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Title: The Little Review, June-July 1915 (Vol. 2, No. 4)

Author: Various

Editor: Margaret C. Anderson

Release date: September 4, 2021 [eBook #66217]

Language: English

Credits: Jens Sadowski and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at This book was produced from images made available by the Modernist Journal Project, Brown and Tulsa Universities.


The Little Review

Literature Drama Music Art



Literary Journalism in Chicago Lucien Cary
Epigrams Richard Aldington
Education by Children Will Levington Comfort
Notes of a Cosmopolite Alexander S. Kaun
“The Artist in Life” Margaret C. Anderson
Poems Clara Shanafelt
Slobberdom, Sneerdom, and Boredom Ben Hecht
The Death of Anton Tarasovitch Florence Kiper Frank
Rupert Brooke (A Memory) Arthur Davison Ficke
A Photograph of Rupert Brooke by Eugene Hutchinson
To a West Indian Alligator Eunice Tietjens
Epitaphs Witter Bynner
Editorials and Announcements  
The Submarine (from the Italian of Luciano Folgore by Anne Simon)
Blaa-Blaa-Blaa The Scavenger
The Nine!—Exhibit!  
Book Discussion  
The Reader Critic  

Published Monthly

Entered as second-class matter at Postoffice, Chicago

The Little Review

Vol. II


No. 4

Literary Journalism in Chicago

Lucian Cary

Nothing succeeds like an indiscretion. I was indiscreet enough last winter to speak my mind (a little of it) about The Little Review, The Dial, Poetry, The Drama, and the audience to which these papers appeal. The result is that I have been flattered or intimidated into speaking it ever since. In the present instance both methods have been used most charmingly—and shamelessly. You see, Miss Anderson and I live in the same village. And yet I said nothing, and have nothing to say about any paper except what everybody knows.

Everybody knows that The Friday Literary Review of The Chicago Evening Post under Mr. Francis Hackett and, later, under Mr. Floyd Dell gave us the most alert, the most eager, the most intelligent, and the best-written discussion of literature in the United States. That eight-page supplement did what had hardly been done west of England before: it made book reviews worth reading. There was almost as much difference between the Friday Review and The Dial as there is between Mr. George Bernard Shaw and Mr. Nicholas Murray Butler, almost as much difference between the Friday Review and The New York Times Literary Supplement as there is between M. Anatole France and Mr. Henry Van Dyke. There was good writing in the Friday Review and good thinking behind it. It was almost never dull; and if it was young it was not wholly unsophisticated; and if it was sometimes dead wrong it was not stupid. If there were half as many persons interested in the discussion of ideas as most of us like to believe the Friday Review would inevitably have continued. It would, that’s all. But as things are it was fated. Neither the mechanics nor the economics of daily journalism permitted it. The Post could not continue to give us—it quite literally gave us—eight pages of what so few of us wanted so much.

Everybody knows that if a weekly paper dealing not only with literature but with all the other arts in the spirit and with the journalistic competence of the Friday Review were established in Chicago everybody would have to read it.

That is the point I wished to make. It is perfectly obvious that The Little Review is not the kind of newspaper of the arts I have in mind. The Little Review is published only once a month. It is therefore not a newspaper, but a magazine. It is three times as good as The Drama, which is published only once a quarter. But my point is that we ought to have something four times as good as The Little Review: in short, a weekly. It may be that The Little Review has other failings than its infrequency. But why consider these lesser matters? The Little Review has one virtue in addition to its eagerness. It is informal. Informality is the breath of life to journalism. Nobody can write anything the way people want him to unless he feels perfectly free to write the way he wants to. It is far more a matter of manners than a matter of truth. A journal which insists on formality almost never has any good writing in it. Good writing is nothing but the artistic expression of a personality. Scientifically speaking, it can be nothing else. Not that one must be thinking about expressing his personality in order to write well. The very point is that he must not be thinking about it. He has got to be thinking about what he has to say and nothing else. Take the use of “I” as an apparently trivial but actually significant example. If the paper for which he is writing regards the use of “I” as a breach of good form a man will find that one finger of his left hand is mysteriously drawn to the shift key and one finger of his right hand to the key between the “u” and the “o” in order to make an “I” all the time he is punching his typewriter. The least excusable riot of “I’s” I ever saw in print was in a journal of literary discussion which believes in the reality of that invention of the old-fashioned logician, “objective criticism,” and which regards the use of “I” by any but elderly gentlemen of the walnuts and wine school as impossible. I did it myself in the absence of the editor. In a paper which does not in the least object to the use of “I” writers soon forget all about it, and when they do that they begin to use it only when it is effective. It is the virtue of The Little Review that it permits its contributors to use “I” as often as they please; that it permits them to make fools of themselves occasionally. This means that it is not impossible to write well for The Little Review. I do not say that it is not possible to write badly for The Little Review. Perfect freedom to be idiotic does not inevitably eliminate idiocy.

But I have no more compliments for The Little Review.

Poetry is another matter. Miss Monroe’s magazine has printed some bad verse. But this is not, as its most envious critics imagine, its distinction. Every magazine prints bad verse. Poetry has printed poetry that nobody else dared to print. Poetry has boldly discussed the poetic controversy when everybody else hid behind language. Poetry introduced us to Rabindranath Tagore, to Vachel Lindsay, in a way, to Edgar Lee Masters. Poetry printed Ford Hueffer’s poem On Heaven. Poetry has heard of Remy de Gourmont and the Mercure de France—an incredible achievement for a Chicago literary journal. Poetry has done more than any other paper to furnish a meeting ground for writers in Chicago. If Poetry were concerned about novels it would not decide two or three years after intelligent people had discovered Jean Christophe that M. Romain Rolland is a successor to Tolstoi and, for the first time, print a few paragraphs about him. If Poetry were interested in psychology it would not ignore Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. But Poetry is not interested in these things. Its great wealth is devoted only to poetry and it comes out only once a month.

It is a pity. For the spirit of Poetry is nearer to the spirit of the old Friday Literary Review than anything else in Chicago. That is the spirit I like, that seems suited to the place and the occasion. But it needs a weekly paper of wide scope to express itself.

A man is an artist to the extent to which he regards everything that inartistic people call “form” as the actual substance, as the “principal” thing.—Nietzsche.


Richard Aldington


(A Conceit)

The noon sky, a distended vast blue sail;

The sea, a parquet of coloured wood;

The rock-flowers, sinister indigo sponges;

Lavender leaping up, scented sulphur flames;

Little butterflies, resting shut-winged, fluttering,

Eyelids winking over watchet eyes.

The Retort Discourteous

They say we like London—O Hell!—

They tell

Us we shall never sell

Our works (as if we cared).

We’re “high brow” and long-haired

Because we don’t

Cheat and cant.

We can’t rhythm; we can’t rhyme,

Just because their rag-time

Bores us.

These twangling lyrists are too pure for sense;

So they chime,


And time,

And Slime,

All praise their virtuous impotence.


I know a woman who is natural

As any simple cannibal;

This is a great misfortune, for her lot

Is to reside with people who are not.

Education by Children

Will Levington Comfort

A little girl of eleven was working here in the study through the long forenoon. In the midst of it, we each looked up and out through the barred window to the nearest elm, where a song-sparrow had just finished a perfect expression of the thing as he felt it. The song was more elaborate, perhaps, because the morning was lofty and glorious. Old Mother Nature smelled like a tea-rose that morning; one would know from that without the sense of direction that the wind was from the south. The song from the sunlight among the new elm leaves was so joyous that it choked us. It stood out from all the songs of the morning, because it was so near, and we had each been called by it from the pleasant mystery of our tasks.

The little girl leaned toward the window. We heard the other bird answer from the distance, and then ours sang again—and again. We sipped the ecstacy in the hushes. Like a flicker the little bird was gone—a leaning forward on the branch, and then a blur ... and presently the words in the room:

“... sang four songs and flew away.”

It was a word-portrait, and told me much that I wanted. The number, of course, was not mental, clearly a part of the inner impression. However, no explanation will help if the art of the saying is not apparent. I told the thing as it is here, to a class later in the day, and a woman said:

“Why, those six words make a Japanese poem.”

I wonder if it is oriental? Rather I think it belongs especially to our new generation, the elect of which seems to know innately that an expression of truth in itself is a master-stroke. Somehow the prison-house has not closed altogether upon the elect of the new generation. There are lines in the new poetry that could come forth, and have their being, only from the inner giant that heretofore has been asleep except in the hearts of the rarest few whose mothers mated with Gods, merely using men for a symbol and the gift of matter....

As I believe that the literary generation which has the floor in America today is the weakest and the bleakest that ever made semi-darkness of good sunlight, so I believe that the elect of the new generation contains individuals who are true heaven-borns; that they bring their own light with them and do not stand about stretched for reflection; that they refuse to allow the world-lie to shut the passages of power within them, between the zone of dreams and the more temperate zones of matter. They have refused to accept us—that is the splendid truth.

The new generation does not argue with us. They are not a race of talkers. They do not accept what they find and begin to build upon that, as all but the masters have done heretofore. They are making even their own footings and abutments. And to such clean and sure beginnings magic strength has come. The fashions and the mannerisms which we knew and thought of as the heart of things; the artfulness of speech and written word, the age of advertising which twisted its lie into the very physical structure of our brains; the countless reserves and covers to hide our want of inspiration (for light cannot pass through a twisted passage)—all these, the new age has put away. It meets life face to face—and a more subtle and formidable devil is required for its workers than that which seduced us.

The few great workmen heretofore have come up in the lie, and in midlife, the sutures closing—they were warned because they had labored like men. For their work’s sake and for their religion, which is the same to great men, they perceived that they must tear the lie out of their hearts, even if they bled to death. We call it their illumination, but it was a very deep and dark passage for them. Except that ye become as little children—that was all they knew, perhaps, but quite enough.... And the old masters invariably put their story down for us to read: Rodin, Puvis de Chavannes, Whitman, Balzac, Tolstoi—only to mention a little group of the nearer names—all have told the story. In their later years they told no other story.

In the beginning they served men, as they fancied men wanted to be served, but after they confronted the lie of it, they dared to listen to reality from their own nature. They fought the fight for that cosmic simplicity which is the natural flowering of the child mind, and which modern education patronizingly dresses down at every appearance. The masters wrenched open with all their remaining strength the doors of the prison-house, and become more and more like children unto the end.

... I do not ask a finer fate than to write about the New Age and Children and Education by Children for The Little Review. I think of you as one of its throbbing centers. I can say it better than that—I think of you as a brown Arabian tent in which the world’s desire is just rousing from sleep. I would like to be one of the larks of the morning, whose song makes it impossible for you to doze again. I would not come too near—lest you find me old, the brandings of past upon me. Yet because of the years, I think I know what will be that “more formidable and subtle devil” waiting to make you forget your way.

He is not a stranger. He is always near when people dare to be simple. There are many who call him a God still, but they do not use their eyes. You who see so directly must never forget that bad curve of him below the shoulders. Forever, the artists lying to themselves have tried to cover that bad curve of Pan as it sweeps down into the haunches of a goat. Pan is the first devil you meet when you reach that rectitude of heart which dares to be naked and unashamed.

Whole races of artists have lied about Pan because they listened to the haunting music of his pipes. It calls sweetly, but does not satisfy. How many Pan has called—and left them sitting among the rocks with mindless eyes and hands that fiddle with emptiness!... Pan is so sad and level-eyed. He does not explain. He does not promise—too wise for that. He lures and enchants. He makes you pity him with a pity that is red as the lusts of flesh.

You know that red in the breast! It is the red that drives away the dream of peace, yet the pity of him deludes you. You look again and again, and the curve of his back does not break the dream, as before. You think that because you pity him, you cannot fall; and all the pull of the ground tells you that your very thought of falling is a breath from the old shames—your dead, but as yet unburied heritage, from generations that learned the lie to itself.

You touch the hair of the goat, and say it is Nature. But Pan is not Nature—a hybrid, half of man’s making, rather. Your eyes fall to the cloven hoof, but return to the level steady eye, smiling with such soft sadness that your heart quickens for him, and you listen, as he says: “All Gods have animal bodies and cloven hoofs, but I alone have dared to reveal mine.” ... “How brave you are!” Your heart answers, and the throb of him bewilders you with passion.... You who are so high must fall far, when you let go.

... And many of you will want to fall. Pan has come to you because you dare.... You have murdered the old shames, you have torn down the ancient and mouldering churches. You do not require the blood, the thorn, the spikes, but I wonder if even you of a glorious generation, do not still require the Cross?... It is because you see so surely and are level-eyed that Pan is back in the world for you; and it is very strange but true that you must first meet Pan and pass him by, before you can enter into the woodlands with that valid God of Nature, whose back is a challenge to aspiration, and whose feet are of the purity of the saints.

To M.

Beautiful slave,

I kiss your lips abloom—

Do you not hear the surging voices

Beyond the tomb

Wherein you guard the candles of the dead?

Do you not hear the winds that crown

The towers with clouds

Dancing up and down,

Fluttering your shrouds?

