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novelist and short-story writer.
For the last seven years her home has been on Lombard street, the main highway to the military reservation of the Presidio. This neighborhood is perhaps the richest in varied humanity of any in that cosmopolitan city. Past her doors, she says, travels every type of man, from the fat colonel encased in carriage-glass to the itinerant old curlybearded negro astrologer who practises corn-doctoring when the stars frown. "Harbor View," mentioned in The Cast Line," is a tree-grown settlement across lots from her back windows a small town of Italian crab-catchers, with a sprinkling of Swedish, Danish, German, and Irish. Miss Hayes knows them very well, for most of her playtime and some of her working hours have been spent among them at the water's edge.
W. Kee Maxwell, who wrote the story, "The Yellow Peril," which the American Magazine printed in its July number, has been in newspaper work since he was fifteen years old, having now been in the "harness" for about eighteen years. Mr. Maxwell has established various country weeklies, and in 1911 he took an editorial position with the Peoria (Ill.) Herald-Transcript. Upon the resignation of George Fitch, author of the "Siwash" stories, as editor of the Herald-Transcript, Mr. Maxwell became the editor. For the past two years he has conducted a column of verse and humor called "Transcripts," and he has also supplied a half-page personality or idealism editorial as a Sunday feature of the Herald-Transcript. Mr. Maxwell has frequently contributed to the minor magazines and has been a more or less regular contributor to Judge. He is a member of the American Press Humorists' Association.
Vingie E. Roe, author of the story, "King of the Unsurveyed," in the Popular Magazine for June 1, is a daughter of Maurice P. Roe, a distant connection of the novelist, E. P. Roe. She was born in Oxford, Kansas, but was taken to Oklahoma
when a child. She always had a passionate love for poetry, and hearing her mother read a poem from some paper, she early associated the swing and rhythm of poetry with the look of the printed page, and until she was able to read for herself she cut out all poems and hoarded them in a little Easter egg of woven straw, and badgered every one to read them to her over and over until the little folded slips were all but worn out. She remembers that she had in this collection "Wynken, Blynken, and Nod," "The Blue and the Grey," and several classics. She early distinguished the real article and learned to love "Thanatopsis" and other poems like it. So it was natural that she should try her hand at the beloved art, and she began to write poems which attracted the attention of Victor Murdock, the Kansas congressman, who has since been her staunch supporter in the literary line. The limitations of poetry began to cramp her, and she turned to short stories, realizing enough from them from the very first sale to support herself. For four years she had a short story published nearly every three weeks, in Munsey's Magazine and the lesser Munsey publications, in Town Topics, and in other periodicals. Then that field, too, seemed narrow and she tried book-writing. Last year Dodd, Mead, & Company published her first novel, "The Maid of the Whispering Hills," with illustrations by George Gibbs. In May of this year the same firm published her second book, "The Heart of Night Wind," a story of the Oregon big timber country, and she is now at work on a third book, which she hopes to finish the coming fall.
Ella Morrow Sollenberger, one of whose poems, entitled "Sympathy," was published in Lippincott's for July, is a young wife and mother living in Catonsville, one of Baltimore's attractive suburbs, near where her ancestors have lived since the early colonization of Maryland. Her poems had many warm admirers among people of established literary reputation before any of them had
appeared in print and it was this appreciation which gave her courage to submit them to a larger public. They have been compared to those of Emily Dickinson in the strongly penetrating human quality which they possess.
John H. Walsh, whose story, "Dr. Punt's Patient," appeared in Harper's Magazine for July, is an officer of the United States Navy, and is at present in charge of the famous floating dry-dock at Olongapo in the Philippines. Mr. Walsh's home is in the State of Washington, and he knows the West coast well from Puget Sound to Panama. All his vacations are spent out of doors, camping, motor-boating, or mountainclimbing. He has climbed Mt. Rainier in Washington and the Taal volcano in Luzon. Mr. Walsh has been in the Philippines for two years, and is now writing stories of the island. In the last three years many of his stories have appeared in Scribner's, the Saturday Evening Post, Harper's, and various other magazines.
PERSONAL GOSSIP ABOUT AUTHORS.
Allen." Inspiration is only being in a good working mood," and this depends largely on physical condition, according to James Lane Allen, who is spending the summer in Boston, writing a volume of short stories. He says at the beginning he can always tell the story of his whole book in one sentence. He writes three hours every forenoon, dictating from rough notes and writing at the most only three thousand words. His output averages one book a year, though he says he always has two or three books on his mind at once. ----Boston Post.
four nights, and most of Byron's poems were impromptus.
Dumas. - Félix Duquesnel, in an article in the Paris Temps, says that Alexander Dumas, the younger, once told him how "La Dame aux Camélias" came to be written. Dumas had no notion of trying literature. He had been living in luxury with his father, and without thought for the future. Suddenly, however, Dumas, senior, got into financial difficulties, and the son found himself at Marseilles reduced to a humble lodging and an uncertainty about getting meals. He sat down with paper and pen in front of him, and "La Dame aux Camélias" was the result.
