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WRITERS OF THE DAY.
Faith Baldwin, whose poem, "Unmasked," was printed in Ainslee's for November, is the daughter of Stephen C. Baldwin, the lawyer, and for the past fourteen years her home has been in Brooklyn. She was educated at the Packer Institute Training School For Girls, at the Brooklyn Heights Seminary, and at Briarcliff School for Girls. Miss Baldwin's first poem was published in the Cavalier, shortly after her eighteenth birthdav. Since then she has had fifty poems published and two short stories. Most of her poems have been printed in Munsey's and the Cavalier; others have appeared in Lippincott's, the New York Sun, Town Topics, the French Bull Dog Magazine of America, the Kansas City Star, Current Opinion, the International, Ainslee's, and Brooklyn Life. Recently the Smart Set has bought several of her verses. Miss Harriott Ware, the composer, is setting to music several of Miss Baldwin's poems, and also a Miss Baldwin has also song cycle of hers. done work for Henry T. Marshall, the song writer.
Eugene A. Clancy, whose story, "The Light Within," appeared in Harper's Magazine for November, is a graduate of Xavier College, New York City, class of 1905. Mr. Clancy says he has devoted himself to the writing of short stories ever since he left college, and that although his stories have been rejected by every magazine in the country time and time again, he is now beginning to have some success. He has sold in all thirteen stories to the old Harper's Weekly, to Short Stories, to Harper's Magazine, to Young's Magazine, and to one or two others. Mr. Clancy has traveled in Spain, France, and Italy, and has spent considerable time in Morocco the scene of the stories which he is writing
for Short Stories. "The Light Within,' he says, "represents the sort of work I like to do, as it deals with real, human people. I detest the popular stories about Gibson girls, shop girls who never existed, alleged society stories, Western stories in which every character uses the word 'plumb,' and stories about smart Alecks. I believe in serious work, and I think the American public (always excepting impossible New York City) is soon going to revolt and demand serious work. The Light Within' was rejected by a vast number of magazines, but that did n't worry me a bit. You can't keep a good story down."
M. Gauss, who wrote the story, "The Other Girl," in the Youth's Companion for When October 9, is Miss Marianne Gauss. she began to write some years ago, Miss Ganss had the habit, common to young writers, of trying on different names. had various pen names, one or two of which strayed into print, and she also signed "M. Gauss," and her full name, Marianne Gauss." So it happened that she got into McClure's Magazine and the Youth's Companion as "M. Gauss," and into Collier's Weekly as Marianne Gauss," and her output which she meager says has been enough at best, has been divided ever since between two literary persons. "The Other Girl" is one of many stories which have been the outgrowth of a request from the Companion for stories touching the different phases of girl life. It is founded on the experiences of girls she knew and often of herself while earning her living in Kansas City. Miss Gauss has written more working-girl stories than anything else, and has had difficulty with them from the fact that she often keeps too close to the literal truth of what happened, so that old friends recognize the characters.
Erwald Stuart Hinton, whose story, "Jackman," was printed in the Popular Magazine for October 15, is a sculptor, and has little time to give to writing, although he is fond of character studies and enjoys
writing. He is at present at work on a large piece of sculpture that absorbs most of his thoughts, but he has found time to make notes and collect sketches of odd happenings and people matter picked up on various fishing and hunting trips - which he hopes to put in shape for publication. Mr. Hinton says that the same principles of construction and the same motives of design apply to both sculpture and literature, just as the vitality of either must depend on a deep and intimate love for human life. The story, "Jackman," was created from an incident told to him some years ago when he was in the West, by the poet, John Vance Cheney. One evening as they were swapping yarns the talk turned from the queer, odd characters they had met to hunting experiences, and thence to strange feats of human endurance, and Mr. Cheney told him of the man, frightfully injured in a terrible fight with an elk, who made ten miles of mountain trail.