Do you not hear the music of the dawn,

The strong exultant voices swelling,

Welling like the sweep of eager birds

Beyond your somber dwelling

Where each somber wall enclosing flings

Back in your ear

The moaning passion of dead things?

Beautiful slave,

I kiss your parted lips abloom.

O the splendor of the voids beyond

The stifling tomb

Wherein you keep your vigil by the dead.

You are too weary-spirited

To look at dawn, too tired-eyed to look upon the sun,

Too weak to stand against the winds.

What then? Farewell? No, let me—

I will find the face of God

With you among the worms.


Notes of a Cosmopolite

Alexander S. Kaun

Mit dem Nationalhaß ist es ein eigenes Ding. Auf den untersten Stufen der Kultur wird man ihn immer am stärksten und heftigsten finden. Es giebt aber eine Stufe, wo er ganz verschwindet, wo man gewissermaßen über den Nationen steht und man ein Glück oder Weh seines Nachbarvolkes fühlt, als wärs dem eigenen Volk begegnet.—Goethe.

Uncle Sam vs. Onkel Michel

You remember the story of the king parading every morning before his meek subjects who expressed their great admiration for the sovereign’s gorgeous raiment, until a certain simpleton shouted: “Why, the king is nude!” I do not recall the end of the story, nor how the impudent sceptic was punished; but the part I do remember recurs to me every time some elemental power comes along and sweeps away the ephemeral figments from the body of mankind. Mars has more than once played the part of the rude simpleton; this god has neither tact nor manners; with his heavy boot he dots the i’s and compels us to name pigs pigs. His first victim falls the frail web of diplomatic niceties. Talleyrand’s cynicism about the function of the diplomat’s tongue to conceal truth has become bankrupt: who takes seriously nowadays the casuistry of the manicolored Books issued by the belligerents? Even Tartuffian England has had to doff the robe of idealism and to admit through the Times that it would have fought regardless of whether the neutrality of Belgium had been infringed upon or not. Good. One of the salutary results of the war (let us hope there will be more than one good result) has already been realized in the wholesale unmasquing of international politics; it will do immense good for mankind-Caliban to see his real image.

The United States holds fast to its tradition of lagging behind the rest of the world. Messrs. Wilson and Bryan still employ the rusty weapon of “putting one over” through transparent bluff. “Too proud to fight” has become a classic mot the world over, to the sheer delight of European humorists and cartoonists after their wits had been exhausted over the memorable “Watchful Waiting.” The admirable English of the President has demonstrated its effectiveness time and again: nearly each eloquent Note has been responded to by a German torpedo. “America asks nothing for herself but what she has a right to ask for humanity itself”—what obsolete verbosity! Who is this Mme. Humanity in whose name we demand the right to send shells to Europe unhampered by the intended victims of those shells? An American weekly, outspokenly pro-British, has cynically summed up the situation: “The British government will not allow a German woman to obtain food from the United States with which to feed her children, in spite of the fact that it is buying rifles in the United States with which to kill her husband.” We can neither blame England for her practical purposes, nor reproach the United States for her desire to accommodate a good customer: business is business; but why these appeals in the name of humanity? Why the indignant outcries against Germany’s successful attempts to check the supply of ammunition for her enemies? The brutal Lusitania affair has merely proved the consistent and consequential policy of Germany; had she not carried out her threats she would have found herself in the ridiculous position of our government which seldom goes beyond threats. Talk about the murder of women and children in time of war! I heard of a polite Frenchman who hurled himself from the top story of the Masonic Temple and removed his hat to apologize before a lady on one of the balconies whose hat he happened to brush on his downward flight. Well, the Germans are not polite.

What is the significance of Mr. Bryan’s resignation? Let us hope it is of no import; let us hope it may cause a change in tone, but not in action. For this country to be dragged into the whirlpool of the world war would be a more unpardonable folly than the puerile Vera Cruz affair. Our entrance into the war would change the actual situation of the fighting powers as much as the solemn declaration of war by the Liliputian San Marino has changed it; in the absence of an army deserving mention we could depend solely upon our navy which would be able to accomplish nothing more than joining in some calm bay the invincible fleet of the Ruler of the Waves and indulge in philosophical watchful waiting. On the other hand official war against Germany will doubtless produce internal friction of the gravest importance. I say official, for unofficially we have been on the side of the Allies for many months despite our theoretical neutrality. Think of the sentiments of the German soldiers when they are showered upon with shells bearing the labels of American manufacturers. Had we not supplied England and France with ammunition, who knows but that they would have found themselves in the same predicament as Russia, that is, in the position of an orchestra without instruments? When we shall have declared war against Germany we shall hardly be in power to harm her more than we have done heretofore; the Allies will do the killing, and we, the manufacturing. But the cat’s-paw-game is ungentlemanly, especially when it is done officially. To be sure, Mr. Wilson is a gentleman; hence our firm hope that he will do nothing more grave than enriching English literature with exemplary Notography.

Vincisti, Teutonia!

In his Frankfurt letters Heine wrote:

I have never felt inclined to repose confidence in Prussia. I have rather been filled with anxiety as I gazed upon this Prussian eagle, and while others boasted of the bold way in which he glared at the sun my attention was drawn more and more to his claws. I never trusted this Prussian, this tall canting hero in gaiters, with his big paunch and his large jaws, and his corporal’s stick, which he dips in holy water before he lays it about your back. I am not overfond of this philosophical Christian militarism, this hodge-podge of thin beer, lies, and sand. I utterly loathe this Prussia, this stiff, hypocritical, sanctimonious Prussia, this Tartuffe among the nations.

Can you blame Wilhelm for opposing the erection of a Heine monument in Düsseldorf? Those lines were written nearly four scores of years ago, a time sufficient for turning epithets obsolete. No longer is Prussia labeled hypocritical and sanctimonious; it is rather accused of rude frankness and insulting tactlessness. Yet the hatred for Prussia has not abated, but has been greatly enhanced. Heine died before the planting of the atrocious Sieges-Allee, that symbol of the triumphant pig; it is in the last forty years that the world has witnessed the development of Prussian forbearance, narrowness, machine-like preciseness, and soullessness. We have always preferred to distinguish Germany from Prussia; we have found delight in the thought that there is a Munich as well as a Berlin, a Nietzsche as well as a Haeckel, a Rheinhard as well as a Bernhardi.... Today we witness the hegemony of Prussia, a hegemony political as well as spiritual, for the great war has crowned with triumph not only the Krupp guns but also the Prussian idea of efficiency and preciseness. Our amazement at the achievements of the lightning-like army that has been almost invariably victorious during the eleven months of fighting and has held in its iron grip two hostile fronts, and our astonishment at the diabolical accomplishment of the submarines which have driven the English fleet to rest in North Scotland and have become the Flying Dutchmen of the seas, pale before our admiration for the wonderful spirit displayed by the German people within their country. Read their press; you find nothing bombastic or boasting, but calm reserve, set teeth, clenched fists, and deadly determination to fight for life, even if it be a fight against the whole world. “Weder Schlafpulver noch Tonics!” admonishes Maximilian Harden against drumming up illusionary hopes. “Stirb und werde,” he closes up one of his terse articles in the most virile publication I know of, the Zukunft. Bernhardi’s alternative—a World Power or Downfall—is not any longer a mere jingo-rocket but an imperative axiom uniting all Germans in a desperate decision to preserve their national existence in face of a universal hatred and complete isolation. They are not geniuses, those perseverant Teutons; rather are they the reverse of geniuses. They do not rise above reality; they adapt themselves to facts. They refuse to be Quixotic knights; they prefer to emulate Mahomet who went to the mountain when the mountain declined to go unto him; not to ride on the back of conditions and circumstances, but to hold tight their tail and be dragged after them. Herein lies the Teutonic victory, the victory of Blond Beast over Superman, the triumph of mediocrity over uniqueness, of fact over idea, of efficiency over idealism, of state over individual.

The Prophecy of Rimbaud

Arthur Rimbaud, the close friend of Verlaine, the “ruffian,” according to Mr. Powys (this I shall never forgive him), was capable not only of perceiving the color of vowels but also of foreseeing the political situation forty-five years ahead. L’Eclaireur de Nice prints an interesting statement made by Rimbaud in 1871, a few lines of which I shall reluctantly attempt to translate:

The Germans are by far our inferiors, for the vainer a people is the closer it approaches decadence—history proves it.... They are our inferiors because victory has besotted them. Our chauvinism has received a blow from which it will not recover. The defeat has freed us from stupid prejudice, has transformed and saved us. Yes, they will pay dearly for their victory! In fifty years envious and restless Europe will prepare for them a bold unexpected stroke, and will whip them. I can foresee the administration of iron and folly that will stifle German society and German thought, in the end to be crushed by some coalition!

George Brandes’ Neutrality

There has been a good deal of misapprehension concerning Brandes’ attitude towards the war. His refusal to answer the interpellation of his friend Clemenceau, his condemnation of the Russian policy in Finland and of the cowardly and treacherous treatment of the Jews by the Poles, have given cause for suspecting him of pro-German sentiments. In a recent interview with the correspondent of the Paris Journal the Danish critic avows his full sympathy for France. Although his statement is reserved and plausibly neutral, one easily discerns his dislike for Germany, in whose Deutschland über Alles motto he sees a Jesuitic excuse for all means that may lead to her end. “German brutality is not instinctive; it is a scientific one, a theory.” The cause of the war he epitomizes in the mot of Pascal: “Pourquoi voulez vous tuer cette homme?”—“Il est mon ennemi: il habite de l’autre côté du fleuve.” Brandes expresses himself more frankly in the Danish Tilskueren, where he interprets the war as the struggle between liberalism and personal government, between civil spirit and militarism, between a people (England) which accords others commercial freedom and self-government and a country overridden with economic protectionism, junkers, and bureaucracy. “England has an independent press and a government which voices the parliament and public opinion; in Germany the press is semi-official, the government is responsible solely before the Kaiser, and the Kaiser only before God.”

Germanophobia ad Absurdum

The French Immortals, too old for actual participation in the war, have found an outlet for their patriotism in shedding red ink of ridiculous chauvinism. It has become a matter of course to meet a name of some “Membre de l’Academie” signed under such outbursts as this: “Nothing of the Barbarians, nothing of their literature, of their music, of their art, of their science, nothing of their culture, of anything Made in Germany!” Another Academic gives vent to his ire against those Frenchmen who still find certain German things worth admiring, and he vehemently advocates the prohibition of the Barbarian music and art “by law, by persuasion, by force, by violence if necessary!” The octogenarian Saint-Saens has written a series of articles venomously attacking Wagnerian music, labeling traitor any Frenchman who favors the art of the arch-foe of his country. Even the semi-official Le Temps was shocked by the violent tone of the old composer; it quoted Saint-Saens’s articles of the year 1876, in which the author appeared to be an ardent Wagnerite and appealed to his compatriots for broad-mindedness and toleration for “the greatest genius of our times.” As a substitute for the atrocious Wagner Saint-Saens recommends the return to Haydn and Mozart, even to Meyerbeer; Schumann’s Lieder he would ban for Gounod and Massenet; he favors even Dussek, for he is “only a Bohemian.” Patriotic as he is, he refuses to sanction the modern French composers, since Debussy, Fauré, D’Indy, and the rest are Wagnerians in his estimation. It is a case of “senile reactionarism,” as the Mercure de France rightly observes.

Comparative Morale

It is very interesting to compare the barometer of public morale in the European capitals, judging from their amusements. Here is one day’s bill taken from the London Daily News, the Petrograd Ryech, the Berliner Tageblatt, the Vienna Neue Freie Presse, and the Paris Figaro; I have omitted the movies, which bear for the most part ultra-patriotic titles, and the vaudevilles. The London bill is quite poor: Veronique, a comic opera; Mme. Sans-Gene; Gaby Deslys in Rosy Rapture, presented by Charles Frohman; The Girl in the Taxi; Frondai’s The Right to Kill; For England, Home, and Beauty; and our old friends, the Irish Players, in the Little Theatre. Still more meager is the Paris bill: outside of Cavalleria Rusticana (the chairman of the Walt Whitman dinner pronounces it Keyveleeria Rohstikeyna), it abounds with such tit-bits as La Petite Fonctionaire, Mam’zelle Boy Scout, Mariage de Pepeta, and so forth. Berlin has on that day three operas—Don Juan, Elektra, Lohengrin; three dramas—Faust, Peer Gynt, Schluck und Jau (the last one in Rheinhard’s Deutsches Theater), not counting the minor affairs. Vienna’s bill took away my breath: a Schönberg-Mahler Abend, a Schubert-Strauss Abend, a Beethoven-Brahms Abend, a Brahms Kammermusik Abend, a concert under Sevcik; Carmen; a play by Fulda after Molière; Ibsen’s Master Builder and Ghosts; Kleist’s Kätchen von Heilbronn. As for the Petrograd bill, I had better not say what emotions it has aroused in me. Judge for yourselves: five operas—Traviata, Faust, Pagliacci, Ruslan and Ludmilla, Eugene Onegin; a ballet by Mlle. Krzesinsky; two ballets by Fokin’s company; plays by Ibsen, Mirbo, Andreyev, beside Potash and Perlmutter and other importations; an exhibition of paintings by Lancerè and Dobuzhinsky; a Poeso-Evening by Futurist poets with Igor Severyanin as leader; an Evening of Poetry under K. R. (Grand Duke Konstantine, whose play King of the Jews recently appeared in an English translation); public lectures on The Blue Bird in Our Days, on Dostoevsky and Nietzsche.... Allow me to stop. Are you inclined to draw conclusions and comparisons between the stage of war-ridden Europe and that of peacefully complacent America? I beg to be excused.