April 7. On Cluny"; very tired. April 8. On "Cluny," and wrote a poem called "O Mollie, How I Love You."
April 9. On my novel nine hours.
April 13. On my novel nine hours.
April 19. Wrote "My Pretty Canary" and "The Little Evangel."
April 20. Wrote nine hours on "Cluny." This was before the day of the typewriter and the dictaphone. - New York Evening Post.
Harraden. "Yes, I write every day," said Beatrice Harraden. "I have so much
work planned now," she explained, that it would take me six or seven years to finish it. There is always a great deal ahead. Just now I am writing another book, but I don't know when I shall have it finished. There is no hurry. One of my theories is that there is entirely too much written. I myself seldom turn out more than one piece of work in two or three years."
They tell a quaint story of Beatrice Harraden and the odd adventure she had with her famous book, "Ships That Pass in the Night." It furnishes another indication that she is both impetuous and decided in her feelings about her Own work. After finishing the book to suit her own ideas as to how it should be written she sent it off to a London publishing house. In the course of time it was returned, and she, without opening the package, tossed it into an old trunk. If the work was a work of genius the first person who saw it, thought she, would recognize the fact. If it was not, she did not ever want to see it again.
About five years later, either she was going to move or for some other reason she went to the old trunk to look for something. By chance she ca across the package containing the manus ipt. She opened it, curious to see how the story would strike her after the lapse of years, and she found among the leaves a note from the publishers. The note read after this fashion : "The book pleases us immensely. Can you make it just a little shorter and return it as soon as possible?" - New York Tribune.
CURRENT LITERARY TOPICS.
Literary "Jargon." - Professor A. QuillerCouch, in his capacity of King Edward VII professor of English literature, lectured at Cambridge recently upon "Jargon." "Jargon," he said, was prose which was not prose. It should not be confused with what was called "journalese." The two overlapped indeed, and each has a knack of assimilating the other's vices.
But jargon found most of its partisans among good people who had never written
to or for a newspaper in their lives, who would never talk of "adverse climatic conditions" when they meant "bad weather," who had never trifled with words such as "obsess," "recrudesce," envisage," "adumbrate," or with phrases such as "the psychological moment," the "true inwardness," "it gives furiously to think." It dallied with Latinity-"de die in diem," "cui bono," but not for the sake of style.
The journalist at the worst was an artist in his way; he dabbed paint of this kind upon the lily with a professional zeal. The more flagrant (or, to use his own word, arresting) the pigment, the happier was his soul. Like the Babu, he was trying all the while to make our poor dear language more floriferous, more poetical; like the Babu, for example, who, reporting his mother's death, wrote:
Regret to inform you hand that rocked the cradle has kicked the bucket."
No such gusto marked, no such zeal, artistic or professional, animated the practitioners of jargon. Caution was its parent; the instinct to save everything, and especially trouble. They might say it was bred by caution out of laziness. It was becoming the language of Parliament; it had become the medium through which boards of Government, county councils, syndicates, committees, and commercial firms expressed the processes as well as the conclusions of their thought and, in short, voiced the reason of their being.
Some men were constitutionally incapable of saying "no." The Minister in the House of Commons conveyed it thus: "The answer to the question is in the negative." That meant "no." It was jargon, and it happened to be accurate, but as a rule jargon was by no means accurate, its method being to walk circumspectly around its target. Thus the clerk of the Board of Guardians would minute that:
"In the case of John Jenkins, deceased, the coffin provided was of the usual character and in accordance with specification as per Messrs. So-and-So's tender."
Now, this was not accurate. "In the case of John Jenkins"-but John Jenkins
"Masculine will only be
Things that you can touch and see."
As his lectures were meant to be a course in "first aid" to writing, Professor QuillerCouch said he would suggest one or two extremely rough rules. First, whenever in their reading they came across one of the words, Case, instance, character, nature, condition, persuasion, degree," whenever in their writing their pen slipped into one of them, let them pull themselves up and take thought.
Next, having trained themselves to keep a lookout for these worst offenders, let them proceed to push their suspicions out among the whole cloudy host of abstract
"How excellent a thing is sleep," sighed Sancho Panza; "it wraps a man round like a cloak."
A jargoner would have said that: "Among the beneficial qualities of sleep, the hu man consciousness from the contemplation of immediate circumstances may, perhaps, be accounted not the least remarkable."
Another trick of jargon was the trick of elegant variation, so rampant in the sporting press: "Hayward and C. B. Fry now faced the bowling, which apparently had no terrors for the Surrey crack. The old Oxonian, however, took some time in settling to work."
