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SAD AND SERIOUS REFLECTIONS ON
ON THE FIRST SALON
a humorist as Joseph Jefferson, and yet ephemeral pictorial avenues.”
go down in history with a halo around New York, was nothing if not
in the uncorporeal All this may sound excessively seri
sphere of music he may be as light and
ous, Mr. Baury concludes, but that is bizar and impish as fancy will permit, as explained by the organizer of the without in any way jeopardizing his ar
the trouble with humor: “One simply show, Louis Baury, was to rise quite tistic dignity; but let him attempt any
cannot consider it without becoming above the trivialities of the comic sup- such gala-hearted display in terms of
serious-particularly here in America. plements and the "funny” pages, to “the paint and the most staid academician and
But one of the least serious aspects of highest artistic empire—the empire be- the most perfervid Futurist bang their this presentation of typically American queathed it by Rabelais and Swift and door with equal vigor in his face. Which humor in art is the fact that a large
number of the exhibitors are American Fielding and all that lusty company.” in this day, when there is more talk than So Mr. Baury is reported in the Tele
ever before of the development of a only in the sense that America is the
really national art, seems just a trifle "melting pot” of other races. Swedish, graph. “The humor that breathes in a
rash. line—and needs not a 'boisterous' joke
Spanish, German, French, Anglo-Amer
“That a brilliant spirit that without mis- icans, are among the various races repto support it”—Mr. Baury explains in sion or message or school craves only the the catalog of the salon—“the humor privilege of making holiday with facts
resented by, the exhibitors. Even the that abides in the interpretation of a and pelting impartially with their own
American artists indicate decidedly forfantastic gesture, in the realization of gay, inimitable, irreverent confetti every eign artistic influences. Among the con
tributors to this first “Salon of Ameran apt attitude, in the swift pictorial head that bobs up in the carnival of civ
ican Humorists” are: comment upon
seamed face; the ili-ation seems too thoroly American to humor that cries “It is to laugh !' not because it is careless of the great actualities of life but precisely because it comprehends them—that is the humor this exhibition is striving to bring outthe humor that makes life finer in the way that all genuine play makes life finer.” Mr. Baury continues in the same idealistic strain concerning American humor in art:
“For humor is more with us than a mere mood. It is the very pith and essence of that swift, electric atmosphere which is so particularly our own, that capitalization of the instant which serves us in lieu of the tradition that is Europe's. And tho the artists here assembled have no mission other than the right expression of the mood at hand, one cannot but feel, looking at these expressions, that if, indeed, we are to have an art nationally our own, it will burst, laughing-lipped, from out this attitude—and that it will expand only insofar as we bring the highest, sincerest artistry to minister to the fantastic, the extravagant, the bizar, the witty, the ironic, the mocking, the incongruous—in short, humor in all its multihued phases.
“And the fact that this initial American Salon of Humorists strikes the first concerted chord in such tone—and does it without recourse to the adventitious aid of any outré 'new' technique—should serve to endow it with an interest and signifi
more far-reaching even than the hilarity of the moment."
The Salon of American Humorists is the outcome of a plea made for such an exhibition by Mr. Baury in a recent number of the Bookmani. In this article he points out the American neglect of the great American sense of humor:
"In literature a man has every chance, if he can, to be as hilariously unbridled as Mark Twain and still take his place unchallenged on the shelf with the great
HOBOHEMIA As depicted by Stuart Davis, one of the youngest and most original among American humorists of the brush, there is nothing particularly fascinating in this strange field of feminism, futurism, and free verse.
“Robert Henri, John Sloan, W. Glackens, Guy Péne du Bois, Boardman Robinson, George Bellows, O. E. Cesare, Arthur Young, Glenn 0. Coleman, Stuart Davis, H. J. Glintenkamp, Oliver Herford, Herbert Crowley, Mrs. Helena Smith-Dayton, Marjorie Organ (Mrs. Robert Henri), Edith Dimock (Mrs. Glackens), Herb Roth, Alfred Frueh, Frank Walts, Maurice Becker, L. R. Chamberlain, Helen Dryden, Cornelia Barns.
