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“ The Child with the Violin," which was originally printed in the Reader Magazine. Mr. Stott is now living in Knightstown, Ind., where he is a close student of both nature and human nature. He is at present at work upon two longer efforts for book publication.
of Wilkes Barre, Penn. He has been for many years a correspondent for a number of metropolitan newspapers, Wilkes Barre, in the heart of the anthracite coal fields, being an important news centre, especially regarding coal matters. Mr. Ridsdale has made a special study of the mining industry, and his story in Short Stories is a description of life in a mining village. He has written a number of mining stories, and while Harper's Young People was in existence he contributed to it a number of Revolutionary War stories, some of which have been published in book form. Owing to his time being taken up by newspaper work, Mr. Ridsdale has not written much for the magazines in late years. He wrote a number of Irish fairy stories for the New York Sun some years ago, and last December the National Magazine published one, called “The Disbelavin' of It.” He has also written a number of stories for newspaper syndicates, and some special articles on railroad wrecks and mining accidents for the New York Evening Post, and for Leslie's nthly while it was published.
Eleanor Stuart, author of the story,
Steinfeld's Hunting," which printed in McClure's for March, is now Mrs. Farris Robbins Childs — Eleanor Stuart Childs — and before her marriage, which took her to the East, especially to Africa, as her husband's firm of Childs & Co. is an importing and exporting concern, she had always lived in New York, where she had written for the magazines since she was sixteen years old. “Three Blind Mice," published last July in Scribner's Magazine, was immediately translated into French and German, and her novel, “ The Postscript," published at the beginning of this year by McClure, was well received. She hopes to finish a long novel for early autumn publication, and she has several short stories coming out in the summer magazines. Mrs. Childs says that “Bibi Steinfeld's Hunting' called forth many letters, and that the incident of poor Steinfeld's being devoured by a lion who returned to drink his bath water is a perfectly true happening, and one well known to East Africans.
PERSONAL GOSSIP ABOUT AUTHORS.
Roscoe Gilmore Stott, whose poem, “Winds o' March," appeared in Putnam's Magazine for March, is the son of one of the most widely-known educators in the Middle West, his father having been for thirty-six years at the head of Franklin College in Indiana. Mr. Stott showed an aptness for things literary while yet in college, and had some verse accepted then. At his graduation in 1904 his class gave his own college comedy, “The Wizard of Zu Zu.” The same year he won first place in the Metropolitan Magazine's contest for short verse. After a year's graduate work at Chicago University, he taught English in Drury College, Missouri, for a while. He is now giving his entire time to magazine work, and has had both verse and prose accepted by Putnam's Magazine, Lippincott's, the World To-Day, the Pacific Monthly, the Ladies' World, and lesser magazines, and he has done additional work for the Chicago Tribune. His first recognition of any prominence was the wide copying given his sonnet,
Collins.— In his recollections of Wilkie Collins, published in the Saturday Evening Post, William Winter quotes the novelist's account of the grievous conditions under which his story, “The Moonstone,” was written. He had for some years suffered excruciating pain, caused by rheumatic gout in the eyes. “My suffering was so great,” he said to his friend, “when I was writing 'The Moonstone,' that I could not control myself and keep quiet. My cries and groans so deeply distressed my amanuensis, to whom I was dictating, that he could not continue his work and had to leave me. After that I em
ployed several men, with the same result ; his 1856, second version of “St. Antony." no one of them could endure the strain. At He had been advised by the sapient Du last I engaged a young woman, stipulating Camp to cast the manuscript into the fire, that she must utterly disregard my suffer- after a reading before Bouilhet and Du ings and attend solely to my words. This Camp lasting thirty-three hours. But he she declared that she could do and would do, had refused. This was in September, 1849. and this, to my amazement (because the Du Camp declares that he asked him to essay most afflicting of my attacks came upon me the “Delaunay affair," meaning the Delaaiter her arrival), she indubitably and ex- marre story. This Flaubert did, and the reactly did. I was blind with pain, and I lay sult was the priceless history of Charles and on the couch writhing and groaning. In Emma Bovary. D'Aurevilly attacked the that condition and under those circum- book; Baudelaire defended it. Later Tur
“ After all, you stances I dictated the greater part of “The genieff wrote to Flaubert : Moonstone.'"
