

ical, the story springs from a rich source of human experience; the tone is sharpened but not set by the Brown-shirt menace. The book is written with the feverish clarity of a nightmare.  ’ Viking $2.60


The Bridge, by Ernest Poole. <-—  Any man who has written an important book can always write a second, the story of how that book was written. It is the background and writing of “The Harbor”—still one of the best of American sociological novels—which is the most moving part of “The Bridge.” We see the original of the old house looking out over the river, with its rooftop garden through which jutted the smoking chimneys of the warehouse below. Mr. Poole met and worked with the young reformers of the turn of the century, the men who made settlements, and parks, and playgrounds, who started so many things now finished, and so many more still undone. He wisely chooses the fine last paragraphs of “The Harbor” with which to end his autobiography, those paragraphs that nlfirm that change is the rule of life, and that the changing harbor is a symbol of life that will go on, though change sweep us all away.

Macmillan $8

The Vanishing Virginian, by Rebecca Yancey Williams. <—’ To those who are glad to find one more book about Virginia this book will be of interest and amusement. As his daughter describes him, Colonel Bob Yancey was well worth knowing. In addition to adding so much to the fun and excitement of his home town this able Lynchburg lawyer supported a large family in comfort. This was a rare accomplishment among the captains and the colonels of his day. It can be taken for granted that Mr. Freeman’s introduction adds value to the volume.

Button $2.50

Trelawny, by Margaret Armstrong.’-’ Human interest and literary association arc as deftly blended in this book as they were in the dramatic life of Edward Trelawny. This nineteenth century personification of romance and adventure, intimate friend of 13yron and Shelley, is an almost ideal hero for such a popular biography, and Miss Armstrong will here almost certainly surpass the success of her “Fanny Kemble.” She properly emphasizes Trclawny’s love for Clare Clairmont, Byron’s discarded mistress, as explaining the coolness of Trelawny toward Byron in contrast with the warmth of his admiration of Shelley. Macmillan $8

A Victorian Rebel, by Lloyd Wendell Eshleman,—A new life of William Morris with emphasis on his social and political views is timely. This thoughtful volume illustrates both the merits and the demerits of the converted doctoral dissertation. The thoroughness of the research is obvious, as is the author’s prodigious effort to popularize his material: the resulting book is a dubious hybrid. Why does the author commit the ungrateful absurdity of saying in his bibliography that Mac-kail’s biography of Morris “is valuable mainly for its treatment of Morris’s classical translations nnd his travels?” Despite the forty-year intervnl and the new material and point of view of Mr. Eshlcman, modern readers might reasonably still prefer Mackail. Eshlcman also deserves to be widely read.

Scribne/s $3.50

Roger Fry, by Virginia Woolf. r—> Roger Fry was the most influential critic of his day, a day in which intelligent taste in art has been dependent to an abnormal degree on the critics’ perceptions. Virginia Woolf’s biography of her friend is n good book all the way through. Aside from its exciting background of the rise of modern art from the obscurity of the adventurous dealer’s showroom to fairly general acceptance, Virginia Woolf’s three-dimensional portrait of Roger Fry should

bring the pleasure of intimate acquaintance with another human being.

Harcourt $8.50

Mr. House of Texas, by Arthur D. Howden Smith. — Woodrow Wilson’s famous alter ego is the subject of a sympathetic but frequently critical and relatively unbiased appraisal by a journalist intimately associated with House for twenty-five years. This first full-length biography of an extraordinary personage docs not materially change the general picture of the Texan painted by his own “Intimate Papers” and other sources, but is filled with interesting sidelights. Funk and Wagnalls $3.60

I Rode with Stonewall, by Henry Kyd Douglas. — This is the narrative of the youngest member of Stonewall Jackson’s staff; after a slumber of forty years in an attic, it has now been brought to light. Like many books which arc related rather than written, it contains much meaty information. The main interest, of course, is the picture of Jackson seen through the young eyes and somewhat variable prose of Mr. Douglas. We see an ordinary mortal, full of talent, but with peculiarities which do not raise him above criticism. Prescribed reading for all Civil War enthusiasts.

