An interesting number! To an old editor probably the most interesting contribution is the estimate of the work of Paul Mariett '11 by R. E. Rogers--personal and affectionate. It is, however, moderate and just. From it Mariett stands forth--the adventurer as yet in literary fields, who gained in sureness and resultant beauty of effect at each new sally, a youth of large promise as a future literary figure. The article makes clear, too, the qualities of character which shaped Mariett into a hero for those who knew him intimately in his long martyrdom.
A careful, thoughtful essay on "Syndicalism" by G. Seldes follows. Is it really necessary to make a somewhat involved subject less attractive by use of a heavy Latin vocabulary and sentences lacking ease? Surely the subject still needs in a publication like the Monthly persuasive presentation if it is to win readers, and here the style rebuffs rather than attracts.
Scofield Thayer contributes some graceful "Anapaests" and there are verses by J. D. Adams and C. H. Weston, both in the freer forms now in vogue. Neither fully escapes the danger of such verse--the prosaic--but both have something to say and say some of it well.
"The Almeh" by J. R. Dos Passos is a sketch set in Cairo. It seems oddly old-fashioned, like some story written in the sixties or seventies, for it is overloaded with unnecessary details and the dialogue is bookish. The start is slow; the emotions of Mansford are not so treated as to rouse the eager sympathy which will give the surprise at the end its full value. Such a sketch falls if it is ungenuinely dramatic and this is not.
In "At Last," I. P., treating the recent revival in English drama, has a rich subject little treated as yet. I. P. merely flashes a thought of his before the reader and is done. A pity--this, for the bloom is off a fine subject--that is all!
Taken as a whole, the number shows variety in subject, individuality of treatment, sympathy with social and literary interests of the moment, and knowledge of newer technique: In a word it maintains the traditions of the magazine.