Lapas attēli

But your



table of one of the magazines. Shortly after this Mr. Hazeltine, who reads fiction for one of the best known of New York's periodicals, found among the submitted manuscripts a tale by MacCulloch, entitled “The Fourth Dimension,” in which the hero, strangely enough, was called Professor Horace Hazeltine. From seeing the name in juxtaposition with his own, Mr. MacCulloch, it seems, had unconsciously retained it, and subsequently had made use of it in the fond belief that the combination was pure invention. — Publishers' Weekly.

Compensations of Novel Writing. – Novel writing, I repeat, is an independent, selfrespecting, pleasant business. If life be dull, and outside the snow falls drearily, and the limbs of the trees are wet, and bare, and broken, and people insist on sending in bills, with a scrape of the pencil you can, with your hero, under a strange flag and a burning sky, lead forlorn hopes, rescue imprisoned señoritas, dig for buried treasure, and find it, or place yourself upon a throne. If there is a cause that you think needs your valuable assistance, or a wrong that needs resistance," you may, in a novel, make your characters proclaim your views, and, whether he likes it or not, the unsuspecting reader must be your audience. Or, if your lady flouts you, you can establish her as your heroine, and pour into her ear all the thrilling words of love to which, in real life, she refuses to listen. She cannot rise disdainfully and walk away, or send down word that she is not at home. And, if you rejoice in an enemy, he is at your mercy. Under a hideous nom de plume, you can, in your novel, pillory him, and to your heart's content ridicule, and torture, and ruin him, financially, socially, physically, and finally lead him to the gallows. In a novel of mine, disguised as the chief villain, there was such an enemy. To him I did everything that my low and vindictive nature could suggest. I made his life a hell, and killed him off in poverty and under circumstances of the most degrading and humiliating nature. It is annoying that in real life I must still watch him steadily flourish and prosper. On Fifth avenue he is always just

missing me with his racing car, and at res. taurants, at the table next mine, he gives expensive dinners to those people I should most like to meet. But of the pleasure I derived from punishing him in my novel, as he will be punished in the next world, he cannot rob me.

There is no business in which one is so independent, or of which it may be so truly said that you carry it around with you under your hat. Wherever you go, your entire "plant" moves with you. You pay no rent, no taxes, no insurance. You are tied to no office, to no regular hours, to no fixed address. You fear neither strikes nor lockouts. There is no fellow clerk, who, just as you are packing for your summer holiday, suddenly marries, and takes your vacation time for his honeymoon. Instead, you proclaim your own legal holidays. As a rule, you proclaim too many of them. time is your own. If you elect to loaf, no

save yourself suffers. Certainly the reading public is none the poorer.

No matter where you travel, the postoffice will always carry your finished goods to your publisher, and for you he drums up trade and entices customers. When the lawyer, the doctor, or the business man goes on his vacation he loses his customers. Instead of making money, he is spending it. The novel writer can circumnavigate the globe, and at the same time his books still may be making money for him ; he may still

; be at work.

This winter I wrote a novel entirely of South America, of palm trees and the Southern Cross, while I was freezing in London, and looking out upon a yellow fog. And another novel, entirely about a London fog, I finished when I was at sea, off Cuba, and so seasick that, in comparison, a London fog seemed cheerful and attractive. Richard Harding Davis, in Collier's Weekly.

The Play aod the Novel Contrasted. Rather timidly to venture another generalization — one intended to be very sketchy indeed — the average novelist writes mainly about what people say to one another : the playwright is primarily concerned with what they do to one another. The playwright



« The

must carry on his play by action, he must regard even his dialogue essentially as action. Broadly, the play may be considered to be a pantomime with incidental speaking Otherwise why ask people to look at it instead of merely reading it? Of course this is taking the play purely as a play, and not as literature.

The two trades are intricately different. In the matter, for instance, of dialogue itself, the writer who has trained himself to write his words for printing is actually handicapped by that training when he writes words for an actor to speak. The effective speech put into the mouth of a character in a novel is only too often flatly ineffective when spoken by an actor in a dramatization, and the actor may deliver to really fine effect a speech which, printed in a novel, would

read” bald and flat. — Booth Tarkington, in Collier's Weekly.

The Profits of Writers. - It is likely that not more than one-tenth of the works of fiction published last year paid their authors in royalties sums equal to day wages for the mere time spent in composition.

