Advocate Review by P. A. Hutchison
So genially frank in respect to its literary shortcomings is the current number of the Advocate that criticism is disarmed. The few stories and verses do not pretend to be more than they are, --casual productions of a wholesome undergraduate life. And this is a relief. Self-consciousness, and straining for effect, are far too prominently characteristic of undergraduate compositions.
"Some Deeds of Madness" is the best of the three stories, the humorous touch at the close being especially successful. The death in "Success" is not managed cleverly enough to bring out forcibly the irony intended. "The Dinglethorpe Ghost" is not lacking in humor, but the working out of the story is a trifle too obvious. The verse is neither good nor bad--it might be worse, and it ought to be far better. One is loath to believe that the college poet is going the way of the Dodo. The two prose articles, "The National Anthem" and "College Politics," deserve a word in passing. Of the two, the first was decidedly more worthy of publication; continued calling of attention to the inefficiency of American national music may result in ultimate good, and the suggestions made in the essay--if it may be called such--are pertinent. The second article is genial, but it is a cross between a Lampoon grind and a CRIMSON editorial, with all the faults of both and few of the virtues of either. Both articles should have been shortened, and included among the editorials, or the second should have been developed differently, and sent to the Lampoon.
If the author of this review has damned "Mother Advocate" with his faint praise, he offers all apologies. But the truth is, the "Old Lady" seems to have grown anaemic during summer. She needs a subcutaneous application of good red blood. In avoiding affectation, the contributors have done well, but in achieving mediocrity they are hardly to be commended. At the risk of bringing anathema upon his head, the reviewer dares to ask, Is the Advocate sufficiently democratic? The literary tradition of the College may be left to the Monthly; the Advocate should be a magazine of undergraduates, for undergraduates, and by undergraduates. Its pages and its editorial board should be doubled, for the Advocate must widen its appeal if it is to keep in touch with our ever-broadening undergraduate life.