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pressed by shall in the first person, and by
In will a threat, or else a promise, dwells.
“Without the grammatical form of a word can be recognized at a glance, little progress can be made in reading the language " ( from a work on the study of the Latin language ] ; say, Unless the grammatical, etc. The use of without for unless is a very common mistake.
“ They ride about in small carriages, which
are called flies" ; write the last word flys ; flies is the plural of fly, the insect.
“I have not traveled this twenty years" ; say, these twenty years.
“He is very much the gentleman”; say, He is a very gentlemanly man, or, He is very gentlemanly.
He strived to obtain an appointment”; say, strove.
Before the words heir, herb, honest, honor, and hour, and their compounds, instead of the article a, we make use of an, as the h is not sounded ; likewise before words beginning with h, that are not accented on the first syllable : such as heroic, historical, hypothesis, etc., as, an heroic action" ; an historical work" ; an hypothesis that can scarcely be allowed."
Walton Burgess. NEW YORK, N. Y.
KEEPING THE TYPEWRITER CLEAN.
A good many writers apparently fail to realize the necessity of keeping the typewriter clean. They go on using the machine day after day, week after week, even, it would seem, month after month, without ever taking the trouble to pick the dirt out of the face of the letters, until a, and e, and o come to look pretty much alike, and their work generally has a muddy look, and is often difficult to read.
Sometimes machines in constant use for making copy get into such bad condition that the manuscript they make is hardly as legible as ordinary handwriting. It is easy to understand that editors look with disfavor on such manuscripts, and are inclined not to spend upon them the time necessary to determine whether they are good or not. At any rate, editors are always prejudiced against them, and the writers who send them out put themselves at a disadvantage by their carelessness.
Every typewriter ought to be cleaned thor
oughly every little while, and kept constantly in condition to do perfect work. Every day care should be taken to wipe off the dust and see that the running parts are oiled. The work of the machine should be critically watched, and if any of the type faces get filled with ink from the ribbon or with dirt of any kind, the dirt should be picked out with a pin and the type faces brushed clean with benzine. A few minutes devoted to this work every day will be time well spent. Using a wornout ribbon, too, is poor economy.
Good typewriting helps to sell a manuscript, and poor typewriting tends to prevent its sale. An editor is always rejoiced to receive a manuscript that is so good and in such good shape that he can send it to the printers without having to edit it at all. Writers who want to be successful should aim never to send out manuscripts of any other kind.
Edward B. Hughes. CAMBRIDGE, Mass.
The Writer. THE
Published monthly by the Writer Publishing Com
pany, 88 Broad street, Room 414, Boston, Mass.
skilful manufacturer from history ; thirdly, the novel of indecency ; fourthly, the novel of bigotry, which plays upon the prejudices of the religious public ; fifthly, the novel of commonplace reflection and cheap. claptrap conversation. Mr. Shorter apparently thinks that all but the novels of his first class could be profitably dispensed with.
THE WRITER is published the first day of every month. It will be sent, postpaid, ONE YEAR for One DOLLAR.
All drafts and money orders should be made payable to The Writer Publishing Co. Stamps, or local checks, should not be sent in payment for subscriptions.
THE WRITER will be sent only to those who have paid for it in advance. Accounts cannot be opened for subscriptions, and names will not be entered on the list unless the subscription order is accompanied by a remittance.
The American News Company, of New York, and the New England News Company, o Boston, and their branches, are wholesale agents for THE WRITER. It may be ordered from any newsdealer, or direct, by mail, from the publishers.
Not one line of paid advertisement will be printed in THE WRITER outside of the advertising pages.
Advertising in THE WRITER costs fifteen cents a line, or $2.10 an inch ; seven dollars a quarter page ; twelve dollars a half page ; or twenty dollars a page, for one insertion, remittance with the order. Dis. counts are five, ten, and fifteen per cent. for three, six, and twelve months. For continued advertising payments must be made quarterly, in advance.
