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Lowell had a volume of verse under the same title.
editor to whom he wrote might accept the proposition that he makes. What the man who wrote the letter does not realize is that there are innumerable writers who are regularly supplying what the editor wants, without suggestions or directions or orders of any kind from him, and that as long as he has constantly before him in tangible form all the material that he desires he is not likely, as a matter of common sense, to make any experiments in the way of ordering matter which may or may not turn out to be available.
W. H. H.
Eleanor Mercein Kelly, author of the story, “ The Girl Who Forgot," in Lippincott's for January, is the wife of Robert Morrow Kelly, Jr., of Louisville. Formerly she lived in Milwaukee. She comes naturally by a talent for writing, her mother and her grandmother having both been literary women. Mrs. Kelly is not yet thirty, and was graduated ten years ago from the famous old Visitation Convent at Georgetown, D. C., as valedictorian of her class, also receiving a special medal for belleslettres, which had been awarded only once before in a hundred years. The story, “The Girl Who Forgot,” published in Lippincott's for January, was her first professional attempt. It was followed in February by "A Friend of Jimmie's," and several other short stories that she has written have been accepted by Lippincott's and other magazines.
WRITERS OF THE DAY.
LITERARY ARTICLES IN PERIODICALS
Winifred Ballard Blake, whose poem, The Trees," appeared in the Atlantic Monthly for April, comes of a family of writers, and has written verse and stories since childhood, her first story having been a wonderful fairy tale, called “The Black Flower," written at the age of ten. Her first published production, which took five-dollar prize in a children's magazine called the Little Corporal, when she was thirteen, was in verse. Under her own name and pen-names chiefly, the pen
Heloise Soule,” she has had stories, sketches, and verse published in the Atlantic, the Youth's Companion, the American Boy, the Christian Endeavor World, and the Interior. A nature sketch, called “The Woodcock's Wooing," is to appear in Sports Afield, of Chicago, and poems have been accepted by Putnam's Magazine and Munsey's. Mrs. Blake feels that her best work has been done in verse, but she finds the placing of poems so discouragingly difficult that a very small part of what she has written has been printed, and she says she sometimes wishes that there were a magazine especially devoted to encouraging contemporary versewriters, as all but a very few of the magazines seem to regard poems merely as
fillers.” Several years ago Richard G. Badger published a small volume of verse for Mrs. Blake, called “Heartsease and Rue." She had thought herself familiar with Lowell's poems, but not until after the publication of her book did she learn that
[ 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 three 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. )
JANE AUSTEN AT LYME REGIS. Arthur C. Benson. Putnam's Magazine ( 28 c. ) for May.
JULIA WARD 'Howe. With portraits. Florence Painter. Putnam's Magazine ( 28 c. :) for May.
TIN TYPES OF FICTION. John Wolcott. Bookman ( 28 c. ) for May.
THE AUTHOR'S VADE MECUM. Francis W. Crownin. shield. Bookman ( 28 c.) for May.
THE RETURN OF Wood ENGRAVING. Gardner Teall. Bookman ( 28 c.) for May.
FRANCIS MARION CRAWFORD. Frederic T. Cooper. Bookman ( 28 c. ) for May.
WILL ENGLISHI BE THE INTERNATIONAL LANGUAGE ? Albert Schinz. North American Review (38 c. ) for May.
MY STORY. IX. American Visits -- Literary Re. wards. Hall Caine. Appleton's ( 18 c.) for May.
MARION CRAWFORD, THE Novelist. With portrait. American Monthly Review of Reviews ( 28 c. ) for May.
SWINBURNE, THE LAST OF THE VICTORIAN Poets. With portrait. American Monthly Review of Reviews ( 28 c. ) for May.
MR. HOWELLS AT WORK AT SEVENTY-TWO. Van Wyck Brooks. W’orld's Work for May.
Ат SNAP BEAN FARM (Joel Chandler Harris' Home ). Illustrated. Frank L. Stanton. Delineator ( 18 c. ) for May.
MORALITY IN RELATION TO THE DRAMA AND THE Press. Mrs. Leslie Carter. Red Book ( 18 c. ) for May.
The NATION'S GREAT LIBRARY. Illustrated. Herpert Putnam. National Magazine ( 18 c. ) for May.
