Review of Current Advocate
The Advocate begins its current issue with a call for more candidates; but it would seem that the candidates do enough already. So far as the signatures attached to the articles give any sign, candidates have written all the prose of the number with the exception of a modest page of editorial paragraphs, the joint product, we presume, of ten literary editors. The editorials are sensible and good-natured, but a small enough mouse for such a mountain of approved talent.
The rest of the contents are of good average quality--for candidates. One story, "The End of the Quest," by S. Bowles, Jr., is the kind of tale for which the Advocate was long famous, direct, virile, and with an ending. The tendency towards melodrama one forgives for the sake of the actual interest. Two of the others belong also to well-recognized types: "Jack's Affair with his Conscience" recalling a familiar episode in Mr. Flandreau's book, and "A Symphony in D-Minor" being a variation on the familiar theme of Mr. Owen Wister's "Philosophy 4." The fantastic tale with a touch of symbolism which H. C. Brown attempts in "And the Greatest of These" needs better technique than the author at present commands to give it the power of holding the reader which is necessary to atone for the frank unreality of the setting. "The Duplicity of Wilhelm" is funny or nothing; and it does not seem funny to me.
Of the verse, the best is "The Mouse"; I suppose it is by an editor. The free verse form is very difficult to manage successfully, and it is by no means equally good throughout, either in rhythm or tone. The lines descriptive of the mouse itself have a quaint charm; but why is the man glad? Was he afraid of the mouse, or was he only too lazy to sweep up the crumbs himself? G. K. Munroe's "Castles" has undeniable music, but most of the sense is beyond me. H. T. Pulsifer's sonnet on Lincoln is, like much of the verse on the theme published during the last month, a trifle too high-pitched to suggest absolute sincerity; and to be insincere about Lincoln is a crime. The American people have doubtless been much moved in recalling their great hero, but it is only the poets who have been blinded by "a veil of sudden falling tears."
About the soundness and timeliness of the article on the Yard dormitories there can be no question. Let us hope it may reach the right ears.
A good average number, as we said; but again--why do not the editors show us how they can write