North Carolina $3

Letters of Robert Carter (1720-1727), edited by Louis B. Wright. — Although these letters are principally concerned with the “commercial interests of a Virginia gentleman,” something of the character of “King” Carter docs shine through. Primarily of interest to the historian of economics, they also contain some items for the social historian and the genealogist. It is a pity that the editor thought it necessary to weaken their flavor by modernizing the spelling.  California $2.60

Nathaniel Hawthorne. A Modest Man, by Edward Mather. — Mather provides a full account of Hawthorne’s

(Continued in back advertising pages.) (Continued from front advertising pages.)

life, making use of newly discovered source material. The point of view is that of the biographer rather than the literary historian, but within this self-imposed limitation the work is likely to prove definitive. The narrative interest will appeal to the lay reader.

Crowell $8.60

Mark Twain’s Travels with Mr. Brown, edited by Franklin Walker and G. E/.ra Dane. <—  Twenty-six letters written for a California!! newspaper, and hitherto uncollected, describing American travels before setting out for Europe and “Innocents Abroad.” Far from a major work, but of special interest to Mark Twain collectors.

Knopf $5

Hud yard Kipling. A Study in Literature and Political Ideas, bv Edward Shanks. — A fundamentally successful attempt to analyze the bases of Kipling’s political beliefs and literary merits. He emerges as an authoritarian but not a totalitarian, and as a writer whose literary powers rose steadily until his death. There are copious quotations and much shrewd commentary.  Doublcday $2.50

I Built a Temple for Peace, by E. 1L Hitchcock..—’This is an authorized biography of Eduard Rcncs, in which the author, without attempting to evaluate, gives the essentials of the career and personality of the last president of independent Czechoslovakia.

Harper $3.60

Letters on Poetry from W. B. Yeats to Dorothy Wcllesley, edited by Dorothy Wcllesley. ^ In 103/5 Yeats’made the acquaintance of Lady Dorothy Wcllesley, whose poem, “Horses,” had greatly pleased him. A correspondence followed, during the course of which Yeats expressed himself freely on many aspects of literature, besides giving his correspondent many glimpses into his own character. These letters, which continued to within a few days of Ycats’s death, form a valuable doc-

ument for everyone interested in literature. “Lady Dorothy”—as Yeats called her—has limited her editorial olliccs to providing only the most necessary explanatory notes.  Oxford $8.60

Let There Be Sculpture, by Jacob Epstein. .— The book is less an autobiography than a summary of Mr. Epstein’s repetitious altercations with the public press and public taste. There are some lively personal comments on Conrad, Shaw, and others of Epstein’s models. There arc inexcusable misprints-^ Mantcgud for Mantegna, for instance, and Pollapjuolo.  Putnam’s $5

Serge Diaghilev, an Intimate Biography, by Serge Lifar..— Tlic life of the man who first made Europe and America ballet-conscious, by one of his later star dancers. A detailed picture of a self-centered, forceful, restless man, constantly seeking new outlets for his activity. The book presents a complete history of the Ballets Russcs, an account of Diaghilev’s interest in Russian art and bis missionary efforts to make it known to Western Europe. There moves through its pages a procession of the great persons in music, painting and the dance of the first quarter of this century: and over all the. indomitable spirit of Diaghilev.

Putnam’s $5


Audubon’s America, edited by Donald Culross Pcattic. ^ A handsome job of bookmakina: on the part of all concerned. It includes biographical and introductory matter by the editor, comprehensive selections from the little-known writings of Audubon, as well as seventeen full-color reproductions of bird and animal paintings, a self-portrait, and the rare painting of Natchez. The volume is generous in format, and the reproductions are excellent.

Houghton $6

From Many Lands, by Louis Adamic. ^What will become of America when

tm tin: “Melting Pot” no longer melts? What of those in it so coldly treated that they arc not even warmed? Beyond all, what of those who have become too hot for the pot to hold? These are hut a few of the questions presented by Adamie in his brilliantly written study of the American immigrant and his children, In personal interviews, representative spokesmen tell their stories—and their problems. The book is a potent plea against bigotry, intolerance, and racial hatred, with underlying implications of peril to a democracy that does not preserve its fundamental doctrine of inalienable rights.  Harper $3f>0

Engines of Democracy, by Roger Bur-lingame. <~-‘A panoramic history of primary inventions since 18(55 and their social and cultural consequences for American life. An immense success is achieved by the author in his nontechnical descriptions of machines and processes; but equally well sustained is his pattern of interpretation—that the vital forces which have shaped American society and culture have been the power acquired through science and technology to make more things, move more things, and to communicate more rapidly with one another. In a Baedeker of books this one deserves at least three stars. Scribner’s $3.7.1

