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A Reviewer's Notebook A Reviewer's Notebook

A Reviewer's Notebook
There is an amazing simplicity about great events. Creation week was clear, calm and quiet. Hardly a ripple was on the Rubicon the afternoon that Cæsar crossed. Even Babylon fell softly and bounced only once. In the same spirit Pierre V. R. Key started John McCormack: His Own Life Story. "It was a summer's day, with the sun shining," writes Mr. Key, "when we began. McCormack sat on the veranda of Rocklea, his Noroton, Connecticut, villa, gazing out upon the waters of Long Island Sound. He had sat that way for some minutes, in a suit of tennis flannels, his stalwart... Essays - Post by : kashman7 - Date : November 2011 - Author : Heywood Broun - Read : 2706

Deburau Deburau

Theatergoers who have lived through two or more generations invariably complain that the stage isn't what it used to be. Mostly they mourn for a school of drama in which emotion flowered more luxuriantly than in the usual run of plays to-day about life in country stores and city flats. The one thought in which these playgoers of another day take comfort is that even if we had such drama now there would be no one who could act it. But Deburau is such a play, and Lionel Atwill must be some such one as those who figure in the speeches... Essays - Post by : imported_n/a - Date : November 2011 - Author : Heywood Broun - Read : 1519

A Jung Man's Fancy A Jung Man's Fancy

A Jung Man's Fancy
Pollyanna died and, of course, she was glad and went to Heaven. It is just as well. The strain had become a little wearing. We had Liberty Loan orators, too, and Four-Minute men and living in America came to be something like being a permanent member of a cheering section. All that is gone now. Pointing with pride has become rude. The interpretation of life has been taken over by those who view with alarm. Pick up any new novel at random and the chances are that it will begin about as follows: "Hugh McVey was born in a little hole... Essays - Post by : radhika - Date : November 2011 - Author : Heywood Broun - Read : 3662

The Cosmic 'kid' The Cosmic "kid"

The Cosmic 'kid'
Every little while some critic or other begins to dance about with all the excitement of a lonely watcher on a peak in Darien and to shout, as he dances, that Charlie Chaplin is a great actor. The grass on that peak is now crushed under foot. Harvey O'Higgins has danced there and Mrs. Fiske and many another, but still the critics rush in. Of course, a critic is almost invariably gifted with the ability not to see or hear what any other commentator but himself writes about anything, but there is more than this to account for the fact that... Essays - Post by : mickryan - Date : November 2011 - Author : Heywood Broun - Read : 2569

Gray Gods And Green Goddesses Gray Gods And Green Goddesses

Gray Gods And Green Goddesses
A railroad train is bearing down upon the hero, or maybe it is a sawmill, or a band of savage Indians. Death seems certain. And if there is a heroine, something worse than death awaits her--that is, from the Indians. Sawmills draw no sex distinctions. At any rate, things look very black for hero and heroine, but curiously enough, even at the darkest moment, I have never been able to get a bet down on the outcome. Somehow or other the relief party always arrives just in time, on foot, or horseback, or even through the air. The worst of it... Essays - Post by : curlyjoe - Date : November 2011 - Author : Heywood Broun - Read : 2183

A Test For Critics A Test For Critics

A Test For Critics
Just when everything seems to be moving more or less smoothly somebody comes along and raises the entrance requirements for dramatic critics. Clayton Hamilton is the latest to suggest a new standard. His test for reviewers consists of three point-blank questions, as follows: One--Have you ever stood bareheaded in the nave of Amiens? Two--Have you ever climbed to the Acropolis by moonlight? Three--Have you ever walked with whispers into the hushed presence of the Frari Madonna of Bellini? Our grade on the test is thirty-three and one-third per cent, which is not generally regarded as a pass mark. We have stood... Essays - Post by : essjayar - Date : November 2011 - Author : Heywood Broun - Read : 3013

Shush! Shush!

