Books And Authors
he has since written Harris, calling
(By R. D. S.) attention to some of the latter's de-
ficiencies. Before reading Main
There was a time when Frank Har- Street, Harris said, 'I know Sinclair
ris would have been the last man to Lewis and know that he will never
admit his literary failure. Even now, do anything great."
when he has finally "thrown up the His other fault is a petty egotism.
sponge," he blames the Philistinism He has never realized that to be -a
of America rather than himself for his perstteut egotist one must have suf-
ficient genius to carry it off, or else
lack of success. Be that as is may, expect unpopularity. Harris lacked
his small circle of admirers has been the genius and complained at unpopu-
dwindling steadily for" the past -few larity.
years, and the reason was rather to Principally for these two reasons
be found, for the most part, in Har- Harris had been a consistent failure
in this country. After his exile
is's constant vituperation, in his re- bngtascentoy.iAftarisvexue
peaed eclratonsof isown genius, lbrought an end to his varied ventures
peated declarations of hiso in England, he came to the United
and in his outcries against the in- States, where he has been struggling
justice of being neglected. ever since to locate a public. Al-
There is no gainsaying that Frank though he found publishers for some
of his earlier works, he soon found
Harris is, in many ways a very brit- the doors of the publishing houses
liant man. He was at one time a suc- closed to him, and he was forced to
cessfol London editor, He has beenr resort to printing his own books.
in close contactewith Wilde, Dowson, Pearson's Magazine,sover half of
Beardsley, and in fact nearly all those which is written by the editor and
surprisingly talented literati who signed in conspicuously large print,
flourished in London during the has led a most precarious struggle fos
nineties. He has written some ex- existence.
cellent short stories, two penetrating BtHri aa egh ie p
and pronouncing books on Shakes- BtHri aa lntgvnu.
adroonchisnLbooksd onfSsskessHe has gloried in the occasional
peare; and his Life and Confessions words of praise that have come from
of Oscar Wilde is a masterpiece of his friends and admirers, and he has
writing-if not of biography. struggled bravely and fearlessly
But two outstanding faults have against contempt, derision, and negli-
constantly hampered Harris. In all gence. But he is now close on his
his critical work he has considered dotage and he realizes that it has been
personalities rather than merit. It a losing fight. It is rather pathetic
has perhaps been unfortunate that he to see him relinquishing his hold on
has known personally so many writ- the long cherished-Pearson's and
ers. At any rate it has biased his es- once more returning to Europe. But
timate in nearly every case. Fre- it is for the best. He has.written three
quently he has been grossly unfair. hooks that will live. He should be
He found Herbert Spencer cranky amply satisfied to leave these alone
and unreasonable in conversation; to bear his name to posterity, for
therefore, his philosphy was worth- his creative days are over and the ill-
less. Theodore Dreiser, although he humored critiques he has ben writing
receives a generous allotment of space for the past few years can do no more
in Contemporary Portraits; is the than lower his already none-toose-
worst of present-day writers because cure reputation.
(By G. D. E.)
At last the Forsyte family is ex-
tinct. It took Galsworthy three books
to do it in, but the deed is accom-
plished. I thought for a while that
he might have to resort to hydrocy-
anic acid or perhaps a dirk or two,
but no, the final Forsyte dies obscene-
ly enough with heart trouble.
The clan was first brought to the
public notice in "Man of Property"
-or was it "In Chancery?" Now, in
"To Let" (Scribners) the whole busi-
ness is over with. But really, I want
a written guarantee tnat some For-
syte will not bob up again before I
stake my honor that they are all safe-
Why three books? One reads about
one generation. Then comes another
generation and another book. And
when the reader thinks the family is
disposed of and the book is sweetly
forgotten, along comes another gener-
ation and still another book.
What has he offered in this case?
Indeed a great and Godly moral. Eng-
land is going to the dogs! The best
families are succumbing to jazz, fu-
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