« iepriekšējāTurpināt »
peared in the National Magazine, and “Musi- ist. Mr. Kaufman is only thirty years old, cians of Moo-che-roo," a cannibal isle yarn but at the age of nineteen he was city editor in the Gray Goose. Mr. Carey prefers to of a Washington newspaper, and at the age write baseball stories and stories of musi- of twenty he was advertising manager of one cians and theatrical people. Of his baseball of the largest department stores in Philastories, “The Fanatical Fans of Fantii Isle" delphia. Nine months ago he began a series (a humorous yarn of the capnibal islands ), of signed editorials on every-day topics, “ The Pitcher That Went Too Often," and which were published on the first page of the “ The Out-Fielder from Oklahoma” Worker's Magazine of the Chicago Tribune, ‘soon to appear. Mr. Carey had thirty short and when these were transferred to the Chistories accepted during 1908.
cago Record-Herald that paper increased its
circulation by nearly 20,000 copies. The Red Floyd Dell, whose poem, “Tamburlaine," Book has also published several similar artiappeared in Harper's Magazine for January, cles of his. Mr. Kaufman's series of twenty was born in 1887 at Barry, Ill., and has until articles on advertising were published in recently made his home in Davenport, Ia. more than 200 American newspapers. His He is now
reporter on the staff of the Chi- novel, The Stolen Throne," published sevcago Evening Post.
His work in verse, eral years ago, was one of the “six best some part of which has appeared in Harper's, sellers” for a while. The exploits of Frankthe Century, McClure's, and other magazines, lyn Poynter, Commercial Free-Lance, as is an attempt to express, in the singing related in the Popular Magazine, are really measures bequeathed to us by Herrick and business stories from the inside, for Mr. the Elizabethan lyrists,
distinctly Kaufman is president of the Herbert Kaufmodern moods. His ambitions, however, lie man & Handy Company, with offices in Chiin the direction of novel-writing, where he
cago and New York. hopes to find greater freedom for the expression of the ideas which he holds as a Randolph Marshall, author of the story, dynamist monist and Socialist.
“The Fleet with Salt on Its Tail," in the
Popular Magazine for January, was born in “Lyman Eastman,” the name signed to Philadelphia, where his father, William L. the story, “The Revenge of Big Joe,” in the Marshall, is one of the oldest members of January Century, is the pen-name of a very the bar. For eighteen years Mr. Marshall busy professor of philosophy and education has been engaged in active editorial work in the historic College of William and Mary, on newspapers in Philadelphia, London, and in Virginia. Professor H. E. Bennett is best New York, and for the most part any literknown for his educational activities in ary work that he has done has been disposed Florida. He was graduated from the Pea- of through that handiest medium, the Sunday body Normal College and from the Univer- magazine. He is also the author of many sity of Chicago. Although Professor Ben- one-act plays which have made the vaudenett has done much writing in educational ville rounds. About a year ago Mr. Marshall lines, “ The Revenge of Big Joe" is his first rejoined the staff of the New York Herald, effort in the way of story-writing. His mul- after an absence of nine years. tifarious college duties give almost no elbowroom for the exercise of literary proclivities. PERSONAL GOSSIP ABOUT AUTHORS.
Herbert Kaufman, who is writing the series of stories on Franklyn Poynter for the Popular Magazine, of which “ The Fifth John James" in the January number is one, is a well-known advertising man, besides being a newspaper and magazine writer and a novel
Brisbane. — Everybody has heard of Arthur Brisbane - everybody that talks and reads. Everybody knows him as the journalist who writes the editorials in the Hearst papers, receiving therefor a salary in excess of that paid to the President of the United States.
William Inglis, writing intimately of the man in Harper's Weekly, says :
“ There are so many Arthur Brisbanes that he is difficult to describe. Not one of them will stand still long enough to be weighed and measured. At one moment he is busy with the editorial thirteen-inch shells he hurls against the 'predatory rich'; the next he is all wrapped up in the fate of a nest of helpless little blind mice who must die because their mother has been trapped, or gravely and reverently discussing the character of God, or urging men who criticise others to find out their own faults first, or speculating about the happy future when we shall easily work, and play, and live upon the floor of the ocean. His writings have the power of Niagara's torrent and the delicacy of the radiant bow that hovers over it. Beneath a surface of the utmost simplicity, his prose is possessed of a subtlety and force that captivate every reader. In the Hearst newspapers he addresses daily in every part of the United States an audience of several millions of Americans : entertains them, charms, startles, persuades, fascinates them. He is always urging, exhorting, driving them to THINK for themselves and making them think his way. The crowd believes in him implicitly. The rich and powerful classes whom he bitterly assails hate his doctrine and like the man."
