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mediate phenomena. Talent, for its journalism or for the literary art, In
( empirical method of dealing with the data one instance the product will be interestafforded by such phenomena, finds a safe- ing as news, in the other because it bears guard in the impersonal or partisan atti- upon some universal principle or emotion tude; it is enabled, at least, to generalize of human life. So it not seldom happens by code to a practical end. A journalist that a reporter develops extra-journalistic whose impersonal talent, let us say, is skill in the portrayal of experience or unable to subdue his personal genius, character. Writers of fiction are spawned feels the inadequacy of this method. He almost daily by the humbler press. The has a hankering for self-expression. He journalistic use of the word “story "inis dissatisfied with this hasty summariz- dicates the ease of a transition which is ing of facts, this rapid postulating of not a wandering from fact to falsity, but inferences. He insensibly extends his an upward shift from the plane of simple function, reinforces analysis with insight: registry to the plane of interpretation. and produces literature. He has not been Mr. Kipling happens to be the most conable to confine himself to telling or saying spicuous modern instance of the reportsomething appropriate to the moment; ing journalist turned story-writer. It he has merely taken his cue from the mo seems that his genius has led him to the ment, and busied himself with saying instinctive development of an art based what is appropriate to himself and to the upon principles to which he professes a truth as he knows it. He has, in short, certain indifference. There are an inceased to be a machine or a mouthpiece, definite number of ways of inditing tribal and become a creative” writer. lays, he assures us, and every single une
Of course the same thing happens in of them is right. The speculation has other arts, and in other forms of the its merits as a tribute to personality; it printed word. In history, in private or has decided demerits in seeming to lay public correspondence, in the gravest stress upon the virtue of mere oddity or scientific writing, even, one often per- inventive power. Mr. Kipling will evenceives a sort of “ literature of inadver- tually rank with a class of writers sepatence," a literature in effect, though not rated by a whole limbo from the greatest in primary intent. There is, indeed, no creative spirits; one need not in the least form of writing except what baldly re- grudge them their immediate effectivecords, mechanically compiles, or conven
Greater writers than Mr. Kipling tionally comments, which may not give have been skeptical as to the value of expression, however incidental or imper- those lesser forms of art which suggest fect, to personality, to the power of inter mere artifice. Carlyle expressed doubt pretation as contrasted with the power of as to the permanent effectiveness of what communication.
the Germans call “Kunst:" the con
scious application of artistic theories or We may consider a little in detail the methods to the expression of truth. Intwo functions of pure journalism, and deed, to take it seriously at all, one must note how easily they transform into the take art to be the expression of a perliterary or interpretative function. It is sonal creative faculty as distinguished plain that little distinction can be made from that of an impersonal producing between a piece of journalism and a piece faculty; the result of a true consciousof literature on the ground of external ness of principles, not a mere being aware subject-matter alone. A squalid slum of them. So far as a record of immediincident, a fashionable wedding, the es ate events manifests such a consciouscape of a prisoner, the detection of a ness, it asserts its right to be considered forgery, may afford material either for
not as journalism, but as literature.
Nor, further, can any fortune of pub- sonally on special events, of the day. lication establish a distinction of quality The usefulness of such books is obvious; between these two forms of the printed they could not well be dispensed with. word. Not long ago a popular Ameri. Yet it is only in the hands of a Carlyle can writer ventured so far as to advance or an Arnold or a Ruskin that this kind the theory that it is largely a matter of of material becomes literature, (an exluck whether a given bit of writing will pression of universal truth in terms of turn out to be literature or not; unless, present fact. (Wherever in a journal indeed, the act of putting it within cloth personality emerges and fully expresses covers be the final guaranty of its quality. itself, literature emerges. Wherever in The remark was, we may suppose, not literary forms the occasional, the convenintended to be taken very seriously. It tional, the partisan, the indecisive peris pathetically true that the quality of sonality, are felt, journalism is presenta minor literature is not determined by the accident of its disappearance or of its
IV., preservation in book form. Fortunately, There is another modification of the the research of special students and the recording function which has assumed enthusiasm of amateur explorers do suc great importance in the popular periodiceed in rescuing much of desert from the cals of the day. The “special article diluvial flotsam of the past. Much is represents a development, rather than a undoubtedly lost. Its vitality has proved transformation, of the newspaper report insufficient, over-shadowed in its own as it deals with conditions. A descripday- perhaps, by superior vitalities. Such tion of proposed buildings for a is the fate also of canvases, of statues, World's Fair; a sketch of the relations of beautiful buildings. Works of art are between Japan and Korea before the not ephemeral because they fail to live outbreak of the Russian war; an account forever; we must not be unreasonable of recent movements in municipal or in demanding long life for all that de- national politics; a study of a commerserves the name of literature. Granted cial trust: with such articles our magathat the literature of the newspaper re
zines are filled. They are a legitimate port has less chance of permanence and useful product of jonrnalism ; one than the literature of the magazine or of should only take care to distinguish the publisher’s venture: it nevertheless them from that personal creative form, serves its purpose ; and perhaps makes the essay. The public demand for such itself felt more than the generality sus work has given birth to a new race of pect. It may happen that a brief special reporters, among whom the popsketch of some apparently trivial scene ular idol appears to be that picturesque or incident, printed in an obscure jour adventurer, the war correspondent. Such nal, actually excels in pure literary qual men do excellent service. They write ity the more elaborate structures of fic- with vivacity and with a kind of indition, with all the dignity that may attend viduality ; but their work is unlikely to their publication, whether serially or be- possess the qualities which give permatween covers of their own.
