« iepriekšējāTurpināt »
newspapers, and he is now connected with the Cleveland News. Five years ago he submitted a feature story to the Sunday magazine of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and the acceptance of this chance contribution led to his becoming a regular contributor. This led him to seek wider publicity, and he sought among the world's publications for one devoted to true "feature" stories. In 1911 he submitted a story to the Wide Word Magazine, and it was accepted. Soon afterward Sam T. Hughes, managing editor of the Newspaper Enterprise Association, of Chicago, met Mr. Thomas in Cleveland and offered to buy all the true animal stories he would submit. Mr. Thomas says he has sometimes dreamed of going in" for fiction, and that he may yet try it, but on the other hand he might be a rank failure at fiction and he is convinced that the thing one can do best should be selected as one's life work. The secret lies in discovering what one can do best.
Howe Williams, the author of the story, "Jobson's Folly," in the Metropolitan for September, was graduated from the University of Michigan with the class of 1894, and then went to New York, where he studied drawing at the Artist-Artisan Institute. In the life-class with him was the late Philip Verrill Mighels, also seeking to acquire the rudiments of a craft which he later discarded for the pen. Mr. Williams saw several years of these vicissitudes which ever come to the art student before he has mastered his medium and won his golden spurs, but in 1898 he became a member of the art staff of the New York World, and for the next decade followed the profession of newspaper artist. chiefly in the employ of the New York American and the Philadelphia North American. In 1907 he emigrated to the Pacific Coast and became a reporter on a Los Angeles paper, and, later, on the Arizona Republican of Phoenix. Mr. Williams has written fiction and an occasional vocation article spasmodically for a period of years, but he is now devoting all his time
Her first novel appeared in 1860, the year in which Thackeray wrote "The Adventures. of Philip" and Dickens "The Uncommercial Traveler." Since then Miss Braddon has produced, on an average, one novel every eight months, and she is now at work with much energy and pleasure on her seventyfifth book.
According to an intimate, friend she has always kept abreast of current literature, and in addition to the works of the modern English writers she has a full acquaintance with the leading French, German, Italian, and Spanish authors. She is a generous critic of contemporary writers.
Miss Braddon, who is the widow of John Maxwell, the publisher, is the mother of W. B. Maxwell, whose novel, "The Devil's Garden," was recently "banned" by the libraries. "My mother," says Mr. Maxwell, "has read my book, and I rejoice to say that in spite of this her friends can discern nodeterioration of character." - London Mail, October 6.
De Coulevain. The latest issue of the Journal de Genève to reach us announces the death of the French writer widely known in this country under the pen-name of Pierre de Coulevain, on August 22, at Lausanne, Switzerland. She was in real life Mademoiselle Favre, a Genevese by birth and originally a teacher by profession. For a woman who had achieved popularity as a writer in France, England, and America, she succeeded in a remarkable way in keeping the details of her private and family life from public knowledge. She was born in 1845,and did not begin to write, at least for pub
lication, until she was more than fifty years of age. Her five novels, published in English in this country, are, in the order of their appearance," American Nobility," On the Branch," The Unknown Isle," "Eve Triumphant," and "The Heart of Life." She had lived both in the United States and in England, and her intimate knowledge and understanding of the social and family life of the English are displayed in "The Unknown Isle," which, as a story, is the least pretentious of her books, but is perhaps the most meritorious from a literary and philosophical point of view. She was born a Roman Catholic and died in full communion with that Church; but her mind was a liberal one, and the ideals set forth in her books are ethical rather than those of conformity to creed or doctrine. She was witty without being bitter, gay without being frivolous, and of a simple kindness of heart which gave her a strong sympathy with what is essentially good and attractive in human nature. No writer, perhaps, since Philip Gilbert Hamerton has been so successful as Pierre de Coulevain in interpreting the English to the French, and the French to the English. She was eminently the kind of personality and the kind of a writer for whom the reader feels an individual respect and affection. - The Outlook.
White. Brought up in Michigan, which was at that time the greatest of lumber states, Stewart Edward White lived for eight or nine years in a small mill town, whence the family moved to Grand Rapids, then a city of some 30,000 people. The boy attended no school until he was sixteen years of age, when he entered the junior class in the high school with boys of his own age and was graduated at eighteen, president of his class. A few years later he was graduated from the University of Michigan. The eight or ten years which most boys spend within the four walls of a schoolroom were some of the most fruitful of his life. He was continually in the woods and among the rivermen, both in his own town and in various lumber camps to which his father took him.
From 1884 to 1888 (he was about twelve years old then) he spent in California, which, says Mr. White, "was a very new sort of place." These days were spent largely in the saddle, with many excursions into the back country, where he saw much of the wild life of the old ranchers.
From 1888 to 1891 ornithology attracted him and every moment that he could spare he spent in the woods. One of his papers, "The Birds of Mackinac Island," the Ornithologists' Union brought out in pamphlet form and it is to this that Mr. White smilingly refers as his "first book."