Gordon Craig's new book is called The Theatre Advancing, but we rather hope that when it reaches his goal line we will be elsewhere. To our mind the theater is the place where Art should beam upon the multitude and cry loudly, "Find out what everybody will have and don't forget the boys in the back room." Mr. Craig's theater is much too special for our taste. It will do away with everything that is boisterous and vulgar and broadly human. Consider, for instance, Mr. Craig's short chapter entitled "A Note on Applause" set down in the form of a dialogue... Essays - Post by : paulgardner - Date : November 2011 - Author : Heywood Broun - Read : 2341

Reform Through Reading Reform Through Reading

Reform Through Reading
Virtue, good health, efficiency and all the other subjects which are served up in the numberless thick volumes with a purpose seldom seem desirable when the propagandist has finished his say about them. For instance, we began the day with a firm determination never to smoke again--that is, not for some time--and then we ran across Efficiency Through Concentration, by B. Johnston. Since then we light the new cigarette from the dying embers of the old. The passage which enraged us most occurs in a chapter called "Personal Habits," in which the author writes: "If you are a gentleman always ask... Essays - Post by : brandyn - Date : November 2011 - Author : Heywood Broun - Read : 2954

Just Around The Corner Just Around The Corner

Just Around The Corner
We sometimes wonder just how and what Joseph Conrad would have written if he had never gone to sea. It may be that he would never have written at all if he had not been urged on by the emotion which he felt about ships and seas and great winds. And yet we regret sometimes that he is so definitely sea-struck. After all, Conrad is a man so keen in his understanding of the human heart that he can reach deep places. It is sometimes a pity, therefore, that he is so much concerned with researches which take him down into... Essays - Post by : ghuffman - Date : November 2011 - Author : Heywood Broun - Read : 3984

Merrick's Women Merrick's Women

Merrick's Women
The novels of Leonard Merrick go a long way in reconciling us to the constitutional establishment of the single standard of morals proposed by William Jennings Bryan. Merrick's world is a hard one for women. His men starve romantically in a pretty poverty. Their dingy haunts are of the gayest. Bad luck only adds to their merriment. So it is, too, with the Kikis and Mignons, but Merrick's good women are of much more fragile stuff. Although invariably English, they grow pale and woebegone just as easily in London as in Paris. The author never gives them any fun at all.... Essays - Post by : mr_ragg - Date : November 2011 - Author : Heywood Broun - Read : 2712

Park Row And Fleet Street Park Row And Fleet Street

Park Row And Fleet Street
It is difficult for us to tell how accurately Philip Gibbs has pictured Fleet Street in his novel The Street of Adventure; for, externally at least, there is little resemblance to Park Row. We cite, for instance, a description of the city room of The Star as Francis Luttrell found it on his first day: "It was a large room, with a number of desks divided by glass partitions and with a large table in the center. At the far end of the room was a fire burning brightly in the grate, and in front of it were two men and... Essays - Post by : Lynn_Lyons - Date : November 2011 - Author : Heywood Broun - Read : 3173

Spanking Manners Spanking Manners

Spanking Manners
We have received The Literary Digest Parents' League Series, in which the training of children is discussed in seven volumes by William Byron Forbush. Much of it seems sound and shrewd, but it also seeks, by implication at any rate to encourage parents to maintain with their children the old nonsense of parental infallibility. Thus, in one volume, which suggests the manner in which a father may impart certain information to his son, he is quoted as saying, "I tell you this, Frank, because I know all about it." And in another volume mothers are urged to hold before their children... Essays - Post by : White_Wolf - Date : November 2011 - Author : Heywood Broun - Read : 3380

The Last Trump The Last Trump

The Last Trump
"Ours is an easy-going and optimistic age," writes John Roach Straton in one of his "messages and wrath and judgment," which are combined in a volume called The Menace of Immorality. "We do not like to be disturbed with unpleasant thoughts," continues the genial doctor, "and yet, if we are wise men and women, we will give due consideration to these things, in the light of the tremendous times in which we live. There never has been such a day as this before in the world's history. This is a time already of judgment upon a wicked world. The whole world... Essays - Post by : billcarey - Date : November 2011 - Author : Heywood Broun - Read : 2269