nence. It is a brilliant hazard of deIt is evident, moreover, that our defi- scription and comment; it does all that nition of journalism applies to several talent and special aptitude can do with large classes of books. There are, for the material in hand. Almost inevitably, example, books on exploration, physical it lacks the repose, the finality, the or other; on anthropological or sociolo- beauty, which may eventually belong to gical experiment; books recording spe a personal or literary treatment of the cial conditions, or commenting imper same material. This is true even of the VOL. XCIII. NO. 560.
product of so vigorous and effective a intelligence. One perceives a close anawriter as the late G. W. Steevens. He logy between the functions of the higher was somewhat too closely involved in the journalist and those of the preacher, the condition of the moment “ to see life lawyer, and the politician. An ex parte steadily and to see it whole.” Such men impersonality is all that can be demanded are bound to take sides, and are conse of any of them, - intellectual indepenquently doomed to half-express them- dence being a desirable asset, but the thing selves in wholly uttering a point of view said being largely determined by a policy, or a phase. Their work will possess a creed, a precedent, or a platform. In individual unction, but hardly the force any of these professions will appear from of personal inspiration. It is naturally time to time the literary artist, — the overestimated by the public, which is man escaping from preoccupation with convinced that talent and energy rule specific methods or ends, and expressing the world now, no matter what may be his personality by some larger interpretatrue in the long run; and that to rule tion of life. Hence come our Newmans, the world now is the most important of our Burkes, and our Macaulays. possible achievements. But, indeed, the So from the "article” of higher jour value of such work is not small. One nalism literature frequently emerges. cannot doubt that it is more meritorious The given_composition ceases to be a for a person of moderate ability to Aling something." written up" for a purpose, himself into the press, and to make sure and becomes a something written out of of doing one kind of man's work, than the nature of a man. It is not merely an to sit down in a corner and murmur, Xarrangement of data and opintons; it stirs
“Go to: I am about to be a genius.") with life, it reaches toward a farther end As a matter of fact, most great writers than immediate utility. Under such conhave been active in affairs, in one way ditions the journalist does honor to his or other. The Divine Comedy, Hamlet, craft by proving himself superior to it. Paradise Lost, Faust, show clear traces He has dedicated his powers to a pracof activities far enough from the prac tical service; but he has not been false tice of letters. Nevertheless, Milton's to his duty in transcending it. criticism of life is to be found in his Nevertheless, his simple duty remains poetry rather than in his controversial the same; all that his office demands of prose, and Dante's in his celebration of him is official speech. More than talent Beatrice rather than in his recorded ser and conformity belongs to the few who vices to Florence. The product of such direct the course of journalism; but even energy is calculable, the influence of their admitted powers are rather for such genius altogether incalculable. administration than for expression. A
Between literature and “the higher man of this kind is content to embody a journalism ” the partition is extremely theory in an organ or a group of organs, thiņ. If I understand the term, the to determine an editorial policy, and to higher journalism means the function influence public opinion. The genius of of impersonal comment employed at a writer like Godkin cannot be denied ; its utmost of breadth and dignity. It it still presides over the admirable jourgives utterance to individual judgment nal which owes its prestige to him. But rather than personal interpretation. It it was a genius allied with a moral sense aims to inform and to convince rather somewhat too readily moved to indignathan to express. It displays real eru tion. His was a singular instance of the dition, it urges admirable specifics, it nature which prefers the ardor of prompt produces, in fact, printed lectures on prac service to the ardor of self-utterance. tical themes addressed to the practical His work lay, accordingly, upon the bor
der regions between literature and jour- per into a literary publication. Literary nalism.