Frazier Hunt, who has had two newspaper stories published in recent issues of Collier's -"Littie Mrs. Lindstrom's Pull" in the issue for October 25, and "The Cub Reporter Again," in the issue for November 5is at present a country newspaper editor in the little town of Alexis in Western Illinois. After graduating from the University of Illinois. Mr. Hunt worked on the Chicago newspapers for a couple of years. Then, on account of a breakdown in health, he went to Southern Mexico. After two years and a half of plantation life below Vera Cruz, he was driven off his ranch by the rebels and bandits, and forced to return to the States. An opportunity to acquire a little country sheet presented itself at this time, and Mr. Hunt took it. His present position not only allows him to devote a good part of his time to his chosen profession of writing, but it opens up a great mass of interesting smalltown short-story material. At the present time Mr. Hunt is working on a number of Mexican stories built around his own exciting experiences with the revolutionists and Mexican bad men. Incidentally, he is filling
notebooks with village types, characters, and plots for future use.
Frederick Niven, who had a story, ing an Example," in the Popular Magazine for October 15. was born in Valparaiso, Chile, and was educated at Glasgow, Scotland. He now makes his home in England, a little way out of London, in a neighborhood of picturesque villages such as Chalfont Saint Giles, where Milton's cottage is still standing, and Jordans, where Penn's Meeting House attracts many American visitors. Mr. Niven has traveled in the western part of this country and worked in the camps there by the way of experience. During the past year the London Daily News has published several of his travel-sketches written throughout the Canadian Northwest. He is much interested in the Indian, as his Making an Example" suggests, and an article of his relating to the Indian Rights Association recently appeared in the British edition of the World's Work. The Popular Magazine first introduced Mr. Niven to American readers, and his long adventure serials, "The Lost Cabin Mine" and "Hands Up!" appeared in that magazine. In England he is known as well for studies of modern manners, temperament, and environment, such as his novel, "Ellen Adair," which has been highly spoken of in England, but has not been published in America as yet.
David Potter, author of the novelette, "The Unspeakable Turk," published in Lippincott's for November, first attracted attention as a writer by his verses, "Songs of the Sulu Sea," which appeared in the Century. Mr. Potter was born in Bridgton, New Jersey, and was graduated from Princeton University in 1896. He was appointed an assistant paymaster in the navy not long before the war with Spain. He served in the Philippines throughout the Philippine insurrection, and has lately returned to this country after two years' additional service in the islands. Mr. Potter's first novel was published in 1910. The Lady of the
'Spur" and "The Bracelet" have been translated into Swedish, and "The Eleventh Hour" is being dramatized for moving pictures. Among Mr. Potter's other books are "The Lost Goddess," two or three novelettes, and his latest achievement, "The Streak," the scene of which is laid in the Philippine Islands, and which Mr. Potter regards as the most important work that he has done.
Harold Titus, who had a story, "The Man Who Made 'Em Block," in the Popular Magazine for November 15, is twentyfive years old, and a native of Michigan, where he attended the State University for three and a half years. During that period he served as a correspondent for the Detroit News, and during vacations and after leaving Ann Arbor he was on the staff of that paper. In 1911 he gave up newspaper work to write fiction, and this has since taken the greater part of his time. During the summer he gives more or less personal attention to Western Michigan orchards in which he has an interest, but during the winter he devotes himself to searching out story material and putting it in shape. Mr. Titus has lived in Arizona, "punched cows" in Colorado, and acquainted himself with the people of other portions of this country. He furnishes the American Boy with much juvenile material and has sold some stories to the Boy's Magazine. His stories have also been accepted by the Cavalier, the Blue Book, the People's Magazine, the New Story Magazine, Short Stories, the Popular Magazine, Adventure, the Illustrated Sunday Magazine, Sunset, and Collier's Weekly, and the Country Gentleman has accepted horticultural matter.
