Lapas attēli
[ocr errors]


in tendency, hard in style," he observed of another novel which Mrs. Lynn Linton submitted to Chapman & Hall years later. Speaking of Mme. Sarah Grand's novel, “ The Heavenly Twins," he said: “The author is a clever woman and has ideas ; for which reason she is hampered at present in the effort to be a novelist.” He went on : “The writer should be advised to put this manuscript aside until she has got the art of driving a story. She has ability enough, and a glimpse of humor here and there promises well for the future.” The first book by the late Mrs. Craigie, “Some Emotions and a Moral," provoked this remark : “ Written with some power to hibit the emotions of the sex - mainly in the form of whims."

The pleasantest aspect in which Meredith is revealed is that in which he appears as the friendly counselor. When he detected promise in a manuscript he was delighted to take pains with the author. The shining instance of his helpfulness involves Thomas Hardy, whom he ultimately came to regard

the best of contemporary novelists. Hardy sent to Chapman & Hall his first novel, * The Poor Man and the Lady," which long afterward he himself described as “very wild.” Meredith did not advise publication, but he felt that the author was one to be encouraged, and at an interview presently arranged between the two he must have spoken invaluable words. They remained friends thenceforth down to the end, and in a public speech made in 1895, when the Omar Khayyam Club was foregathering in Meredith's neighborhood, the younger novelist declared that if it had not been for the encouragement he received then from Mr. Meredith, he would never have devoted himself to literature. George Gissing also considered himself in Meredith's debt. Following suggestions made by the latter, he was enabled to improve his first novel, “ The Unclassed,” and the experience was repeated when he wrote his second book, " Isabel Clarendon." When Olive Schreiner sent her first manuscript to Chapman & Hall, the best that Meredith could say for it was : “Plot silly, early part well written," but her


first book had better luck with him, leading to an appointment and to his offering of precious advice.

Practical Pointers for Dramatists. — “It is queer,” said George Ade in a recent conversation, “how few people with ambitions for dramatic authorship there are who stop to reflect on the many practical considerations which beset the managers to whom they submit their scenarios or their plays.

“ Before a manager can accept a play, no matter how good it is, he must consider its initial cost and its probable running expenses, and compare these with the amount of money his seating capacity will yield in the event of success. Given two plays of equal merit, for example, he will give preference to the one with the smaller cast of characters and the least requirement in the way of special scenery.

" People will send in plays calling for three or four changes of scene in every act, mechanical effects costing thousands of dollars, and long casts of characters, many of whom would have to be paid $40 or $50 a week just to speak half a dozen lines convincingly. And many of these plays are so full of good, valuable ideas that their authors are perplexed and indignant when they are rejected with a promptness which would argue that they had n't even been read. And so they go about crying that there is a close corporation of authors and that the new writer has no chance.

“Now, the chances are that such a play has n't been read. The experienced manager knows from a glance at the cast and scenery that he could n't get back the cost of putting it on.

"If the young or inexperienced dramatist would save himself the stinging disappointment of having a play which has cost him months of mental effort sent back almost by return mail, he should follow some such plan as the one I always recommend to my friends who wonder why they are treated.

First let him think out his play with the greatest care for the economy of characters and scenes which is commensurate with effective telling of his story. He should not


[ocr errors]

SO a

dramatic author of talent is one in 10,000 – so it is small wonder that he sometimes escapes notice for a while ! - and that nearly all the good plays are likely to come in the future as they have in the past, from the writers of experience. The writers of experience may often fail to persuade a manager to produce the more daring or original of their works, but I have never heard that they had any trouble in getting a manager to listen to them ; and ultimately they find a manager to produce.

But, you urge, the writers of experience had to begin some time ; they were not always well known. True. Yet consider that there are many hundreds of theatres in the United States. There are fifty-three on Manhattan Island alone. These theatres have to be kept open, plays have to be supplied for them. The art of play-writing is intricate, difficult ; it requires the possession of a very peculiar and very rare gift. There

not at present half enough trained writers who possess this gift to supply all our theatres with worthy plays. The managers, willy-nilly, are constantly on

the lookout for new material, for new authors. If a young or unknown author has real dramatic talent, if he possesses the spark, so great is the market, and so limited the supply, that he is pretty sure to get a hearing."


ring in casual personages with only a scrap of a part when, by the exercise of a little ingenuity, their lines could just as well be spoken by one of the characters actually necessary to the plot. Nor should he switch his scenes from place to place except for the most unavoidable reason. All this entails thought, but not much actual writing.

