Lapas attēli
PDF
ePub

6

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

6

others gave their preference to alcohol, Schubert composed his beautiful sonatas only aiter swallowing glass after glass of Rhine wine. Tobacco smoke is also very much used. Flaubert could not write a word until he had smoked three or four pipes, or half a dozen strong cigars. Daudet smoked a very great deal. Perfumes were greatly in favor with Baudelaire, Théophile Gautier, Loti, and Maizeroy. Byron needed, to be able to write, to smell the odor of truffles. Cooper acted on the sense of taste by filling his mouth with honey pastilles or liquorice jujubes. Carolus Duran and Aimé Morot stimulated themselves before picking up their brushes by playing, the former the piano, the latter the organ. Darwin played the violin.

In regard to the hour which is regarded as the most propitious for work, marked differences exist. While the morning was the most satisfactory time for Victor Hugo, it is to be remarked that Littré only began to work in the evening after dinner, until four or five o'clock in the morning. Balzac made night out of day by writing by the light of two candles. Catulle Mendès was one of the few authors who wrote in the afternoon, at the time when the process of digestion renders the brain heavy. Paris Edition New York Herald.

What Have You Done with Your Language? I have often fancied, in penitential moments, a day of judgment for us who write, when we shall stand in flushed array before the Ultimate Critic and answer the awful question, "What have you done with your language ?” There shall be searchings of soul that morning, and searchings of forgotten pages of magazines and “best sellers" and books of every sort, for the cadence that may bring salvation.

But many shall seek and few shall find, and the goats shall be sorted out in droves, condemned to an eternity of torture, none other than the everlasting task of listening to their own prose read aloud. — The Atlantic Monthly, for July

Anthony Hope on Dia logue.- Anthony Hope gave some advice about writing conversations, in the course of a talk to the members of the London Times Book Club a couple of nights ago. His recipe was as follows :

"As few long conversations as possible, and as many short ones.

“Let dialogue break up the narrative and the narrative cut short any tendency to prolixity in the dialogue.”

The tendency, Hope said, was to let the characters speak more for themselves than for the author to speak for the characters, and that made for naturalness, drama, conciseness, and shapeliness.

Speeches," he observed, are not true dialogue, and you can't make them such by putting in a succession of them. Interruption is essential to dialogue to give it its true character."

He expressed the opinion that, regarded technically, the most perfect dialogue occurred in "Tristram Shandy," and good modern examples were to be found in the

Voces Populi” of Mr. Anstey and in the works of Mr. Jacobs.--Hayden Church's London Letter.

lo Behalf of Rhythmic Prose. — We have stifled our language, we have debased it, we have been afraid of it. But some day it will reassert itself, for it is stronger than we, alike our Overlord and avatar. Deep in the soul of man dwells the lyric impulse, and when his song cannot be the song of the poet it will shape itself in rhythmic prose, that it may still be cadenced and modulated to change with the changing thought and sound an obligato to the moods of the author's spirit. How wonderiul has been our

prose, grave and chastely rich when Hooker wrote it, striding triumphant over the pages of Gibbon on tireless feet, ringing like trumpet from Emerson's white house in Concord, modulated like soft organ music heard asar in Newman's lyric moods, clanging and clamorous in Carlyle, in Walter Pater but as the soft fall of water in a marble fountain while exquisite odors flood the Roman twilight and late bees are murmurous, a little of all, perhaps, in Stevenson ! We, too, we little fellows of today. could write as they wrote, consciously, rhythmically, if we only cared, if we only dared. We ask for the opportunity, the encouragement. Alas ! that also means more liberal choice of graver subjects, and a more extensive employment of the essay

a

a

you will have in seeing your * pianos of your friends."

The concern in question thriving business with the gullible their thirty-five dollars, only to the publishers did not guarantee sale of the songs after they were Unscrupulous book publishers years worked a very similar skie those smitten with an ambition to names on the title page of a bus ing in some cases large sums tiks cost of publication, and leaving the with an unsalable stock of borin hands.

Reputable book publishers d such methods. They assume the publication of a manuscript that merit and is likely to find a sale thing is true of song publishers rogues in every calling, however, play upon the vanity and ignorat who do not understand the ins a the publishing business. It is neit anybody can write a popular song than it is true that anybody can r' ture, or model a statue, or design even though it is true that much gerel attains a certain popularity. ter Democrat and Chronicle.

Eccentricities of Authors. - 11 meditate at their ease, many mand that nothing be allowed them. They insist on solitude. " when he felt inspired, rushed fronti ing and shut himself up in an which no one but himself Jean-Jacques Rousseau meditatiei fields, in the sunshine, while gathe and Mowers. In order not to hrdi from without, he used to cover hi hay, or to stop up his ears wool.