Edmond Rostand on the Lusitania

Rostand is a member of the Academy; perhaps this affliction is responsible for his growing hoarseness as a Chantecler. Yet as of all recent war poems his is the best, I feel justified in citing it:

Les Condoléances

Bernstorff, pour aller à la Maison Blanche,

S’est mis tout en noir.

(L’onde a pris, là-bas, la dernière planche

Dans son entonnoir.)

Il entre, affigé, refuse une chaise

D’un geste contrit.

(Des femmes, là-bas, heurtent la falaise

De leur sein meurtri.)

Il tousse une toux de condoléance.

Il s’essuie un oeil.

(Les enfants noyés tournent en silence

Autour d’un écueil.)

Il se mouche. Il dit—son mouchoir embaume:—

“Je viens de la part

De Sa Majesté l’Empereur Guillaume

Vous dire la part....”

Derrière Wilson, dont on aime à croire

Que tout le sang bout,

Lincoln, la Vertu,—Washington, la Gloire,

Se tiennent débout.

Le comte Bernstorff ne peut les connaître.

Il ne les voit pas.

S’il pouvait les voir, il aurait peut-être

Reculé d’un pas.

“... Vous dire la part....”—O mornes allures!

Touchant trémolo!

(Les pêcheurs, là-bas, voient des chevelures

Ouvertes sur l’eau.)

“... Vous dire la part que nous daignons prendre

A votre malheur.”

(Les flots verts ont-ils d’autres morts à rendre?


Bernstorff pleure et dit: “J’ai su ce naufrage

Et je suis venu.

Ils n’ont pas souffert. Ayez du courage.

Ils en ont bien eu.

“Je n’insiste pas. Je suis venu vite,

Et puis je m’en vais.

Mais vous sentez bien que, cette visite,

Je vous la devais.

“Nous plaignons le sort des enfants, des femmes,

Cela va de soi....

Ah si vous voyiez tous les télégrammes

Que Tirpitz reçoit!

“C’est un grand succès pour notre marine.

Je suis désolé.

Veuillez constater que sur ma marine

Ce pleur a coulé.

“Un pleur magnifique, en cristal de roche.

Voyez, c’est exact.

Je ne comprends pas que l’on nous reproche

De manquer de tact.

“Berlin se pavoise.—Hélas!—On décore

Le moindre faubourg.

Ah je le disais tout à l’heure encore

A Monsieur Dernburg.

“Si notre avenir—souffrez que je cache

Quelques pleurs amers—

N’est plus sur les mers, il faut que l’on sache

Qu’il est sous les mers.

“Ceux qui malgré nous voyagent sur l’onde

Sont les agresseurs.”

(Là-bas, l’eau rapporte une vierge blonde

Avec ses trois soeurs.)

“Les Tipperary que chez vous on siffle

Nous ont agacés,

Et quand Roosevelt joue avec son rifle

Nous disons: Assez.

“Qu’allaient donc chercher en cette aventure

Vos Princes de l’Or?”

(Là-bas, pour avoir donné sa ceinture,

Vanderbilt est mort.)

“Il ne faudra pas que ça recommence.

Ils sont bien punis.

Veuillez exprimer ma douleur immense

Aux Etats-Unis.”

(Il se fait, là-bas, d’horribles trouvailles

Qu’on met sous un drap.)

Et Bernstorff reprend: “Pour les funérailles,

On me préviendra.

“Ce désastre a fait, en Bourse allemande,

Monteur les valeurs.

On me préviendra pour que je commande

Les plus belles fleurs.”

Et comme Wilson dit, d’une voix sombre:

“Nous verrons demain,”

Et sent Washington et Lincoln, dans l’ombre,

Lui prendre la main,

Bernstorff, en pleurant, regagne la porte ...

(Il y a, là-bas,

Deux petits enfants qu’une femme morte

Serre entre ses bras.)

The Downfall of the International

Another result of the war, already sufficiently crystallized, is the bankruptcy of the illusionary spirit of internationalism. In his remarkable book[1] Mr. Walling has taken the trouble of quoting resolutions of national sections of the Socialist party the world over, before and during the war. With a few significant exceptions the Socialists of the warring nations have had to exchange their erstwhile slogan “Workers of the world, be united!” for the less noble motto “Defend your country!” Even when the European armies had already been mobilized the Socialists held protest meetings at which they threatened to call a general strike if war should be declared. But with the first cannon boom the theoretic brotherhood evaporated and gave way to patriotic sentiments. The workers declared that they were Germans, Russians, etc., first, then Socialists. True, in the beginning the German Socialists claimed that they were fighting against the reactionary Czardom, while the Socialists of the Allies tried to justify the international carnage as the struggle against Prussian militarism; but ultimately such clear-headed thinkers as Kautsky and some of the English Socialists came to see the futility of endeavoring to discover idealistic causes for the mutual slaughter. The country is in danger, consequently we must defend it, regardless of the rightness or wrongness of its policy—this is the prevailing sentiment among the workers. The grandiose structure of the International has fallen in ruins; the “scientific” theories and calculations of the Marxians have received a blow by the underestimated imponderabilia, that of primitive patriotism. On the other hand, “applied” Socialism has won a considerable victory with the development of the war. Nearly all the belligerent countries have adopted State-Socialism in such measures as the nationalization of railways and means of production. The capitalists are evidently shrewd enough to utilize the doctrines of their opponents in time of need and thus to neutralize the sting of that very opposition. What will become of Socialism when at least its minimum-program is accepted and put into practice by the capitalistic order without the aid of a social revolution, the inevitability of which has been scientifically proven by Marx and his disciples?

[1] The Socialists and the War, by William English Walling. New York: Henry Holt and Company.

Artists should not see things as they are; they should see them fuller, simpler, stronger: to this end, however, a kind of youthfulness, of vernality, a sort of perpetual elation, must be peculiar to their lives.—Nietzsche.

“The Artist in Life”

Margaret C. Anderson

People” has become to me a word that—crawls. If you have ever heard Mr. Bryan pronounce it you will know what I mean. He says it “peo-pul”....

And that is the way they act. Sometimes I see peo-pul in this kind of picture: a cosmic squirming mass of black caterpillars moving first one way and then the other, slowly and vaguely, not like measuring worms who cover the ground or like ants who have their definite business, but heavily, blindly, in the stunned manner peculiar to caterpillar organisms. They peer and poke and nod and ponder and creep and crawl and scramble and grow dizzy and turn around and around, wondering whether they shall go on the way they started or go back the way they came or refuse to go at all. Once in a hundred years one of the caterpillars breaks his skin and flies away—a butterfly through the unfriendly air. Then the black mass writhes in protest and arranges that the next butterfly shall have his wings well clipped. I know my metaphor is not scientifically intact, but what does it matter? It satisfies my impulse—which is simply to call names. So I might as well say “People are caterpillars” and be done with it.

I have a painter artist friend who says that to talk about the artist in life is simply to repeat one of those silly phrases that mean nothing. But it means entirely too much, I think—which is the reason there are so many of the species in evidence: about two in a million perhaps—and I know that is far too optimistic. That would mean some four or five thousand people in the living world who have nothing in common with caterpillars. The count is too high!

For really there are no artists among us. Living picturesquely, artistically, has nothing to do with being an artist in life; and even living with the poise that marks a good piece of art hasn’t necessarily anything to do with it. If you ask me to choose a type of the real artist in life I shall say Nietzsche rather than Goethe. For the artist in life has inevitably to do with prophecy rather than with holding up the mirror; and that means chiefly—to have strength!

Now where are the strong people? Of course “strength” is an indefinite term. Sometimes it seems a matter of dominating the superfluous; sometimes it seems the power “to meet fate with an equal gaze”; and sometimes the resource or the daring to push one’s fate to a farther goal. But these are beginnings! If you pick up what is known as your soul from a wreckage and make it march on you think you are very strong. If you manage to make it march with pride and joy you think you are a Superman. But this is easily within the effort of Everyman. I am talking of artists now and of the radiant possibility that such beings may develop in this uninspired land; and, in these terms, to be strong is to help create the farther goal!

It’s disgusting to realize that the people we know are not this sort. Take any twenty of your friends and classify them briefly as types. Perhaps there are five who have “personality”: but one of them has no energy, one no will, one no brains, one no imagination, and the other no “spirit;” there are five who have “intellect”: one of them has no “character,” one no strength, one can’t see or hear or feel, one sees so inclusively that he has no goal, and one sees so “straight” that he misses the road on both sides; there are five who have a capacity for art: one is lazy, one is ignorant, one is afraid, one is vain, one has a lie in him; and there are five who have a capacity for living: one can’t think, one can’t work, one can’t persevere, one can’t stand alone, one wastes his gift on others and never realizes himself. You can work out such combinations ad infinitum and you can excuse them to the same distance by calling it all a matter of having the defects of your qualities. Why not call it a matter of having the complacency of your defects?

If you’ve not got imagination you can’t help it; if you’ve not got strength you can get it. It won’t make you an artist but it will make it impossible for you to be confused with the caterpillars. If you’ve got a vision—an Idea—and can find the strength to fly toward it you’ll be an artist in life. This is not to confuse the artist with the prophet. You can’t very well do that because the terms are so interdependent. There has never been an artist without the prophet in him, and there has never been a prophet who was not an artist. It’s a different thing if you’re talking about priests or about inferior artists. And then of course you have to remember that there are no such things as inferior artists. Priest and demagogue are the names for those who fail as prophets or as artists.

And what is the use of such a harangue? There is very little use. People won’t be artists. Peo-pul don’t change. But the individual changes, and that is the hope. Individuals are persons who can stand alone. There ought to be Individuals coming out of a generation brought up on Nietzsche. Such an upbringing has taught us at least two things: first that he who goes forward goes alone, and second that it is weakness rather than nobility to succumb to the caterpillars. Yes, and something else: that it is from superabundance rather than from hunger that creation comes. We start out fortified with all this. We don’t need to wrestle with our gods every time the old laws threaten to submerge us; our universe doesn’t totter when the caterpillars groan that we will be lonely if we go alone or hurt if we are misunderstood or tragic if we don’t compromise. We don’t mind these things.

It really all comes to one end: Life for Art’s sake. We believe in that because it is the only way to get more Life—a finer quality, a higher vibration. This bigger concept doesn’t mean merely more Beauty. It means more Intensity. In short, it means the New Hellenism. And that is a step beyond the old Greek ideal of proportion and moderation. It pushes forward to the superabundance that dares abandonment.

Art and nothing else! Art is the great means of making life possible, the great seducer to life, the great stimulus of life.—Nietzsche.

The tree that grows to a great height wins to solitude even in a forest; its highest outshoots find no companions save the winds and the stars.—Frank Harris.


Clara Shanafelt


I have no thoughts, no more desires—

It is green and gray like a garden

Stirred by apple-scented wind,

Quick with the sense of cool and silver joys

That come in a rainy dance

When soft hands of clouds have pushed away

The round red stupid face of the sun.

In one day, I think, the wind

Will not have had his will of the gleaming rain—

They run about with tossed hair,

The garden is silvered with their pleasure,

Cool and sweet, shining

As with arch laughter a beloved face.

The musing pool

Shattered in glancing flight by a sudden wing—

This, which no words can name,

This is my heart’s delight,

Winging I know not whither;

It has no measure.


To sink deeper yet

In the green flood of twilight—

I grope for the rich chord of the full darkness

That drowns the piping cries of light,

For silence fretted by cadent rain

And the monotonous cries of insects

That lull the tortured sense in drowsy veils.

I am weary of lights dancing

In limpid streets,

Lemon and gold and amethyst,

The jewelled laughter and the scent,

Weaving of uneasy colors.

I would rest now in green and gray

Of an abandoned garden

Where no more flowers are,

Only grass and crabbed trees,


And the bitter aroma of herbs

Trod out by myriad, whispering feet of the rain—

Night and no stars.

Slobberdom, Sneerdom, and Boredom

Ben Hecht

It is the custom of inspired opinion to pay little attention to mediocrities, to dismiss them with a shudder. I understand The Little Review to be an embodiment of inspired opinion, an abandonment of mental emotion—Youth. Like some of the people who read it and even some of them who write for it, it flies at the throats of contemporary Chimeras and leaps upon the Pegasi of the moment. It slashes and roars, hates and loves. It never considers the right and never considers the wrong. It does not endeavor to be just and fair. This is at once a great crime and a great virtue. It is criminal to be unjust and it is virtuous to be truthful. To me The Little Review is always both. I sympathize with its spirit and share it. Leave justice to the greybeards. Why should a soul which has the capacity for inspiration quibble in prejudices?

