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In "The Saint" Antonio Fogazzaro reharps a theme of religion he has played upon in former books, and he does so because he is a deeply religious man. By that token he would seem to show a trait rather Eastern than Western, for the Orientals,-at all events the Mahometans,believe far more intensely than those who call them "fanatics," and observances of faith enter far more actually into the daily life of the sostyled "infidels than among us true, once-aweek Christians. With this spirit of Allah's omnipresent sublimity "The House of Islam (Appleton) is thoroughly imbued. Pierre Loti's Disenchanted" (Macmillan), also an Oriental, tale, differs considerably from Mr. Pickthall's in that the religious element is given no important place, and that Loti devotes himself mainly to describing a peculiar social phenomenon, new in Turkish annals.
The harem,-which is merely the female part of a Mahometan family, including the young male children.-has become dissatisfied. Turkish ladies are now intellectually and artistically educated, within their own homes, of course,to a degree rare among their Western sisters. Sketching, painting, singing Gluck and Verdi, playing Bach and Liszt. reading Dante and Byron in the original, discussing Nietzsche's "Superman" in German or talking about the
score of Vincent d'Indy's latest symphony in choice Parisian French, while being quite familiar with the masterpieces of Persian and Arabian literature,-thus mentally active, the upperclass Turkish women now rebel against that immobile, imbecile system under which they are still regarded as insentient nothings full of emptiness. But whoever realizes the grip of stark, unchangeable affliction has indeed a tragic ending to foresee. The author of "Disenchanted" accordingly exhibits the full pathos of this unhappy state of feminine suffocation; and he brings to his task the undimmed talents of that same story-telling mariner who 20 years ago delighted the whole world with "Madame Crysanthème." Superbly translated by Clara Bell, the new book by Pierre Loti is no less than irresistible. As another feat of translation we would, parenthetically, name the Harper Brothers' new edition of Anatole France's Crime of Sylvestre Bonnard", Englished by Lafcadio Hearn.
By these allusions to Hearn and "Madame Crysanthème" we bridge our way to the subject of this season's novels concerning the Mikado's realm. Onoto Watanna again vindicates her distinguished incapacity through "A Japanese Blossom", which the Harpers bring out in a charming exterior garb far beyond the deserts of the story, while the Putnams place their imprint upon a romance by I. William Adams, entitled Shibusawa", that treats interestingly of the Shogunate's collapse some 40 years ago. "The Dragon Painter" (Little, Brown) is a Japanese love story done with appropriate local coloring by Mrs. Fenollosa. W. Arthur Noble, in "Ewa (Eaton and Mains), puts forth the daring hope that the Hermit Kingdom will regain its freedom and "national integrity"; "Japan may land armies," says Tong-siki, "but that will be only for a day, while our millions are here forever. We shall
live and fight on through the centuries." No such illusions are cherished on behalf of the Hindus by Mrs. Cotes, whose "Set in Authority" (Doubleday, Page) depicts social and official life among their dominators. That Mrs. Cotes is herself an authority appears in each of her 32 chapters, and we quote one brief sentence significantly pointing to this author's trustworthiness: "The Pilaghur Club was very liberal, but it had never yet permitted a native of India to be proposed to its membership."
"The Guarded Flame" was the spirit of scientific investigation that burnt brightly within Richard Burgoyne. His life was given over to profound research, covering not only the physical but the moral sciences, and to recording his observations and deductions in an epoch-making series of books. Absolute quiet and seclusion were necessary to such a task as this, which went forward day by day, month by month, year by
W. B. MAXWELL.
year, with the steadfast regularity of a flaming star in its celestial course. So Richard Burgoyne's labors, whose fuel was the ideal love of truth, were most carefully protected against frivolous intrusion by inquisitive social visitors and impertinent journalistic reporters through the resolute watchfulness of a faithful, sympathetic wife, who also helped her husband at his actual work. But there came a time when the sheer hot blood of youth caused her to betray her much older spouse, and it was his sudden discovery of her fault, an episode dramatically rendered by the author, that brought about the shock which almost completely annihilated his