“About ninety per cent. of all the works of fiction published are failures," said the head of one of the big publishing houses identified with fiction, “and what are published constitute only about one-thirtieth of what are written. If you sell 5,000 copies of a novel you credit yourself with a success, though the author of a book that sells this number of copies makes only about $500 if he is previously unknown and therefore gets only ten per cent. But you may sell less than 5,000 copies and still get out even unless you have spent much money in an effort to boom a book that won't be boomed.”

The most popular writers of fiction of the present day are able, of course, to command much higher percentages than the ten per cent. that the unknown writer receives. Take Robert W. Chambers or Winston Churchill, for example, who have behind them a long record of practically unbroken success. Each of these authors receives probably not less than twenty-five per cent.

on the sales of his books that sell nominally at $1.50.

Every now and then there wave” of fiction of a certain type, on the crest of which various authors ride to fortune. Miss Mary Johnston plunged success. fully into the swashbuckling seas with “To Have and to Hold,” “ Audrey," “ Prisoners of Hope," and so on, and a conservative expert estimates that her royalties, including those of dramatization, can scarcely have fallen far below $500,000.

It is a pretty conservative statement to say that since Mr. Churchill published Celebrities ” he never has written a novel that brought him in less than $50,000, and several of his books have far exceeded that amount.

Among the books that have most largely profited both author and publisher must be named “The Virginian,” by Owen Wister, of which nearly half a million copies were sold. The author's profit on this story, exclusive of the dramatic royalties, which were large, was not much if anything less than $100,000.

“The outlook for the future of fiction in this country," said the publisher quoted above, seems to me to be for tremendous sales at lower prices than those now prevailing. This country has a very high average of literacy. There are, say, 16,000,000 families in this country. Yet no novel has ever exceeded the million mark. ' David Harum' nearly reached it, yet only one family in eighteen read that book. The time is coming, and it is n't far off, when the * David Harum' mark will be eclipsed."

Another publisher remarked : “If you know any young authors who want to make money, tell them to write books for boys. These things have a way of going on and on, like Tennyson's brook, forever. My firm induced a fairly well-known author to write us a series of boys' stories. The initial sales did not please him, and he refused to write any more. But as time went on and the second and third years came around, with larger and larger royalty checks, he became interested, and now he's only too willing to



write yarns for the younger generation as impression seems to him the only legitimate long' as we want to publish them.” – New

Rodin defends his Balzac, calls it his York Sun.

masterpiece. Besides, the moment you bid Eleanor Abbott's Style. - Were it not for

an impressionist have a care lest he admit Miss Abbott's brilliancy, her charm, her

untruths, that moment you dull his percepgraphic fervor, her originality, her dashing

tiveness. The right course, I conclude, is to impressionism, a Clerk would hesitate to take our impressionists as we find them, point interrogation at certain passages, in

faults and all. Only, let not their disciples her story, “Woman's Only Business," which imagine that the errors of genius explain its appears in the March issue of Everybody's.. triumphs, or that, by similar crimes against Having acquired the habit of winning

the verities, minds of mediocre talents may prizes and admirers and deserved renown,

pass for inspired. — “The Clerk of the she is on the point of raising up a school

Day," in the Boston Transcript. of imitators, who will do themselves harm The Story of a Plot. — Casting bread upon unless they distinguish between the bull's- the waters is exemplified, in a curious way, eye shots of her genius and those that fly in the case of “The Girl and the Bill.” The wild. Searching the outlying districts, so author, Bannister Merwin, was formerly on to speak, I have picked up the following mis- the editorial staff of the Frank A. Munsey guided arrows :

Company. In his capacity as editor he fre“ The May-blossoms smelt altogether too quently suggested plots to those who were white."

fortunate enough to be regular contributors The young girl's contralto voice was lip- of fiction to the Munsey publications, but ping its magic way."

were unfortunate enough to be temporarily “ His eyelids came scrunching down.” without ideas. Among the plots given out

* The questions that crumbled from his in this way was the outline of “The Girl lips."

and the Bill.” The would-be author who re“The glass test-tube went brittling out of ceived it dallied with it a while, but at last Sagner's fingers."

returned the plot to Mr. Merwin, who put * Began talking messily.”

it away in his desk. When he resigned from “She hurled her flaming, irrevocable an

the editorial staff to make a business of writswer crash-bang into Sagner's astonished, ing fiction, he lost little time in writing impertinent face."