While in college his summer vacations had been spent cruising the Great Lakes in a twenty-eight-foot cutter sloop and thus he traversed the greater part of the waters of these backwoods. On graduating, he spent six months in a packing-house, acquiring much information and less wealth at the rate of six dollars a week. He then set out for the Black Hills in the height of a gold rush
and came back broke. This was not an unusual experience, but the charge did not lie entirely on the debit side of the account, for it was on the experience gained in this venture that he drew for material in writing "The Claim Jumpers" and "The Westerners."
Then followed a winter of special work Brander Columbia University under Matthews and in some law courses that interested him. It was during this time that Mr. White wrote as part of his class work, a story entitled "A Man and His Dog," which Professor Matthews urged him to try to scil. It was bought by Short Stories for fifteen dollars, and was his first paid story. Others followed in Lippincott's and the Argonaut, "but I did not get rich at it," remarked Mr. White. Thirty-five dollars was high-water mark.
With some notion of learning how to become a successful author, Mr. White next secured a position with A. C. McClurg, bookseller, of Chicago. After some little writing, which found its way into review columns and magazines, White set out for
Nautical Blunders in Writing. In nothing else do writers, artists, and theatrical people make so many mistakes as in writing of, illustrating, and demonstrating nautical matters. Newspaper writers are continually calling a brigantine a barkentine. The custom has gone on until it is almost the universal style. Why call a hermaphrodite brig a barkentine? Such a rig of vessel was never a bark, but is a brig with an extra mast. Even the illustration in the dictionary is at fault in its picture of a brig.
William D. Howells in his book Silas Lapham" spoils a very fine description of a beautiful Italian-like afternoon on the Charles River by some most ridiculous nautical mistakes. Now to the book and paper story writers. Don't ever call a schooner a ship. Don't call a ship a boat in writing of incidents or disaster to a ship. Call her a ship all the way through. Of a schooner or brig or brigantine, keep to the name all through don't write it ship or boat. There is but one general term for all rigs, that is, vessel. Have a bit of regard for the feelings of the old salt and don't write sou-east and nor-east. Good nautical grammar is souwest, nor-west, south-east, north-east.
A few years ago, at the time the schooner Governor Ames was dismasted, there were a half-hundred givers of advice through the Boston press, all showing how such disasters could be prevented by the proper backstays. Not a writer took into consideration that all backstays were whole and intact and that all the masts fell directly aft on the deck, caused by the breaking of iron work
at the head of the foremast that held some of the headstays.
When I was a boy there were sloops, schooners (two-masters), topsail schooners, hermaphrodite brigs and full-rigged brigs, barks (or barques) and ships. I well remember seeing my first four-masted schooner. Sailors called her a hoodoo. Next came the four-masted ship. The fourth mast was called a McKay mast for Donald McKay, who built the first four-masted ship, in East Boston. Then came the brigantine, a hermaphrodite brig with three masts. This vessel had a brig rig forward, fore-and-aft rig on the mainmast and fore-and-aft rig on the mizzen-mast. A barkentine would be a bark rig, which is square rig on the fore and main masts, and fore-and-aft rig on the mizzen-mast; and then an extra mast. — W. E. Crockett, in Rockland (Me.) CourierGazette.
Inaccuracy in Fiction. One of the instances of how lightly we regard intelligent accuracy in fiction and how carelessly it is ignored is to be found in the case of a story by a very popular novelist now running serially in a leading magazine. Most of the scenes occur aboard a schooner yacht, which is steered by a wheel in the regular position, but which nevertheless boasts a bridge forward, upon which the officer of the deck takes his station. Presumably this schooner was constructed from the impressions gained by a trip to Europe aboard a liner. — Hartford Times.
A Writer's Notebooks. Not the least important part of my book life has been the notes I have taken. These notes were not made on slips of paper, alphabetically arranged, so as to be consulted at any moment. My object has not been to use the notes as references, but to fill my mind and memory with the important things I have read. Hence my notes have been made in blank books small enough to be carried in the pocket. These I take with me in my walks, read as I go, learn the quotations, or run over the gist of some important book. Many
How Walter Scott Wrote. So cordial and outdoorish is our host, so ready to guide in our rambles, "overwalking, overtalking, and overíeeding his guests," as his wife used to say, that we may easily forget his business in life, or that he has anything else to do but entertain. But Walter Scott rose, presumably, this day, as all others, at five o'clock, and was writing away rapidly by six, so that he "broke the neck of the day's work before breakfast." This was his regular programme. While he was bathing and dressing, his thoughts were simmering" in his brain, so that he dashed them off " pretty easily' when, his pen in his hand, with no interruption except for breakfast, he worked steadily till eleven or twelve. By this system, very rarely broken, he could afford a ride after lunch, and, at one o'clock, rain or shine, he could mount his big horse for a gallop over the hills. The pictures he saw on these rides are in his books, and so is the joyous outdoor spirit. One of his first poems, "Marmion," was practically written on horseback, the lines coming into his brain while he trained his regiment, raced over the moors, or plunged through floods.