Contributions not used will be returned, if a stamped and addressed envelope is enclosed. THE WRITER PUBLISHING CO.,
88 Broad Street, Room 414, P. 0. Box 1905.
Some interesting questions are raised in this letter, which the editor of The WRITER has received from a subscriber :
“I sent one of the best, limited-edition, two-dollar copies of my book," -,' to the view. The review, in this case alone, did not appear. I wrote them enclosing postage for the return of the book, I received a letter from them to the effect that they received so many books that they could not review them all,' but I did not get my book or my postage back. I then felt justified in sending them a bill for two dollars, to which I got no reply. Is this square business, or even professional eti. quette ? If it is, I am an anarchist. God forgive
me ! "
The first question is : Just what is the responsibility of an editor in the case of a book sent to him for review? If the book is sent to him by the author or publisher without solicitation, it seems clear that the editor has no responsibility at all. He prints book reviews primarily in the interest of his readers, and of course he is the sole judge of what will be of interest to them. If he thinks that any new book, however much merit it may have, is not of special interest to his readers, why should he review it ? The author, of course, sends his book hoping that the editor will bring it to public attention. To do this the editor must give space that his business manager looks upon as worth so many dollars an inch, and in addi
Clement Shorter, the English critic, finds five kinds of successful novels: First, the novel of genius ; secondly, the work of the
tion the time required for reading the book more or less critically and writing the review. If in his judgment — possibly mistaken — the book is not one of special interest for his readers, why should he give this space and do this work ? If he does review the book, in the interest of his readers, does not the author get in advertising space considerably more than the cash value of a copy of the book, and so is he not really indebted to the editor ? Why should he not look on the review of a book sent unsolicited as a favor rather than as a right ?
The retail price of the book in question was two dollars. Advertising space in the publication to which it was sent sells for several dollars an agate line. If the editor had simply acknowledged the receipt of the book in two lines of type, he would have given to the author for a copy of his book space for which an advertiser would have to pay much more in cash. As a matter of business, why should the author expect to be favored in this way?
This answer to the first question raised has already suggested in part the answer to the second : “What is the responsibility of the editor in case an author asks to have an unnoticed review-book returned ?" Of course, simple courtesy would say that the author's request should be complied with. Compliance, however, might not be always possible. The book might already have been disposed of. Books inevitably accumulate in editorial offices, and they are got rid of as soon as possible. The author, of course, would not expect an editor to return his book in case of non-review unless return postage were sent with it in the first place for that purpose. If, in the case which raised this question, when the request for return, accompanied by postage, was received the book was in the office, the editor should have returned it, as a matter of courtesy, but he was not bound to spend his time looking it up to see what had become of it, any more than he was bound to notice it. If he could not return the book he should, of course, have sent back the return postage.
W. H. H.
STAGE RIGHTS IN MAGAZINE
Sending a book unsolicited to an editor does not make the editor responsible in any way. If he reviews the book, he does the author a favor. If he makes no mention of it, the author has no reason to complain. It is only natural, perhaps, that authors should overlook the fact that a book sent to an editor for review has little value to him unless it is of special interest to him or to his readers. The average editor takes home for his library only a very few of the reviewbooks that he receives — mostly books of reference, or of travel, or of biography, or other books of lasting value. Novels and other books of temporary interest he may give as presents to his friends. The rest of the books received probably the greater part are bundled up from time to time and sent to the second-hand book man for what they will bring - a few cents for each volume. It is not flattering to authors, of course, to think that their books are regarded in this unromantic way, but such is the melancholy fact. The receipt of review books in any large editorial office arouses no
A decision of great importance to authors has been rendered by Judge Hazel, of the circuit court of the United States for the southern district of New York, in the suit brought by the estate of Henry J. W. Dam, to restrain public performance of the play entitled “The Heir to the Hoorah.” As the Publishers' Weekly points out, Judge Hazel has brushed aside technicalities and difficulties, and has ruled vigorously that the copyright notice in a magazine covers all the contents of the magazine, and that such copyright protects the author not only against the use of the form in which he has put his work, but of the central thought or idea
which is its original feature. Thus he has enjoined a play which adopts the central feature of a story, although the language and setting have been modified. Following is the full text of the decision :
HAZEL, J. This suit in equity was brought to restrain the defendant, the Kirke La Shelle Company, from producing or publicly performing the dramatic play or composition entitled “The Heir to the Hoorah.” The bill alleges that the play is an unauthorized dramatization of the published story entitled “ The Transmogrification of Dan."