graces! There are few articles so un
promising of any good, in the great There seems to be no need of serious- journalistic department shop on which ly discussing the question of superiority the numerical world now depends for between the two forms of verbal activ most of its wants. ity. Creation is always superior to pro The popularity of journalism in duction, but that is not a fact which America has, we have noted before, reought to trouble honest producers. A acted upon most of our magazines so journalist is contemptible only when by strongly that they are distinguished from some falsetto method he attempts to lead the better daily journals by exclusion of the public into fancying that it is get- detail and modification of method rather ting literature of him. Otherwise he de- than by essential contrast in quality. serves, no more than the lawyer or the Jpon the character of the daily press, that clergy man, to be held in disesteem by is, depends the character of our entire men of letters. Some discredit has doubt- periodical product; and this means, in less been cast upon the profession by the large measure, the character of the public existence of that forlorn army of writ taste. To afford a vast miscellaneous ers who would have liked to illumine population like ours its only chance of the world, but have to make the best of contact with literature entails a responsiamusing it, or even to put up with pro-, bility which may well appall even the viding it with information. Since jour- ready and intrepid champions of the daily nalism is a trade, a person of reasonable press. While, however, the night-fear of endowment may have better hope of the yellow journal is disturbing enough achieving moderate success in it than in to those who watch for the morning, they literature. But one does not fit himself will have pleasanter visions, even now not for journalism by failing in literature, any altogether unrealized, of a journalism more than one fits himself for literature more responsible, more just, more firmly by failing in journalism. To have one's pursuant of that fine enthusiasm for abweak verse or tolerable fiction printed solute fitness, for the steady application in a newspaper does not make one a
of worthy means to worthy ends, which journalist; nor does it turn the newspa- is the birthright of literature.
H. W. Boynton.
WEEDS AND FLOWERS.
THE flowers are loved, the weeds are spurned,
John Vance Cheney.
BOOKS NEW AND OLD.
A FEW SPRING NOVELS.
The flood of spring fiction, like other The pitiful relics of the proud old race spring floods, has been formidable in pro which had reigned for generations at portion to the length and severity of the Blake Hall, going their ways of careless winter; but the river in which we stagger magnificence, and adored, in the main, will at least not ignite.
by the ever increasing swarms of their Out of a score or more of smartly af childish dependents, are now reduced to tired volumes the most important among dire penury, and living a life of grinding the native American products is the toil, on the produce of a small fragment Deliverance, by Miss Ellen Glasgow, of the ancestral tobacco fields, in the and even this is hardly up to the high house which was once the overseer's; level of the author's previous work. It while the overseer, Bill Fletcher, a hoary is neither as broad and sane, nor as reprobate, who had stolen, bit by bit, all masterly in its grasp of complex and that was left of the Blake possessions chaotic social conditions, as the Voice of after the fall of the Confederacy, is inthe People ; nor has it all the solemn stalled in their place at the Hall. unity and concentrated pathos of the The hero of the tale is Christopher Battle Ground. Nevertheless, it is a Blake, the youngest child of the fallen searching and a striking book; and, like family, and the intrigue turns upon the its predecessors, it is especially interest conflict in his warped mind between a ing for the strong light it sheds on what, steadfast purpose of revenge upon the after a lapse of forty years, is only now usurper and his love for the usurper's beginning dimly to be perceived as one granddaughter. The details of the story of the most momentous consequences to are necessarily painful. The father of our whole country of the war of seces the Blake children had fallen early in sion, - the death, namely, and by vio the war. The mother, blind, paralyzed, lence, — or, at least, the mortal hurt, and with memory much impaired, but of a comparatively ripe white civilization stately and overbearing still, is actually in the Southern United States.
kept in ignorance, through the pious menThe scene of the Deliverance is laid dacity of her children and one or two in Virginia. The time is about twenty devoted old servants, of the fact that they years after the close of the civil war. are no longer living at the Hall, and even
1 The Deliverance. By ELLEN Glasgow. Kwaidan. By LAFCADIO HEARN. Boston New York: Doubleday, Page & Co. 1904. and New York: Houghton, Mifflin & Co. 1904.
Henderson. By Rose E YOUNG. Boston Cap'n Eri. By Joseph C. LINCOLN. New and New York: Houghton, Mifflin & Co. 1904. York: A. S. Barnes & Co. 1904.
An Evans of Suffolk. By Anna FARQUHAR. Mrs. M.Lerie. By J. J. BELL. New York: Boston: L. C. Page & Co. 1904.
The Century Co. 1904. The Adventures of Elizabeth in Rügen. Lon Running the River. By GEORGE CARY EGdon and New York: The Macmillan Co. GLESTON. New York: A. S. Barnes & Co. 1904.
1904. Violett: a Chronicle. By the BARONESS Said the Fisherman. By MARMADUKE PICKvon HUTTEN. Boston and New York: Hough THALL. New York: McClure, Phillips & Co. ton, Mifflin & Co. 1904.
1904. The Day before Yesterday. By SARA ANDREW The Great Adventurer. By ROBERT SHACKLESHAFFER. New York: The Macmillan Co.
New York: Doubleday, Page & Co. 1904.