I think, however, that shuddering at mediocrities is a grave error. Evil is the monopoly of the few as well as genius. Hating and loving them are luxuries. Therefore it is that this writing is not composed in the luxurious spirit of The Little Review. My opinion is not an inspired one, my emotion is not an abandonment. I write with a photographic dispassion of the three great divisions of mediocrity—Slobberdom, Sneerdom, and Boredom.

Slobbering is not an art and it is not an evil. It is not even important except as an object of analysis. True, if encountered in print or in the flesh it is likely to have a nauseous effect upon sensitive souls; but then one can easily avoid encountering it. One does not, for instance, have to attend a Walt Whitman dinner. When one hears that a Walt Whitman dinner is to be given on a certain night in the Grand Pacific Hotel all one has to do to remain happy and free from suffering is to stay at home. My friend K—— and I went to a Walt Whitman dinner because we were young and curious and hungry, and because Walt, after all, is a great artist.

The dinner proved to be like most dinners of its kind—a glorious opportunity for saccharine drool at the expense of a great name. Appreciation and love of an artist—a poet—are highly commendable qualities if practiced in private, if put into proper print. It is the same as with love of a woman. But to stand up in a public place, to shed tears of ecstasy, wave one’s arms, pull at one’s hair and strike at one’s bosom—these are, as they always have been, the slobbering methods of egotistical mediocrity. It is simply a prostituting of the emotions.

Mediocrity is not insensible to art. It is very probable that the Rev. Preston Bradley, who insists he is a reformed clergyman, really likes Walt Whitman, feels thrilled with the reading of him. But the joy the Rev. Bradley derives from reading Walt in his library is not enough for him. In fact, it is not a joy at all. It is an irritation. Give the Rev. Bradley an opportunity to show what he thinks of Walt Whitman, to stand up on his feet before three hundred and fifty sympathetic souls and prove what a keen sense of taste and an advanced instinct of culture he (Rev. Bradley) possesses by yawping:

“I love Whitman, I adore Whitman. He is this to me. He is that to me—”

—then and not till then does the Rev. Bradley feel the real joy of appreciation for “good old, dear old, wonderful old Walt.” Give the Rev. Bradley a decent chance to platitudinize, attitudinize, and blatitudinize, and the love he bears old Walt oozes from him in dewy sighs and briny words.

Do not imagine that I am violently indignant with the Rev. Bradley, or wish the reader to be, for his insincerity. It is indeed one of his best qualities. By being insincere, by having no actual ground for his ecstacy, the Rev. Bradley must, perforce, pay a great deal of attention to what he says. He is free to pick out the best words, the best pose, the most arresting and perhaps enlightening point of view. I say he is free to do this, but of course he doesn’t. It is not the fault of his insincerity, however. If the Rev. Bradley were an artist he would profit by it and be great. But why all this talk about such a person as the Rev. Bradley? Surely not because he is deserving of careful censure. The reason is that there were at least three hundred male and female Rev. Bradleys listening to him, slobbering in silence.

And now the next division of mediocrity. Mr. Clarence Darrow was another of the talkers. Mr. Darrow sneered. Mr. Darrow sneered at Homer, Euripides, Shakespeare, Dante, Landor, Whittier, Tennyson, Milton, Kipling, and Heine because they didn’t write as good old Walt wrote. Because they wore fetters in their art and insisted on making the last word in the first line rhyme with the last word in the third line. They were weak, ignoble creatures, these copybook writers, said Mr. Darrow; they insisted on using a singular subject with a singular predicate and believed that a violation of such procedure was a sin. One of the things you learn in your school text books on physics is that a gentleman by imposing a pencil-point before his eye can obscure his vision of the Colossus. The idea seems apropos in the case of Mr. Darrow. Mr. Darrow by imposing his soul upon the figures of the world’s big men can obscure them entirely for himself and evidently his sympathizers. After he had concluded three hundred and fifty persons, every one present so far as I could see except my friend K—— and myself, stood up and sneered with Mr. Darrow. They passed him a rising resolution of love and cheered him three times, omitting, however, the customary tiger.

The greatest trouble with Mr. Darrow was his sincerity. He didn’t slobber any more than a public speaker has to in order to have a public to speak to. But his sneers were deep and earnest. They were entirely intellectual, the intellectual essence of mediocrity. All of us sneer, of course. The sneer is the one great American characteristic. When I told a man in the office in which I work that I had attended a Walt Whitman dinner he sneered at me.

“Fourflushers,” he said. “I can’t see how you put that highbrow stuff over. A lot of long-haired, flea-ridden radicals, ain’t I right? I wouldn’t let my wife associate with a bunch like that.”

(This is my office friend’s highest conception of manly virtue,—a thoroughly American one,—being careful of whom his wife associates with.)

Then my office friend went on to assert that Whitman was undoubtedly an immoral, not to say degenerate, party, that he “got by with his stuff because it was raw,” and that everybody who professed any admiration for him was a suspicious character and one he “would think twice about before inviting to his home” (where his wife is).

It is rather a complicated matter, this sneering business; and after attending a Walt Whitman dinner I don’t know whose sneers disgust me more, Mr. Darrow’s or my friend’s. They are both, however, identical in spirit, the spirit of mediocrity and sincerity when sincerity becomes, as it most always does, the cloak for ignorant convictions and bigoted fanaticism.

And now we come to the third and last condition—boredom. Among the speakers at this memorable dinner was Mr. Llewellyn Jones. Mr. Jones is a critic of literature by profession if not qualification—although I do not say it, really. Of all the orators at good old Walt’s memorial gabfest Mr. Jones was the least offensive. He said nothing that shocked the taste or violated one’s innerself or harrowed one’s soul. I don’t, of course, remember what Mr. Jones did say. One never does, not only in the case of Mr. Jones but in the thousands like him. They occupy time and space and leave them empty. Not for them the sneer or the slobber. Mr. Jones wouldn’t sneer for the world. And as for slobbering Mr. Jones has too much good taste and discretion for that. Not that he is above them. His fear of them, his apparent uncertainty in distinguishing between these two characteristics and the characteristics of inspired opinion, indicate this plainly enough.

So to be safe Mr. Jones resorts to the time-honored entrenchment of mediocrity. He barricades himself behind the bulwarks of boredom. He discharges no cannon, he commits no sins, he makes no false steps or takes no false flights. He is boredom incarnate, the eternal convention in the arts whether he deals with Nihilism, radicalism, or stands pat on the isms of the past. Mr. Jones never gets anywhere, I repeat. I speak of all the Joneses. Nobody derives anything from him—from them—except ennui. He, they, never offend, never elate. He, they, are always Mr. Jones.

Listening to the Joneses is as elevating an experience as watching the water blop-blop out of the kitchen hydrant. And this idea leads me back to where I started—The Little Review.

Can you imagine what a thorough contempt a kitchen hydrant would have for a fountain rising from the rocks, for a brook gurgling down the hillside, or a strong river capering to sea? It wouldn’t exactly sneer at them. Mr. Jones doesn’t. But it would feel moved to spirited reproof. How juvenile it is to gurgle, the hydrant would say, how vain and foolish it is to rise from the rocks, how upsetting it is to be continually capering to sea. I do not claim any super-intelligence in the matter of hydrants. But Mr. Jones and all the Joneses do say, and I have enough intelligence to understand them if not to sympathize with them, that The Little Review is young and idiotic and given to unnecessary emotions and so forth. All of which is true, looked at from the elevation of a kitchen sink. “Why don’t you,” remonstrates the hydrant to the brook, “blop blop with me?”

An afterthought: at this Whitman dinner there was one among the speakers who sustained a dying faith in Walt, humanity, and vers libre in general. He was Carl Sandburg who read a free verse poem of his own on Billy Sunday.

It is provided in the essence of things that from any fruition of success, no matter what, shall come forth something to make a greater struggle necessary.—Whitman.

The Death of Anton Tarasovitch

A Short Story of the Present War

Florence Kiper Frank

Anton Tarasovitch lay dying. He lay in a pleasant cornfield whither he had dragged himself in the heat of the afternoon, for a shelter against the merciless sun. But now it was evening and the stars were out, and dying was not now so bad an affair as it had been in the dust and the blinding sunlight. True, the pain was at times terrible, but at other times it made one only light-headed, so that oneself or the part that was Anton Tarasovitch seemed to be a different thing altogether from the body of Anton Tarasovitch which lay beneath It shot to pieces, while It fluttered and hovered above.

He had not been lying for many hours in the Austrian cornfield. He knew that by the progress of the sun downward—downward until it made the long summer shadows that he loved in the fields at home; downward until it brought a breath of coolness and a gray light that had brushed out the clear distinction of shadows and sunlight; downward until it was gone forever and a few stars burned quietly in the sky overhead. It was the last sunset that Anton Tarasovitch was to see in this world. But time had no longer any meaning for Anton Tarasovitch. Lying on one’s back, so, and waiting to die, a minute can seem all there is of the world, and then an hour can be burned up like a minute, while one faints into unconsciousness, before one is slowly dragged back again to the thought, “I am I”—the thought that makes the world for each man, that creates for him the stars and the shadows and the sun sinking downward.

Yes, Anton Tarasovitch knew that now—that it was this thought that made the world. And when he stopped thinking it, the world would again be nothing. Down! down! down! one would plunge, and then the world would be nothing. But it would exist still for other men. Yet how could that be? Tomorrow the sun would come up again into the sky just as every day it had come up in the fields at home, making the long shadows that he had so loved in the mornings and in the evenings. Tomorrow other men would see the sun—many other men would see it. But if Anton Tarasovitch did not see it——! In vain he struggled to create for himself a universe in which there would be no Anton Tarasovitch. Well, he was not clever enough to understand such matters. Men in universities and men who wrote books had figured them out and knew all about them. But how was he, who had never been to a University, who had not been to school even, to understand!

Yet this much he understood—that he was dying for his country. This the general had told them, and he had known always, since a boy, that it was a brave and fine thing to fight for one’s country and to die if need be. Anton Tarasovitch was dying that his country might be saved.

Yet it was strange that the big Russia had need of him, just one common peasant. The great Russia had so many men that were strong and powerful, men with uniforms that glittered—men that were much cleverer and braver than Anton. Why should the country have need of him? Sasha needed him, and the children. Sasha needed him in the fields and she needed him in her heart too. She had often called him the light of her heart, in the strange words—so different from the words of other women—that Sasha often used. And he knew by her face that she needed him. She didn’t have to tell him so. He knew by the kindling of her face, as of a curtain behind which suddenly a candle appears. So her face would light up when she saw him. Sasha would mind greatly if she never saw him again.

He was dying because it was a glorious thing to die for one’s country—for the White Tsar, the little Father. You died to protect your country, so that your great country might live forever. But if you weren’t there to know that it lived forever!—now why couldn’t he think of the world without Anton Tarasovitch in it? Why did he land against a black wall every time he tried to think of tomorrow without Anton Tarasovitch?

It was needful that he die to save his country. What if, to the general, he were only one of thousands and to Sasha and the children all of life—nevertheless, if every man should think that, then there would be no one at all to save the country. It was rather clever of him to figure it out so, especially with the fire in his side that made his head so light and his thoughts fly off from it and refuse to anchor down for more than a minute. It was clever of him to reason it out—Anton Tarasovitch who had never been to a University—that if every man should say to himself, “O, I don’t count. Just one more or less!”—then there would be no army at all to fight the Tsar’s battles.

Yet he was not fighting or dying now to save Sasha. Nor was he dying to save his children even in the years to come. That wouldn’t be bad—to die so that years afterwards, even though it might be many years afterwards, one’s children would prosper and would live more happily. That would be a sort of living when one was dead, because one’s children were in a way oneself in different bodies. But he couldn’t see how Maxim and Ignat and Sofya and Tatya would at any time be better off because he was dying right now. He couldn’t see but that the land would be poorer and that they would have to work harder because he and the other peasants were dying for the Little Father and for their country.

But if he couldn’t figure out just what people he was saving, at least he knew against what men he was fighting. He was fighting against the Austrians. The Austrians were a horrible people who spoke a language one couldn’t understand at all. When you tried to understand them, you couldn’t understand a word they were saying. He had known an Austrian once—a big blonde fellow who had stayed a few days at their little village. One day Anton had been walking with the tiny Tatya on the road that led to the market and they had met the Austrian, who had stopped and had given Tatya a flower out of his button-hole. Anton remembered Tatya’s crows of delight. The Austrian had smiled at her, a nice, friendly smile, and Tatya had grabbed for his hand as children will, even when the people they grab at are Austrians.

Tatya had seemed to like the Austrian. And Anton had had to confess to himself that he wasn’t a bad fellow. But he must have been pleasant only because of Tatya. No one could help being pleasant to Tatya. The Austrian had been for a moment friendly because of her. At heart he was a hateful fellow. All Austrians were hateful. They all hated the Tsar and the Fatherland and they all hated him, Anton, because he was a Russian.