If one misses the names of Mr. “Bud” Fisher and Mr. Reuben Goldberg from this galaxy of American humorists, it may be because those two popular gentlemen are not actuated by the same high and austere devotion to humor that characterized Rabelais, Swift and Sterne. Even the delightful wit who looks at pictures for the New York Sun is stricken with sad seriousness in viewing these humorous artists, and begins to quote Bergson and Meredith. He is of the impression that this “salon" had for its purpose the uplift of the Amerisense of humor.
After looking over the pictures, this critic comes to
VACATION GIRLS the pessimistic conclusion that
Edith Dimock's maids are not as sweet as those of Kate Greenaway, nor as sickeningly
sentimental as most of the children we find in the women's magazine, but infinitely more real Americans are pitifully poverty-stricken and amusing. She calls them “Vacation Girls,” and one divines they have come into Central in the local tender that passes as wit.
Park off the great East Side.
work on laughter to these humorists. humor noticed in such a display as that "The impression is unavoidable that It is not necessary to be cruel in order we are now discussing can only be these artists are without any experience to laugh. Laughter, according to his blamed upon the public in general.” of life and have throttled the powers of interpretation, is unmoral. “Laughter He quotes Meredith apropos the inimagination with which they must have
has no greater enemy than emotion,” frequent apparition of the great comic started out. It goes without saying that they have not cut off this power from
wrote the sage of the Sorbonne. The genius: “A society of cultivated men themselves consciously. It is the state slightest bit of sympathy or pity kills and women is required wherein ideas of society, the condition of things in the tendency of it instantly. Indiffer are current and the perceptions quick, general that has thus mutilated them as ence is the milieu of laughter. Berg- that he may be supplied with matter comic artists and which makes their situa son, Meredith and the critic of the New and an audience.” tion and ours so critical." York Sun all agree that “the comic
“L'pon the whole, Bergson rather than muse deigns to appears only in enlight- Meredith may be recommended to the The Sun critic recommends Bergson's ened communities; so the paucity of American salon of humorists for purposes
of study. Meredith, one of the wittiest
"In a year or two it may even arrive
"111 of which goes to prove that the
George Bellows from charges of vulgarity
in his two drawings of the Rev. Billy Mr. W. Glackens can make New York types look as picturesque and as funny as Cruiishank
THE GREATEST AMERICAN SHORT STORIES PUBLISHED
DURING A YEAR S A result of a detailed analysis plicity of structure. “Brothers of No Mr. O'Brien not only indicates what
of the short stories published Kin," by Conrad Richter, published in are, in his opinion, the best short stories by a group of representative Thic Forum for April, 1914, is adjudged published by the eight magazines; he American magazines during the best short story of the year; and indicates also the percentage of stories
1914, Edward J. O'Brien to “Addie Erb and Her Girl Lottie," of distinctive merit published in each. makes the interesting claim in the by Francis Buzzell, published in The The results are illuminating. While the Boston Transcript that "the American Century, November, 1914 (reprinted in Saturday Evening Post is considered to short story has been developed as an CURRENT OPINION last month), Mr. have published the greatest number of art form to a point where it may fairly O'Brien awards second place. The short stories of all kinds, its percentage claim a sustained superiority, as differ- next three best, in the order named, for merit is the lowest; and while The ent in kind as in quality from the tale are Galworthy's "A Simple Tale"
Simple Tale” Forum published fewest, in percentage or conte of other literatures." For the (Scribner's, December): Mary Synon's of merit it ranks second only to Scribpurposes of his analytical study, Mr. "The Bravest Son" (Scribner's, ner's. The magazines rank as follows: O'Brien chose the output of six March); and Edith Wharton's "The monthly magazines and of two week- Triumph of Night" (Scribner's, Au 1. Scribner's Magazine..