Beyond German Victory, by Helen Hill and Herbert Agar. /—’ This’ small book develops the picture of what the world would be under the domination of the Na/i world revolution and advocates immediate preparation for defense on the part of the United States. It is straightforward and on the overly generalised side, but there is no hysteria in it.  Reynal $1

Letter of Credit, by Jerome Weidman. <—> To see the world before war made travel impossible, the author traveled through Europe and Asia in 1939. This is his report on what he saw and whom he met. Mr. Weidman writes with wit and verve, as one woidd ex-

pect from the author of “I Can Got It for You Wholesale.”

Simon ty Schuster $tU

My Shadow in the Sun, by Frances Davis..—’War in Spain—that ominous prelude to a world at war—is the background of this vivid narrative of one woman’s experience as a press correspondent. It is a good record—not of one woman’s thrilling adventure, but of the whole perilous game of war reporting and the men and women who pursue it. Car rich c} Evans $8.75

My Native Land, by Anna Louise Strong. ^ Although it contributes nothing new to one’s information and although the author’s leftist bias renders some of her conclusions rash and dogmatic, this book is worth attention for its discussion of “the forces ready to carry ns onward to new ventures through and bevond the New Deal.”

Viking $2,115

Why Men Behave Like Apes and Vice Versa, by Earnest Albert Hooton.^ This book consists of the five lectures delivered recently at Princeton, together with a “Harangue on Human Affairs.” We are reminded that man’s predicament today is in no small measure the result of biological degeneration and of the development of machines and the belief that human life is sacred under any circumstances. The presentation is as lively ns it is provocative.  Princeton $$

New Poets from Old, by Henry W. Wells.,—An effort to trace the evolution of the contemporary poet of the English-speaking world from the ancient masters, Milton, Spenser, and the rest and to assemble their most important points of contact. Thought-fid material which will be of interest even to those still unconvinced.

Columbia $3.50

America and a New World Order, hy Graeme K. Howard..—’The author of this work, vice-president in charge of overseas operations of General Motors Corporation, believes democracy needs

wviii an overhauling in America before a proper foreign policy can be developed. He deplores contemporary “punitive” measures against business, advises less bellicose criticism of other governments unless we definitely intend to fight them, and he advocates a recasting of the Monroe Doctrine to reduce the area of American responsibility. Mr. Howard is rcfrcsliing in his frank and realistic approach.

Scribner’s $2

America, I Presume, by Wyndham Lewis. r~~> Partly the “priceless” observations of a pukka sahib major, partly the lively remarks of his intelligent wife, this book is one of Mr. Lewis’s lesser contributions to satire on the Anglo-Saxon world. Howell, Soskin $2

The Wave of the Future, by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. r-> In this brief volume, Mrs. Lindbergh uses her extraordinary gifts as a writer to present an argument for yielding to the inevitable, the inevitable being in her eyes the forces of the future which Germany, Russia, and Italy have discovered how to use.  Harcourt $1

The Economic Basis of a Durable Peace, by J. E. Meade. Assuming a victory for the Western Powers in the present war, followed by the establishment of a political league or union, the author presents a blueprint for a future world economic order. The central feature is an international organization with extensive powers to co-ordinate the economic relations of all nations, whatever their type of economy—liberal, planned, capitalist, or socialist.

Oxford $2

Our Future in Asia, by Robert Aura Smith. -— This work is a full-dress plea for strong action against Japan to preserve America’s imperiled future in Asia. Mr. Smith’s fear is not that we may have to fight a naval war too far from our shores but that we may resign ourselves to defeat without a struggle. He ridicules the thesis that wc would be fighting Britain’s battle in the Far

East, and insists that there are “real American chestnuts in a real Asiatic fire.”  Viking $8


Collected Poems, by Kenneth Fearing. <~-> Sincerity of feeling is plain in these poems which represent fifteen years of work. The world communicated is almost entirely one confined to cities—to New York—with such a late exception as “Any Man’s Advice to His Son.” Largely a set of objective pictures in the first section, the work grows steadily in subjectivity, irony, interpretation. The mood varies from bitter toughness to very tender compassion. The technique is not smooth but is powerful. Notwithstanding some triteness and flippancy, the whole is admirable.