Margaret Widdemer, who had a story, "Rosabel Paradise," in Collier's for October 11, knows thoroughly the place and local color of the scene where her story is laid. Asbury Park, New Jersey, is the Park" of her story, and Miss Widdemer lived there for many years, and is now spending the
winter there, at work on a series of stories in the same vein as "Rosabel Paradise stories picturing the life of the natives, and especially the young people, in that summer resort. Miss Widdemer has been known heretofore more by her poetry than by her prose work, as she has had poems published in most of the leading magazines.
PERSONAL GOSSIP ABOUT AUTHORS.
Sienkiewicz. As to Quo Vadis,' says Sienkiewicz, "I got the idea from reading Tacitus and I went to Rome for local color. I never plan a book in detail; the subject grows and develops as I write it, according to the laws of logic. When a new idea takes hold of me I let it simmer in my mind for a long time before I put it on paper. I find writing hard work, but I seldom change any、 thing in my copy, for I always know exactly what I want to say. I work from ten A. M. to five P. M., then I hunt for a couple of hours. The Greek classics give me continuous delight; I also love memoirs and historical works and reports of travel."
Trollope. Anthony Trollope's first three novels all fell stillborn from the press, as the saying is, and have not been reprinted since. No modern reader of Trollope knows anything about them. Two were Irish stories and one was a novel of the French Revolution. There is something really heroic in the way in which the young novelist stuck to his ambition in spite of his three initial failures. The man who was ultimately to make close to half a million dollars by his pen, besides deriving a comfortable living from his official situation, was unable by his first three novels to earn anything at all, for the $100 in advance which he got for one of them he admits to have been the result of an improvident and losing bargain on the part of the publisher. He was sufficiently discouraged to let two years go by without trying again, besides having been very busy with his official duties. When he made his new trial it was with "The Warden," which
ers of the community, so far as they have confessed their methods, have almost uniformly admitted that the easiest way to rob a man is through an appeal to his vanity. The agent for "Lives of the Famous Men of Pelican Falls" knows this, and his victim pays twenty dollars for a two-dollar book in order to see his name in print. The swindler of the type made famous by O. Henry knows it, and when he can gratify his victim's vanity he is sure of a double prize.
It is perhaps unfair to accuse poets of having less than the ordinary amount of business acumen, but certainly any attempt to defraud them by playing upon their wholly natural desire for fame seems much like robbing children. This sort of deceit is consistently practiced by certain publishers; and while the total number of versewriters in the country may not be large, it is so much larger than any one not "in the business" suspects that an explanation of the methods of these publishing houses is really demanded.
A young writer, after the usual quantity of courteous but discouraging rejections, succeeds in selling a poem to some wellknown magazine. Within a month of its publication he has probably received half a dozen personal letters from publishing houses, expressing an inordinate interest in his work, and a desire to bring out forthwith a volume of his verse. It seems as if these houses had hitherto existed solely in the hope that some day they might rise to prosperity on the wings of his fame.
The wise poet deposits these letters, unanswered, in the waste-basket; he knows that volumes of verse by unknown writers have practically no sale, and that publishers are no more altruistic than other business folk. But if he is not wise, if no one has warned him that this is the first step in the process of holding him up and going
through his scantily filled pockets, he answers one or more of the flattering letters.
For a time all goes swimmingly. He submits a huge batch of verses, including all those favorites of his which, like Marcel's picture, have learned by long experience to come home all by themselves. He wonders how many of these the omniscient publisher will find suitable for the forthcoming volume. He hears that they are all excellent, quite out of the ordinary, full of promise and so on, and his heart thrills with pride.
Ile scarcely notices a polite request that he, merely as a form of course, guarantee the sale of a thousand copies at a dollar apiece. Of course such poems as the publishers, who must know, say these are will sell. He signs the merely formal document, and all continues to go as smoothly as ever.
It is when he receives a notice of the sale of a hundred and thirty copies, -half of these his friends can account for, — and a request for eight hundred and seventy dollars, as per agreement," that he suddenly wakes from his dream. It is needless to follow him through the dreary weeks to the compromise which, having extracted his last penny, ends the business. He has paid for his lesson, and his belief in fame has considerably cooled.