Mr. Inglis tells how Mr. Brisbane climbed the stairs at his home to a big work-room filled with books. “In the midst of this big room a phonograph with a long brown horn was perched on a plain little table that looked like the stand of a sewing machine. Brisbane threw a switch that set the phonograph cylinder revolving, and he began to dictate an editorial. When he came down stairs an hour later he had three cylinders carefully wrapped in a paper box.
“Ever since his early fame as a reporter Brisbane has been noted for turning out a tremendous lot of copy, so it was with no idle curiosity that I asked him what was the greatest number of editorials he had ever done in one day.
“Once I did thirty-two in a day,' he replied. - 'I began in the afternoon and dic
tated until I was through the last one. It was a case of need.'
“You had your subjects all thought out in advance, of course ?'
"No, I had n't,' he answered. I had read the papers that day, as usual, and I had been looking around for a few days. It was n't a good way to work, though. I would n't do it again.'
“ Consider the amount of labor compressed into that afternoon and evening : thirty-two editorials, averaging 1,000 words apiece ! And then this extraordinary man probably worked as hard as ever next day. It is that wonderful resiliency, it seems to me, which chiefly distinguishes him from all other men. Other workers can toil prodigiously on occasion, but this man does a prodigious feat, then calmly proceeds about his business, as usual. Writing editorials is only part of his daily industry — probably not one-third of it.”
FitzGerald. -- One day in 1859 a certain personage by the name of Whiteley Stokes was walking along the streets of London. He paused in front of a book shop, being a lover of books, to look at the bargains offered in the stalls of the dealer outside his door. Fingering over the booklets in the penny box, he came upon a brown-covered pamphlet which had originally been published at five shillings, but which, apparently, had met with such a poor reception that it had faller to the level of the penny box. The pamphlet contained quatrains from the Persian of Omar Khayyam translated into English by an anonymous writer.
Investing a penny, Stokes took the pamphlet home. After reading it, he passed it on to Dante Gabriel Rossetti, who in turn read it and passed it on to Swinburne. All seemed to think that the verses were poetry of a high order, and spread the knowledge. It was discovered that the translation was by the well-known recluse, Edward FitzGerald, who two years previously had offered some of “the less wicked” of the quatrains to Frazer's Magazine. The editor failing to recognize their merit, they did not appear in that publication, and FitzGerald, tired of scanning the pages for them, gave them to his publisher,
Mr. Quaritch, who issued them in the fiveshilling pamphlet. FitzGerald was born March 31, 1809, at Bredfield House, near the market town of Woodbridge, in Suffolk. He died June 14, 1883, at Merton Rectory, Norfolk, and was buried at Boulge. – New York Tribune.
CURRENT LITERARY TOPICS.
The Plot of a Sardou Play. — Sardou sat working at a scenic adaptation of Voltaire's
Candide," and it hung fire, not because there was no prospect of a dinner, but because his pipe was empty and he had not a penny wherewith to buy tobacco. Suddenly, on opening a drawer of his table, he uttered a cry of joy at the sight of five or six tickets of a “wine company” which gave its customers a voucher for twenty centimes for every bottle purchased. A quarter of an hour afterward he was the happy possessor of a silver franc piece and some sous, besides.
Picking up a scrap of paper off the sanded floor of the tobacco shop, he was about to light his weed, when the words “ Marie Laurent” caught his eye.
unconsidered trifle” turned out to be the fragment of a letter from the well-known actress to her son Charles. Sardou put his find in his pocket, but on his way home his plot-weaving faculties, stimulated by the fumes of the tobacco, at once reasserted themselves.