The Girl and the Bill.” As a contributor The Clerk is not for urging Miss Eleanor

he sent “ The Girl and the Bill” to the very Abbott to withdraw these astonishing

office where, as an editor, he had suggested phrases. However erroneous, they become the story, and it was immediately accepted. immensely interesting as revealing the ardor

Publishers' Weekly. of a mind working at white heat. If you Parody. – “No parodist is successful,”

a trip-hammer coming down on writes Professor Raleigh in his Introducglowing steel, you recall that not all the tion to “The Heroine," by Eaton Stannard sparks flew in conventional curves. Some Barrett, “who has not at some time fallen hit you, perhaps, and hurt. But it was a deeply under the spell of the literature that glorious festival of fury, for all that, and a he parodies. Parody is, for the most part, sight vivid beyond words. Let Miss Ab- a weak and clinging kind of tribute to the bott keep to her ways. She is no more fan- force of its original. Very perfect parodies, tastic than Blake, no more daring than which catch the soul, as well as the form, of Stephen Crane. Nor should we be wise to the models that they imitate, almost lose ask her to hold up her sentences to the test their identity and become a part of that of realism after she has written them. It which they were meant to ridicule. Feeble is an odd, though not a novel, trick of sen- parodies, where poor matter, not strong sibility that when an impressionist has enough to speak for itself, claims notice by missed interpreting an impression, the false the aid of a notorious tune, are even more


ever saw



conspicuously dependent on the vogue of their original. The art of a tailor is seen in the cut of a coat; to make a mechanical copy of it, substituting tartan or fustian for velvet, is what any Chinese slave can do. It is form in literature which is difficult to invent. The famous parodies (so to call them) are not parodies at all ; their freedom from the servility of parody is what has given them their place in literature. Cervantes may have thought that he could criticise and banter the romances of chivalry by telling the adventures of a poor and highminded gentleman traveling on the roads of Spain ; but once the new situation created it called for a new treatment. Fielding doubtless intended to parody Richardson by a tale of the chastity of a serving-man ; and it is easy to see how a mere wit would have carried out the design. But Fielding, like Cervantes, was too rich in ideas and too brave in purpose to be another man's mocking servitor."


THE ART CARAN D'Ache. Arthur Bartlett Maurice. Bookman ( 28 c. ) !or April. PLAGIARISM : Real

APPARENT. Bunford Samuel. Bookman ( 28 c. ) for April.

LITERARY MEN AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS. Brander Matthews. North American Review ( 38 c.) for April.

STORMFIELD. Mark Twain's new country home. Country Life in America for April.

AT HOME WITH THE QUEEN OF ROUMANIA (“Car. men Sylva ”). Illustrated. Marie Van Vorst. Lelineator ( 18 c. ) for April.

The NovelS OF MRS. HUMPHRY WARD. William Lyon Phelps. Forum ( 28 c. ) for April.

The NationAL LIBRARY. Illustrated. Angus Mc Sween. Van Norden's Magazine ( 18 c.) for April.

ANNA KATHARINE GREEN. Hugh C. Weir. Human Life ( 13 c. ) for April.

THE DIARY OF A COUNTRY Boy. With cartoons. Homer Davenport. Human Life ( 13 c. ) for April.

THE MESSAGE OF MR. G. K. CHESTERTON. Rev. John A. Hutton, M. A. Hibbert Journal ( 78 c. ) for April.

LITERARY MEN OF Brown. VI. - John Hay. With portraits. Brown Alumni Monthly ( 13 c.) for April.

THE MAKING OF A NEWSPAPER (Topeka State Capital). Illustrated. National Printer-Journalist ( 23 c. ) for March.

MEMORIES OF AUTHORS. Friends Over the Sea. Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins. Illustrated. William Winter. Saturday Evening Post ( 8 c.) for March 6.

Roosevelt AS CARTOON MATERIAL. Illustrated. John T. McCutcheon. Saturday Evening Post ( 8 c. ) for March 13.

“ PLAYING " THE DRAMA. The tribulations and per. quisites of novel writing and play writing. Richard Harding Davis. Collier's ( 13 c.) for March 20.

BREAKING INTO VAUDEVILLE. The genial art of writing one-act playlets, full o laughs or weeps. Sewell Collins. Collier's ( 13 c.) for March 20.

SISTER ARTS. Novel or drama for pathos and comic bits. Booth Tarkington. Collier's ( 13 c. ) for March 20.

ELINOR MACARTNEY LANE AND HER New NOVEL “ KATRINE.Ripley Hitchcock. Harper's Weekly ( 13 c. ) for March 27.

EDWARD FITZGERALD AND His Poet OF DESPAIR. With portrait. Rev. E. C. E. Dorion. Zion's Herald for March 3i.