Flaubert !” George Sand motherly consoler. Their ters are
deFlaubert. He was a Viking, a full-blooded
lightful. She did not understand the bluff, man, who scorned sensible hygiene ; he took
naïf Gustav -- she who composed so flowno exercise beyond a walk in the morning, a
ingly and could turn on or off her prose like walk in the evening on his terrace, and in
the tap of a kitchen hydrant ( the simile is an occasional swim in the Seine.
her own). How could she fathom the torHe ate copiously, was moderate in drinking,
mented desire of her friend for perfection, but smoked fifteen or twenty pipes a day,
for the blending of idea and image, for the abused black coffee, and for months at a
eternal pursuit of the right word, the shapelyo stretch worked fifteen hours out of the
sentence, the cadenced coda of a paragraph ? twenty-four at his desk --- and such work !
And of the larger demands of style — of the He warned his disciple, Guy de Maupassant,
tone of a page, a chapter, a book, why should against too much boating as being destruc
this fluent and graceful writer, called George tive of mental productivity. In 1870 another
Sand, concern herself with such supercrisis was brought on by protracted labors
fluities? It was always an altitudo with over the revision of the definitive version of
Flaubert – the most copious, careless of the “ St. Antony." His travels in Nor
correspondents. He had set for himself an mandy, in the East, his visits to London
impossible standard of perfection and an ( 1851 ) and to Righi-Kaltbad in the Swiss,
ideal of impersonality in art neither of which together with sojourns in Paris — where he
he realized. But there is no outward sign had a little apartment — make up the itin
of his conflicts in his work ; all trace of the erary of his fifty-eight years. Is it any won
labor bestowed upon his paragraphs is abder that he died of apoplexy, stricken at his
sent. His style is simple, direct, large ; desk, he of violently sanguine temperament,
above all, clear the clarity of classic prose. bull-necked, blood always in his face ?...
His declaiming aloud his sentences has “ Bouvard et Pécuchet" was
been adduced to prove his absence of sanity. ished. Its increasing demands killed Flau- Beethoven, too, was pronounced crazy by bert. In his desk were found many cahiers
his various landladies because he sang and of notes taken to illustrate the fatuity of
howled in his voice of a composer composimankind, its stupidity, its bêtise. He was as tions in the making.
Flaubert was the pospitiless as Swift or Schopenhauer in his con
sessor of an accurate musical ear. Not tempt for low ideals and vulgar pretensions,
without justice did Coppée call him 'the for the very bourgeois, from whom he
Beethoven of French prose." His sense of came...
rhythm was acute ; he carried it so far that After the scandal caused by the prosecu- he would sacrifice grammar to rhythmic flow. tion of “Madame Bovary," that austere, He tested his sentences aloud. Once in his moral book, Flaubert was afraid to publish apartment, Rue Murillo, overlooking Parc
Monceau, he rehearsed a page of a book for hours. Belated coachmen, noting the open windows, hearing an outrageous vocal noise, concluded that a musical soirée was in progress. Gradually the street filled on either side with carriages in search of passengers ; but the guests never emerged from the house. In the early morning the lights were extinguished, and the oaths of the disappointed coachmen must have been enjoyed by Flaubert.
He would annotate 300 volumes for a page of facts. His bump of scrupulousness was large. In twenty pages he would sometimes save three or four from destruction. He did not become, however, as captious as Balzac in the handling of proofs. A martyr of style, he was not an enameller in precious stones, not a patient mosaic worker, super
imposing here and there a precious verbal . jewel. First the image, and then its appro
priate garb ; sometimes image and phrase were born simultaneously, as was the case with Richard Wagner. These extraordinary things may happen to men of genius who are neither opium eaters nor lunatics. The idea that Flaubert was
addicted to drugs — beyond the quinine with which in his boyhood his good father dosed him after the fashion of those days - is ridiculous. The gorgeous visions of “Saint Antony were the results of stupendous preparatory studies, a stupendous power of fantasy and a stupendous concentration. Opium superinduces visions, but not the power and faculty of attention to record them in terms of literature for forty years.
George Saintsbury has pronounced “Saint Antony” the most perfect specimen of dream literature extant ; and because of its precision in details, its architectonic, its deep-hued waking hallucinations. – New York Sun.
Goldsmith. - Oliver Goldsmith underpaid man from start to finish.