“This is the innocent letter of a mother to her boy,” he said to himself. “Supposing, however, it had been the letter of a woman to her lover, and falling by a similar accident into the hands of the woman's husband, wishing to light his cigar
The suggestion led to his play, “Les Pattes de Mouche.” – London Chronicle.
Fashions in Fiction. – According to a dispatch from London published last Sunday, there are indications that England is at the close of one literary era and on the eve of another. This conclusion was reached by a publisher who has been investigating recent sales of books in England.
He stated that the English public no longer asked merely to be amused. He claimed that
The Prisoner of Zenda” school of novel has lost interest, also problem novels.
“All the signs of a declining epoch are here,” he maintained.
And this view is borne out by what men say who know the book trade in New York. According to one of them, the ultraromantic novel is quite dead. Only a few years ago books dealing with occurrences in mediaeval times were among the most popular with the public. Now, according to the above-mentioned publisher, the public will have none of them.
“Our firm,” he remarked, “had a couple of very unfortunate experiences recently with novels of this sort."
When he was asked whether he noted any particular tendency in the books being published and read just now, he said that he saw a great glut of books which “attempt to make a novel out of a political tract.” Novels of this sort, he pointed out, were originally called into being by the success of * The Honorable Peter Stirling” some years ago. But, whereas that success was due primarily to the great interest attaching to the character of Peter Stirling himself as man, aside from anything in the political side of the book, the new books — or many of them - make the political side their principal feature.
Another man connected with one of the largest publishing and book-selling houses in the city was inclined decidedly to apply what the London publisher said about the coming of a new literary era to this country, as well as to England.
“Readers of books," he said, are becoming interested more and more in what is good, and losing interest in what is merely trivial. Although the 'best sellers' of to-day sell just as widely, even more widely, in some cases, than a few years ago, when they first began to command immense sales, there is much less chance nowadays for the obscure novel. This is due to over-production. Novels which a few years ago were sure to sell a few thousand copies, enough to justify publishers for putting them on the market, now fall flat. Hence there are signs that during the coming year this over-production
of mediocre fiction will be very much cur- makes a comfortable living by turning out tailed. From the lists of several publishers two or three well-padded novels every year ; which I have already seen I feel sure of this. the talented amateur, who is formidable by
“Another very hopeful sign is the in- his and her numbers ; and the incompetent, creased interest among readers in memoirs whose other name is legion. and essays. This year there are a number The result of insisting upon a high standof books of this kind on the market - sev- ard would be to shut out the flagrantly ineral about Napoleon, for instance which competent at once, and the sooner they turn are selling remarkably well. People really their attention to something else, the better. are reading this kind of literature more and It would compel the talented amateur to
Much interest has been shown of learn his art, and perhaps three years instead late, too, in books of travel.” – New York of three months would be required to proTimes.
duce a book that would pass muster. Real A Higher Standard Needed in Fiction. It enthusiasts would give the needed time, withis the plain truth that about ten times too
out regard to compensation ; the others many novels are now offered to the public. would do better to take up some less laboriEven if they were all good, there would be
ous form of literary trilling — society verse, danger of a surfeit. But since they are
say, or limericks. The hard-trotting profesnearly all bad and the public has no “poison
sional hacks would find themselves obliged to squad” except harrassed and good-natured
consider quality as well as quantity, and perreviewers, who would rather praise books
haps to spend a year on a novel to bring it than read them, it is not surprising that the
up to the mark, instead of scribbling at the impression has got abroad that fiction is ex- rate of a chapter a day. And the way would hausted. A more critical attitude on the part
be left clear for the occasional genius and of publishers would work wonders for the re
the few and fit among the artists. If there vival of the art. To refuse to print any
were less literary rubbish there would be novels because so many bad ones are being
more demand for the best new books ; the written would be the height of absurdity.
literary-minded find them in any case, but it But a publisher who would insist upon real
is otherwise with the larger public. – Springmerit as a condition of publication would find
field Republican. that the problem of over-supply would The Possibilities of Poetry. — Madison J. miraculously disappear.
