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March 12, 1922 - Image 16

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1922-03-12

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Books and

THE MICHIGAN
Authors

'4CROME YELLOW" , Amazon-like and rather terrible in
By Aldous Huxley aspect, with an "elaborate coiffure of
(A Review by R. D. S.) a curiously improbable shade of or-
ange"; Mary, an amateur intellectual
A year ago, when Aldous Huxley flapper with an overpowering fear of
published his first book, "Limbo", I Freudian complexes; the pretty and
humbly chronicled in these columns many-mooded Anne; Jenny, incon-
my admiration for this young English- veniently deaf, but a demon Pepys;
man. Now, upon reading his third Mr. Scogan, garrulous and ever, alert
volme "oweu'Yelow"Do rasn), for a victim to act as sounding board
volume, "Crome Yellow" (Doran), Ifor his erudition; Gombauld, the ar-
find that my enthusiasm is uniminish- tist who has gone through cubism and
ed. Huxley is one of the cleverest "come out on the other side"; the
and, in his light manner, most bril- magnetic Ivor, who is a mean Romeo,
liant of the new generation of Eog- and who writes poetry, plays the piano,
.sand paints. soul pictures on the side;
lish novelists. He has an active cnn- Mr. Barbecue-Smith, a ham novelist,
osity about all matters intellectual, who writes "inspirational books" at
he has a fanciful imagination, and he the rate of .1500 words per hour; and,
has the ability to write wittily and lastly, the unfortunate Denis, who
entertainingly..'Above 'all-and this would be such an attractive young man
if he only had the nerve to do all the
may be his chief fascination-he is things he thinks of doing.
different. Today when' it is the fash- The action of the book occurs be-
ion for young writers to poke fun the time Denis arrives in Crome and
at everything venerated by the last the time he leaves. Mrs. Wimbush con-
generation, :from the Adam and Eve sults horoscopes - and bets on race
story to Victorian morals and back horses according to the results; Mr.
Wimbush reads aloud from his "His-
parlors, Huxley jumps ahead a pace tory" and discusses drains and hogs;
and has an impudent laugh at the Gombauld dances and paints; Mary
young intellectuals of the present seeks riddance of her complexes; Jen-
generation; which is to say, at himself. ny scribbles with a poison pen in her
genraton;diary; Ivor makes whirlwind love;
"Crome Yellow", for the lack of and Mr. Barbecue-Smithrconfides to
a better classification, may be called Denis sundry secret methods of be-
a novel. That label, at least, fits it coming rich by writing. And so the
better than any other. The plot is time passes, until Denis decides to
about as thick as that of the average leave, at which time the book closes
Winter Garden show, but, for plot, without anything very definite having
Huxley has substituted a lively record happened.
of the random doings and conversa- This bare sketch can hardly give
tions of eight or ten rather unusual an adequate view of "ICrome Yellow".
people, gathered together at Crome, I hope I have not made the book
the home of Henry Wimbush. sound uninteresting, for it is anything
The party includes the genealogi- but that. It is composed of a number
cally inclined Henry Wimbush, deep in of ideas and incidents-probably the
the composition of the monumental accumulation of many months, scrib-
"History of Crome"; Mrs. Wimbush, bling in the author's note book. But

DAILY MAGAZINE SUNDAY, MARCH 12, 1922
Huxley has strung them together well, read him have three ie books in
and he himself dominates the story, store for them. "Limbo" is a collec-
He performs a whole series of tricks, fion of, short stories, "Leda" is probe
all quite successfully, and.all without ably, the most original books of poe-
seeming consciously to be showing try written since Witter Bynner and
off. One of his stunts is to change his Arthur Davison Ficke perpetrated
own markedly individualistic style for their hoax, "Spectra," upon the unsus-
that of his characters. He gives in pecting critics; and "Crome Yellow"
full a righteously persuasive sermon of is a brillinatly written little novel of
the neighboring minister, and he re- exceptional excellence.
lates several extracts from Mr. Wim-
bush's pompously written "History."
Again, blithely skipping through his Knot Hamsun's two autobiograph-
tale, he touches lightly on astrology, ical stories, "Under the Autumn Stars"
astronomy, paleontology, counterpoint, and "A Wanderer on Muted Strings,"
ancient history, theology, psychog1- have been published by Knopf under
alysis, "new art", spiritualism, sociol- the single title of "Wanderers." This
ogy, psychology, and kindred arts and book.is translated by W. W. Worster,
sciences, who translated "The Growth of the
This Huxley is well worth getting Soil" andseveral of Hamsun's other
acquainted with. those who have not books.

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