Lapas attēli

persons who charge that he has filched a plot, idea, or color.

"It takes $1,000 to $2,000 thus to defend oneself against such a charge," he continued, and I have, after infinite pains and advice with my attorneys, invented a system by which each idea I have shall forthwith be copyrighted and made mine beyond any question of doubt."

The system proved to be one of checks and counterchecks, which probably will make claimants to the playwright's successes hesitate before bringing suit against him, and which will, he hopes, save him some checks besides.

Mr. de Mille has a set of diaries in which he proposes to keep a brief tabulation of all the work he does each day. As each new piece of work is begun he intends to catalogue it, being careful to note the date and to keep a record of the piece's growth as it advances.

From time to time, too, the author plans to read over certain passages of his work to friends, having them initial the manuscript after the reading, so that they will be able to swear that the passages actually were produced on the dates mentioned.

As each act of each play is completed it is to be sent to Washington and copyrighted as a one-act play. When the entire drama is finished the various acts are to be copyrighted a second time as integral parts of the completed productions.

"I want to give fair warning," said the playwright, "that I'm going to fight every one of these cases to an end. It has come to a point where my literary honesty is at stake, and I'm not the only one who has been put into this embarrassing as well as unpleasant situation.

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tion of a plot or dramatic situation which makes the difference, but even in this respect coincidence frequently makes this very construction and elaboration almost identical. Then the case resolves itself to a matter of priority in date of composition, and it is in such instances that my blackmail book will prove invaluable."

Mr. de Mille says that almost every man who has produced a success in the last five years has been forced to defend it in the courts. One of his plays has been assailed by six different claimants. - New York Sun.

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Our suspicions were instantly aroused against the intruder when we came across it in the writings of a hectic woman novelist from South Africa. They were deepened when we found it in the Saturday Evening Post, and were absolutely confirmed when it bobbed up in Pearson's. We warn all writers that it is shoddy chenille, and should be shunned like poison.

What does it mean? We don't quite know. The dictionary says that in straight English it signifies a leafy branch, a green bough, foliage." In magazine jargon it is painful substitute for the bromidic woman's crowning glory-her hair." Chicago Evening Post.



Why Fiction Heroines Have Changed. Not long ago a friend remarked to me apropos of the heroine of "A Woman of Genius that he would have run away from that kind of a woman. Very likely; he was that kind of a man. About the same time I heard an Englishman undertake to tell a New York audience of quite the better sort that if the ladies insisted on having the vote men would no longer love them, and he was received with hilarious groans. The remark and the incident brought out for me suddenly the extent to which the stuffing has fallen out of one of the stock bogies with which women used to be terrified into good

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What the feminist revolution of the past few years has proved for us is that men are not so easily frightened away from loving as they thought they were going to be, and that women bear up under their defection much better than anybody supposed they would. Following on this discovery has come a change in the character of the heroine of fiction.

Until within the present generation the prime requirement has been that she should be a charmer of men. She has been ravishingly beautiful and both the hero and the villain were madly in love with her; this demand for the quality of the enchantress extended even to the villainess, only her charms were of the deadly boa constrictor sort. And she must be also unmarried. Even Charlotte Brontë, who dared to make Jane Eyre both poor and plain, dared not show her other than able to draw the masterful and caddish Rochester to eat out of her hand.

The necessity for the heroine's remaining unmarried until the last chapter grew out of the fact that in the first place nothing was expected to happen to a married woman anyway, and in the second that novels were formerly written by men who could n't be legitimately interested in any wives other than their own or by maiden ladies who could n't be expected to know legitimately anything but the pre-marital struggle. It was not until the latter part of the Victorian age that fiction began to treat seriously of married women and women doing something else besides pursuing or being pursued. "Vanity Fair" was the first, and still remains the most notable, example of a novel in which the interest centres about the social struggles of the delightful Becky rather than her sex adventures. Becky Sharp was never really in love in her life, and only rather heavily and uninterestingly loved, but she holds us to the last page, and even then we should like to know what became of her.

Since then we have had a variety of married ladies figuring on the printed page with

a steadily rising limit of the Dangerous Age and more and more the tendency is to show women not so much as protagonists in the game of love as in the game of life. This is especially the case in America, where the mature woman holds the centre of interest on all really important matters. This is so much the fact that the inability of our men novelists to seize and portray faithfully this type is to a great extent the cause of their failure to rise to the level of the English novelists. In England the novelist has long been habituated to the fictional treatment of women who have interests other than to run away with or run away from, but in America we have to trust the women novelists for such delineation which perhaps accounts for their rapid stride toward the commanding position.

No doubt the magazine and newspaper rage for pushing young men to the front and so keeping our current, literature largely in the hands of the intellectually immature has something to do with the failure of our fictionists to catch the significant phases of American womanhood, but it cannot be credited with it all. Literally hundreds of our most brilliant story writers drop out of the running just when they reach the years. when most could be expected of them— Richard Harding Davis, to go no further, a man of unquestioned ability, not fulfilling the expectation he has excited. Is it not in part due to the fact that though he can draw charming girls he has never shown us a woman?