There must be some Austrians lying in this cornfield now, wounded as he was wounded. But he could see no one. Flat on his back, he could see only the stars which were thick now against the sky. And he began to think that this was a cruel thing—that a man should be alone when he was dying. Even when a chap was just ill, he wanted someone to take care of him. Once when Anton had been ill of a fever he had been just like a baby, so weak and helpless. He had cried then because the milk that Sasha had brought him had been too hot for his tongue and had burned him. It was silly for a big man to cry, but that was the way you became when you were sick—weak and silly. He had never in his life cried when he was well. When men were well they were never silly.

Women—women were different! Five times had Sasha been so ill that it was terrible—four times for the children that were living and once for the little one that had died. Sasha had almost died too that time. She had been so white and so hopeless looking for weeks after! But in all the times she was ill she had not complained as much as he had, that one month that he was sick with the fever. That must be because women were used to pain. The good God had so ordained it. For every life that they brought into the world they had to suffer, not only at the time, but for months before and then for years afterward.

They were strange creatures, were women. If a child became ill or died, its mother suffered again, just as the day she had borne him. At least so Sasha had suffered when the baby had died—and other women that he had seen in the village.

Birth was a strange thing now! He had never really thought of it before, but wasn’t it a strange thing that each time a person was born into the world, there should be pain and the long months of waiting. Then in one second an Austrian shell could blow away the body that some woman had waited for and had carried in her own body. In one second—why, so he had been waited for—he, Anton Tarasovitch. Now wasn’t that wonderful!—and he had never until this minute really thought of it. He, Anton Tarasovitch, had been carried in the body of his mother and had been born in pain and in rejoicing. Why, it was like a miracle! And he had thought so lightly of it, had just taken it for granted that he should be born and that she should love him.

He would like to make it up to her in some way now. But it was too late. She had been dead for very many years now and he also was dying. Well, he could tell her about it when he saw her with the saints in Heaven.

Heaven! He would go there, of course, because he had always, since a boy, been obedient and had done just what the priests had told him. He ought to think now about Heaven. But somehow he did not care to think about it, and the strange part was that it did not trouble him that he did not care. Even if he woke tomorrow in Heaven, he would not be the same Anton. He might live forever, but that wouldn’t be the same thing as waking up in the morning with Sasha at his side. He tried to think what “forever” meant, and he fetched up against the same black wall that he had when he had tried to think of a world without Anton Tarasovitch to know himself in it. Forever! ever! ever! No stopping! On and on! But that would be horrible. No! no! he couldn’t bear that. One could do nothing, nothing, to get out of it. Even if one could be blown to pieces with a gun, say a thousand years from now, in Heaven, one’s soul would gather itself together again and go on and on, forever and forever.

No, he mustn’t think about it. If he thought about it any more, he would lift his hands and strangle himself, so as to be able to stop thinking about it. Now he would think about Sasha. When he thought about her, he could feel her right next to him. He couldn’t see her face exactly, nor could he see her standing there. And yet it was as if she really were there, and he could see her. That was the way it was when you loved a person. She was, as it were, in you, or at least right next to you, and yet she was separate from you, too.

He had liked life with Sasha. He didn’t know until now how much he had liked it. True, it was a hard life they had lived together. One was on the go every minute—in bad weather when the frost stung and to walk even a mile became an agony; and in good weather one was constantly on the go, when it might perhaps have been pleasant to sit under the trees and play with the children. But life was good, for all that. Of course, if they could have saved money—only a little money—it would have been better. But the little money they could save had had to go for the taxes. The taxes were for the Fatherland, the priest had told him. The taxes were paid so that when the need came, Anton would be able to die for his country. But there was something confusing about that. Life would be better if it were not for the taxes, and the taxes were paid so that he might—no, that was bewildering. With the fire in one’s side and in one’s brain, how could one think clearly about so difficult a matter? Besides, there were many matters of that sort that he, Anton Tarasovitch, was not clever enough to think about. One left such things to the priests, who were good men, and to the clever men at the universities.

The stars were sometimes a long way off now and sometimes very near to him. But neither near nor far away did they seem to care about him. They were the only things he could see in the world and they did not seem to care about him. Undoubtedly they had seen many men dying. He knew about the stars! A young teacher who had come to the village when he was a boy had talked about them and Anton had never forgotten.

The young teacher had not stayed long in the village. He was “dangerous,” they said, and Anton heard afterwards that he had gone to America. It gave one many thoughts to listen to the teacher. He had said that the stars were worlds, just like our own earth—the earth that Anton knew the good Christ had come down to save. Anton, who was just a boy, had wanted to ask him if Christ had had to save all these worlds that were stars. But that was only one of the many confusing thoughts one had in listening to the young teacher. One felt strange in listening to him, as if the world weren’t solid at all, but were flowing like a river. * * *

Anton felt very sorry for himself, lying there under the stars that did not care for him. He began to cry—silly, weak tears that tasted of salt as they touched his mouth. It was only at times that he knew that he was crying. At other times the soul of him entirely left his body and went shooting up and up, to be recaptured only with a struggle.

The two of them—the burning body and the light soul—would have held together better, he knew, if someone could grip his hand tightly. At least that was the way they had done in the fever. When Sasha had gripped his hand, as if by a miracle he had been restored for a moment to a complete man, and was no longer two pieces—a body below and a soul that went fluttering above it.

If only he could touch someone’s hand now—anyone’s hand—the hand of a human being! To be all alone with the cruel, flickering stars up above, that was no way to die—snuffed out into the darkness. That was no way for any man to go, even though he were just a peasant. But Anton knew himself important now, almost as important as a general. He knew himself important, with a strange, tremendous importance. He was as important as almost anyone in the world, and he was dying alone in the darkness.

Then he remembered that there must be other men in the cornfield. He had thought of that before, and afterwards he had forgotten. If there were other men here—even one other man, an enemy—he would find that comrade and they would die together.

Slowly, painfully, inch by inch he dragged himself. The stalks were like an impenetrable thicket. They entangled him as snares or a forest of swords set about him. He dragged himself on his palms, inch by inch, butting away the cornstalks.

An Austrian was lying on his back, gazing upward. He was dead now, but Anton did not know it. There was a wound in his neck, and the flies had begun to gather.

Anton gave a sob as he saw the Austrian. One more effort and he would be near enough to touch him. Perhaps the Austrian would grip his hand—hard—as Sasha had gripped it.

The hand of the Austrian did not grip hard when Anton touched it. It fluttered a little, however—Anton was sure of that. So Anton covered the hand with his own, and with his own hand gripped hard, as Sasha had gripped the hand of Anton.

And so died Anton Tarasovitch, looking up at the stars.

Art as it appears without the artist, i. e., as a body, an organization (the Prussian Officers’ Corps, the Order of the Jesuits). To what extent is the artist merely a preliminary stage? The world regarded as a self-generating work of art.—Nietzsche.

Rupert Brooke

(A Memory)

Arthur Davison Ficke

One night—the last we were to have of you—

High up above the city’s giant roar

We sat around you on the generous floor—

Since chairs were lame or stony or too few—

And as you read, and the low music grew

In exquisite tendrils twining the heart’s core,

All the conjecture we had felt before

Flashed into torch-flame, and at last we knew.

And Maurice, who in silence long has hidden

A voice like yours, became a wreck of joy

To inarticulate ecstasies beguiled.

And you, as from some secret world now bidden

To make return, stared up, and like a boy

Blushed suddenly, and looked at us, and smiled.


To a West Indian Alligator

(Estimated age, 1957 years)[2]

Eunice Tietjens

Greetings, my brother, strange and uncouth beast,

Flat-bellied, wrinkled, broad of nose!

You are not beautiful—and yet at least

Contentment spreads your scaley toes.

The keeper thwacks you and you grunt at me,

Two hundred pounds of sleepy spleen.

He tells me that your cranial cavity

Will just contain a lima bean.

How seems it, brother, you who are so old,

To lie and squint with curtained eye

At these ephemera, born in the cold,

These human things so soon to die?

You were scarce grown, a paltry eighty years,

Too young to think of breeding yet,

When Christ the Nazarene loosed the salt tears

Which on man’s cheeks today are wet.

Mohammed rose and died—you churned the mud

And watched your female laying eggs.

Columbus passed you—with an oozy thud

You scrambled sunward on your legs.

So now you doze at ease for all to view

And bat a sleepy lid at me,

You eat a little every year or two

And count time in eternity.

So, brother, which is wiser of us twain

When words are said and meals are past?

I think, and pass—you sleep, yet you remain,

And where shall be the end at last?

[2] I cannot vouch for the science of this. It is “Alligator Joe’s” estimate.

Villon’s Epitaph[3]

Witter Bynner

I who have lived and have not thought

But gone with nature as I ought,

Letting good things occur,

And now amazed and cannot see

Why death should care so much for me.

I never cared for her.

Scarron’s Epitaph[3]

Witter Bynner

He who now lies here asleep

None would envy, few would weep:

A man whom death had mortified

A thousand times before he died.

Peaceful be the step you take,

You who pass him—lest he wake.

For his first good night is due.

Let poor Scarron sleep it through.

[3] From the French of François Villon.

Editorials and Announcements

Our Credo

I have lost patience: people are still asking “What does The Little Review stand for?” Since we have been so obscure—or is it that people have been so dull?—I shall try to answer all these plaintive queries in a sentence. May it be sufficient: I cannot “explain” every day why the sunrise seems worth while or, as Mr. Hecht would say, why the brook rises from the rocks.

The Little Review is a magazine that believes in Life for Art’s sake, in the Individual rather than in Incomplete people, in an age of Imagination rather than of Reasonableness; a magazine that believes in Ideas even if they are not Ultimate Conclusions, and values its Ideals so greatly as to live them; a magazine interested in Past, Present, and Future, but particularly in the New Hellenism; a magazine written for Intelligent people who can Feel; whose philosophy is Applied Anarchism, whose policy is a Will to Splendor of Life, and whose function is—to express itself.

Mr. Comstock’s Dismissal

This great blessing comes sooner than we could have expected, and yet, as The Chicago Tribune remarks, it is belated by about forty years. Mr. Comstock has been Post Office Inspector all that time. I remember a few years ago in New York hearing an interesting woman send a group of people into paroxysms by the passionate childish seriousness with which she said, “I wish Anthony Comstock would die!” Now that the government has accomplished this desideratum, it is almost time for it to be congratulated. I wonder how long it will be before this same government can “see its way clear” to suppressing the agent provocateur and letting his victims go free, or—well, never mind: it is beyond hoping.


When one of my friends fails to like Ethel Sidgwick’s Succession I am left in a predicament: on what basis are we henceforth to understand each other? Succession goes so deep into music, into personality, into life that has its foundations in art.... You can explain all the subtleties of your most difficult emotions by referring to how Antoine felt on page so and so. How does one live without Antoine?

The Strike

And God said: “Let there be!” And there was.

And when the modern god, the omnipotent Proletariat, says: “Let there not be!” ...

You say the strike of the Chicago car men is of purely local significance. You crack jokes about the pleasure of walking and about the adventure of jitney-rides. You are calm and complacent, you blind and deaf men and women dancing on a dormant volcano.

You are right. Your complacency is justified. Why fear the million-headed mule who has borne his yoke for centuries? He grumbles?—Oh, it’s a trifle: just fill his flesh-pot, and he will take up anew with bestial delight his eternal task of enriching the few at the expense of his blood and marrow.

But fear the eruption of the volcano! For it will not remain dormant forever. Have we not witnessed the spasmodic awakenings of the giant? Recall the achievement of the Russian proletariat in 1905. Did it not wrest concessions from the obstinate Czar by means of a passive revolution? Recall the general strike in Belgium. Did it not cripple its commerce and industry for months?

The strike of the Chicago car men is pregnant with potentialities. It is a symptom of a refreshing storm. Those who produce everything and possess nothing have slept long in ignorance of their power. But they are slowly awakening. And when they become aware of the magic wand in their hand, whose passive motion can stop the wheels of the universe.... Take heed, O merrymakers at Belshazzar’s feast. Behold the Mene, Tekel, Peres on the wall.


The Country Walk

A young Englishman by the name of Edward Storer—I am assuming that he is young and that he is English—has protested effectively against the condition which decrees that a piece of writing, a painting, a sculpture has to be judged as a commodity before it can be judged as a work of art by issuing little four-page leaflets containing portions of his work denied publication by the commercialism of the times. The first, which is called The Country Walk, has some quite uninspired though rather charming prose poems in it. The Lark, for instance:

Out of the young grass and silence you arise, frail bird, spinning upwards to the sky. Faster beat the wings, and shriller is the voice, and soon you are lost in the high blue, so that scarcely can I hear your voice or see the maddened flutterings of your wings.

Then suddenly all is silent, and softly you drop to earth again to rest your aching body against the good brown earth.

The June-July Issue

On account of being so late with our May number we have decided to combine the June and July and thus come out promptly again on the first of the month. Subscriptions will be extended accordingly.

Edgar Lee Masters

In the August issue there will be a new poem by Edgar Lee Masters, author of The Spoon River Anthology, and also a photogravure portrait of the poet which has just been taken by Eugene Hutchinson.

The Submarine

(Translated from the Italian of Luciano Folgore by Anne Simon)

It sinks. In the twilight of the water

the conquered submarine

falls straight to the bottom

and seems like a black corpse

thrown to the coral below,

thrown to the tomb that devours

with liquid joy

the refuse and remains of the old world.