SAM WALTER Foss, “ YANKEE Poet." trait. Peter MacQueen. National Magazine ( 18 c. ) for May.
JULIA WARD Howe. With frontispiece portrait. Mitchell Mannering. National Magazine ( 18 c.) for May,
SOLDIERS' Copy, Illustrated. General Charles King. Uncle Sam's Magazine ( 18 c. ) for May. FIRST AID
THE LITERARY. John Kendrick Bangs. Smart Set ( 28 c. ) for May.
PoE AT COLLEGE. Illustrated. James Bernard Lyon. Uncle Romus's Magazine ( 13 c. ) for May.
The Sage OF SLABSIDES IN THE SUNNY SOUTHLAND (John Burroughs). Illustrated. R. J. H. DeLoach. Uncle Remus's Magazine ( 13 c. ) for April.
THOUGHTS ON NEWSPAPER MAKING. B. B. Herbert. National Printer-Journalist ( 23 c. ) for April.
The Public, THE NEWSPAPER'S PROBLEM. H. J. Haskell. Outlook (8 c. ) for April 3.
EDWARD FITZGERALD. Outlook (8 c.) for April 3. SIMPLIFIED SPELLING AND
“ FONETIC REFORM." Brander Matthews. Outlook (8 c.) for April 10.
MARION CRAWFORD. Outlook (8 c. ) for April 17. ALGERNON CHARLES SWINBURNE. Outlook (8 c.) for April 17.
A PoET Died (Sara King Wiley ). Harper's Weekly ( 13 c. ) !or April 3.
THE DEATH OF MARION CRAWFORD. With portrait. Harper's Weekly ( 13 c. ) for April 17.
ALGERNON CHARLES SWINBURNE, C. H. Gaines. Harper's Weekly ( 13 c.) for April 24.
THE LAST OF THE GIANTS ( Algernon Charles Swinburne). Harper's Weekly ( 13 c.) for April 24.
My Three Stages of Life. With portrait. Count Leo Tolstoy. Collier's ( 13 c.) for April 10.
FRANCIS MARION CRAWFORD. Journal of Education for April 29.
John T. Trowbridge, at the age of eightytwo, has just returned home from a trip to Europe.
Army and Navy Life (New York ) becomes Uncle Sam's Magazine with the May issue.
The Outing Publishing Company of Deposit, N. Y., which publishes Outing, the Bohemian, the Grey Goose, and Brains, is in the hands of receivers. The receivers are authorized to borrow the sum of $2,500 and to continue the business for one month, at the expiration of which an extension of time may be granted.
Appleton's Magazine will discontinue publication with its June issue. Unexpired subscriptions will be completed by Hampton's Magazine.
The centenary number of the Quarterly Review, which was established in February, 1809, will be issued by John Murray in London about April 22. It will contain an article giving the history of the Review since its commencement, with portraits of the successive editors and some of the more important contributors.
The Forum for April contained a careful analysis of the work of Mrs. Humphry Ward, by William Lyon Phelps.
Isaac Henderson died in Rome March 31, aged fifty-nine.
Professor George Rice Carpenter died in New York April 8, aged forty-five.
Francis Marion Crawford died in Sorrento, Italy, April 9, aged fifty-four.
Algernon Charles Swinburne died at Půtney, Eng., April 10, aged seventy-one.
Mrs. Cecelia Viets Jamison died at Roxbury, Mass., April 11, aged sixty-one.
Miss Aimée Tourgée died in Pittsburg April 19, aged thirty-nine.
Charles Warren Stoddard died at Monterey, Calif., April 24, aged sixty-five.
Samuel June Barrows died in New York April 21, aged sixty-three.
Peter Fenelon Cooper died in New York April 24, aged fifty-nine.
Olive Logan died at Banstead, Eng., April 27, aged sixty-eight.
NEWS AND NOTES.
Hon. John Bigelow, now in his ninetysecond year, has gone to Europe for a summer of travel and recreation.
Norman E. Mack, owner of the Buffalo Times, is to begin this month the publication of a new magazine called the National Monthly, and devoted to the interests of the Democratic party.