“Having done this, let the new dramatist write a letter to the manager telling him that he has a play of such and such a character not going into the plot — that it contains so many acts, calls for such and such scenery, and requires a cast of so many parts, and that the parts are such as this or that wellknown actor or actress would fit. By this means the manager will get some idea of the cost of producing the new play, and in most cases he will reply to the author's letter telling him whether or not it will be worth his while to submit his manuscript.

Now, with this tip from the manager, let the budding Mr. Pinero or Mr. Klein send on his scenario. He need n't have written a line of the play itself ; he need n't have spent half his spare salary on typewriting and all his nights in the frenzy of composing dialogue. All that will come later, mitigated by the joy of at least a possible acceptance if the manager has thought well of his scenario.

“ That," said the author of 'The County Chairman,' “is the common-sense way of going about the business of selling a play. And if it is followed it will save many a heart-burning and no end of drudgery.". New York World.

The Untried Playwrights. — “Don't blame the managers too severely for what they produce,” says a professional play-reader in Munsey's for September. “ If you could only read what they reject! It is not that the managers are all they ought to be ; it is not that talent does not sometimes go begging, and genius is not sometimes shown the door. It is simply this -- that out of the great mass of manuscripts which aspiring playwrights and librettists dump in upon the managers, far less worthy material is to be found than even the most cynical of the uninitiated suppose ; that the totally unknown



[ For the convenience of readers The WRITER will send a copy of any magazine mentioned in the fol. lowing reference list on receipt of the amount given in parenthesis following the name the amount being in each case the price of the periodical with thrie cents postage added. Unless a price is given, the periodical must be ordered from the publication office. Readers who send to the publishers of the periodicals indexed for copies containing the articles mentioned in the list will confer a favor if they will mention THE WRITER when they write. ]

** Titu's ANDRONICUS." Illustrated. William Sharp. Harper's Magazine ( 38 c. ) for October.

AUTOBIOGRAPHY. W. D. Howells. Editor's Easy Chair, Harper's Magazine ( 38 c. ) for October.

WHEN POETS HAVE TO SPEAK A PIECE. Contributors' Club, Atlantic ( 38 c.) for October.

SINCERITY IN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. Anna Robeson Burr. Atlantic ( 38 c. ) for October.

The POETRY OF SLEEP. Open Court ( 13 c.) for September.

THE COUNTRY EDITOR. Hon. John A. Johnson. Youth's Companion ( 13 c. ) for September 9.

George MEREDITH, TEACHER. Harper's Weekly ( 13 c. ) for September 11.

MAYO W. HAZELTINE. With portrait. Harper's Weekly ( 13 c.) or September 25.

Count TolstOY AND THE FIRST RUSSIAN DUMA. George Kennan. Outlook ( 8 c. ) for September 18.

Four English Songs, by Shakspere, Lovelace, and Herrick. Introduction by Hamilton Wright Mabie. Outlook ( 18 c. ) for September 25.

THE REAL Rokert ELSMERE. Illustrated. Charles S. Olcott. Outlook ( 18 c. ) for September 25.


EDGAR ALLAN Poe's “ Child Wife." Picture by R. W. Amick, and fac-similes. Josephine Poe January. Century ( 38 c. ) for October.

PERSONAL RECOLLECTIONS OF GEORGE MEREDITH. Frederick Jones Bliss. Century ( 38 c. ) for October.


Topics of

the Time, Century ( 38 c. ) for October.

THE ORIGINAL AUTOCRAT AND His BoswELL. Topics of the Time, Century ( 38 c. ) for October.

The Novels Of Thomas Hardy. Professor William Lyon Phelps. North American Review ( 38 c.) for October.

Doctor JOHNSON. Illustrated. Charles W. Hodell. Putnam's ( 28 c. ) for October.

CLYDE Fitch. Clayton Hamilton. Bookman ( 28 c. ) for October.

HENRY JAMES. Edward Clark Marsh. Bookman ( 28 c. ) for October.

PROOF-READING AND TYPE-SETTING. Anna Steese Richardson. Woman's Home Companion ( 18 c. ) for October

MY REMINISCENCES. Edward Everett Hale. Woman's Home Companion ( 18 c. ) for October.

THE DEVELOPMENT OF A NOVELIST. The rapid rise of H. G. Wells. With portrait.