To illustrate the ravages effected by jargon Professor Quiller-Couch reconstructed the well known soliloquy of “Hamlet,” “To be or not to be," as follows:
"To be, or the contrary? Whether the former or the latter be preferable would seem to admit of some difference of opinion, the answer in the present case being of an affirmative or of a negative character
according as to whether one elects on the one hand to mentally suffer the disfavor of fortune, albeit in an extreme degree, or on the other to boldly envisage adverse conditions in the prospect of eventually bringing them to a conclusion. "The condition of sleep is similar to, if not indistinguishable from, that of death, and with the addition of finality, the former might be considered identical with the latter, so that in this connection it might be argued with regard to sleep that, could the addition be effected, a termination would be put to the endurance of a multiplicity of inconveniences, not to mention a number of downright evils, incidental to our fellow humanity, and thus a consummation achieved of a most gratifying nature."
That was jargon, and to write jargon was to be perpetually shuffling around in the fog and cotton wool of abstract terms. When any one wrote in the active voice: "They gave him a silver teapot," he wrote as a man. When he wrote "He was made the recipient of a silver teapot," he wrote as a fool.
If their language be jargon, their intellect, if not their whole character, would most certainly correspond. Where their mind should go straight it would evade, for the style was the man, and where a man's treasure was his writing would be also. - London Letter, in New York Sun.
Song Writers and Publishers. The methods of unscrupulous so-called song publishers have been pretty thoroughly aired of late. The plan followed by a concern in Washington that recently came to public notice is typical. It inserted advertisements in papers all over the country, calling attention to the tremendous profits made by authors of "song hits," urging people to follow this easy road to wealth and promising to market songs placed with it for publication.
Those who submitted songs in compliance with this generous offer were informed that it would be necessary for them to pay thirty-five dollars to cover the cost of publication, payable on the installment plan at rates of one dollar to two dollars and a half a week, according to the means of the author. These terms were accompanied by a letter in which the "song' was highly praised, winding up in this way: "Just think what pleasure it will be and the pride
you will have in seeing your song on the pianos of your friends."
The concern in question was doing a thriving business with the gullible, who paid their thirty-five dollars, only to learn that the publishers did not guarantee a profitable sale of the songs after they were published. Unscrupulous book publishers have for years worked a very similar scheme among those smitten with an ambition to see their names on the title page of a book, collecting in some cases large sums to defray the cost of publication, and leaving their victims with an unsalable stock of books on their hands.
Reputable book publishers do not follow such methods. They assume the risk of the publication of a manuscript that possesses merit and is likely to find a sale. The same thing is true of song publishers. There are rogues in every calling, however, ready to play upon the vanity and ignorance of those who do not understand the ins and outs of the publishing business. It is not true that anybody can write a popular song, any more than it is true that anybody can paint a picture, or model a statue, or design a house, even though it is true that much sorry doggerel attains a certain popularity. - Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.
Eccentricities of Authors. In order to meditate at their ease, many writers demand that nothing be allowed to bother them. They insist on solitude. Montaigne, when he felt inspired, rushed from his dwelling and shut himself up in an old tower which no one but himself ever entered. Jean-Jacques Rousseau meditated out in the fields, in the sunshine, while gathering herbs and flowers. In order not to hear any sound from without, he used to cover his head with hay, or to stop up his ears with cotton wool.
Others can compose only while walking about. Victor Hugo, in the fever of composition, walked about grumbling. He wrote while standing up, dropping the sheets of paper on the floor, where they piled up. In our days many authors prefer to walk about. Catulle Mendès paced up and down, then went to his table to write. Jean Lombard
walked about a great deal. Mistral, the great Provençal poet, composes while walking about. That is not sufficient for Haraucourt, who, before taking up his pen, has a round or two at boxing, nor for Richepin, who exercises with dumbbells or on the trapeze.
On the other hand, some men absolutely avoid all movement, owing doubtless to their natural weakness and, to stimulate the cir culation in the brain, assume a horizontal attitude. Such was the case with Descartes, who remained motionless lying down, and Cujas, who could only work profitably when stretched at full length on his stomach on the carpet.
Some like warmth. Milton, for instance, was always wrapped up in an old woolen mantle when he wrote Paradise Lost." Sardou never abandoned his black velvet cap. To make the blood flow to his head,. Schiller placed his feet on ice and Chateaubriand walked about with naked feet on the icy tiles of his room when he dictated an article to his secretary.
So far as clothes are concerned, the most convenient are usually adopted. Buffon was an exception. He could work only in ceremonial dress with a lace ruffle on his shirt, silk cuffs and sword at his side. Dumas wrote in baggy trousers and flannel shirt. Théophile Gautier wrote in a dressing-gown with a small cap on his head. Coppée preferred a lounge coat; Balzac, a monk's cloak; Catulle Mendès, both winter and summer, was not at his ease for writing except in shirtsleeves.
A whole category of writers — Théophile Gautier, Baudelaire, François Coppée, Ceaccini could not work except when there were cats in the room. Gautier had as many as twelve or fifteen. Léon Cladel wrote only while in a granary wearing sabots and accompanied by his dogs. At intervals he would walk about attended by his canine companions.
Brain stimulants are very much in favor. One of the favorites is coffee. Lortzing drank soup tureens of it while composing his melodies. Balzac, also, made an abuse of it. De Musset, Poe, Verlaine, and many