It is first to be considered herein whether the story was protected by statutory copyright. Complainant's intestate, who was the author of the story, sold it to the Ess Ess Publishing Company, which later published the story with other articles in its copyrighted number of the Smart Set, issued in September,' 1901. After the alleged infringement of the novelette, the publishing company assigned back to the author its copyright of the September issue of the magazine, the assignment, however, simply covering and including the story or novelette in controversy, together with all claims and demands against infringers thereof. The defendant contends, first, that to secure a valid copyright of his authorship and the exclusive right to dramatize, the author must have copyrighted the literary production, or the copyright must have been taken out by the purchaser ; and, second, that there was no sale of the copyright, but simply of the manuscript or literary composition. But this contention is not thought maintainable, for by Section 4952 of the Revised Statutes of the United States, not only authors have the right to translate and dramatize their literary productions, but proprietors or owners by assignment upon complying with the statute are given the exclusive right of printing and vending the same. The unconditional sale of the story entitled the purchaser to protection from piracy upon securing a statutory copyright, and, moreover, it could be and was, in fact, copyrighted by the owners thereof by simply filing with the librarian of Congress the title-page of the magazine and complying with the provisions of the statute relating to copyrighting. It was not necessary to file a copy of the title of each article published in the magazine or of the author's literary composition, nor was it necessary that he should himself have secured the copyright so as to retain the right of dramatizing it. It was properly held in a recent case decided in this circuit by Judge Holt that an author can sell the exclusive right to print and publish his productions, the buyer thereby having the right to copyright it, though the author may
withhold to himself. the right to dramatize. [ Ford v. Blaney, 148 Fed. 642. ) Hence, in the present case the sale or transfer of the literary composition prior to copyrighting vested the Ess Ess Publishing Company, in the absence of any reservation, with all the rights and privileges of the author, and gave it the right to secure the statutory copyright which thereafter it could assign to the author, his heirs or assigns.
The next important question relating to the dramatization of the copyrighted literary composition by the defendant without the consent of the proprietor requires us to ascertain whether the subject or so-called plot of the story or novelette was original, and whether the defendant in producing the play or drama abstracted a material portion thereof. In cases of this character the inquiry must be whether the substance of the literary composition has been taken to the injury of the complainant. Of course, if the plot or the language used by the author to develop the subject of the literary composition or the combination of incidents narrated therein was not new, or if its principal feature has been previously published, either in the form of a novel, story, or play, the complainant would not be entitled to the relief demanded, for in such case the author merely gave a new dress or coloring to an old theme or subject. But if the copyrighted literary composition or the theme or subject thereof was dramatized by another without the consent of the author, and reproduced by dialogue spoken by play actors, and scenes and incidents are introduced, coupled with stage situations by which the kernel of the literary composition is emphasized, then it may be fairly supposed that the playwright in giving a public performance of the drama endeavored to reap a profit or gain out of another's industry, against which a court of equity has power to grant relief. Whether there is a substantial similarity between the copyrighted literary composition and the play performed by the defendant is a question of fact, and the court has found comparison helpful to a decision.
