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An Issue Which Partakes of Literary Flavor and is Distinguished by Its Fiction.


Assuredly the Monthly has come back. It is once more a literary magazine, fulfilling its original and appropriate purpose. After a period of airing of factitious grievances and of sociological and political propaganda, the new issue with its fiction and its verse seems very restful.

Gilbert V. Seldes's essay on "The Old Ideal" may fairly be taken as the manifesto of the reaction. Itself a paean in honor of tradition and the aristocratic ideal, it misses through a touch of petulance something of the repose it praises and something of fairness in attributing all the modern characteristics it censures to a socialism that has not yet come to pass. It would be a graceful acknowledgment of the soundness of the idea that the recent policy of the paper erred by over-emphasizing, if in the next number the editors found room for an essay on "The New Ideal."

Three Excellent Stories.

The chief distinction of the number lies in the fiction. C. V. Wright's "The Good Love" is a treatment of the theme of the struggle in a man's affections between the love of a woman and the lure of "the old trail." It is clearly conceived and vividly presented. Mr. Wright is clearly very sensitive to atmosphere, and at times tempted to deal with it to excess, even when it is an essential part of the story. His style would gain in masculinity by a greater restraint in the use of adjectives. In "The Ominous Tract"--a somewhat oracular title--Arthur Wilson has a real story to tell, and tells it with genuine effectiveness. Irving Pichel's "The Passing of Prayer" is lighter and slighter, but with indications of considerable comic power. It hovers on the edge of "smartness", and is not quite unified in tone.

A Number of Short Poems.

Of the verse, I prefer Rollo Britten's "The Little Boy at the Sea Shore," with its suggestion of Blake to the Swinburne Poe-Henley grimness of "Faith Lies Sick." Arthur Wilson's "By a Window" contains one epithet which justifies it. I do not believe that Schofield Thayer's "Amica" exists in his imagination, much less in his experience; she is only a creature of his vocabulary. J. D. Adams's "The Greater Sunlight" conveys to me neither image nor idea nor emotion. The use of the word "lambent" should be forbidden to Monthly poets for the space of one year. When they apply it to worlds, it is too much. The two stanzas by the new president of the Monthly seem to be worth all the rest of the verse in the number. They are admirable if not flawless in technique, and possess the charm of delicate feeling in melodious lines.

Praise for Editorials.

A word is due the capital sketch of the personality of Robert-Fleury, by R. D. Skinner, and the good sense of the unusually well-informed editorials. These close with a fit expression of the unspeakable loss the Monthly and all of us have suffered in the death of Paul Mariett. "How well could we have spared for thee,--!"

Everyone concerned in the literary interests of the undergraduates must be gratified by the evidence afforded in this issue of the return of the paper to the standards of its best years

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