Random $2

Against the Cold, by Witter Bynncr. <—’ Those who like wit without bitterness should find Mr. Bynner’s new poems a happy relief from the propaganda and topical opinionation from which not much of our current literature is free. Within close technical limits he manages a surprising variety of subject and tone without recourse to the actual or, as a rule, to the sentimental.

Knopf $2

A Winter Tide, by Robert Nathan..— These two sonnet sequences and fifteen miscellaneous poems, written in Mr. Nathan’s usual competent rhymes and meters, seldom rise to any high pitch of excitement, or fall below the graceful norm of lyricism with which the poet apparently contents himself in his treatment of love, death, and religion, both in the abstract, and in the concrete of the “present situation.” Knopf $2

There Shall Be No Night, by Robert Sherwood. <—> This is the play inspired by the recent Finnish War, presented here with an introduction in which Mr. Sherwood retravels his intellectual path from “Idiot’s Delight” to a play which has been accused of being propaganda for war.  Scribner’s $2

aw Cantos LII-LXXL, by Ezra Pound. .—’Another installment of Mr. Pound’s Vieo-Joyccan history of the world, and another demonstration of the snob-appeal of what is hard to understand. This time it is John Adams and Confucius, embellished with the usual invective, the same bits of pseudo-phonetic transcription (“House ov rcp-pyzentativs”), the capricious abbreviations (“poetry of Ld/ Byron”), not to mention tin; tags of Creek, Latin, Spanish, and probably Eskimo. Poetry is a strange substance and even a mess like this might be cooked up into poetry by a good enough cook. But not a cook who is more interested in crack-pot prophecy than in literature. Under all the wilful and bad-tempered obscurity the heart of the mystery is a mere fanatic hatred of Jews ami bankers.  New Directions $;!f>0


Selected by the Editors

Homer’s Odyssey. — The T. E. Shaw translation, in the already famous Bruce Rogers edition, now available in the Ilesperides Series. Oxford $8

Don Quixote. Adapted from the Motteux translation by Lcighton Barrett. Designed and illustrated by Warren Chappell.  Halcyon $1.8!)

The Brothers Karamazov. r-> A handsome one-volume edition (822 pages hut not overly bulky) of Constance Garnett’s translation, with excellent illustrations by Boardman Robinson.

Halcyon $1,011

Wind, Sand and Stars. — An illustrated edition with many new plates in color and in black and white by John O’JIara Cosgrave II. Regnal $2.60

The Jefferson Bible. ^ Jefferson’s selections from the Gospels, which he called “The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth.”  Funk $1

The. Life of Andrew Jackson.’—’The Pulitzer Prize-winning biography by Marquis James, in one volume. The

paper is unfortunately not opaqu^ enough.  Halcyon $1,91$*

Orphic Sayings. â– — A limited edition of material first published by Bronsoii” Alcott in The Dial. â– ?

Golden Eagle Press $7M0, Ulysses, by James Joyce. —’ The for »i mat of the original American edition! with the durable and more attractive] bindings now being given all books inl this series.  Modern Library $1M

Tom Jones, by Henry Fielding.!

Modern Library $l,%6j The Wandering Jew, by Eugenei Sue.  Modern Library $1,25,

The Writings of Ralph Waldo Emer «% son, edited with a biographical intro4 duction by Brooks Atkinson. ;| Modern Library 95c A Flowering Judas, by Katherinc Anne 1



Modern Library 96cl

The Life of Sir William Osier, by) Harvey dishing. In one volume, i

Oxford $6

North to the Orient and Listen! the I Wind, by Anne Morrow LindberghvJ Two volumes, boxed. Harcourt $2.89’?

The Politieos, by Matthew Josephson.

Harcourt $1.98 , The Golden Bough, by Sir James G. ’ Era/ier.  Macmillian $1.1)9 I

Black April, by Julia Peterkin.

Triangle 80c

Tobacco Road, the play by Jack KirkH land.  Bestseller Library 26c

Selected Poems, by A. C. Swinburne-i: World Classics AW]

Swinburne, Poems and Prose. ,1 Everyman’s Library OOo’ Gulliver’s Travels, by Jonathan: Swift.  Everyman’s Library 90c

The Diary of Fanny Barney.

Everyman’s Library 90c

Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen.

Pocketbooks 26o

The Christmas Story. <-> In two booklets with illustrations from Durer, the text from St. Luke and St. Matthew. Golden Eagle Press 10c each



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