And in the early forties life is not all girls and skittles. As for David Graham Phillips and the beautiful victims of the sexomania of his heroes, what one of them has the vitality as a personage even of Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch, a lonely, unlovely figure engaged in the business not of enchanting men but making them? I know a popular, high-priced writer of magazine stories whose mother, deserted with her three children in a country the language of which she did not even speak, almost without friends, fought her way through to the rearing and educating of her family and is still, now that she has finished with them,

iron-gray and proud, supporting herself. But there is nothing in her son's stories but girls, girlie girls, with a leaning toward the elusive, serpentine type, and he was one of a group, happily small in America, who really took seriously a Danish novel purporting to be a revelation of the man-mad mind of women at forty. What the American woman of forty is generally doing is making personal sacrifices to keep the boys in college.

Perhaps the real cause of the prevalence of the captivating type in fiction is accounted for by our all being more or less under the obsession which forbids women telling the truth about themselves. We are not trained to speak or expect the truth, and the most advanced of us are still occasionally, by reversion, shocked by it. The business of women has for ages been held to be to please men, and men do not really care how women feel, but how they make men feel. A woman who cannot make them feel the way they are accustomed and wish to feel about her is unwomanly. This is the plain definition of that word. Not by any particular behavior, but by any which gives men sensations at variance with their predilections is woman unsexed.

She once did it by putting starch in her collar, and in some countries she does it by going about on her own feet. What society has expected of women is not a truthful presentation of herself but an acceptable one. If she had n't it by nature she must be trained and coerced into it.

Women took on mental attitudes held to be proper for them or died in the attempt ; sometimes they died of it. So the heroine who tells the plain truth about herself and the plain truth about women is astonishingly like the plain truth about men is not likely to be popular for a time with a large class of readers.

We are still half unconsciously under the old racial habit of thinking that if a woman fails to please men she fails in all.

Even the men who have arrived at realizing that the value of a working-man is something better than the measure of his servility to his employer are still in the

grip of the old fallacy about the value of women. But just as women of to-day are rising to the call of a thing higher than the personal predilection, the call of the genius of the race, so the quality of heroines will rise with them. They will be women fit to be the mothers of men; whether they will also be attractive will depend largely on the quality of the men. What will astonish the particular man is that she will not care so much for his opinion, and what will astonish him even more is that he will go on marrying her just the same, for the genius of the race does not care a great deal for private opinions, either. Mary Austin, in the New York Times.

The Novelist's Requisites.—“There are three things a novelist has to do to prove himself," said Miss Ellen Glasgow, "first, show an ability to create personalities; second, exhibit a sincerity of style, and, third, evince the capacity for an intelligent criticism of life. Without these he is not worth very much in a serious big way. To contribute to the knowledge and understanding of life — that should be his motive in writing - not primarily to create a pleasant impression. We must free ourselves from the fear of fear."

In other words, be a realist in a brave way?"

Yes, she assented readily, “for are not pity and terror profounder than pleasantness? Yet these are almost unknown in present-day prose fiction. I really believe that one of the greatest handicaps of the American novel is its agreeableness, its tendency to support the pretty sham instead of the ugly truth. As long as we persecute the writer for not being pretty, so long we produce the surface fiction. We all need deeper seriousness, deeper reason, and wider personal freedom.”

"Are we not becoming conscious of this need?" I asked.

"Probably we are getting over what I call the terrible evasion in our novels. Our There have been several stages in growth since the special type of fiction was evolved; there was the sentimentality of

Richardson; then came my favorite, Fielding, our first real realist; and finally arrived the critical period with its early representative in Jane Austen and more recent upholder in Meredith. We had to pass through stages far from real life before we reached the time of direct dealing with life, of real criticism of life. Take such men as Wells and Galsworthy and maybe Arnold Bennett are they not trying to see life through and through? I do not believe in the realism that merely depicts for the picture. Realism of the kind I mean not only depicts but interprets as well."

"And how about Fielding, your favorite?"

“Oh, he had his faults, but they were honest ones." Miss Glasgow shows enthusiasm while talking. "He was the first to teach us that life- and ordinary life, too has poetry in it. There are some of our writers with a social conscience who use narrative as a mere vehicle for philosophy. It is always well to have a big central idea to hold the building together, but realism though some novelists would separate it cannot be practiced apart from vision. The novelist must have perspective in life. Montrose J. Moses, in New York Times. To Succeed in Playwriting. In the Broadway office of Bayard Veiller, author of 'Within the Law," on the wall opposite to the desk hangs a large sign, in very plain print, which reads, "If it is n't an entertainment, it's a failure."

"That," said Mr. Veiller, pointing to the sign, "is the cause of whatever little success I have had. My wife, Margaret Wycherly, had it painted for me seven years ago, just after the failure of my first long play, 'The Primrose Path.' I have watched it day after day for seven years, during which time I have written and destroyed no less than twelve plays, so you see whatever success may have come to me from Within the Law' can hardly be called 'sudden.'