Others can compose only w about. Victor Hugo, in the in positi in, walked about gruml 1:16 while standing up, dropping : paper on the floor, where the our days many authors prefer. Catulle Mendes paced up a went to his table to write.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

oublishers to realize that it would be with renewed spirit, to write more verses

mterest to leave offensive language to submit as collateral upon the next pressheir publications.

ing occasion. The idea is capable of wide ully excuse that I have ever heard application, – New York Evening Post.

its insertion is that it is "realistic." Conversations to Character. – In the August

mentably true, but far from suf- number of one of the magazines there is a Frison for its use. There are many short story entitled, “ From Hell, Hull, and ' which, if printed, would give an Halifax." The narrative takes the reader to

realistic " tone, but which would India and introduces him to the Viceroy and ierated for a moment even by these to the Commander-in-Chief, who are discus.. publishers.

sing various problems connected with Inhould they make an exception of dian administration. The conversation inAnd why will their readers tol- cludes the following gems of realism :

The Commander-in-Chief (addressing the who do not approve of such lan- Viceroy ) -- " Good times ahead at last, old drop a line to the publishers of

man?" ical or other publication in which The Viceroy ( addressing the Commander

asking that such language be dis-in-Chief ) — "Would it seem like butting in i, it will probably have a great in- if I made a suggestion ?”

checking the repulsive evil ; and May I beg that on some future occasion Do mild measures fail to accomplish the ingenious author introduce into one of

1. a few names withdrawn from the products of his pen the following dia-
cription lists of such periodicals logues :-
pretty certain to lead even un- Prime Minister Asquith (addressing
publishers to realize that it is George V) — “I say, old top, the Lords
rtant to make their productions have been and chucked out the Home Rule
I than it is to make them disgust. bill." His Majesty (addressing the Prime
vestic.” – The Continent.

Minister ) -"I should worry."
s's Bank. A “poet's bank" for poets The Lord Bishop of Oxford (addressing

not yet won recognition is the the Archbishop of Canterbury ) — “Buck up, e gestion of some Paris writers. Tummy, and let's go 'round the corner and !1!1s the French capital has been get a pint of 'ari-and-'ari." His Grace (ad

struggling artists, literary and dressing the Lord Bishop ) – “Quit yer irequently are coníronted at the kiddin'; I'm on the water wagon." firvation of disease. Tide them.

The Master of Balliol ( addressing the propreliminary period, and they can fessor of Greek epigraphy ) — “Who was i themselves. The plan is so sim- that middle-class rotter I saw you coming

is nothing less than tragic that out of the Spotted Dog with yesterday ?” thought of long ago. The poet in the professor of Greek epigraphy (addres'Tilts goes to the bank, we sup

sing the master) — “ Aw, forget it.” – Albis verses in his pocket. There leyne Ireland in New York Evening Post.

examine his manuscript with the Adjectives.-A clergyman criticised Mayor lison that in other banks is be- Gaynor's address on “Sunday Observance." " in other kinds of collateral. Find- The Vayor answered: “Your letter has .' the writer is a genius, certain of rather to many adjectives to be sincere."

i only he can keep body and soul to. It may be thought that this answer was not her few years longer, they advance him conclusive. It reminds one of the answer picosary number of irancs to buy lunch- made by a Boston railway man a good many

i discharge the rent of the attic that years ago. He had received a long and abu:: home, and he returns to his abode sive letter concerning his transportation of

[graphic]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

9

9

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

a

form. Milton could hardly have been Miltonic on a lesser theme than the Fall of the Angels,” and Walter Pater wrote of the Mona Lisa, not Lizzie Smith of Davenport, 12. It is doubtless of interest to learn about Lizzie, but she hardly inspires us to rhythmic prose. —Atlantic Monthly for July.

Records in Writing. — “Michael Fairless," according to her biographer, wrote her masterpiece, “The Road Mender,” in nine days. A remarkable feat, but by no means a record, for did not Johnson write “Rasselas book of about similar length to "The Road Mender” – in the evenings of a single week? Dumas undertook, for a bet, to write the first volume of the “ Chevalier de la Maison Rouge," to consist of 10,000 words, in seventy-six hours, and won with six hours to spare ! Among modern writers Sir Arthur Wing Pinero turned out his play“Two Hundred a Year” in a single afternoon. On the other hand it took Gray years and years to write his elegy. So you cannot set the record of time and achievement. -- London Chronicle.

The Finaacial Story of “Fine Feathers." – The story of how Eugene Walter's play, “ Fine Feathers” was developed from the scenario, “ C. O. D.;" which its author, Walter Hackeit, the actor, pledged to cover his board bill, was told in court before Justice Guy, when the lawyer for the playwright and actor petitioned for an order compelling Frank M. Case, proprietor of the Hotel Algonquin, to surrender to them all interest in the play. Justice Guy reserved decision on the application.

Hackett, according to his lawyer, had run behind $3.000 for board, and proposed to the hotel proprietor that he accept in lieu of other payment twenty-five per cent. of all royalties from “C. 0. D.” This Mr. Case agreed to, and Eugene Walter, the playwright, was called in to whip the play into shape ior produetion.