58% lies: The Atlantic Monthly, the Cen- gust). Together with these, Mr.
2. The Forum..
:56% tury, the Forum, Harper's Magasinc, O'Brien submits a list of the best six- 3. The Century Magasine.
52% the Metropolitan, Scribner's Magasine, teen stories of the year 1914, making 4. The Metropolitan Magazine,
5. Harper's Magazine... the Saturday Evening Post and Col- a total of twenty-one stories that rep- 6. The Atlantic Monthly.
.26% lier's Weekly. The standards to which resent, he claims, the finest interweav
7. Collier's IV eekly... he submitted the 601 short stories pub- ing of art and substance that contem- 8. Saturday Evening Post.
.20% lished by these periodicals during the porary fiction offers. His list folcourse of the year 1914 he indicates as lows:
Of the two hundred and twenty-nine follows:
stories selected as of merit and distinc“The Triple Mirror.” By Katharine Fullerton Gerould. Century.
tion, published during 1914, the dis“As the most adequate means to this “The Toad and the Jewel." By Katharine tribution in the various periodicals was end, I have taken each short story by it Fullerton Gerould. Harper's.
as follows: self, and examined it impartially. I have "The Tortoise." By Katharine Fullerton done my best to surrender myself to the Gerould. Scribner's.
Stories writer's point of view, and, granting his "The Dominant Strain." By Katharine 1. Harper's Magazine.
44 choice of material and interpretation it
Fullerton Gerould. Scribner's.
43 in terms of life, have sought to test it “The Planter of Malata.” By Joseph 3. Scribner's Magasine.
-32 by the double standard of substance and
30 form. Substance is something achieved “Laughing Anne." By Joseph Conrad. 5. Saturday Evening Post..
30 by the artist in every act of creation,
Aletropolitan. rather than something already present, “A Twilight Advenand accordingly a fact or group of facts ture." By Melville in a story only attain substantial embodi
Davisson Post. ment when the artist's power of com Metropolitan. pelling imaginative persuasion transforms “The Doomdorf them into a living truth. I assume that
Mystery." By Melsuch a living truth is the artist's essen ville Davisson tial object. The first test of a short story, Post. Saturday therefore, in any qualitative analysis is
Evening Post. to report upon how vitally compelling the “The Leopard of writer makes his selected facts or inci
the Sea." By H. dents. This test may be called the test
G. Dwight. Atlanof substance.
tic. “But a second test is necessary in the “The Night School.” qualitative analysis if a story is to take By James Hopper. high rank above other stories. The test Century. of substance is the most vital test, to be “The Ishmaelite." By
MIDD sure, and, if a story survives it, it has
Elsie Singmaster. imaginative life. The true artist, however, Century'. will seek to shape this living substance “The Sandwichinto the most beautiful and satisfying Man." By John form, by skilful selection and arrange Luther Long. Canment of his material, and by the most
tury'. direct and appealing presentation of it in “Daniel and Little portrayal and characterization."
Dan'l." By Mary
E. Wilkins FreeOf the six hundred and one short
Harper's. stories published in these periodicals, “When the Devil Mr. O'Brien is of the opinion that two
Was Better.” By hundred and twenty-nine were marked
Gouverneur Morby distinction, and that of these eighty
“Traitors Both.” By six possessed very high distinction.
Calvin Johnston. The best two short stories of the year
Saturday Erlening are by comparative newcomers in the
THE "NEW ART” CRITIC field of fiction. And it is instructive “Maje." By Armi
The curved lines may subtly indicate that this gentleman whom to note, remarks the critic, that both
stead C. Gordon.
George Luks has portrayed is “running rings around himself"-figura
tively speaking-in coming into contact with some more than usually are marked by brevity and severe sim Scribner's.
violent manifestation of “the modern movement.'
Stories fler's and The Forum. These two, he as very high, is wont to advise contribu6. Collier's Weekly....