The propellers, devourers of motion,

buzz no more,

the rudder has ceased turning,

the prow no longer points its sharp beak,

but the submarine extends itself

on the viscid bed,

and a multitude of unknown

fish, coral and sea-nettles

try to enter the closed apertures.

And yet once you leaped in the sun

like a sentinel of burnished steel

shining in the distance,

and then rapidly returned to the green gorge

where the sun never reaches,

but where you find

the tremendous task

that is always with you and that whispers courage

in the void of your soul.

And once with your agile metallic prow

you agitated the green water

all around your shining body,

and you did not feel the torments

of the winds nor the black

clouds of the hurricane

that remained like spiteful women

in a corner of the horizon,

with hair dishevelled and the eye eager

to spy below, from the firmament,

the lost, the shipwrecked, the unknown

that have no pilot.

Once from your sonorous sides,

quietly, but vigilant and mad,

the torpedo shot out,

making its track in silence,

and carrying

within its thin body

death, and the infinite

power of dynamite.

As you passed the sharks fled,

as you passed the corals

suspended their tenacious and clumsy work,

and the fish with rapid movement

swam away.

You seemed like an enormous monster

of a fantastic destiny

and yet you are only a light submarine,

a slender ship

that the blow of a beam

could sink, that a whirlpool could submerge

in the abyss.

I do not know your story,

but I will sing your glory

that is part of the desire

of audacious men.

Submarine, Destiny may have willed

you to sink silently,

and remain lost forever in the viscid bed of the sea-weed,

(O submarine, able to challenge the unconsciousness of the seas

and the impotence of the lighthouses,)

but you are alive and strong;

there is no death, but only an appearance

of death that remains. Destiny

newly moulds you

in a long phantom

and you are run, submarine,

by the courage of men

who, in the unfathomable silence of the water,

are piloted

by the will of the strong.

New brothers will arise

and pursue you

because your shining back

carries a banner, not tri-colored,

nor French,

but the only color

that dazzles;

the banner of the battle

that amidst disasters combats

with this ferocious mystery

that is foolishly determined to shut us out

from the doors of Nature.


I am sick of words—spoken words—verbal refuse thrown off by the mental hypochondriacs who imagine themselves suffering from thought and afflicted with ideas.

I am sick of the artificial inanities of the drawingroom—the polite poppycock, the meaningless, emotionless enthusiasms. I often have entered a room where male and female husks sat, their faces wreathed in empty grimaces—animated masks discharging automatic phrases—and wished to God I was dumb and could be forgiven for silence. Listening is not so bad because one doesn’t have to listen.

I am sick of the salon-like groups who gather for the purpose of thinking aloud and then forget to think and make up for it in noises. Monotonous varieties, dropping pop-bottle gems from their lips, each individual amusing and delighting himself beyond all understanding with his sterile loquaciousness. Here in the salon groups, the discursive congregations which come together in all manner of odd places and all manner of regular places, garrulity approaches torture. Here the professional discourser flops and waddles about in his own Utopia. He doesn’t crave understanding but attention. As for truth, as for taking the pains to express his innermost reactions to a subject, this is impossible. The discourser doesn’t know what he thinks, doesn’t know what the truth is until he starts discoursing. And then he discourses himself into a state of mind. I have heard him discourse himself into the most startling convictions; into matrimony and out of it into religion and out of it, into and out of every variety of damn-foolishness imaginable.

Persons who use written words instead of spoken words as the parents of their thought suffer from the same hypnosis. But in writing this is commendable. It is commendable for a writer to be insincere if he can be more logical and enlightening as a result. The result may be De Profundis or Alice in Wonderland. It is my notion that men are sincere only in their appetites. A man craves food and woman and other stimulants with unquestionable sincerity. But in the realm of thought I have arrived at the conclusion that sincerity is an inspired and not inspiring condition of the mind.

I am sick of the blaa-blaaing hordes, from the smirking “supes” of the let’s-adjourn-to-the-other-room species to the simpering cacophonists of the Schöngeist nobility.

I am sick of the open mouths, the trailing sentences dying from weakness, the painstaking use of wrong words and the painstaking use of correct words; of the stagnated humor of deodorous sallies.

I am sick of the Argumentatives, people with an irritating command of phrases, who balance paradoxes on their noses and talk backwards or upside down with equal lucidity; who must be contradicted or they suffer; who rumble bizarrely from the depths of every philosophical sub-cellar they can ferret out in order to be startling; who shriek and howl and wail and protest and—the Devil take them—tell the truth and make it impossible to believe. Their only reason for talking is to impress. They are as noisy as cannon and as effective as firecrackers.

I am sick of the delicate, searching souls who prick themselves with their own words, who operate on fly specks, who grope and search and struggle for fine and truthful things, who deal in verbal shadings intelligible only to themselves—and then not for what they said but for what they meant to say or desired to say or wouldn’t say for the world.

I am sick of their kinsmen, of the surgical tongues who dissect, who vivisect and auto-sect.

I am sick most of all of my own talk. But I continue to talk. I talk out of boredom and manage only to increase it. I talk out of vanity and spread disillusionment. I talk out of love and have to apologize. A victim of habit, I continue speaking, although I know the spoken word is the true medium of misunderstanding. Words, words, they keep tumbling out of my mouth and blowing away like dust before the wind. A pock on them.

There have been revolutions in literature, authors have changed the size and construction of the novel, publishers have changed the color of their bindings, poets have changed the form of their poetry and the essence of its style, thinkers even have altered slightly the trend of their thought. Music, painting, decorating, carving—everything changes with time except talk, which only increases. What a staggering illustration of the theory that it is only the weak things which survive. For talk is the commonest of weaknesses. Blaa, blaa, blaa—why not a revolution? What ails the radicals? Do they not realize that the time is ripe? They have changed the moral forms, the literary forms, why not the spoken forms? Why not a substitution of expressive grunts and whoops and growls and chuckles and groans and gurgles and whees and wows? Or is this matter one not for the radical but for

“The Scavenger.”

The Nine!—Exhibit!

Sometime in the winter a rumor got about that nine artists of Chicago were to form themselves into a group and hold an independent exhibition.

At once the other artists were divided into two factions, those who jeered and those who applauded, those who said unpleasant things and those who had the enduring hope that at last something better was to be done in our exhibitions.

The Great Nine, as the group began to be called—whether by themselves or by others, it matters not: the phrase is a handicap—consists of Frederic C. Bartlett, William Penhallow Henderson, Lawton Parker, Karl Albert Buehr, Louis Betts, Charles Francis Browne, Ralph Clarkson, Wilson Irvine, and Oliver Dennett Grover. They were too generous in their number. Five, and there would have been no comment; nine, and there was aroused indignation, criticism, and a “show us” spirit which should have put the Nine on their mettle and made them give a stunning and silencing show.

On May thirteenth, after one postponement when expectation was tense, the exhibition opened. What had we? A new setting and old stuff!

One of the East Galleries had been chosen. William P. Henderson designed and executed the room. He made a piece of work having faults but being the best thing about the exhibition, a contribution in itself. The walls with their subtle color, divided into spaces by pilasters of deep wistaria, red, and gold, rising on slender stems and blossoming out above; the screen of red at one end with the Zettler torso against it—they complimented themselves upon using this; the beautiful vases; and the green of the trees made a room too obtrusive for pictures, or one in which pictures are intrusive.

Were the setting less self-sufficient, still there are many things to be said. The sophisticated, almost exotic, color of the walls, emphasizing in the work of some all that is crude and materialistic in execution or interpretation, makes their work appear to less advantage than would the usual bleak gallery. And why so many pictures? Why not one picture in each space and that the best each artist could offer? How much more satisfactory the room would then be. Anyone who follows exhibitions will agree that each exhibitor has shown better work at other times.

Frederic Bartlett’s group is in many ways the best, and holds its own in the room. Surpassingly beautiful in color are Mr. Henderson’s things. The little nude is exquisite, but he should not easily be forgiven his portrait of Florence Bradley, even if it is not meant as a character study. However, he is one of the artists who can do more than put paint on canvas. He can make Art in many ways, as men did in the “high white days” of art.

The artists themselves have seen from this first effort wherein they have failed. This grouping must have been a very arbitrary one. Let us hope that a group founded on mutual endeavor and on equal ability will continue the effort to make our exhibitions comparable in some degree with the best European efforts.

Chicago has now so many artists that it is impossible for them all to be gathered into the old Chicago Society. There should be many societies. Competition and co-operation among them would make the art life here less anemic and super-sensitive and bigoted.


Book Discussion

The Apotheosis of Pettiness

One Man, by Robert Steele. New York: Mitchell Kennerley.

There is nothing which reflects the smugness of a people so much as the manner and temperament of its vice. And the temperament of American vice is more distinctly and monotonously bourgeois than any of its virtues”—from Ben Hecht’s “Phosphorescent Gleams” in the May Little Review. I have pondered over this maxim while reading Mr. Steele’s novel which is hailed by the critics as “the essence of America.” The hero is essentially American, horribly so. If the “average” type of any nation is repulsive, the American “Average” is a thousandfold more so. For he is more petty than vicious. The “one man” gives a confession of his life, full of puny deeds, from committing petty larceny to “picking up” a girl in the street and taking her to a “swell” hotel. The nauseating details have the flavor of the adventure stories which you may hear at a gathering of travelling salesmen in a provincial hotel lobby. What makes the boring Odyssey intolerably loathsome is its note of syrupy Christian penitence which the hero expresses after each penny-crime by falling on his knees and praying to his convenient god for forgiveness.

The book has been hailed as a masterpiece. It is as far from a masterpiece as a lewd “photo” is from art. The facts may be true, even autobiographical, as some critics presume; the confessions will furnish good material for Billy Sunday and his lesser brethren. But photography, even if it be pornography, is not art. Let me quote the ever-new Edgar Poe: “Art is the reproduction of what the Senses perceive in Nature through the veil of the soul. The mere imitation, however accurate, of what is in Nature, entitles no man to the sacred name of ‘Artist.’ ... We can, at any time, double the true beauty of an actual landscape by half closing our eyes as we look at it. The naked Senses sometimes see too little—but then always they see too much.” I blush at the necessity of digging up ancient truths, but, my dear friends, read the reviews of Mr. Steele’s novel and you will admit with me the crying need of teaching the American critics the A-B-C of art.

Icy Olympus and the Burning Bush

The Need for Art in Life, by I. B. Stoughton Holborn. New York: G. Albert Shaw.

The Spirit of Japanese Art, by Yone Noguchi. New York: E. P. Dutton and Company.

The complete man must consist of three essential fundamentals—the Artistic, the Intellectual, the Moral (mark the initials: aim!); man’s aim should be the full expression of his tripartite nature; he must not leave out any of the three sides, nor develop any one at the expense of the rest. Unfortunately our age has achieved only two-thirds of the diagram, the I and the M, remaining wretchedly poor in the A part. When we look back we find that in the Renaissance period the A and I were overdeveloped, with the total lack of the M side. The Middle Ages present the presence of A and M and the absence of I. It is the Greek ideal we must look for in our endeavor for the complete expression of man. The Greek gentleman, the καλος κάγαθος, the reserved, the moderately good, the not excessively just, the harmonious, the symmetrical—he shall be our standard, our criterion for the completeness of being. Is not Mr. Holborn clever and Olympian and icy-cold?

Now listen:

The evening had already passed when I returned home with that hanging of Koyetsu’s chirography under my arm. “Put all the gaslights out! Do you hear me? All the gaslights out! And light all the candles you have!” I cried. The little hanging was properly hanged at the “togonoma” when the candles were lighted, whose world-old soft flame (wasn’t it singing the old song of world-wearied heart?) allured my mind back, perhaps, to Koyetsu’s age of four hundred years ago—to imagine myself to be a waif of greyness like a famous tea-master, Rikiu or Enshu or, again, Koyetsu, burying me in a little Abode of Fancy with a boiling tea-kettle; through that smoke of candles hurrying like our ephemeral lives, the characters of Koyetsu’s writing loomed with the haunting charm of a ghost.

It is painful for me to stop quoting the religious ravings of dear Noguchi. And all this pathos is about a bit of old Japanese writing! I can see the indignant Mr. Holborn’s moderate condemnation of the Oriental’s unreserved passion, canting the cold-beautiful Μηδὲν ἄγαν (nothing in excess). But, O forgive me, Olympian gods, I must come back to the Burning Bush where Yone Noguchi worships Hashimoro, Hiroshige, Kyosai, Tsukioka, Utamaro, and other such rhythmical names; I am aware of the abyss of excess that yawns before me, but the exotic wine is so luring, so intoxicating, the call of the Orient is so irresistible—I plunge:

I will lay me down whenever I want to beautifully admire Utamaro and spend half an hour with his lady (“Today I am with her in silence of twilight eve, and am afraid she may vanish into the mist”), in the room darkened by the candle-light (it is the candle-light that darkens rather than lights); every book or picture of Western origin (perhaps except a few reprints from Rossetti or Whistler, which would not break the atmosphere altogether) should be put aside. How can you place together in the same room Utamaro’s women, for instance, with Millet’s pictures or Carpenter’s Towards Democracy? The atmosphere I want to create should be most impersonal, not touched or scarred by the sharpness of modern individualism or personality, but eternally soft and grey; under the soft grey atmosphere you would expect to see the sudden swift emotion of love, pain or joy of life, that may come any moment or may not come at all.