W. ARTHUR NOBLE.
Guarded Flame" (Appletons), from W. B. Maxwell's hand. There is far too much scientific terminology and a rather incredible amount of human perfection, but there is also intellectual breadth and maturity, finely expressed intensity, high moral sensibility. In Miss Cholmondeley's Prisoners" (Dodd, Mead), which deals with the incarceration of a chivalrous English diplomat for a murder he professes to have committed, the dramatic sense is strongly felt throughout, and the story glides swiftly along. It is a decidedly "readable" story; and it is full of amusing character sketching and acute reflexions on life, not life as misrepresented by Mr. Forman in "Buchanan's Wife." Miss Cholmondeley's conspicuous gift of satire is put to effective purpose when she analyzes people who are indestructibly self-satisfied, one of them, in this book, a hard-baked, hard-shelled, ossified, petrified British prig. Nor does she make a demi-god of the man who, to save a woman's reputation, voluntarily goes to jail, and there suffers impairment of his mental machinery. Interesting from the psychological aspect of a case of lost memory, Buchanan's Wife"
"The Undefiled" (Harper), whic. seems to aim at the popular suffrage by means of what we might call the megaphonic method. An aggressively lovely and perfect being becomes mated to an impossible cad, and, in the course of the story, is abducted several times by a stagily villainous French nobleman, but is invariably rescued by our familiar friend, the tall, square-jawed, forceful, resourceful, conquering hero. This particular megaphone seems to have wanted internal repairs, however, as much of the vociferated "virility' comes cut, at the reader's end, in a tone of highly capricious grammar. And, by the way, is not "virility' growing into a synonym for vulgarity? It is a foregone conclusion that the cad will suddenly die, and the widow be free to marry that tediously typical, square-jawed person. But if the aforesaid lady had good cause to dislike her husband, there appeared no valid reason for Florence Christie not only to flout but desert hers. The right to exasperation was rather on the side of the male spouse, a worthy though uninteresting squire; nevertheless, the erotic, erratic "Folly," thus appropriately nicknamed, decamps from her English home to the north of Spain, where she joins her affinity, a pale poet, all nerves and conceit and tuberculosis. However, owing to the poet's illness, "Folly," who came for worse, remains to nurse. At last her good-natured husband takes her back. This unattractive story, from the imagination of Edith Rickert and the press of the Baker Taylor Company, is much superior to the average novel in point of
pitch of the narrative and the entirely improb- literary style. Miss Elizabeth Godfrey's able personages.
Unlucky matrimonial alliances are so common, the world over, that the subject offers unlimited opportunities to writers of fiction, and this season, again, do several attempt their skill at drawing pictures of wifely discontent. Among the authors who have taken up the pen for such delineation, Miss Marie Van Vorst has achieved great success with "The Sin of George Warrener", to which the Macmillan establishment has judiciously lent its imprint. Mrs. Warrener's life is a tragedy of errors. She makes the huge mistake, to begin with, of "marrying for a home"; she commits the further blunder of striving for social distinction and the tawdry honors of fine clothes, quite beyond the reach of a woman whose husband earns only a moderate salary; then she falls stupidly into a purely sensual affair with a practised roué; finally, when the roué tires of her, and goes away, she runs after him, only to be disappointed, of course. Unfortunately, her indulgent, hardworking husband meanwhile misappropriates other people's money in order to meet his darling's demands. Not being in love with him, the woman is abandoned enough to extort all this money from him as the price of favors which ought never to be given excepting for love. As the excellent study of a thoroughly vain, vapid, and at the same time utterly unscrupulous creature, Mrs. Warrener stands out distinctly among this year's novelistic figures. "The Sin of George Warrener" is executed with distinguished artistic feeling.
The reverse is true of Miss Mathews' novel,
MARIE VAN VORST.
"Bridal of Anstace" (Lane) is elegantly written, too, and opens promisingly with the sudden, unexplained disappear
ance of a charming womIan's husband an hour or two after the wedding ceremony; but, the first few dozen pages hopefully perused, you already begin to feel a relaxation of the suspensive grip, and the plot then moves with great rapidity to a standstill. 'Tis a long, long, slumbrous wait till you get to the reason of that evanishment.
Anstace was distraught by her husband's disappearance; Helena Richie would have been by the reappearance of hers. Mrs. Richie lived apart from the drunken wretch whose name she bore, while to console herself for his cruelty she accepted the love of another man. The outer world Helena deceived into supposing her a widow, and into imagining the frequent visitor from Philadelphia her brother. Secrecy necessitated constant subterfuge, misrepresentation, prevarication, so that when, after certain events, the childless Helena wanted to adopt a little boy called David, she was confronted, by a worthy old man who knew her story and was
a good friend of David's, with this question: Was a woman who had systematically practiced deception for more than a decade the right person to bring up a child? The poor soul imagined that, somehow, she was entitled to happiness, but was unaware that the least likely way to secure happiness is to pursue a diligent search for it. Mrs. Deland, with her mature views of life, knows a great many things that Helena did not. It is this ripeness, this seriousness, this absence of thoughtless optimism, which should lend value to the book. Besides, "The Awakening of Helena Richie" (Harper) is conspicuous for character-drawing of a kind rarely met with in contemporary fiction: Jane Austen need not have been ashamed to invent such a family as the Wrights. The fact is, Mrs. Deland exhibits great originality of conception, the very ground-plan of her story being novel. It is a pleasure to see so meritorious a piece of literary work as this, and we heartily recommend acquaintance with it.