.29 thinks, permit their contributors the tors of promise to study the kind of 7. The Forum... 13 freeest of intelligence:
story which the magazine likes and sub8. The Atlantic Monthly'. 8
mit stories of similar subject matter.
“Few editors are so frank as the former That the disease is general among AmeriMr. O'Brien is impressed by the high editor of one of the magazines which I
can editors few will deny. That it is quality of fiction in five out of the eight have considered, who is reported as hav fatal to the highest creative development
is also sufficiently obvious. That the magazines examined; but he has been ing stated with pride in a public utterance : ‘The magazine makes the contribu
courage and faith of the editors of the struck by “the evidence of editorial pre
tors and the contributors make the maga two magazines whose policy is limited possession consulted by most of the zine'; but the editor of another magazine only by the art of fiction itself is abuncontributors” in all but two of these which I have considered, and whose fic dantly justified, their high record during magazines. The exceptions are Scrib- tion standard it has been usual to accept the past year will sufficiently attest.”
THE REDISCOVERY OF AN UNSUSPECTED COMIC
"The Spiritual Quixote," was modest and retiring. As a con dom: ‘Providence frequently makes use
youthful follies, to promote our welfare erudite students of Eng Richard Graves wrote by native in
and conduct us to happiness.'” lish literature. Yet it was considered stinct, to please himself, “to record his
Among the great novels of the eighta great English novel in its day. Pub- judgments of men and things, to revive
eenth century, Havelock Ellis writes, lished first in 1773, during the next sweet memories, to while away winter forty years it went through any num evenings, to find consolation amid the
“The Spiritual Quixote” stands in a ber of editions. People supposed that
class by itself. Fielding and Smollett cares of old age.” At the age of fifty
were professional men of letters. They it had taken its place among the British eight, almost the same age at which
wrote to earn their living, belonging to classics. In 1812 Mrs. Barbauld—an Cervantes published his immortal ro
a transitional stage "when the man of estimable lady now nearly forgotten ex mance, the British author published his
letters who lived to write was giving cept by bookworms—included it in her comic romance (in three volumes) series of British novels. anonymously. Its full title is “The
place to the man of letters who wrote And, indeed, “The Spiritual Quixote" Spiritual Quixote; or, the Summer's to live, a disastrous change which has
produced results we know.” is, in its way, one of the very best of Ramble of Mr. Geoffry Wildgoose: A English novels. So at least Havelock Comic Romance." Havelock Ellis thus “Graves wrote to amuse himself. That Ellis in forms us in The Nineteenth Cen- describes the book :
is doubtless the secret of his wayward tury, in an essay that ought to lead to
ease. That is why every page of his book the republication of this interesting “'The Spiritual Quixote'follows, tho is readable. He has all the levity which book, that has been submerged for pracwith no slavish imitation, the classic we miss in his stolid predecessors. If
we compare ‘The Spiritual Quixote' with tically a century. Why was “The Spir- model furnished by Cervantes. That is itụal Quixote" thrown aside and for- by a too highly strung idealistic impulse, to say, we have the central figure, stirred ‘Joseph Andrews' or 'Humphrey Clinker'
– which are probably the novels of gotten? asks Havelock Ellis. Largely, to sally forth on a great mission-in Wild- Fielding and Smollett most easily lendno doubt, he concludes, because it was
goose's case the restoration of primitive ing themselves to this comparison shocking to the prim and rather serious Christianity. We have his faithful, un note not only that Graves's book is much tastes of the early Victorian period. couth, earthly-minded servant; we have more various but that it is more modern. Graves was
a clergyman, it is true, the variegated adventures, serious and It presents us, indeed, with no single “but the savor and vivacity of his comic, of this pair; we have the long figure that stands out so memorably as
Parson Adams, and it
rival humor, the occasional picaresque touch, interspersed narrative episodes, often of the little audacities of expression, were
considerable interest and skilfully intro Smollett’s masterpiece for sustained brilduced.