I recall an evening at “The Vagabonds,” where some ultra-modern paintings were exhibited and bravely discussed. An idiotic friend of mine suggested that the Vagabonds pass an evening in contemplating the canvasses in absolute silence. The obliging chairman, who is a fair parliamentarian, had the suggestion voted upon with the result of one vote in favor of it. I recall that evening in connection with Noguchi’s lines about Koyetsu:

What need there be but prayer and silence? There is nothing more petty, even vulgar, in the grey world of art and poetry, than to have a too-close attachment to life and physical surroundings; if our Orientalism may not tell you anything much, I think it will teach you at least to soar out of your trivialism.

I refuse to say any more about the book, for I am tempted to quote him all the way through. If you wish to forget yourself and your environment, to melt away in the unreal atmosphere of Japanese prints—read Yone Noguchi’s little book.


The Slav in Conrad

Victory, by Joseph Conrad. New York: Doubleday, Page and Company.

The Slavs are not adventurous people in the Western sense of the word; for the most part an inland race spread over the great monotonous Plain, they are inclined for melancholy introspective searchings and spiritual struggles rather than for actual physical adventures. Their writers need not create for their heroes an atmosphere of dizzying stunts and elemental cataclysms; they find sufficient dramatic “plot” in the soul experiences of the restless yearning men and women who dwell not on a South Sea island but in ordinary cities and villages, fighting their human fights, wrestling with God and man, gaining their ephemeral victories, but more often suffering defeats. Yet, despite their lack of adventurousness, the stories of the Russian and Polish writers, from Dostoevsky to Kuprin and from Orzezsko to Zeromsky, have seldom caused a yawn in their reader.

The checkered life of Conrad has placed a distinct stamp upon his works, distinct from both the writers of his race and from the Western writers. We observe a dualism in his art, an eternal collision between fact and fiction, between realism and symbolism. His inborn Slavic mysticism is weighed down by the ballast of his rich experiences, and he continually wavers between the Scylla of lyric melancholy and the Charybdis of picturesque plot, preserving the equilibrium at times more and at times less skilfully. The reader thus finds in Conrad that which he is after. For my part, I am rather distracted by the over-complex plot of Victory; I should much prefer to meet Heyst and Lena in less dizzy surroundings, for then the interesting psychology of the quaint lovers would appear accentuated, like the flame of a candle, and would not be blurred by a pyrotechnic mass of startling coincidences and marvellous adventures. The atmosphere of Doom that breathes throughout the story is reduced in the end to a sensational Eugène Sue-like climax—a heap of dead bodies.



Erdgeist (Earth-Spirit): A Tragedy in Four Acts; Pandora’s Box, by Frank Wedekind. New York: Albert and Charles Boni.

Poor, foolish Frank Wedekind. Hapless Idealist. Luckless dreamer. Have you read Der Erdgeist and Pandora’s Box? He wrote them—this enfevered fancier. In two kindred flashes of madness he illuminated several hundred sheets of paper and out of them—out of their blood-shot words and illegitimate truths—a new figure is born for the bookshelf. Not an old figure in new binding and fresh rouge. Not a Lescaut or a Thaïs or a Nana. This mocking idealist of virtue removes indeed the eighth veil from Salome. He hurls into the midst of the twittering parlor thinkers and sex chatterers a most disturbing answer to the eternal question, “What is woman?” It didn’t disturb me because I don’t believe it. And anyway, I don’t mean that kind of disturbance. I mean, virtuous reader, it is impossible to consume Wedekind without blushing. If you were disappointed in Shakespeare and Balzac and Casanova and Jacques Tournebrouche and could find nothing to blush at in them, do not despair. Here is a fellow, this Wedekind, who will daub a real blush out of a rouge pot, a miserable fellow whom you can condemn and ostracize and, having relegated him to his proper place, enjoy thoroughly or secretly or not at all.

It was Wedekind who first made people blush by a tasteless dissertation on the ignorant smugness recognized by society as the proper state for a young woman’s mind. He called it Spring’s Awakening. It was chiefly instrumental in awakening theatrical writers and managers. They spread the blush at $2 a head and waxed fat. But how did they spread the blush? Did they talk like Wedekind did? Did the mawkish plagiarist Cosmo Hamilton talk like Wedekind—tastelessly, vilely, brutally, and—horrors!—indelicately? Not he. Mr. Hamilton and the other get-rich-quick propagandists wouldn’t talk that way for the world. They are nice gentlemen. Not for them the idealist’s leer. Rather the bathroom wink. They will reveal a delicious girl in her delicious boudoir wearing a delicious nightie. They will make her out a virtuous girl, charmingly endowed but utterly stainless.

Having established this fact they roguishly introduce into her boudoir an estimable young man and permit him to caress her dramatically. But the whole proceeding is stainless. It is drolly suggestive of unspeakable things—see box office receipts. But suggestiveness is necessary to bring home to people the blindness of virtue and the dangers that beset the underpaid young women who ignorantly make it its own reward—(if that means anything). Anyway, when the audience leaves it has been enlightened. Its taste has not been offended. Virtue has been shown to be a dangerous thing—that is, uneducated virtue has. Everyone agrees. And if not they disagree. In either case the discussion properly conducted (under the auspices of the “Amalgamated Virgins of the 21st and 22nd Wards”) is pleasing and improving. The press argues delicately and in good taste about sex hygiene. A new physiology is placed in the public schools containing information on the most effective way of brushing the teeth of the young and preserving the hair of the old.

And last week Coroner Hoffman told me that it was impossible to estimate how many girls were killed annually in Chicago by abortive operations. He put the number in the hundreds. Hooray! Death is the wages of sin.

But all quibbling aside, what does this low fellow Wedekind whom I started out by calling an idealist (I will prove it shortly) do? To begin with, he talks about sex. Not about stockings and undergarments and perfumed kisses, ankles, asterisks and anomalies. Everyone knows that this kind of talk, particularly when produced in drama form, is in the first place inexcusable, and in the second place unnecessary, and in the third place vulgar. And in the fourth place, instead of making the best of a bad job—that is, making his contributions a mental stimulus for snickering roués and ladies sensitive of their status—he insists upon being nasty without being covert. Is there anything more unpardonable? Nobody can enjoy nastiness. The argument is an endless one. It leads to nothing except blows or blushes.

As for the plays—I almost forgot I was reviewing them—Wedekind explodes volcanically on the subject he treats, and blows the question mark out of woman. He takes all the crimes a policeman ever heard of, rolls them up in a package of soft warm flesh and labels it “Woman.” He cracks his showman’s whip and calls attention to the texture of her skin and the white meat of her body. And then he sends her forth to ruin, to sweep like a polluted and wreck-strewn wave through life, breaking at last in a dirty crest on a foreign shore and leaving a scum behind her. Are these the worst things Wedekind could find to label woman—incest, butchery, lecherous animalism, bloody business and abandonment? Who but a sick idealist would pick a careless and care-free prostitute as a flaming example of woman at her worst? And is the power to destroy the most terrible power woman possesses?

Wedekind imagines that people idealize sex and hold it a beautiful force. Poor Wedekind, where did he get such an idea? And then he imagines that in reality sex passion is a smashing force that knocks people into each other’s arms, tumbles their heavens, smears their lives. He imagines that men and women love without thought, mate with the irresponsibility of hyenas. And imagining all this Wedekind creates a sort of droll fiend to prove it. Behold her—a creature to confound saints and sinners, to tear the beauty out of men’s souls and dance with muddied feet upon the finery of life. He dangles her before our eyes, naked and glorious—the diseased siren of the ages. And he calls her Lulu, the earth spirit.

He introduces her fresh and joyous and vibrating with tabooed emotions. She is in love with her own beauty. Her body thrills her with its whiteness and its movement. She already has felt its power. Were I in these plays I would as soon think of kissing Lulu as biting a stick of dynamite. But I am not an ideal conception. There are other men—Wedekind digs them up from every corner of life—who fall at her feet and who shoot each other and themselves for the sake of being contaminated by her caresses. Queer men, idealists. They tumble about her, whining, cursing, chanting, forswearing their Gods, their souls and their vanities.

And she tumbles with them, from one precipice down to another, faithful only to her nervous system. Her only virtue is a complete absence of the quality. If only Wedekind had invested her with a single human moral conviction—merely for the sake of completing her diabolically. If only he had made it possible for her to sin against something. But she hasn’t anything to sin against—not a conviction, not a moral. In this country she would be tried for her murders and treasons and sent to an asylum for incomplete people. What she does she does simply. When this hussy kills the father who owned her in order to save herself from his threats and then throws herself laughingly into the arms of the son, she does it all without malice. It is all natural, spontaneous. When she rebukes her own father for making love to her (she tells him he’s getting too old for such tricks), when she murders, deceives and pollutes she hasn’t any feeling of doing wrong, any reaction except one of satisfaction. If this isn’t an ideal I’d like to know what is. If everybody was like she is there would be no sorrow or suffering in the world. We would all be simple animals dashing around, biting each other, drinking from each other’s throats, feeling pain only when our nerves were touched and joy only when our nerves were touched. Wedekind imagines that this state is the true reflection of today. He exaggerates what according to his experience may be a logical prejudice and hurls it brutally behind the footlights and into the bookcase.

Lulu, bedraggled, walking the streets of London in the rain, looking for prey, Lulu wheedling quarters out of ragged sensualists, hiding her father and her lover and the woman who desires her while she “entertains” her victims, Lulu spreading disease, and then Lulu running wildly around the dirty garret in her chemise pursued and killed by a red-eyed, nail-bitten Jack the Ripper—that is the end of woman. Poor Wedekind. What an exaggerated opinion of virtue he must have,—an idealist’s. There is but one more thing. It is Wedekind’s master stroke.

He introduces a note of unselfishness and poetry as a climax. Lulu lies stabbed by the delighted and enthusiastic Ripper. And kneeling before the picture of her in her hey-dey is the “Countess,” the woman who loved her—a homo-sexualist—an irritating creature.

“I love you, you are the star in my heavens,” she cries purely. I don’t remember whether the Ripper kills her or not. What a mess!

B. H.

Rabindranath Tagore: A Biographical Study, by Ernest Rhys. New York: The Macmillan Company.

Shrill Chicago and thousands of similar examples of Western civilization have more to learn from a book of this sort than can be readily explained. Taking Chicago as fairly representative of the swiftest modernity, one must blush for the city of “I Will” whenever he picks up Ernest Rhys’s keen and quiet study of the talked-about Hindu. The blushes are for the vast herds whose only ventures upon new paths are to trample and set back, whose only ideals center in or near the stomach. In the white light of this book—reflected radiance from a first-magnitude luminary—Chicago and her kind appear as blundering heedless egotists who never listen. Their ears have not developed, their eyes are turned to the ground. “I Will”—what? To grow strong, high-minded, clean of heart, and wise of soul? Anything but this.

Tagore, by his very tolerance and avoidance of condemnation, seems vehemently to remind the thinker of all this—by force of the law of contrast. The clear-eyed Easterner even points out a scant virtue or two in Western civilization, such as the value of mastering materials, which the Westerner himself overlooks when in self-defense; and no blame is placed on the feverish civilizees. Tagore moves in a state of peace which is the very essence of activity, and has no part in the fanatics’ plan which begins with lassitude and ends in stagnation. He is a man of action, forceful, definite, wasting no energy nor sparing the use of it. Modern methods of doing things and “getting there” become mere feeble noises by comparison. This is not the tragedy, that Westerners blunder and fail,—the East has its failures,—but it lies in the fact that America arrogantly chooses not to listen, not to see and learn. A few scattered listeners must catch the harmonies intended for a whole nation, the majority having been sophisticated to extinction. The herds in Chicago and elsewhere will go on indefinitely in their own swaggering way, blind and deaf, sure beyond correction that the chief desirability lies in digestion, decoration, and diversion ... while Rabindranath Tagore and the beautiful element he personifies are ever-present, waiting within reach of all, working out the biggest things in the world, and living the last word of true joy.

Ernest Rhys is very gentle and sparing in making comparisons. He leaves this to his reader, and is mainly occupied with the re-creation of the steady magnetic atmosphere which is a natural attribute of Tagore. The paragraphs devoted to the boys’ school at Bolpur give one a feeling of something lost, at least to those who thirsted through the schools of the U. S. Rhys is successful in giving out an excellent idea of the great man and his works.

Herman Schuchert.

Militarism is the German spirit.

Militarism is the self-revelation of German heroism.

Militarism is the heroic spirit raised to the spirit of war. It is Potsdam and Weimar in their highest combination. It is Faust and Zarathustra and Beethoven’s score in the trenches.

For even the Eroica and the Egmont Overture are nothing but the truest militarism. And just because all virtues which lend such a high value to militarism are revealed to the fullest extent in war, we are filled with militarism, regarding it as something holy—as the holiest thing on earth—Werner Zombart.