A MONTHLY MAGAZINE TO INTEREST AND HELP ALL LITERARY WORKERS.
BOSTON, JUNE, 1909.
ENTERED AT THE BOSTON POST-OFFICE AS SECOND-CLASS MAIL MATTER.
PAGE A SCHOOL FOR NOVELISTS. Anthony Hope
81 SELLING THE SHORT STORY. Mark Smith.
82 A LESSON IN TYPEWRITING. Victor Lauriston 86 EDITORIAL
88 A Short-story Writer's Income, 88 — Writing Because One Must, 88 Encouragement for the Down-hearted
89 WRITERS OF THE DAY
89 Alberta Bancroft, 89 - John M. Howells, 89 - Augusta Kortrecht, 89 - Lawrence North,
90 - Frances R. Sterrett PERSONAL Gossip ABOUT AUTHORS
Grant Allen, 90 - Francis Marion Crawford,
91 CURRENT LITERARY Topics
92 The Strange Story of a Manuscript, 92 — Standard Literary Phrases, 92 — Wit, 93 —
Learning to Write, 93 - - The New Grammar 93 LITERARY ARTICLES IN PERIODICALS
94 News AND NOTES
He would be a cruel parent who deliberately destined a plodding youth to live by the exercise of a recalcitrant imagination — and his cruelty would not be confined to his offspring ; it would, or might, reach the public, also. Probably the faculty are wise enough to hold a preliminary examination before they admit to these classes, to see, for instance, whether a man can describe to any purpose what he has seen, before they try to teach him to describe what he has not
A SCHOOL FOR NOVELISTS.
I read the other day in a newspaper that there are in more than one of the universities of the United States classes for the teaching of the art of writing novels and stories. I do not know how far the statement is correct, but it is interesting to a novelist who is self-taught — so far as he is taught at all — to consider how far and in what respects a systematic course of instruction from a qualified teacher (not perhaps a very easy person to find ) would be of benefit to a student who had a bent or a fancy for writing fiction. Only students of that order will, it is to be hoped, attend the classes ; the idea of novel-writing being turned into a recognized occupation or profession, such as the law or engineering, is, to speak frankly, almost appalling.
I expect that the truth is that no amount of teaching can make a novelist ; he, like the poet, is born, not made, though he is born to a humbler heritage. The true novelist has an instinct and a faculty. The instinct is curiosity about human nature. It is conceivable that teaching might develop this instinct ; it is not likely that it could create it. The faculty is invention — and here it is, I think, safe to say that teaching will be powerless if the natural gift is not there. Flaubert taught Maupassant, but he had a Maupassant to teach. But if a professor cannot make a novelist, there is to my thinking no reason why he should not greatly improve any novelist whom he chances to catch young. The interest in human nature for its own sake, which I have called curiosity, may be a plant hard to cultivate in unsuitable ground, and the faculty of invention I believe to be purely native. But there are — to put the matter briefly and, of necessity therefore, rather roughly — two other things which go to the making of a good story the arrangement and the writing - the structure and the style. Here teaching and a course of reading directed by a good teacher have a fair opportunity. Structure lies in arranging what you have invented and observed (by virtue of your faculty and your instinct) to the best possible advantage ; in beginning at the beginning, going on to the middle, and most important of all, perhaps - stopping at the end ; in considering how much emphasis each situation will “stand”; in judging how far to extend your canvas or when to narrow it ; in deciding in what order to unravel the skein of the story you have to tell ; in knowing what “belongs ” to the story and what is another story" ; in preserving the climax — and, as I have hinted, stopping at it. On all these points a good teacher ought to be of great service to his hearers.
Whether style can be taught is an old question, and one with regard to which it is necessary to distinguish. “Incommunicable charm” naturally cannot be communicated, especially as it would be exacting to require the professor himself to possess it. Nobody can teach you to write like Charles Lamb - not
Charles Lamb himself. But correctness can be taught — good gramimar and the right use of words.