liance and caustic wit; but, unlike them, not of the Victorian epoch, while his
“Wildgoose, the spiritual Quixote, a it is never heavy and it is satire of religious extravagances . .
young country gentleman living with his brutal. Graves's mental alertness, his was positively dangerous ground in days mother, on his return from the university, unfailing humor, here serve him well, when Methodism was firmly established is moved to religious enthusiasm, partly while his genial love of men, altogether and Evangelicalism was permeating the by reading old Puritan literature, partly distinct from Fielding's humanitarian Church.”
by the arrival at his village of some stroll- philanthropy, becomes naturally transMr. Ellis found a copy of the sub- ing preachers. He becomes a preacher lated into urbanity. This observant yet merged “masterpiece” in an old farm- himself, and in order to gain further indulgent humor, one notes, is that of
the cleric, and Graves may perhaps in house, and was immediately struck with spiritual illumination he sets forth to find its curiously modern note.
Whitefield, taking with him, in the capac- this respect remind us of another cleric, But the
ity of servant, the village cobbler, Jerry his contemporary, the Rev. Laurence credit of practically rediscovering Tugwell. At an early stage of his adven- Sterne, and still more, I think, of GoldGraves' work he assigns to the dis
tures Wildgoose falls in with a young smith, a cleric's son, who has immortinguished French critic, Marcel lady who has been compelled to run away talized himself by delineating clerical Schwob. Graves, it is interesting to from home. This distressed damsel, Julia life. A more delicate masterpiece than learn, was practically submerged by Townsend, arouses Wildgoose's chivalrous Graves's comic romance, tho on a very the great romantic movement of the feelings, and his quest eventually becomes much smaller scale, 'The Vicar of Wakebeginning of the nineteenth century. the quest of love. It is Julia Townsend field,' published only seven years earlier, Readers of Sir Walter Scott could find whom at the end he finds, and he settles is probably the only novel of that age little of interest in a writer who stood the Church and to a life of normal and Graves's romance has something of the
down in his native village reconciled to at all allied to 'The Spiritual Quixote.' beside Fielding. Smollett and Sterne benevolent activity.
same tender levity . . . while it also reThese three survived the tidal wave of
"Graves concludes with a moral which veals a mature breadth and variety which romantic fiction only by virtue of repu- forecasts that of Wilhelm Meister, who, were outside the scope of Goldsmith's imtations that had already been labori- like Saul the son of Kish, went forth to mortal little story.”
POETS STILL SING OF THE WAR
VOICES OF THE LIVING POETS HE Napoleonic wars were fol- With neurasthenic shudders, suavely Stretch out a mighty wing abovelowed by the early Victorian wroth,
Be tender to the land we love!
Bemoans the ruin of Icarian wings !
If all the huddlers from the storm Potential in bland cruelties, the Goth Have found her hearthstone wide and sentimentality and a strong Stern teachers of the fundamental things. warm; swing toward extreme romanticism.
If she has made men free and glad, History never repeats itself. We shall never, it is probable, revert to the in One of the finest poems on the other Sharing, with all, the good she had side of war-on its cruelty and pathos From her bright balance to be just,
If she has blown the very dust anities of that period; but, unless we are mistaken, a reaction has already appears in the N. Y. World:
Oh, spread a mighty wing aboveset in, as a result of the war, away
Be tender to the land we love! from the freakishness of ultra-modern
When in the dark eternal tower art and literature, and toward a higher
By Edith M. THOMAS.
The star-clock strikes her trial hour, seriousness and a deeper sincerity. It
It is said that England lacks cradles, the best And for her help no more avail is manifest in American as well as in willow for the purpose growing in Belgium.
