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February 19, 1922 - Image 6

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THE MICHIGAN DAILY MAGAZINE

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 1922

.

HE MI
a couple of pages, Pearson went on and !will read Pearson's book with a deal
similarly disposed of the Conrad en- of pleasure. Pearson is not as sound
thusiast, H. G. Wells, Hall Caine, and a critic of literature as Mencken, but
a half dozen other British bombasters, he seems to know the stage, and the
He slit a half dozen or more actors fact that he is an actor seems in no
".IODERIN - EN AND MUT3lERS" information oa Frank Harris, one will and producers from esophagus to mid- way to prejudice him.
By Hesketh Pearson do well to consult this book of Pear- riff, and from midriff to the metatar- He falls down in two or three essays,
(A Review by G. . E.) |son's. Harris is a man fully as much sals. I read all such attacks in glee. most notably in the one on George
.} combated as Mencken, but he has not No more efficient work has been done Bernard Shaw. Here Hesketh is al-
After a whole month of exceedingly the latter's grace of wit, and he has since Meoncken's "Prejudices, First most an idolator. He dives into the
dull books I find one so good that it' a far greater egotism. From what one Series," sea of Shavian maxims and epigrams
makes up for all the bad ones I have ordinarily hears of Harris, one would Pearson is not as noisy as Mencken, and emerges, blowing mouthsful of
ever read. It is "Modern Men and say that his egotism is without justifi- but his work is none the less deadly, them right and left, insisting that
cation, but when one looks into his and those who find Mencken a little Shaw is the greatest artist that Eng-
SMummers" (Harcourt Brace), by Iles- literary achievements during his so- too vociferous and blunt, but who, land has seen in a devil of a while.
keth Pearson, journ in England, one can hardly es- nevertheless, like an agressive writer, ' Again, Pearson takes up Sir Francis
The author was entirely unknown cape the conclusion that, after all,
to me, but his book was, in the main, Harris might be far worse. Harris's = IIIt11t1U ll illt iii ill ll tttlllltll llif1ill til llili11.111111111111,
so clever that I immnediately wrote to pathetic endeavors with the shabby
the publishers to find out sonething old Pearson's magazine, of which he is =
of him. They mistook my inquiry and the editor, are more than anything
went into the man's pedigree nearlyi else the things responsible for the de-
as far back as William the Conqueror. rision which he is accorded in Amer-
I found out that he was related to ica. The literary bearing of Harris, i1
Darwin, Sir Walter Scott and half the refaected through the unaristocratic
other English high lights of the past pages of Pearson's, Harris's egotism
century. This was not precisely what of achievement, appearing in this peri-
I meant. I knew Pearson only vague-I odical, take on an atmosphere of un-
ly as an Englishman and some sort warranted coxcombery. Hesketh Pear- with your roommate if s o m e
of an actor. What I was trying to son's book shows the truth of the
find out was what else he had done matter. It reveals the pathos of a ni-ht you Just take him down
in a literary way. It seems that he real &nd sincere artist, his glorious n
has done nothing at all other than fighting days past, of a man surround- a
"Modern Men and Mummers." ed and nigh overwhelmed with a cheap town d treat to of
Well, it is enough. I do not know environment and buried under the
when I have so enjoyed a book. There tons of mediocre stuff flooding from those delicious
are some bad spots in it, of course, American publishing hIsuses, a man
some very bad ones. But I shall get who is, at heart, sympathetic and full
around to tihem in a general way later. of a wistful eagerness that he be read
The book consists of a series of and appreciated.
articles on various men, mostly Eng- But the thing which most delighted
lishmen, and mostly gentlemen of the me in "Modern Men and Mummers"
stage. was the way in which the author as-
Neverti less, probably the best ar- sailed many of the human demi-gods.
ticle in the book is on Frank Harris,, He swooped on Horatio Bottomly in"
an American and a writer-a rare a manner that did my heart go.
combination. If one wants some real Horatio having been disposed of in
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