Of course he ought not to have been so foolish; but the point is that he or one of his kind is just so foolish almost every week. For it seems to be a thriving trade, this preying on the poet. Is he, with his high ambition and limited business experience, so much to blame, or does the fault lie with the organized business house that subsists by such practices? There is no legal crime involved, no actual fraud which might make possible redress through the courts. The publishers, like Mr. Kipling's men who "talked intimidation," are "honorable gentlemen," and have done nothing amiss, from their own point of view. They have merely set a clever trap, and the prey has walked in. But though we have not succeeded in making all rascality illegal, we can at least call this sort of a transaction by
its right name, and warn all young writers to beware of such well-disguised dishonesty. - The Bellman.
Good Style Not a Mere Matter of Words. Polish, choice words, faultless rhetoric are only the accidents of style. Indeed, perfect workmanship is one thing, style as the great writers have it, is quite another. It may and often does go with faulty workmanship. It is the choice of words in a fresh and vital way, so as to give us a vivid sense of a new spiritual force and personality. In the best work the style, is found and hidden in the matter.
I heard a reader observe, after finishing one of Robert Louis Stevenson's books: "How well it is written." I thought it a doubtful compliment. It should have been so well written that the reader would not have been conscious of it at all. If we could only get the craft out of our stories and essays and make the reader feel that he was face to face with the real thing! The complete identification of the style with the thought, the complete absorption of the man with his matter, so that the reader will say: "How good, how real, how true!" that is the great success. Seek ye first the kingdom of truth, and all things shall be added.
One fault I find with our younger and more promising school of novelists is that their aim is too literary: we feel they are striving mainly for artistic effects.
feel this at all in Scott, Dickens, Hawthorne, or Tolstoy? These men are not thinking about art, but about life- how to produce life.
In essayists like Pater, Wilde, Lang, the same thing occurs. We are constantly aware of the literary artist; they are not in love with life, reality, so much as they are with words, style, literary effects. Their seriousness is mainly an artistic seriousness. It is not so much that they have something to say as that they are filled with a desire to say something.
Nearly all our magazine poets seem filled with the same desire. What labor, what art and technique; but what a dearth of feeling
and spontaneity! I read a few lines or stanzas and then I see it is only deft handicraft, and the heart and soul are not there. One day my boy killed what an old hunter called a mock duck. It looked like a duck, it acted like a duck, but when it came upon the table it mocked us. These mock poems of the magazines remind me of it. - John Burroughs, in the Fra.
Authors Who Wrote in Bed. It is more than fifty years since East Lynne" was published, yet both the novel and the play founded upon it are as popular as ever. The novel was written in bed, at a house in Upper Norwood. In fact, so ill was Mrs. Henry Wood, its author, that she did not expect to complete it. Much of the novel was penned when its author could not even sit up.
Sir Walter Scott wrote, or rather dictated, his most popular novel, Ivanhoe," in bed or at least from a sick couch. He had two secretaries who used to take turns at writing down the fruits of his fertile fancy, and although he was in the most constant and severe pain, the interest of the great story went on unchecked to the end.
"Michael Fairless" is the pen name of a young girl who died in her 'teens," and she wrote "The Road Mender" on her death bed, finishing it but a few hours before she passed away.
"Weir of Hermiston,” Robert Louis Stevenson's last unfinished book, was written in bed, or rather dictated to the novelist's devoted wife.
Mark Twain wrote nearly all his later books in bed. He had a specially contrived bed desk fitted up, so that he could write without trouble or exertion while propped luxuriously among his pillows. He used to aver that most of his best thoughts came to him in bed, and that the trouble and worry of getting up, shaving and dressing dispersed them all and left him in no mood for commencing his literary labors.
Keats wrote one of the finest and most pathetic sonnets in literature on his deathbed; Charles Wesley wrote a lovely hymn