Cawein has permitted the New York Times There are not, as a matter of fact, enough Saturday Review of Books to print a letter writers in the United States capable of really written to him by T. B. Aldrich in 1902, in good work to give us a plethora. Let us put which Mr. Aldrich says : the people who write novels into five grades : “As I once said among some notes in the (1) Geniuses ; (2) conscientious artists ; Century Magazine : 'There is always (3) hurried professionals ; (4) talented heavy demand for fresh mediocrity. In amateurs ; (5) the incompetent. Now if a every generation the least cultivated taste country has one genius at work in fiction, it has the largest appetite.' At the present is lucky; two geniuses make a “period.” moment dialectic inanities with a pleasant As for the skilled and careful artists who re- jingle to them find a ready market. Purely fuse to be hurried and hold themselves up to meditative poetry, poems of landscape, withthe highest level of which they are capable, out figures or human action, never had a one might almost count them on the ten large sale in this country
or any other fingers. Nor can they flood the market, country. since they steadfastly reiuse to do facile slip- “But if any one of our poets of to-day shod work. The bulk of contemporary fic- were to produce a poem like ‘Evangeline' tion is necessarily produced by the remain- or 'Snow-Bound,' he would lack neither pubing classes — the industrious professional lisher nor readers. The stagnation of the who has acquired a fluent technique, and poetry market is not the fault of the lovers
of poetry, but of the makers of it. The kind that is wanted is not forthcoming. When the right note is struck there will be a loud response. Kipling's ‘Recessional' found as many listeners as any poet could desire. Longfellow is the only American poet that ever made an ample yearly income (say ten or fifteen thousand dollars ) by his
The poetical works of Lowell, Whittier, Bryant, and Emerson have met with only a moderate sale. Whittier's one notable success financially was 'Snow-Bound,' of which 20,000 copies were sold in the year of publication. I am told by Houghton Mifflin Company that the demand for Longfellow, Whittier, Lowell, etc., has not fallen off. Small volumes of verse by men less famous are as remunerative as ever they were. During the last five years Houghton Mifflin Company have published (at their own expense ) a score of such volumes. Several of them did not pay for the binding, several have been reprinted (in editions of 700 copies ) two or three es. This is just the same fortune that would have attended these books had they been published twentyfive or thirty years ago.
“The situation in England is similar to that in the United States. In each case the one poet who had a great following is dead, and no one has come to take his place. Is it the fault of the public, or the poet who does n't come ? Perhaps he is with us incognito. When Keats was laid in his grave at Rome, there were not twelve — no, there were not two- – men in England who suspected that a great poet had been laid at rest. Leigh Hunt had a strong idea that Keats was a fine poet, but not as fine a poet as Leigh Hunt. Byron, Moore, Rogers, and Southey could not read 'The Eve of St. Agnes' and “Hyperion.' No great poetry (except, possibly, in the case of Tennyson) was ever immediately popular ; by immediately I mean in the poet's lifetime. Tennyson was neglected for years.
“I believe in a splendid literary future for this country. After the all-absorbing novelists have run their course, we shall have a generation, not of poets, perhaps, but of dramatists — blank verse fellows. Imagina
tion is not going to come to nothing in a vast nation like ours.
"So put all your thought, and soul, and art into the verses you are writing to-day. . . It is enough to be a poet.
“ His work outlives him - there's his glory!"
Slips in English. – A teacher at Wellesley College has prepared for the benefit of her students the following list of "words, phrases, and expressions to be avoided":
Guess," for “suppose" or think." “ Fix,” for “arrange
or “prepare." * Ride" and “ drive" interchangeable. (Americanism.)
Real” as an adverb in expressions real good,” for “really or "very good," et cetera. “Some ” ten days, for “about" ten days.
as I know," for not "that " I know. Storms,” for it
“Try" an experiment, for “make periment.
Singular subject with contracted plural verb, for example : "She don't skate well."
Plural pronoun with singular antecedent : Every
“woman" do “their” duty ; or, If you look “any one" straight in the face “they” will Ainch.
“ Expect," for suspect."
Party,” for “person."
Posted," for “informed."
Cunning," for “smart, dainty.”
Funny,” for “ odd" or "unusual." Does it look “good” enough, for “well" enough.
The matter of," for the matter “with." “Like” I do, for I do. Not “as good” as, for not
so good” as. “Between" seven, for “among” seven.
Seldom “or” ever, for seldom "if" ever, or “seldom or never."