This scenario Walter used in Homeward Bound," which failed. He then rewrote this into Mrs. Maxwell's Mistake,” which also failed. From those mistakes “Fine Feath

was evolved, and the royalties poured in until the bill of the Hotel Algonquin was

entirely paid. Now that this debt has been settled, the makers of “Fine Feathers” want all royalties from their work. To this Mr. Case's lawyers say that the contract calls for twenty-five per cent. of all the royalties, and that after waiting through so many failures for his money he intends to make some , profit from his risk. - New York Times.

To Improve One's Handwritiog. – There are a number of us that could profit well by a few rules that would tend toward making our writing legible:

1. Keep the letters separate, as half the trouble in poor writing is caused by jamming the letters together.

The most difficult letters to form are i, e, m, 11, u, and w. Make these perfectlv. Let there be a distinct difference between u and n. Try writing “minimum.”

3. Almost as difficult are b, v, 0, W. Make the bottoms of your v's and w's sharp-cornered and not rounded.

1. Never loop the tail of the q, but always do so with g and y.

5. Do not make your d's like ct. 6. Make your a's and o's radically differ

2.

ent.

7. In writing r always form it in the same style.

8. Join the hinder part of the h, y, and p to the stem.

9. Keep your a's, d's, g's and as "fat."

10. Always loop your l's and never loop your t's. Make your l's taller than your t's.

11. In dotting the i and i place the dot directly over the letter. -- Van V. Boyce, in the American Printer.

Profanity in Magazines. - Most of us have noticed the frequent occurrence, in recent years, of profanity in publications supposedly high class and which would therefore be expected to be free from such seriously objectionable matter, and the practice is apparently rapidly increasing

Is it not high time that a halt was called on this practice, so degrading to all, and especially to youthful readers? If the matter were taken up by ministers' associations, Y. N. C. A.'s, Christian Endeavorers, and other young people's societies and men's church organizations, it would not take long

66

ers

un

to lead publishers to realize that it would be to their interest to leave offensive language out of their publications.

The only excuse that I have ever heard given for its insertion is that it is “realistic." This is lamentably true, but far from sufficient reason ior its use. There are many expressions which, if printed, would give an article a “realistic " tone, but which would not be tolerated for a moment even by these regardless publishers.

Why should they make an exception of profanity? And why will their readers tolerate it ?

lí those who do not approve of such language will drop a line to the publishers of any periodical or other publication in which it appears, asking that such language be discontinued, it will probably have a great influence in checking the repulsive evil ; and if such mild measures fail to accomplish this result, a few names withdrawn from the subscription lists of such periodicals would be pretty certain to lead even principled publishers to realize that it is more important to make their productions fit to read than it is to make them disgustingly “realistic." The Continent.

A Poet's Bank.- A“poet's bank" for poets who have not yet won recognition is the brilliant suggestion of some Paris writers. For generations the French capital has been the resort of struggling artists, literary and other, who frequently are confronted at the start by starvation or disease. Tide them. over this preliminary period, and they can take care of themselves. The plan is so simple that it is nothing less than tragic that it was not thought of long ago. The poet in financial straits goes to the bank, we suppose, with his verses in his pocket. There the officials examine his manuscript with the same attention that in other banks is bestowed upon other kinds of collateral. Finding that the writer is a genius, certain of success if only he can keep body and soul together a few years longer, they advance him the necessary number of francs to buy luncheon or discharge the rent of the attic that he calls home, and he returns to his abode

with renewed spirit, to write more verses to submit as collateral upon the next pressing occasion. The idea is capable of wide application, – New York Evening Post.

Conversations la Character. - In the August number of one of the magazines there is a short story entitled, “ From Hell, Hull, and Haliiax." The narrative takes the reader to India and introduces him to the Viceroy and to the Commander-in-Chief, who are discussing various problems connected with Indian administration. The conversation includes the following gems of realism :

The Commander-in-Chief (addressing the Viceroy ) -- “ Good times ahead at last, old man?"

The Viceroy (addressing the Commanderin-Chief ) — “Would it seem like butting in if I made a suggestion ? "

Vay I beg that on some future occasion the ingenious author introduce into one of the products of his pen the following dialogues :

Prime Minister Asquith (addressing George V)- “I say, old top, the Lords have been and chucked out the Home Rule bill.” His Majesty (addressing the Prime Minister ) - "I should worry.”

The Lord Bishop of Oxford (addressing the Archbishop of Canterbury) — “Buck up, Tommy, and let's go 'round the corner and get a pint of ’arf-and-'arf.” His Grace (addressing the Lord Bishop ) — “Quit yer kiddin' ; I'm on the water wagon."

The Master of Balliol ( addressing the professor of Greek epigraphy) — “Who was that middle-class rotter I saw you coming out of the Spotted Dog with yesterday ?” The proiessor of Greek epigraphy (addressing the master ) - “Aw, forget it.” – Alleyne Ireland in New York Evening Post.

Adjectives.- A clergyman criticised Mayor Gaynor's address on “Sunday Observance." The Vlayor answered: “Your letter has rather too many adjectives to be sincere." It may be thought that this answer was not conclusive. It reminds one of the answer made by a Boston railway man a good many years ago. He had received a long and abu. sive letter concerning his transportation of

a

« iepriekšējāTurpināt »