Fifty pounds ( $250 ) for “The Vicar of Wakefield” was bad enough, yet for “The Traveler” he got but £20 ( $100 ), and £5 ( $25) for his "
English Grammar." For “The Deserted Village," however, his publisher sent him 100 guineas ( $500 ). This he at once returned, with the message : “It is too
much ; it is near five shillings a couplet, which is more than any bookseller can afford or, indeed, any modern poetry is worth.” So he died with $10,000 worth of debts. “Was ever poet so trusted before ? ” said Dr. Johnson.
Mendes. —It is strange that so prolific a writer - he died with some 140 volumes to his credit — should have worked with much difficulty. The machinery of his mental processes worked only after vast persuasions. He approached his task with dread and an almost overwhelming sense of incapacity, an experience that may be not without its comfort to younger writers who are disposed to think that literary ability should be necessarily marked by a perpetual gushing from the founts of inspiration. He said himself that he would lock himself in his study soon after noon. Then he would smoke and idle for an hour, hoping vainly that the ideas would come unforced. But they never did. Then for another hour he would sit at his desk, the words coming with an infinite unwillingness : “ It seems as if I
never get to the bottom of the page. Afterward it goes along better. I stop at five or six. And the remarkable thing is that writing becomes harder for me the older I grow and the more I write." - Paris Letter in the Argonaut.
Oppenheim. - E. Phillips Oppenheim, who is one of the most prolific writers of the day, has a manner of telling a story that is all his own. Instead of sitting down and writing out chapter after chapter, he dictates his stories to his secretary.
The latter goes with the author everywhere, and whenever the mood strikes him, whenever the inspiration comes and the ideas formulate themselves into a situation, he calls his secretary, and as he paces up and down the room talks the story off. Some of his chapters have been written in railway trains, in hotels, at his home — anywhere where the mood happened to come to him. This manner of turning out his stories accounts for his easy, forceful, interesting style. Every one who reads his stories remarks that it is as if some one were sitting before him relating the story by word of mouth, and that is
practically the case. After the secretary has to ape that quality. I was unsuccessful, and typewritten what he has taken down, the I knew it, and tried again and again, and was author proves up the lines, perhaps makes unsuccessful and always unsuccessful; but an alteration here and there, and the story at least in these vain bouts I got some pracis done. - Boston Globe.
tice in rhythm, in harmony, in construction, Riley. - James Whitcomb Riley tells of an and the co-ordination of parts. I have thus inquisitive lady who once heard him say played the sedulous ape to Hazlitt, to Lamb, something on how poorly paid was the pro- to Wordsworth, to Sir Thomas Browne, to fession of literature. “But, Mr. Riley,” said
Defoe, to Hawthorne, to Montaigne, to she, “surely you have no cause for complain
Beaudelaire, and to Obermann. . . . Even at ing. You must be a very rich man. I the age of thirteen I had tried to do justice understand you get a dollar a word for all
to the inhabitants of the famous city of you write.” “Ye-e-es, madam,” said Riley,
Peebles in the style of the ‘Book of Snobs.' with his slow drawl, “but sometimes I sit
“ That, or like it, is the way to learn to all day and can't think of a word — not even
write ; whether I have profited or not, that a dialect word.”
is the way. It was so Keats learned, and
there never was a finer temperament for litStevenson.-In “ Memories and Portraits," Robert Louis Stevenson tells us of his self
erature than Keats's ; it was so, if we could
trace it out, that all men have learned to discipline in acquiring the art of writing. He says :
write ; and that is why a revival of letters is “I kept always two books in my pocket,
always accompanied or heralded by a cast
back to earlier or fresher models. one to read, one to write in. As I walked,
Perhaps I hear some one cry out, But my mind was busy fitting what I saw with appropriate words ; when I sat by the road
this is not the way to be original. It is not ; side I would read, or a pencil and a penny
nor is there any way but to be born so. Nor version book would be in my hand to note
yet, if you are born original, is there anydown the features of the scene or commemo
thing in this to clip the wings of originality. rate some halting stanzas. Thus I lived with
Burns is the very type of a prime force words, and what I thus wrote was for no
in letters : he was of all men the most imi
tative. ulterior use, it was written consciously for
Shakespeare himself, the imperial, practice. It was not so much that I wished
proceeds directly from a school. . . . Nor to be an author ... as that I had vowed
is there anything here that should astonish that I would learn to write, ... and I prac
the considerate. Before he can tell what ticed to acquire it. ... Description was the
cadences he truly prefers, the student should
have tried all that are possible ; before he principal field of my exercise ; for there is
can choose and preserve a fitting key of always something worth describing, and town and country are but one continuous
words he should long have practiced the litsubject. ... This
erary scales ; and it is only after years of was all excellent, doubt ; so were the diaries I tried sometimes
such gymnastics that he can sit down at last, to keep, but always very speedily discarded, legions of words swarming to his call, dozens finding them a school of posturing and
of turns of phrase simultaneously bidding melancholy self-deception.