The expert witness for the plaintiff testifies that the theme or subject of the story is the change of the disposition and character of
Dan,” the central figure, from a man of submissive temperament in his household and toward his wife and mother-in-law, to a man of commanding and asserting mien upon his becoming a father. From this idea or conception, the author of the literary composition, by his descriptive ability and by virtue of the use of apt words, has succeeded in developing different characters, causing them to perform separate functions, and helping to emphasize the central idea that in “Dan"
becoming a father, his previous self-abnega- above mentioned has been staged at great tion, his effacement or submissiveness was expense, and the elaborate scenery, stage at an end, making it instantly warrantable on effects, translation of the story into a drahis part to peremptorily assert his rights as matic composition were the result of such the father of his child and protector of his valuable services and skill by the defendant home. This subject or theme of the copy- that the court would hesitate to grant relief righted story is substantially imitated in the by injunction against the entire play, were it defendant's play. No other play, drama, or not that the pivotal feature of the play or the literary production is called to my attention, objectionable parts are seemingly inseparable and I have examined the exhibits in evidence, from the theme of the story, and therefore from which it may be ascertained that the adopting the general rule in cases, the said subject of the author's composition, together play or drama containing the literary matter with the various characters which give it which is the subject of this controversy must prominence, was not original. It is true, the be enjoined. Probably the play or drama dialogue of the drama is not in the words of can be revamped to eliminate the aforesaid the copyrighted story, but its exact phrase- objectionable imitations. If such is the fact, ology was not necessary to the adaptation of and this may be shown on settlemen of the the plot or subject, or the portrayal of the restraining order, the injunction will simply different characters to the play. The actors cover such objectionable portions. Let comin the play, “ The Heir to the Hoorah," por- plainant enter a decree in conformity with tray or imitate the characters in the copy- this decision with costs. righted story, and in addition thereto make use of incidents and situations which apparently give expression to the central theme
WRITERS OF THE DAY. or purpose of the author. Whatever of addition has been introduced in the play does
Henry A. Beers, whose poem, "Love, not obscure or emasculate the central figure of the story, namely, the rejuvenated hus
Death, and Life," appeared in Harper's band. The copyrighted story was not strictly Magazine for January, has been professor of a dramatic composition, although its special
English literature at Yale University since features, its incidents, personages, episodes 1880. His first volume of poems, Odds and plainly indicated that it was not without dramatic interest, and could by appropriate Ends," was published in 1878, and was foldialogue, scenes, and stage business be trans- lowed by “ The Thankless Muse,” in 1885, lated or expanded into a drama. It is enough and “The Ways of Yale," published first in if the essence of a play is taken from an original literary production, and it is held
1895, with an enlarged edition in 1903. Since that one or more chapters of a novel is to be
then Professor Beers has contributed poems regarded as a dramatic composition. [ Drone to the leading magazines. A number of his on Copyright, p. 589. ] The playwright of poems have been included in the anthologies “The Heir to the Hoorah," as already stated,
and sonnet collections, both in England and has expanded the plot of the story, using different words. He has introduced addi
in America. Professor Beers is also the tional characters. He has cleverly staged the author of "A Century of American Literaplay, and by the use of language and char
ture,” From Chaucer to Tennyson," " Iniacters has given the subject of the story an
tial Studies in American Letters," and other excellent interpretation. But all this is unimportant if he has taken, as I think he has,
books of similar character. the substance of complainant's authorship. [ Emerson v'. Davies, 3 Story, 782 ; Drone on
Will Gage Carey, whose story, “The Copyright, p. 433.) The playwright has
Wolf,” was printed in the Metropolitan for testified that he did not use the plot or theme contained in the copyrighted story, but that
January, was born at Rochelle, Ill., but now the plot of the play was originated by him. lives in Atlanta, Ga., where he was at one Evidence has been introduced to show that
time sporting editor of the Atlanta News. the incidents and situations were familiarly
He was graduated from the University of known. But giving weight to the testimony of complainant's witness, Mrs. Norris, it Illinois, and while in college was a member would seem to be established that the play- of the University military band, and a numwright, without first obtaining the permission ber of his stories pertain to band life, among of the author or proprietor, plagiarized and
them being “The Silent Trombone" and imitated the complainant's copyrighted literary composition. The theatrical production “When Heiny Led the Band,” which ap