The following review of the current Advocate was written especially for the Crimson by Theodore Morrison '23, Assistant in English at the University.
The current number of the Advocate, throughout a considerable amount of fiction, maintains an unusual degree of capability. The sketches range in theme from the intrigue of a sailor in Java to the gossip of ladies at afternoon bridge. The authors who have contributed these sketches write with assurance. They preserve an air of tried narrative skill; they expound both masculine and feminine character unabashed, as if experience sat lightly upon their shoulders, and no recess of human nature could resist the tolerant ease of their perceptions. Nor do they permit themselves any unduly meretricious display of mastery: restraint and directness of style mark each story in turn. I cannot think any of the work, however, able as it is, distinguished by an authentic and native gift.
"White Carnation" Ambitious
"White Carnation", by Barry Bingham, who also contributes a nugatory "Hill Song", is the most ambitious story, and has considerable merit. The characters are not without an impression of life, and the ending is natural, although the device of destroying a keepsake, used by the author to conclude this episode in a girl's character, is itself somewhat frayed and trivial. "The Kandhi Light", told in dialect by Kendall B. Foss, characterizes an old sailor and relates one of his adventures with some savor of reality. In "Outcast", by Kimball Gray, is to be found perhaps the best touch in the prose of the present number. The author sees a girl carrying a baby as she struggles up the gangplank of a steamer freighted in part with immigrants for deportation. The baby dies on the voyage, and at the landing the tragedy of the girl is conveyed in these words: "This time she would have both hands free to manage her carpet bag." We may be inclined to smile at this as a sublime instance of what an unspoiled hand can do in expressing the last degree of desolation; but the artist must have his praise for a distinguished stroke.
Edsall's Poem Notable
In poetry the Advocate is more ragged and uncertain. Richard Linn Edsall's "Ad Beatam Mariam Virgonem", adding nothing to mediaeval hymns in sentiment or diction, is noticeable for its subject matter among the vapidities of current taste, which undergraduates are fairly quick to imitate. Byron Cutcheon's "Requiem for the Poet" contains three good lines among a number of bad ones. "April Fool!" by Stuart Ayers is the best contribution in verse, disposing the manners of the day in four effective quatrains printed zigzag down the page. "My Pleasant Celia" is agreeable and neatly versified.