for his choice, and he himself knowing what “ There was perhaps more profit, as there
he wants to do and . . . able to do it.” was certainly more effort, in my
Wilde. -- Possibly the smallest edition of a labors at home. Whenever I read a book or book ever published has been issued from a passage that particularly pleased me, in the Torch Press of Cedar Rapids, Ia. It is which a thing was said or an effect rendered an edition of ten copies of “The Life of with propriety, in which there was either Oscar Wilde," by Judge Willis Vickery, of some force or some happy distinction in the Cleveland, O. Needless to say, the work is style, I must sit down at once and set myself not on sale anywhere, nine copies having
been distributed among his friends, the tenth remaining in his possession.
Judge Vickery is a great authority on Wilde and his writings, and he has the finest collection of Wilde's works in America. Not only has he every edition of every work, but he has all the books which Wilde had with him during his confinement in Reading jail.
In “The Life of Oscar Wilde" Vickery makes the prediction that the time will come when Wilde will be regarded as the greatest literary genius since Shakspere. – New York World.
CURRENT LITERARY TOPICS.
Room for Business Fiction. The time seems ripe for a new literature - fiction dealing with the problems of business, with the effect of business on life, and of life on business. A good beginning has been made - enough to show the possibilities of the new field. But it is a field of a thousand acres, of which only one acre is under cultivation.
The chief reason offered by literary analysts to explain the predominating popularity of fiction as a form of literature is that the novel gives experience by proxy. On this basis alone the opportunity to interest millions of persons and at the same time serve them is very great. Everyone is familiar with the fact that an experienced business man can in an hour's talk give to a young man ideas, impressions, and viewpoints which might otherwise have taken him years to acquire. And yet a good novel can do just that - give ideas, impressions, and viewpoints. The eagerness with which all progressive men and women seek to know whatever will help them in their business affords a pre-established interest which no writer could fail to appreciate.
Business is so complicated nowadays — so divided into departments, that it is harder and harder for a person to get a proper impression of his part in true relation to the whole. And yet it is chiefly this impression — this comprehensive conception of things
- that distinguishes the big man from the little one.
If the novel could in any degree help to give that, it would be a boon, not only to the individual, but to the whole business world. For of many things greatly needed in business, one is more
men of larger conception, broader sympathies, and more human interest in the effects of business on life. And the need is not merely for a few men to have these qualities supereminently, but that all men should have them in a larger degree. What a field for the business novel !
But the novel, to be what it should be, needs most of all to involve an interpretation of life. It needs romance. And yet what greater possibilities could be found for romantic situation than in the business world, where millions of men and women meet, under a million varying conditions — not to mention the influence of romance in social life upon the ambitions and developments of business life?
One thing, however, is lacking. Men who write novels seldom know very much about actual business life. Their training, experience, and interests have all been, on the whole. in other fields. They often lack the comprehensive view of business themselves, and are in a poor way to impart it to others through the actions and thoughts of literary characters. But the case is not hopeless. The actual situation needs only to be acknowledged. Writers largely gain their material from observing and digesting the experiences of others, and there is no fixed reason why this could not be done in gathering material for business fiction. But it would involve much labor and appreciative insight to make it true to business life and only thus could a writer hope to gain the attention of the thinking element of business people. — Collier's Weekly.
A Suggestive Literary Coincidence. - Names of characters in fiction are very often the result of unconscious cerebration, and the results are sometimes amusing. Not long ago the name of Horace Hazeltine, author of “The City of Encounters," appeared with that of Campbell MacCulloch, the shortstory writer, side by side in the contents