One may observe that these examples of wifely dissatisfaction are chronicled by women. Should one therefore conclude that the male sex finds
MYSTERY AND FANTASY.
Perhaps it is the New England conscience that impedes New England's representative novelists from breaking into free riots of unrestrained, unbelievable romance. One of them, at all events, has recently demonstrated her ability to tell a good story, full of emotion and suspense, without any recourse at all to sensational methods. "The Man in the Case" is one whom Joan Dare keeps concealed in her house, thus creating a dreadful scandal among her wellmeaning but narrow-minded neighbors, though Joan's accepted lover never doubts his sweetheart's integrity for a moment, nor even asks that she explain the secret to him. A grateful theme, this, and one attractively worked upon by Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, who disdains the megaphone, and does justice to fine characters in quiet, simple language. Houghton, Mifflin & Co.,-that good, substantial old firm, which has done so much for American letters,-has been giving its imprint to Miss Phelps' books for 37 years, beginning with "The Gates Ajar ", a volume which made a national reputation for its
Rider Haggard, the prolific, is to the front with another South African tale of mystery "The Spirit of Bambatse" (Longmans), which treats of a treasure guarded by a ghost. Paris, on the other hand, is the scene of action chosen by Elwyn Barron for the Pinkertonian pursuits of one "Marcel Levignet" (Duffield). As fantastic as the generality of detective stories, "Marcel Levignet" differs from said generality in being readable by grown-up persons; it is sprinkled with graceful banter and light philosophizing in the Gallic vein. Medieval armor donned for a Kentucky tournament, such is the strange theme selected by John Fox, junior, comprehension of whose
"Knight of the Cumberland" (Scribner) is rendered quicker through Mr. Yohn's vivacious pictorial copartnership. Van Tassel Sutphen imagines New York to have relapsed into the Middle Ages; "The Doomsman' (Harper) is a volume full of furiously sensational violence. But even more fantastic than the narrative is the author's proposition of a remedievalized human race 100 years hence, for the story is supposed to take place in 2015 A. D., and to represent the world's state of civilization at that time. We seem to hear one of Mr. Barron's Parisians in
quire: "Ah, ze Doomsman,-histoire of ze cock and ze bull, is it not?"
H. G. Wells again conducts one Utopiaward by means of his new book "In the Days of the Comet" (Century), which should not be designated as a novel but as a sociological tract. The reformed condition of mankind here described is brought about in the twinkling of an eye, upon the earth's collision with a certain comet. However, the story is nothing, while the ideas,-put with force and brilliancy,-must prove immensely attractive to people who read books with some further object in view than that of merely spending time. If one cannot always agree with Mr. Wells, he invariably fascinates one. Mr. Kipling is another writer apt to evoke conflicting emotions. But as far as his glorious gifts of literary expression are concerned, all voices must now unite once more to do him honor. "Puck of Pook's Hill" (Doubleday, Page) not only shows him Grand Master of the English Language, but marks his ability to fit with perfect verbal clothing any subject he may pick out. In the present volume half-mythological episodes and traditions from Old England's past form the strings of his muse, and he plays with many a quaint and original touch.
TALES ESPECIALLY LIVELY.
Conan Doyle, too, revives old times of Old England, and in so doing turns back to musty chronicles and crackling parchments which he had thumbed before. Sir Nigel" (McClure, Phillips), like "The White Company", deals with the Hundred Years' War between France and the island kingdom, and brings forward some of that earlier novel's personages. veritable encyclopedia of feudal terms, "Sir Nigel" renders in no mincing tone the spirit of an age when the favorite way to establish a right was through a fight. Dr. Doyle marshals sundry forms of medieval manslaughter (commonly known as "chivalry"), including some picturesque examples of naval warfare. There is nothing stale about the topic of naval archery, and nothing slow! Nor need dullness be feared of Anthony Hope's new tale, "Sophy
BULLY COMMODORE. Illustration (reduced) from "The Tides of Barnegat."