Red Magic Red Magic

Red Magic
Everybody said it was a great opportunity for Hans. The pay was small, to be sure, but the hours were short and the chance for advancement prodigious. Already the boy could take a pair of rabbits out of a high hat, or change a bunch of carrots into a bowl of goldfish. Unfortunately, the Dutchmen of Rothdam were vegetarians, and Hans was not yet learned enough in magic to turn goldfish back to carrots. Many times he had asked his master, Kahnale, for instruction in the big tricks. He longed to go in for advanced magic, such as typhoons, volcanic eruptions... Essays - Post by : cyberagora - Date : November 2011 - Author : Heywood Broun - Read : 2871

Holding A Baby Holding A Baby

Holding A Baby
When Adam delved and Eve span, the fiction that man is incapable of housework was first established. It would be interesting to figure out just how many foot-pounds of energy men have saved themselves, since the creation of the world, by keeping up the pretense that a special knack is required for washing dishes and for dusting, and that the knack is wholly feminine. The pretense of incapacity is impudent in its audacity, and yet it works. Men build bridges and throw railroads across deserts, and yet they contend successfully that the job of sewing on a button is beyond them.... Essays - Post by : okday - Date : November 2011 - Author : Heywood Broun - Read : 1397

Margaret Fuller Margaret Fuller

Margaret Fuller
Katharine Anthony's Margaret Fuller is biography in new and fascinating form. "A psychological biography," Miss Anthony calls it, and she takes advantage of the theories of Freud and Jung to reveal new facts about the life of a woman long dead, by the process of submitting well known material to the psychoanalytic test. This is an engrossing game. There is something about it quite suggestive of the contrast between Sherlock Holmes and the more dull-witted detectives of Scotland Yard. Holmes, you remember, could come into a room after all the members of the force had pawed the evidence and interpret something... Essays - Post by : imported_n/a - Date : November 2011 - Author : Heywood Broun - Read : 4234

Turning Thirty Turning Thirty

Turning Thirty
"Margaret Fuller's father was thirty-two when she was born," writes Katharine Anthony in her biography of the great feminist. "A self-made man, he had been obliged to postpone marriage and family life to a comparatively advanced age." The paragraph came to us like a blow in the face. For years and years we had been going along buoyed up by the comments of readers who wrote in from time to time to say: "Of course, you are still a young man. You will learn better as you grow older." And now we find that we have grown older. We have reached... Essays - Post by : f10inc - Date : November 2011 - Author : Heywood Broun - Read : 3994

A Robe For The King A Robe For The King

A Robe For The King
Hans Christian Andersen once wrote a story about the tailors who made a suit for a King out of a magic cloth. The quality of the cloth was such, so the tailors said, that it could be seen by nobody who was not worthy of the position he held. And so all the people at court declared that they could see the cloth and admired it greatly, but when the King went out to walk a little boy cried: "Why, he hasn't got anything on." Then everybody took up the cry, and the King rushed back to his palace, and the... Essays - Post by : swinnie - Date : November 2011 - Author : Heywood Broun - Read : 3683

Romance And Reticence Romance And Reticence

Romance And Reticence
Whenever a man remarks "I've had a mighty adventurous life, I have," we usually set him down as a former king of the Coney Island carnival or a recently returned delegate from an Elks' convention in Kansas City. It has been our somewhat bitter experience that the man who pictures himself as a great adventurer is almost invariably spurious. As a matter of fact, the rule holds good for great wits, great lovers and great drinkers. But it applies with particular pertinence to romantic folk. A wise professor at Harvard once remarked that he didn't believe that the ancients realized that... Essays - Post by : lordg - Date : November 2011 - Author : Heywood Broun - Read : 4070

Buying A Farm Buying A Farm

Buying A Farm
It began as "a farm," but even before the catalogues arrived it was "the farm." Now we call it "our farm," although the land is still in Spain abutting on the castle. Chiefly, the place is for Michael. The backyard is much too small for him, and too formal. He regards the house with affection, no doubt, but with none of that respect which he has for the backyard. He is, as you might say, thoroughly yard-broken. When he puts his paws against the front door and barks for freedom he would be a harsh person indeed who would refuse to... Essays - Post by : 58147 - Date : November 2011 - Author : Heywood Broun - Read : 2396