G. W. Harris. American Monthly Review of Reviews ( 28 c. ) for October.

THE BONDAGE OF THE PRESS. “ An American Jour. nalist.” Twentieth Century Magazine ( 28 c.) for October.

ERNEST HOWARD CROSBY AND HIS MESSAGE. Hamlin Garland. Twentieth Century Magazine ( 28 c. ) for October.

THE MEANING OF LITERATURE FOR PHILOSOPHY, Ernest Albee. International Journal of Ethics ( 68 c. ) or October.

THE PROCRASTINATION OF Happiness IN FICTION. Myra Swan. The Author ( London ) ( 18 c. ) for October.

THE ART OF ILLUSTRATING. Illustrated. William Brett Plummer. The duthor ( London ) ( 18 c. ) for October.

MEREDITH IN BROKEN Doses. Archibald Henderson. Forum for October.

TOLSTOY IN Twilight. Henry George, Jr. World's Work for October.

EDWARD EVERETT HALE. With photograph. Edward Hale. Harvard Graduates' Magazine ( 78 c. ) for September.

Simon Newcom B. With portrait. Harvard Graduates' Magazine ( 78 c. ) for September.

DANGEROUS TENDENCIES IN MODERN FICTION INSANITY. Dietetic and Hygienic Gazette ( 13 c. ) for September.

THE SHAKESPEAREAN PROBLEM. George Hookham. National Review for September.

GEORGE BORROW IN RUSSIA. Herbert Ives. National Review for September.

GOETHE AND Religion. Dr. Paul Carus. Open Court ( 13 c. ) for September.

Stephen Phillips, the English poet, is in bankruptcy proceedings, and when he failed to appear in court, it was explained that he could not obtain money enough to get to London from Brighton, where he has been staying

John Vance Cheney, the poet, critic, and librarian, says he has not retired from the literary field, to manufacture hair-oil. It is another John Vance Cheney who has gone into the hair-oil business.

Florence Wilkinson was married recently to Wilfred Evans, of Surrey, England.

Ivan Swift, sometimes called “Poet of the North,” has established a printing and crafts shop at the old Leggett home near Detroit. The first book out is a second and larger edition of his “ Fagots of Cedar," which has been favorably reviewed in this country and England.

" Doctor Johnson and Mrs. Thrale," by A. M. Broadley, published by John Lane, contains letters, hitherto unpublished, from Oliver Goldsmith, James Boswell, Fanny Burney, Dr. Charles Burney, Mrs. John Philip Kemble, Mrs. Siddons, and Mrs. Piozzi, and it also includes Mrs. Thrale's unpublished journal of her Welsh tour with Dr. Johnson in 1774.

A volume of criticism by Arthur Symons, entitled “The Romantic Movement in English Poetry," just published by E. P. Dutton & Co., comprises a series of essays, some fifty in all, covering a century of poets.




The publication of Mrs. Sharp's biography of William Sharp has been postponed till 1910.

The essays in which Poe developed his theory of the poem and the short story – among them those on “ The Poetic Principle," “The Rationale of Verse," and “The Philosophy of Composition

to be published by Henry Holt & Co. in a volume edited by Professor Prescott, of Cornell.

The two-volume “ Life of Richard Brinsley Sheridan," by Walter Sichel, will be published in this country by the Houghton Mifflin Company.

The Houghton Mifflin Company publishes “ Oliver Wendell Holmes : The Autocrat and His Fellow Boarders,” by Dr. Samuel M. Crothers, as one of the little series of Cen. tennial Books About Great Men, which already includes Charles Eliot Norton's “Longfellow” and Bliss Perry's. “Whittier."

The Scribners announce Samuel Pepys,” by Percy Lubbock, as a new volume in the Literary Lives Series.

The American opéra competition was to have closed September 15, but it has been unofficially announced that the Metropolitan Opera Company will give librettists and compusers until September 15, 1911, to submit their operas.

It is not promised that the successful work will be produced the following season, but it will be put on as soon after the decision as possible.

The competition has been placed in the hands of Secretary Centanini.

Forest and Stream (New York) offers prizes of $150 for the best narrative of outdoor life, of not less than 25,000 words ; $100 for the next best narrative, of not less than 20,000 words ; $50 each for the two best 15,000-word stories ; $25 each for the two best 10,000-word stories ; and $15 each for the seven best short narratives of hunting, shooting, yachting, mountain climbing, fishing, camping, canoeing, or exploration. Manuscripts must be received before Janu

Boston is to have a new weekly paper called the Boston Common, edited by E. H. Clement, for many years editor of the Boston Transcript. The paper, it is said, will be a thirty-two-page journal, something like the Outlook or the Independent, devoted to Boston's interest in "politics, philanthropies, literature and thought, popular education, taste and culture, and social advance."