Have You Read——?

(In this column will be given each month a list of current magazine articles which, as an intelligent being, you will not want to miss.)

The Imagist Number of The Egoist, May 1.

H. D. and Imagism, by May Sinclair. The Egoist, June 1.

Redemption and Dostoevsky, by Rebecca West. The New Republic, June 5.

Back of Billy Sunday, by John Reed. The Metropolitan, May.

The Old Woman’s Money, by James Stephens. The Century, May.

Quack Novels and Democracy, by Owen Wister. The Atlantic, June.

Can You Read——?

(In this column will be given each month a resumé of current cant which, as an intelligent being, you will go far to avoid.)

Fiction reviews by Llewellyn Jones in The Chicago Evening Post.

A typical literary judgment from The Dial: “But, in the main, his wholesomely harsh utterances ought to be, and must be, in some degree, tonic and bracing and curative.”

An editorial from The New Republic, a journal of opinion whose function, we believe, is to circulate ideas:

During the past ten months the German Ambassador at Washington has done nothing to promote a better understanding between his own government and nation and the American government and nation. He is consequently all the more to be congratulated upon his behavior at a moment of acute and dangerous contention between the United States and Germany. He has on his own initiative and perhaps at his own risk intervened on behalf of a possibly peaceful solution of the differences between the two governments. He has sought by means of a frank talk with President Wilson to break through the barrier of misunderstanding which the exchange of notes was building up between the two governments and to re-establish a genuine vehicle of communication. The conversation may not lead to agreement, but at the top of a peculiarly forbidding crisis it has at least made an agreement seem not impossible. Everybody who detests war, everybody who hopes that the friendship between the United States and Germany will not be involved in the wreckage of the hideous conflict, will be grateful to Count von Bernstorff for his enterprise.

The Reader Critic

Mrs. Jean Cowdrey Norton, Hempstead, Long Island:

Since coming in contact with The Little Review last December, I have more than enjoyed each issue with your own impulsive, warm-hearted, dauntless personality coming through its pages; and it is for that reason I do not hesitate to ask you for an explanation of a sentence that you wrote in the April number, which led me to subscribe for that horrible output, viz., The Masses. You pronounced it indispensable to intelligent living. On that I sent in a subscription, and whereas I am not so awfully stupid I cannot understand how you, who are evidently an artist with high ideals, could possibly have such a magazine on your desk. The cartoons are so untrue, so damnably vulgar,—which good art never is,—the insistent harping on the shadows of life, the exaggerated outlook which tinges the whole paper—quite as one-sided on its side as other papers are on theirs; all of which I know must be in complete contradiction to your self. It fills me with astonishment. We acknowledge with our ever-increasing complex civilization that we must more than ever perhaps help each other; but I don’t just understand which class this perfectly rotten sheet is intended to reach. If it’s the so-called down trodden, they are apt to have so much unhappiness any way I should say a good brace up does more good than harping on injustice in general; as for the class that “does not think,” its inartistic drawings alone would be enough to queer it. When I am down and out—I happen to be a working woman too—I most decidedly do not want to be made more down and out by more woes, that often spring from lack of intelligence, that both rich and poor suffer alike from. You will see I believe in the responsibility of the individual, that you Socialists rather avoid. I do not expect you to answer this letter, but I shall look in The Little Review for a stray line that will give me some idea of your outlook.

[I have so much to say in answer to this letter, and so little time to say it that I have asked someone who shares my view to do it for me. Mr. Davis says it much better than I could, anyhow. And I must add that I am not a Socialist. I am an Anarchist—which means, an Individualist; which means everything that people think it doesn’t mean.—The Editor.]

F. Guy Davis, Chicago:

I will try to indicate very briefly why I think so much of The Masses. The group that is getting it out are real students who know the crowd with all its hope and despair, much better than the crowd knows itself. They are interpreting the crowd. The mass would never like The Masses. It is too true. It is not got up for them. The Cosmopolitan is the ideal of the mass. The Masses is for the few brave spirits who want to know life as it is, the shadows as well as the flights up into the sunshine. The Masses to my mind has as broad a range of feeling reflected in its pages as any magazine I know of. Humor, tragedy, light, shade, drama, color, yes, and mud too, as you say. But isn’t mud a part of life? In some respects mud is the condition of life. The great need of the sensitive mind of today is contact with the vital life-giving things and ideas which come from the earth. The life of such a mind is like the life of a plant. Its roots must go down beneath the surface or it will die. The Masses to my mind is the spirit of the earth put into magazine form, and to read it understandingly is to put the roots of the soul down into the earth where they should be if a healthy growth is desired. One could get too much of that contact of course, but that is another matter.


[As Mr. Carter suggests in the following letter, reprinted from The Egoist, I hope The Little Review agree with Mr. Aldington’s point of view. I hope the latter may be induced to answer Mr. Carter at length in the same issue.—The Editor.]

To the Editor, The Egoist

Madam,—I notice that in his contribution to the Imagist number of The Egoist Mr. Harold Monro, writing on the history of the Imagist movement, states that the movement owes its origin to the large discovery of “Poetry as an art” [my italics]. He then proceeds to point out that the Imagist verse fails as poetry not because the writers love poetry less, but because they love expression more. Being what it is it would be no better if Tennyson had written it, and no worse if it proved to be by, say, Mr. Rudyard Kipling. Indeed, it is not poetry any more than little Congreve’s tiresome stream of depreciation is comedy, despite what certain hopeless apprentice play critics assert to the contrary. Poetry, I suppose Mr. Monro would say, is not expression but the thing expressed. All this is good and true. But Mr. Monro fails to make one thing quite clear. The Imagists have been mistaken in their very conception of poetry which lives alone by the power to see it as Art and not as “an art.” I am convinced that some at least of the Imagists are not without the secret of this power, and if they will be guided by the vision they gain thereby, to the extent of forgetting their literary erudition, it will transform their conception of poetry. The strict literature at which they aim is not proper poetry. In fact, literary technicians do not, as a rule, write poetry for the simple reason that even if they dream the poet’s dream of reality they at once proceed to smother it under literary form. We must look to those rich in poetical experience, and free to express it, for the true expression of poetry. In plain words, “Poetry as an art” (that is, as expression or form) is not the same as Poetry as Art (that is, the thing expressed). The distinction is so big and vital and so necessary to be maintained at this moment, that I propose to consider it in an article in The Little Review. I hope to prove that what poetry needs nowadays is free poets, not free verse.

Huntly Carter.

[As the nearest available Imagist, perhaps I may be permitted to comment (without prejudice to the other Imagists) on Mr. Carter’s letter. I am not quite sure that I know what Mr. Carter means, but I think he means that it is useless for a man to study classic quantity and mediaeval rhyme and modern free verse, if he has no particular impulse or mood to make those studies valuable as a means of expression. If that is what Mr. Carter means I agree with him. I will also agree that it is useless to try and teach a dumb man to lecture or a lame man to break the hundred yards record. If a man is to lecture, if he is to be an athlete, we take for granted that in the first case he has ideas and a certain eloquence, and in the second a good physique and an aptitude for sprinting. Mr. Carter would be a rotten trainer if he didn’t make his man diet, take cold baths and long walks and an occasional sprint; he ought even to make him do a little boxing. I feel, somehow, that Mr. Carter never went in for violent exercise or that he relied upon his “Soul-Flow” or “Art-Ebb” to get him through.

Now poetry is not so very unlike athletics. You may have no aptitude for it, and then all the training in the world won’t get you in first; you may shape very well, but if you don’t train you will be an “also ran.” I believe in having an aptitude and in training it; Mr. Carter believes in having an aptitude and not training it.

I object to Mr. Carter informing us of the existence of our “of courses.” We take for granted that a man is sincere, that he has lots of impulses and that he is “free.” All that is the stuff out of which poetry is made. The making of it, the “training” is what we are immediately interested in. We take for granted that we have the essentials of poetry in us or we should not attempt to write it. We are now after clarity of form, precision of expression. Mr. Carter, like the majority of our fellow citizens, does not value these things; we find them present in every work of art which is beautiful and permanently interesting; hence our anxiety to attain by practice that clarity and that precision which practice alone can give.]

Richard Aldington.

If only every Celt will refuse to fight for anything but the freedom of his own country, the English will soon destroy themselves altogether, and we shall inherit their language, the only worthy thing they have, and which their newspapers have not yet succeeded in debauching and degrading beyond repair. There are still universities in England. However, they have made it a crime in England to write good English—for style itself is a form of truth, being beauty; and truth and beauty are as welcome in England as detectives in a thieves’ kitchen.—Aleister Crowley in The International.


for May Contained This Interesting Material

THE CLASSICAL STAGE OF JAPAN Ernest Fenollosa’s Work on the Japanese “Noh.” Edited by Ezra Pound.

“Noh” Dramas (from the Fenollosa Manuscript).

Sotoba Komachi.
Kayoi Komachi.
Suma Genji.


MAURICE MAETERLINCK by Remy de Gourmont Authorized translation by Richard Aldington.


ON THE READING OF PLAYS by Elizabeth R. Hunt

A PYRAMUS-AND-THISBE PLAY OF SHAKESPEARE’S TIME, with notes by Eleanor Prescott Hammond

THE PUBLISHED PLAY by Archibald Henderson

THE THEATRE TODAY—AND TOMORROW, a review, by Alice Corbin Henderson

THE GERMAN STAGE AND ITS ORGANIZATION—Part III, Private Theatres by Frank E. Washburn Freund

ASPECTS OF MODERN DRAMA, a review, by Lander MacClintock


A SELECTIVE LIST OF ESSAYS AND BOOKS ABOUT THE THEATRE AND OF PLAYS, published during the first quarter of 1915 compiled by Frank Chouteau Brown

The Drama for August will contain Augier’s Mariage d’Olympe, with a foreword by Eugene Brieux; an amusing account of his experiences with Parsee drama, by George Cecil; a paper on the Evolution of the Actor, by Arthur Pollock; a discussion of Frank Wedekind, by Frances Fay; a review of the work of the recent Drama League Convention; a plan for an autumn community festival; an outline of the nation-wide celebration of the Shakespeare tercentenary, and an article entitled Depersonalizing the Instruments of the Drama, by Huntly Carter.

The Drama, a Quarterly
$3.00 per year

736 Marquette Building


The most difficult business in life is to get advertisements for an “artistic” magazine—particularly for one that has the added stigma of being a free lance. We will give a commission of $5.00 to every one who secures a full-page “ad” for The Little Review. Write for particulars.

On the following pages you will find the “ads” we might have had in this issue, but haven’t.

Mandel Brothers might have taken this page to feature their library furnishings, desk sets, and accessories—of which they are supposed to have the most interesting assortment in town. I learned that on the authority of some one who referred to Mandel’s as “the most original and artistic store in Chicago.” If they should advertise those things here I have no doubt the 1,000 Chicago subscribers to The Little Review would overflow their store.

Marshall Field and Company might have used this page—but they wouldn’t. I have been to see them at least six times. They have a book department where you can actually find Nietzsche when you want him without having the clerk say, “We’ll be glad to order it.” Such a phenomenon ought to be heralded.

Carson, Pirie, Scott and Company ought to advertise something, though I don’t know just what. The man I interviewed made such a face when I told him we were “radical” that I haven’t had the courage to go back and pester him for the desired full-page. The Carson-Pirie attitude toward change of any sort is well-known—I think they resent even having to keep pace with the change in fashions.

A. C. McClurg and Company could have used this page to advantage. They have lots of books to advertise and they ought to want to advertise them in a Chicago magazine. I am willing to wager that they will: I plan to interview them once a week until they succumb.

There is least excuse of all for the Cable Piano Company. They know what we think of the Mason and Hamlin Piano and they know, whether they advertise or not, that we will keep on talking about it whenever we feel like appreciating a beautiful thing—which is rather often.

This page might have been used very profitably by Mr. Mitchell Kennerley to announce the publication of a book of poems by Florence Kiper Frank. I think it is to be out this summer—though of course I can’t pretend to give the details accurately, not having been provided with the “ad.” But The Little Review readers will want the book nevertheless.

543 Cass Street

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POETRY publishes the best verse now being written in English, and its prose section contains brief articles on subjects connected with the art, also reviews of the new verse.

POETRY has introduced more new poets of importance than all the other American magazines combined, besides publishing the work of poets already distinguished.


SUBSCRIBE AT ONCE. A subscription to POETRY is the best way of paying interest on your huge debt to the great poets of the past. It encourages living poets to do for the future what dead poets have done for modern civilization, for you.

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Transcriber’s Notes

Advertisements were collected at the end of the text.

The table of contents on the title page was adjusted in order to reflect correctly the headings in this issue of The Little Review.

In the poem Les Condoléances, the line Qu’il est sous les mers was moved from the end of the stanza beginning with “Je n’insiste pas. Je suis venu vite, to the end of the stanza beginning with “Si notre avenir—souffrez que je cache where it most likely belongs.

The original spelling was mostly preserved. A few obvious typographical errors were silently corrected. All other changes are shown here (before/after):