"There is no such thing as sudden success, at least in playwriting. Whatever else playwriting may be, it is not an accident. There are certain fixed, definite rules which must

be followed, to make a successful play. You spend years and years learning them, and then some one comes along and, breaking every one of them, turns out the most interesting play of the year. But no man can break the rules with success if he has not first learned them. That is what makes playwriting so fascinating.

"Personally I don't believe that any one can write a good play until the technical part of his work has been so thoroughly learned that it becomes instinct rather than knowledge."

"Well, granting the necessary technical equipment in a playwright, what is the next important thing he must do to make a successful play?" Mr. Veiller was asked.

'Pound his pulpit," was the answer, sent with characteristic directness, straight from the playwright's shoulder.

"In the days when the churches were crowded, and that's some years ago, too, we had a race of clergymen that we used to call pulpit-pounders. They'd run along quietly through their sermons, until the congregation began to nod, and then suddenly, to emphasize a fourteen-ounce phrase, the clergyman would land an eighty-pound wallop on his pulpit. Of course, everybody sat up and took notice. I think we can all take a leaf from those old ministers' books, and I am quite sure the harder we playmakers pound our pulpits, the better our audiences are going to like us, always provided that we do the pounding in the right place.

"That's where your technical equipment comes in. There is no sense in hitting two blows where one will do, and I think the secret of it all lies in starting with a little love tap, and ending with a blow that breaks the pulpit in two.

"It all lies in your climaxing. A prizefighter does it, if he has brains as well as muscle; a shopkeeper does it, or he has an empty store. Why should n't a dramatist ?

"We are living in a staccato age. We italicize everything that we do, and the man who shouts the loudest is the man you hear But here over and above the general din.

comes another of those exceptions - you can do it in another way. In acting there are two ways to put an important speech across the footlights. One way is slightly to over-emphasize a speech, and so attract attention to it; and the other is to speak it so quietly, and with so little emphasis, that the interest of the audience is kept keen just to catch the value of the word. So in spite of my theory of pulpit-pounding, there are other ways to get your effects."- New York Times.

The Poets and the Public - Stephen Phillips has been appointed editor of the Poetry Review, an English periodical intended to bring meritorious versifiers of to-day in touch with the British public. It is another experiment in publishing poetry so that the writers may hope to obtain some profit from the exercise of their talents. Various ventures of a similar kind have been made in England and America. They have prospered for a time, then languished, and finally died of inanition. Even the best magazines are shy of using poetry except for filling out a page. No wonder that "magazine poetry" has become a derogatory term, though in truth a good average of poetic quality is maintained in the lyrical contributions to the better monthlies.

The poets fare no worse to-day than in days gone by. For instance, the first venture of the Brontë sisters in addressing the public was a volume of verse, issued in 1846 at an expense of about $250, which they could ill-afford from their very slender resources. At the expiration of a year, and only four months before "Jane Eyre" appeared and caused a literary sensation, Charlotte Brontë, using her pen name of "Currer Bell," wrote to Tennyson, saying: "In the space of a year the publisher has disposed of but two copies, and by what painful efforts he succeeded in disposing of these two himself only knows." Before transferring the edition to "the trunkmakers," she begged that Tennyson would accept one of the volumes.

A poet of Thomas Campbell's reputation was willing to accept two hundred copies of his poems in exchange for the copyright.

This meant that he had to bestir himself to sell the two hundred copies. Robert Burns, going among the farmers and squires on market days at Kilmarnock soliciting subscriptions for his poems, is a classical figure in literary history. Wordsworth was more than sixty before he received any return for the labor of a life devoted to poetry. Tennyson's two-volume edition of his poems in 1842 "made a sensation," as the publisher told him two or three months after their appearance, when five hundred copies had been sold. That poet himself, while taking the cure at a "hydropathic establishment," soon after the edition of 1842 appeared, was not above requesting his publisher to bring or send him two copies for each person in the establishment who wanted them. - Philadelphia Press.

A Poetry Shop. - England's first poetry shop was opened yesterday. In an eight. eenth century house in Devonshire street, Theobald road, Mr. Harold Monro welcomed an enthusiastic crowd of poetry lovers to the inauguration of what is intended to be a sort of poetry guild in London. To this old house, it is hoped, people will go to read poetry, talk about it, and buy it.

Marshaled on the shelves in the ground floor rooms are editions of poetry ranging from the slim little fugitive verse of the unknown to the heavy collected works of the famous. Upstairs is a large room where poetry will be read aloud twice a week, and above that are bedrooms where visitors (say, poets from the country) may have lodging for the night.

"Our object," said Mr. Monro, "is to further the publication of poetry. There are poetry lovers all over the country who would like to keep in touch with the work of new men, but the ordinary bookseller's conviction that poetry. does not sell well often makes new verse difficult to obtain. Here we shall have a bookshop devoted to the sale of poetry and of all books, pamphlets, and periodicals connected directly or indirectly with poetry.

"We invite the verse-lover to come here, look round the shelves, sit down and examine a book at his leisure, and discuss it

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