The Twentieth Century Magazine — "a magazine with a mission” – edited by B. O. Flower, is published at 5 Park square, Boston. With it is combined Fellowship, and the new magazine seems to be in a way a successor to the Arena.

The Columbian Magazine is monthly, published at 1 Madison avenue, New York.

John Herbert Quick has resigned as assistant editor of La Follette's Magazine to take the editorship of Farm and Fireside, Springfield, Ohio.

Thomas H. Blodgett, now at the head of the Outing Publishing Company, has made Albert Britt, formerly editor of Munsey's Railroad Men's Magazine, editor of Outing Magazine.

For three months, beginning with October, the Popular Magazine will be published twice a month.

Sturgis & Walton, 31 East Twentyseventh street, New York, have been incorporated to do a general publishing business.

Charles Frederic Wingate died at Twilight Park, N. Y., September 1, aged sixty-two.

Clyde William Fitch died at Chalons-surMaine, France, September 4, aged fortyfour.

Henry B. Blackwell died in Dorchester, Mass., September 7, aged eighty-four.

William Lloyd Garrison died at Lexington, Mass., September 12, aged seventy-one.

Mayo Williamson Hazeltine died at Atlantic City, N. J., September 15, aged sixtyeight.

The body of John Davidson, who was last seen alive March 23, was found in the sea near Penzance September 18.

[blocks in formation]


Vol. XXI.


No. II.






164 The New York World Play Prize Contest, 164 – A Scheme to Swindle Writers, 164 –

How Long May Editors Hold Manuscripts ? 164 NEWSPAPER ENGLISH" EDITED


165 Leslie Adams, 165 — William Heyliger, 165 — Florence Martin, 165 - George L. Parker, 166 - E. A. Wharton.


166 Victor Hugo, 166 — W. E, H. Lecky. 166 Charles Reade, 167 — Henryk Sienkiewicz, 168 — Charles Warren Stoddard, 168 — Booth Tarkington, 168 - Lord Tennyson, 168 — Mrs. Humphry Ward .


170 “ Mr. Dooley the Magazines, 170 — Financial Rewards for English Writers, 171 - Joseph Pulitzer's Editorials,

172 - - Conquering John Wesley's Cipher, 172 - Editorial Liberties with Copy


174 News AND Notes



Mr. Simpkins, the grocer opposite, favorably known to the public for his superior article of teas, whose howls awakened the sympathies of the bystanders.”

Avoid foreign words and phrases for which there are English equivalents. Why call the “part” of an actor, or an actress, a “rôle, especially in newspapers which use only linotype matrices without accents, and so print “rôle," "role” ?

If you use foreign phrases, use them correctly. We often see even in books the phrases, hors du combat and esprit du corps. Yet, the simple preposition de, not the combined preposition and definite article du, is to be found in all similar phrases in French newspapers and books.

There is a very common error in the arrangement of the words in a favorite Latin quotation, which generally appears in print as “id omne genus," whereas it should be id genus omnie.

The plural of the French word “ savant" if you must use it in place of the English word “scholar” - is 'savans," not savants." Eschew — “cut out," the night editor

worn-out phrases like "tripped it on the light fantastic toe," * "fair women and brave men,”

revelry by night," “banquet hall deserted,” “the wee, sma' hours," +

the ladies ( God bless them !)," "all went merry as a marriage bell.”

Avoid extravagant expressions, both in writing and in speech ; for instance, “It was an awfully hot day.” “I suffered in the cars frightfully from heat." “When we reached our destination we had a horrible dinner.”




would say

Don't over-write. This burlesque report of a small fire in John Smith's house has almost been equalled by writers for country papers : "Last evening flames were discovered issuing from the portal of the residence of our respected fellow-citizen, John Smith, Esq. The firemen, with their usual alacrity, were promptly on the spot. The street was soon a scene of wild commotion and uproar, which, with the devouring element, formed a toute ensemble of grandeur and sublimity. The coup d'æil soon became truly magnificent, the flames having reached a small wooden shanty next door, in which was confined a remarkably fine poodle belonging to

* The original is :

Come, and trip it, as you go,

On the light fantastic toe.” † The original is : “ Some wee short hour ayont the twal."

« iepriekšējāTurpināt »