Her sea-blue shield, her mountain-mail, British poetry. The note of decadence
PILLOW, willow, river-willow But sweeping wide, from gulf to lakes, has for the time being almost disap
you for cradles counted The battle on her forehead breaks, peared and even the note of social re
Throw Thou a thunderous wing abovevolution is now directed almost entirely
Hear you not that England's Be lightning for the land we love! against war and the war-lords. The babies lack their wonted cosy niestsense of the instability of life and the Lack the springy woten basket, with the groping toward some power not our
white hood orcrhead,
Mr. Johnson strikes the same note of
high patriotic purpose in his recent selves that makes for righteousness Shielding happily a little sleeper in a grow more and more evident as the S1iowy bed?"
poem in the North American Review.
It is too long and it is not as well orworld we have known so long reels in
“All in vain you call the willow. For ganized as it might be; but it has a the shock of battle. Emerson's essay
we willow's now are found on Compensation may still be read with Bending with our load of sorrows-stoop
noble dignity in its lines and is finely
conceived. We publish only about oneappreciation, in spite of the horrors
ing till we sweep the ground!
fourth of it: that dwell in the headlines.
None there are to trim our branches or At least one of our poets sees a benef to braid the pliant strandicent side to war and is bold enough to All the willows now are weeping in the
THE CORRIDORS OF CONGRESS
stricken Flemish land ! sing in praise of it. We take the fol
(Rez'isited in Vacation) lowing fine double sonnet from the
"Spring comes fearing and retireth! new magazine, the Midland, “a Maga
By ROBERT UNDERWOOD JOHNSON.
Blight on every budding branch ! zine of the Middle \Vest”: Men and trees and soil are bleeding from
READ soft, intruding step!—This a wound Spring cannot stanch. KATHARSIS.
empty haunt If our buds we could push forward, they
Of swirling crowds has sanctity would crimson be—not green, By John G. NEIHARDT.
of grief; For there's crimson on the rivers to
Precincts of sadness are these marble whose shuddering lips we lean ! HO pray for calm, abhorring
hallsfood and fire
The silent crypts of far and turbulent
These stairways have been treadmills of
despair, for we strive to rise in vain. might
Runways of greed these narrow pasCradles have we none for babiesHas raged not, how life's meaner forms
sageswith pleasant sleep and dreamsaspire !
The skirmish-lines of battles fought withAll the willows now are weeping by the How breeds and skitters in the fetid mire
haunted Flemish streams !”' Spawn reminiscent of the primal light!
Where many a hope, sore-wou
ounded, strugWhat saturnalias of the parasite “Willows, willows, river-willows, England To perish in the din of others' joy.
gled on Where corpse-lights ape the elemental fire!
heeds your long lament;
All her hearts of oaken fibre to your Disaster, riding on a thunder-smoke,
lifting shall be lent;
Let Fancy listen at these listening walls
And give us back the record that they Serpents of flame upon his forehead set, England strikes for you untiring, till up
bear,Hurls the black legions of cyclonic strife!
right again you stand-
These phonographs of sorrow, where are We trace his progress by the shattered
ing in the Flemish land!"
In Time's attenuated echoes, sounds Bewail the wasted centuries—and yet,
Not louder than the falling of a tear The land shall quicken to a cleaner life. The sense of our own national peril Or sigh of lovers hiding from pursuit.
is apparent in the stanzas which we Fancy, our finer ear, may here disclose They do but take the ancient bath again, find in the Atlantic llonthly:
Whispers of corner-born conspiracies; And shall emerge unto a saner peace.
The embrasured window's furtive interLo, how they made a fetich of caprice,
view; And worshipped with aberrant brush and
The guarded plot; the treacherous promBY WENDELL PHILLIPS STAFFORD.
ise given; What false dawns summoned by the
The tragedy that here was masked as crowing hen!
THOU whose equal purpose runs hope. How toiled the lean to batten the obese!
In drops of rain or stream of Here the dark powers conspired, using as What straying from the sanity of Greece
bribes While yet her seers and bards were fight
And with a soft compulsion rolls Our dearest virtues — goodness, friending-men! The green earth on her snowy poles ;
ship, love. 0 Thou who keepest in thy ken
Here many who came with dawn upon A canting generation, smug in greed, The times of flowers, the dooms of men,