Range and Versatility in Monthly
Without containing anything extraordinary in either prose or verse the current issue of the "Monthly" gives an admirable reflection of the intellectual and literary interests of the College. It contains eight pieces of verse, two stories, an essay in reminiscence, three articles dealing with some of the most important themes now engaging the attention not only of this country, but of the world, an editorial, and a group of reviews, literary and dramatic. The range and versatility here exhibited should be pondered by those who are apt to think of the life of the undergraduate as overwhelmingly physical and social. In quality, too, the general level is gratifying; there is nothing conspicuously poor, and a good deal that is thoroughly praiseworthy.
Perhaps the contribution that most completely achieves its purpose is the anonymous "Les Lauriers sont Coupes," a vividly remembered picture of childhood in Brussels, full of detail yet unified and effective. Of the stories, Mr. Plummer's "Full o' the Moon" catches the spirit of Irish legend, though the effort at Irish idiom is a trifle apparent; and Mr. Grant Code's "The Smile" places an old theme in an up-to-date Central American setting with considerable success. The articles on topics of the day begin with Mr. J. S. Watson's "Art and Artificiality," a not quite articulate protest against the "Safety First" temperament. Mr. McComb in his paper "Of Individuality" deals with an allied subject with greater brevity and force. Mr. Burrows replies to an editorial criticizing his expansionist views, but leaves the impression that if Mr. Mitchell cares to continue the argument there are obvious enough openings. Whatever one may think of the views expressed in these three articles, it must be said of them, as of the reviews, that they display eager and interested thinking on things that matter.
None of the verse is highly distinguished, though some of it shows considerable technical expertness. Some is purely traditional and imitative in theme, but here and there breaks in, even on these metrical exercises the overmastering absorption of the hour, and gives them a touch of actuality.
Athletics we hear of only for a moment, in a sane little editorial on the "Amateur Spirit.'
As a piece of editing this number reaches a high level: as a symptom of what is going on among the undergraduates it is in the highest degree encouraging.