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his book recalls Gay, and suggests that his title might as well have been "The Hoboes' Comedy." What interested him on his journey was the manners of the men he met. He has described them to what is no doubt the life; he has captured the amazing raciness of their speech. Yet it must be remembered that Mr. Mullin made his expedition a dozen years ago. Since then many unimportant details have deserted his memory and left him free to create. And he has created. He has created a swift, exciting story, moving, it may be said, under its own power. His situations unfold like life itself. His characters not only talk, but breathe. They are of the They are of the race of Colonel Starbottle and Huckleberry Finn and Jack Keefe. And the whole book is held together with intelligence and high spirits. C. V. D.
NIETZSCHE AMONG THE ARTISTS
The Constant Nymph. By Margaret Kennedy. Doubleday, Page and Company.
It will some day be noted that under the industrial revolution and during the nineteenth century in general the artist came to seem a kind of unadjusted soul, as if he were, perhaps, in the plight of some craftsman who persisted in doing his work with his hands at a time when machines would do it better. Of course machines would not do his work better, nor would they do it at all, but they raised such a din that the artist's special qualities were overlooked, the public at large got into the habit of regarding him, at best, with tolerance or with pity, and he himself learned to assume the meeker virtues, whatever he had inside his head. Times are changing.
The creative life makes more and more demands upon society. Thanks to a shift of opinion with which the name of Nietzsche is ordinarily associated, though he is but one figure in the change, the artists of the age are claiming for themselves something of the rights which their fellows claimed during the Renaissance. Not only are they claiming it, but accounts of their resultant performances are increasingly popular. "The Constant Nymph" is a case in point. A generation ago few readers, surely, could have been found to sympathize with the deeds of the Sanger family, who in this novel are as ruthlessly devoted to music as Benvenuto Cellini was to his golden trade. Sanger himself is an eminent musician, who has moved through Europe gathering honors and begetting children like a nomad patriarch. When the story opens, he is near the end of his life, surrounded by The children know no discipline except his offspring on a Swiss mountain. that of music. To it they are as loyal as martyrs, serving it without question, though they trample upon all the philistine codes in the process. Taken to England, into a society with tight, solemn codes which are too much for them, they all suffer, like glittering young eagles in a dull cage. Miss Kennedy does not handle the latter part of her novel quite convincingly. Some of her skill leaves her when she tries to oppose the two sets of values, and the Sangers fade out no less from their author's treatment than from England's. "The Constant Nymph" is therefore a brilliant sketch rather than a rounded work of art. Nevertheless, it is brilliant. These wayward children are always beguiling. With the directness of the natural man they
confound all the conventional casuistries which they meet. They are all mind, and yet they are full of fiery passions. Nothing about them, however, is more remarkable than that they have found so hearty a welcome from the public. It seems to prove that artists, having learned that the meek do not inherit the earth, have set out to earn it by other methods than meekness; and that the earth is taking a sporting interest in this change of front. One minor item should be insisted upon. Tessa, from whom the book is named, is not really the heroine, or at least is not the most striking character in the book. goes to her sister Tony.
That honor That honor
C. V. D.
Though Casanova has until the last decade been but a name to Americans outside of a few scholars and collectors of curiosa, he is now the center of a growing library. Of the most recent items, the volume by Mr. Buck consists of notes and documents brought together in a compact form from the researches of various European Casanovists, and all bearing upon the period of Casanova's life after he ceased to write his memoirs. Mr. Bleakley has confined himself largely to reproducing the portion of the memoirs which relate to Casanova's visit to England during the years 1763-4, with skilful
annotations identifying the persons with whom the visitor came in contact and with corrections of frequent inaccuracies. From Mr. Machen's complete translation of the memoirs has been excerpted, with a brief introduction but without notes, the chapters dealing with Casanova's term in prison in Venice during 1755-6 and his escape. All these books are interesting, but no commentator upon Casanova is ever as interesting as Casanova himself; and Casanova is nowhere as interesting as in his famous narrative of jail-breaking. Was there ever so active, resolute, and indomitable a rogue?
Young Mrs. Cruse. By Viola Meynell. Harcourt, Brace and Company.
This book contains one longish story and half a dozen short ones, but though the bulk is inconsiderable, the execution is perfect. The stories are as lucid as water, and as incompressible and as satisfying. It will be said, no doubt, that they are of the school of Katherine Mansfield; they are actually not to be classified without injustice. In each of them a human situation is vividly conceived and subtly communicated. Such books, coming from England, where new types of brief narrative are springing up, may help to break down the imbecile objection to volumes of short stories in the United States.
Paul Bunyan. By Esther Shephard.
Seattle: The McNeil Press.
Paul Bunyan. By James Stevens. Alfred A. Knopf.
Reviewed on pages 242-4 of this issue of THE CENTURY MAGAZINE.
A Childhood in High Hungary
The Making of a Noblewoman
BY COUNTESS KATINKA KAROLYI
VE is nine, and Adam is seven, and even as I write to-day Judith is lighting six candles for her birthday tea. They are my children, all of them in the King Alfred School on the edge of Hampstead Heath. The school is called experimental and modern, but when first it was commended to me I was minded to say, "So are all schools experimental -an experiment on the children." This one is coeducational. I remember quite well as a child keeping a diary full of little maxims on how to bring up children, and though I did not record, "Believe in coeducation," it is certain I wrote down that the girls ought not to be shut off so by themselves. People will tell you yet in Budapest that such an arrangement may be all right for cold Northern people like the English, but that in Hungary we had not the temperament. Later I shall send my three to the Bedell School, in the north of England. To a public school Adam shall never go. Lives made snobbish at the start are so poor, and the public school boys I have known seem to wander through life wanting to meet other old school boys.
And for lack of knowing girls at school and early learning easily to understand and admire them as equals in sportsmanship and scholarship, they miss something fine. I wish my children to be free and eager, disciplined from within and not from without. So far they are happy and busy in King Alfred School. There are no rewards there, and no punishments. A child, to be sure, who comes late is set to work in the garden, and one of my children works in the garden often; but whether because he is sluggard or secretly fond of his gardening task, the experiment does n't yet show.
My school-girl days in Hungary were far different. When I look at Adam and Eve and Judith, I can hardly believe that the Andrassy nurseries where I grew up happened thirty years ago and a thousand miles away. It must have been four centuries ago and ten thousand miles from Hampstead Heath. Let me tell you. Part of all this I remember, but now and then there is a patch that is only legend.
The day I was born was a day of disappointment. My mother was at Tisa
Copyright, 1925, by THE CENTURY Co. All rights reserved.