( 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

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. )





Joel CHANDLER HARRIS. With portraits. James W. Lee. Century ( 38 c.) for April.

THE FORTY IMMORTALS. Jeanne Mairet. Atlantic ( 35 c.) for April.

CYMBELINE, Illustrated. Theodore Watts-Dunton. Harper's Magazine ( 38 c. ) for April. UNREALITY THE PRESENTATION

LIFE. Editor's Study, Harper's Magazine ( 38 c.) for April.

CHARLES DARWIN. Leonard Huxley. Putnam's ( 28 c.) for April.

OMAR FITZGERALD. Henry D. Sedgwick. Putnam's ( 28 c.) for April.

CARAN D'ACHE, A PIONEER OF THE Comic SUPPLEMENT. With portrait. Reprinted from the Nation in the American Review of Reviews ( 28 c. ) for April.

MY STORY. VIII. Manx Novels and Plays. Hall Caine. Appleton's ( 18 c.) for April.

Jack London writes from Sydney, Australia, that his health has broken down, and that he has abandoned his trip in his yacht around the world.

John Davidson, the poet, disappeared from his home in Penzance, Eng., on the evening of March 23, and it is feared that he is dead.

Not Mrs. Julia Ward Howe, but Mrs. Francis Alexander, the friend of Ruskin, and the mother of Miss Francesca Alexander, artist and author, is the oldest among American women who write books, for she is now ninety-four. Almost sixty years ago her husband, a Boston portrait painter, took her and their daughter to Florence, where they still live.

Laura Stedman is preparing “The Life and Letters” of her grandfather, E. C. Stedman, and would be pleased to have the loan of any of his letters now in the possession of his friends. Miss Stedman's address is 206 West 106th street, New York City.

The Houghton Mifflin Company has published “The Life of Edgar Allan Poe," by George E. Woodberry, in two volumes an extension of the author's work written for the American Men of Letters Series, which he has now augmented with fresh material, while at the same time revising many of his former judgments and criticisms.

The journals of Ralph Waldo Emerson, his only unpublished writings, are soon to be issued in book form, probably in four volumes, by his son, Dr. Edward Waldo Emerson, who is indexing and cross-indexing them to make clearer his father's theories.

The Houghton Mifflin Company announces a new edition of “The Life, Letters, and Journals of George Ticknor" — the fourteenth edition to appear since the work was first brought out, nearly forty years ago. Many portraits and an introduction by Ferris Greenslet have been added.

The “ Essay on Shelley," by the late Francis Thompson, which appeared in the Dublin Review, is about to be republished in book form. In the course of a preface to the essay, .George Wyndham describes it “the most important contribution to pure letters written in English during the last twenty years."

Professor George McLean Harper's biography of Sainte-Beuve will be published this month by the Lippincotts, as the fourth volume of their French Men of Letters Series.

The literary reminiscences of William Winter are to appear in book form under the title of “Old Friends.” Moffat, Yard & Co. will publish this volume.

Harper & Brothers have published a life of Thomas Nast, by Albert Bigelow Paine. The book is additionally valuable as a history of the cartoon and its development, along with the changes in processes of engraving and reproduction.

A life of Laurence Sterne has been completed by Professor Wilbur L. Cross, of Yale, and will be published soon.

A new publishing house, the Sturgis & Walton Company, has been established in New York. The senior partner is Lyman Sturgis, a former vice-president of the Macmillan Company. The junior member, Lawton L. Walton, was formerly secretary of the Macmillan Company. The firm will do a general publishing business.

A prize of $5,000 for the best essay on the progress of aerial navigation has been offered by King Leopold of Belgium. That the students of aeronautics from all over the world may have a chance to compete for the prize, King Leopold has provided that the work may be written in French, English, Flemish, German, Italian, Spanish, or Portuguese. The jury which will award the prize will consist of three Belgians and four foreigners.

The third competition for the Paderewski prize is announced for this year, the prizes offered being as follows : (1.) One thousand dollars for a symphony or symphonic poem for full orchestra. (2.) Five hundred dollars for a concert piece for chorus and orchestra, solo voice parts optional. (3.) Five hundred dollars for a string quartette, quintette, or sextette, for any combination of instruments. The competition is open to any American-born composer. The compositions are to be sent to John A. Loud, 6 Newbury street, Boston, on or before Sep. tember 1. No work that has been performed in public or in private is eligible. Compositions must be sent anonymously, accompanied by the composer's name in a sealed envelope.

[ocr errors]


« iepriekšējāTurpināt »