You can be taught not to employ the nominativus pendens, and not to say “phenomenal” when you really mean extraordinary. I
think that teaching and the accompanying reading can go a little further. They can suggest the proper relation between subject and style — the man whose style is too big or too small for his subject is the born prey of the parodist ; they can call attention to the balance proper to be observed between narrative and dialogue, and show, by reference to the masters (to Sterne and Congreve, for example ) how vividness and dra. matic suspense may be imparted to dialogue without loss of naturalness ; they may incite the hearer to learn from Steele that writing may be very simple, yet very distinguished, from Stevenson that subtlety is one thing and obscurity quite another. The professor can, and should, preach with parrot-like persistency : “ Lucidity lucidity — lucidity !”
And if, after all this, A. B. does not write a good novel, not much harm is done. Incidentally he will, if wisely directed, have read and pondered a lot of fine literature. For my part, I have some suspicion that this idea may be in the minds of the learned men who have ordained the classes of which I have been talking ; if so, they may, perhaps, after all, be wise to make the preliminary examination very easy. The University Monthly.
SELLING THE SHORT STORY.
The editors of the better class of magazines are continually howling for stories. If they get a good story from a writer they follow him up with requests for more. If they see
a good story or two in another magazine, they write to the author and ask if they cannot have something from him. They are on the watch all the time for any one who has the gift of tive.
These are the facts of the case, well known to every one in the publishing busi
On the other side are the theories
beloved of budding authors who feel the germs of genius within them. The authors of unpublished manuscripts
to have two standard grievances against editors. The first is that editors will accept any old thing if the writer has a name. The second is that editors will never tell an unknown author why they refuse his story.
The antagonism between the aspiring author and the unsympathetic publisher undoubtedly exists. What is the real cause of it and whose fault is it? With a view to getting at the truth of the matter, the writer undertook to get upon speaking terms with the editors of fifteen of the leading magazines published in America to-day, and also to make some practical experiments of his own, so as to test the truth of the charges continually made against the well-known editor by the unknown author.
The result of these interviews seems to prove pretty conclusively that if the unknown author cannot get his story published it is entirely his own fault, and that the faults which lead to his discomfiture can be grouped under three heads.
To begin with the most common fault of all, the manuscript may be all right, the situations well described, and the dialogue clever, but — no story.
In the next group of failures are those inanuscripts in which the story is there, but is not properly arranged or told. This is a fault which puts a manuscript just in the balance. Whether the editor thinks enough of it to bother further with it is largely a matter of the humor of the moment. It is very much like the hesitation of a person in buying something that is not quite what he wants, but which could be made to do by spending a little time and trouble on its alteration.
The third class of failures is stories which are all right, but are not suited to the magazine to which they are This is the cause of nine-tenths of the failures of inexperienced authors.
One of the most extraordinary delusions of the novice in authorship is that his manuscript is not even read. One often hears of pages gummed together as a test, and so
The reply to this charge is that it is not always necessary to separate the yolk of an egg from the shell to find out that it is rotten.
If writers only knew the eagerness with which the publisher's Reader scans every story that comes into the office from a new source, they would quickly get over the idea that their stories were returned unread. Many of the writers of established reputation are written out, and the magazine editor is tireless in his quest for new ideas, a fresh style, an unexploited field. All he asks is that the new story shall fit into the style of architecture on which his niagazine is built.
The one absolutely hopeless case is the 'writer who has no story to tell, but who can fill up fifteen pages of typewriting with a mixture of dialogue and incident that leads nowhere. Several of the editors interviewed spoke feelingly of the time and trouble wasted in wading through this sort of authorship.
“This sort of writer,” remarked a Reader for one of the best known magazines, minds me of a young fellow who applied for a job in a carpenter's shop and brought a perfectly smooth piece of board as a sample of what he could do. The carpenter asked him what it was for or what it fitted, and found that it did not fit anything, but was simply a beautifully smooth piece of work, planed and sand-papered, top, bottom, and sides.
"The carpenter told the young fellow to take it back home again and bring it to him next day with a mortise and tenon joint in it, or an O. G. panel on one side — anything to show what the work on it was for." Some people do not
to understand,” remarked another Reader, the short story should be restricted to a single incident. If it is a story of adventure there must be only one adventure. If it is a love affair it must be only one episode in the courtship. If it is a character sketch it must deal with one trait of character only.
“ There is no more common mistake made by would-be magazine writers than to imagine that a short story is a condensed novel. A short story should be like a flash