And just as he would not let his work cheat his outdoor life, he would not let it cheat his children or his friends. When Irving visited him, he had to excuse himself after breakfast to correct proof; but often he wrote in a room filled with people. Perhaps he used manuscript sheets the same size as letter-paper, so that he might write his books and yet seem to be writing a common letter. The shouts of his children playing marbles or ninepins around him, or his dogs sleeping at his feet, or even leaping in and out of the open window, could not interrupt his thought, though occasionally the father stopped to tell a story to the
pleading pets who talked, or give an affectionate pat to those who only looked this love. And then his active hand drove on, laying aside sheet after sheet. - Ariadne Gilbert, in St. Nicholas for November.
A Noted Plagiarism Case.- Samuel Eberly Gross, whose death is reported from Battle Creek, attracted attention in 1902 by entering a suit against Edmond Rostand, the French playwright, charging that the latter's play, "Cyrano de Bergerac," had been plagiarized from Gross' comedy, "The Merchant Prince of Cornville." He won his contention against Rostand, the United States Circuit Court handing down a decision in his tavor in 1902. The success of his first suit led Gross to consider taking a similar action against the French author when "Chantecler" was first brought to Chicago. He said that Rostand's later play also was founded upon "The Merchant Prince of Cornville," but the suit was never filed.
Mr. Gross spent a large part of his fortune, estimated at $1,000,000, in supporting his contentions against Rostand. According to the bill which he filed when Mansfield first appeared in Chicago in "Cyrano de Bergerac." Gross wrote the romantic comedy "The Merchant Prince of Cornville" in 1875. It was submitted to various theatrical producers, but was refused. He took the play to the Porte St. Martin Theatre, Paris, in 1889, and left it there for several weeks. It was published in book form in 1896 and duly coyprighted. "Cyrano de Bergerac" was brought to Chicago in 1902, and Rostand was enjoined from producing it, the United States Circuit Court holding that "the melodrama of Cyrano de Bergerac,' performed by the defendant Mansfield, was a clear and unmistakable piracy of the complainant's play. The Merchant Prince of Cornville.'" · Chicago Record-Herald.
ary composition? The Spartans at Thermopylae simply will not stand comparison. We know of men who have written on beds of ease, in garrets, on the plaster of prison walls. I have, in my own time, done my work under disadvantageous conditions. I have written in railway cars with my pad on my knee. I have scratched notes in the palm of my hand. I have made rough memoranda against office doors which have sometimes been hastily opened from within. I have even succeeded in throwing a few ideas together in the reading-room of the New York public library. I have turned out copy in a morris chair. Dear, delightful arm-chair of the furniture catalogues! With your reclining back tipped rearward at 45 degrees, your footrest, your electric readinglamp adjusted over the left shoulder, your dictionary on a swinging arm at your left, your paper and pen on a swinging table at your right history can show no device more destructive to any form of cerebral activity. I do not know which I dread more, your soft embrace, or the hard predestinarian front of the rural bedroom bureau carved out apparently from the same material as the rock-bound coast, whereon and the immediate hinterland such pieces of furniture are indigenous.
The reasons for writing on the bedroom dresser are, of course, obvious. The rural bedroom table is regularly 16 inches long by 12 inches wide, stands on one central foot in front of the window, and oscillates. The only way of anchoring it is to encompass its solitary support firmly between the knees and lean forward upon it, bringing direct pressure to bear from the lower part of the thorax. But in moments of ardent composition, the table may easily succumb to such outward pressure and precipitate the writer through the mosquito netting and on to the porch roof. The bureau is much less approachable, but safer. -New York Evening Post.
Whitman had been able (he was not able, for he tried it and failed) to put his thoughts into artistic verse, he would have attracted little or no attention, perhaps. Where he is fine he is fine in precisely the way of conventional poets. The greater bulk of his writing is neither prose nor verse, and certainly it is not an improvement on either. . . . Whitman's manner is a hollow affectation, and represents. neither the man nor the time. As the voice of the nineteenth century he will have little significance in the twenty-first. That he will outlast the majority of his contemporaries I have n't the faintest doubt, but it will be in a glass case, or a quart of spirits, in an anatomical museum."
New Poetry. Why so much new poetry? Why do writers rhyme and bookmakers publish the rhymes? Is there not enough poetry in the world? No, there is not enough. We need more poetry. Not because Browning and Tennyson, Whittier, and Longfellow have not written poems great enough; not that the great poets of our English tongue have not written already more than we can hope to read; not that the standard volumes of poetry are not sufficiently modern. But we always need new poets to produce poetry: the production of poetry should never cease.
Unhappy the land in which there is famine and where people hunger for bread. More unhappy the land where there is a dearth of mysticism, a scarcity of poetic expression, a lack of blossoming of the language into new forms of beauty. Unhappy the land in which there is drought, where the springs no longer flow and where the brooks do not sparkle in the sunlight, where fields are thirsty and men and animals suffer from lack of water. More unhappy the land where idealism is dead and there is a drought of spiritual inspiration.
If the production of poetry ceased in our land, then indeed would we have reason for the gravest alarm for our American life. Indeed, if there be no famine, but always great material prosperity and our life be