Mr. Wells, in The World of William Clissold, presents, not precisely his own mind as it has developed on the basis of his personal experience and way of life, but—shifting his angle—a point of view based on an experience mainly different from his own, that of a successful, emancipated, semi-scientific, not particularly high-brow, English business man. The result is not primarily a work of art.
Banzai, by John Paris, New York: Boni and Liveright. $2.50. The author, at one time attached to the British embassy in Tokyo and writing under the name of John Paris, knows well certain phases of Japanese life. In Banzai he indicates his familiarity with geisha and yoshiwara problems, with student life and restaurants. But Banzai is much more trivial than the author’s previous novels of Japanese life, Kimono and Sayonara.
Pushkin, by Prince D. S. Mirsky. New York: E. P. Dutton and Company. 266 pages. $2.50. Gogol, by Janko Lavrin. New York: E. P. Dutton and Company. 263 pages. $2.50. The Republic of Letters series, under the editorship of Dr. William Rose, was recently inaugurated with Mr. Aldington’s admirable study of the life and genius of Voltaire.
Joan of Arc, by Joseph Delteil. Translated from the French by Malcolm Cowley. New York: Minton, Batch and Company. 268 pages. $3. There are many kinds of biography in these days of its vogue: one might almost say that Joan of Arc has been subjected to them all. There is the factual volume of Michelet from whose “excellent formula there is lacking the obscure part of God”; there is the sturdy attack of Anatole France and the glowing defense of Andrew Lang. There is Mark Twain’s imaginative romance based on twelve years’ accumulation of facts; there is Mr.
Rough Justice, by C. E. Montague. New York: Doubleday. Page and Company. $2.50. In no respect has the change in attitude toward human experience reflected by fiction been so marked as in regard to war. The last century knew the military novel as a specialty similar to the political novel, the ecclesiastical novel, the novel of education or industry or the sea. The profession of arms was like other professions, an affair of a class. It lent itself to fiction because of its opportunities of adventure, humorous in camp, glorious in the field.
Complete figures dealing with automobile accidents in 1925 have recently been made public. They reveal that safety on the highway, or the present lack of it, may now fairly be reckoned as one of the major problems of the day. Last year more than 22,000 persons were killed in or by automobiles, and something like three quarters of a million injured. The number of dead is almost half as large as the list of fatalities during the nineteen months of America’s participation in the Great War. In 60 percent of the cases, the person killed was a pedestrian struck by a car.
After leaving Pennsylvania, the next stop is Illinois! The searchlight of investigation is now to be turned on expenditures in the recent Senatorial primary in that state. The Senatorial committee which has been looking into the Pennsylvania orgy decided some time ago that as soon as Congress adjourns it will move to Chicago and continue its activities there. Since then Senator Caraway has made charges on the floor of the Senate which if confirmed will make the stigma attached to Illinois politicians quite as serious as that now clings to the Pennsylvanians.
The Plight of the British Miners Sir: We are enclosing an appeal which has just come to us from the five men whose names are signed to it, with the request that we ask you if you will not give it prominent place in your pages. We gladly ask this of you, first of all because of our confidence in the men whose names are appended to the appeal. Miss Evelyn Preston, who has just come to this country to represent the British Committee of Women for Relief of the Miners’ Wives and Children, was also asked to try to bring this appeal before the churches of the country.
IT is so easy to perceive decay in an old political party that the very fact causes doubt of the value of the evidence.