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November 27, 1921 - Image 3

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DUSTING THE SHELF ready to laugh-and laugh harder!
to the a(By G. D. E.) Its masterpiece was an article head-
D O O R flu f iu / O TS But a few days since I wandered in- ed "The Silkworm's Greatest Aly.i
to the periodical room of the Library Danged if this looks like Self Help
THE LAST BOOKS OF JAMES final round-up of names, Huneker wits sy Czeko-Slovak grammar under to me?
HUNEKEE found little room for that personal my arm seeking a quiet place to study. "The Balance Sheet, a Magazine of
life which would have been so inter- The place was quiet enough-it was Bookkeeping" followed; then "The
(By H. D. S.) esting to his many admirers. only eight-thirty in the morning-and Strand" of London. Next, "The Uni-
James Huneker, a steeplejack of the It is not until one goes to "Painted I fell to assiduous effort. But in front versalist Leader, a Journey of To-
Arts as he aptly termed himself, was Veils," issued in a small edition, that of me on one of the tables was a wick- morro-, apparently a syndicated
the dean of American critics. Wider one comes into contact with Huneker er aire basket that disturbed me con- Sunday school sheet. As I worship
in range of interests than Poe, more the man, the adventurer in life, art, stan'ly. Zeus, saatu, Iodastd nd Bask
and intellectual pursuits. Even here Finally, in a fit of exasperation, I in my spare time, I dared not lank
the man of the world than James, and t is only when one is allowed to see threw my Rumanian grammar aside into this worthy bit of print and
less the man with a purpose than the character and thought processes and turned the basket upside down to paper.
Mencken, he stood, a dignified, a cul- of Ilick Invern that one finds the iinvestigate its contents. A lot of thin "The Leatherneck" told me that the
cured and authorative critic. A man author.' Such things in his life as his and flimsy magazines came forth, and marines were "refighting the famous
without a country, he was a man of four marriages, the last a reunion with I examined them one by one. civil war battle." This interested me,
outis first wife, remain yet to be chron Delight overwhelmed me as I pro- but I could not but reflect on man's
icled. And how important such things ceeded. I forgot completely all about savargery. It all seems so unneces-
for Flaubert, Stendhal, Baudelaire; to are in the biography of a great man! Lithuanian refiexives. Below I list the sary after Appomatox.
Germany for Wagner, Nietzsche; to It is to be hoped that someone under- results of the pastime, pamphlet for "Linoleum Logic," another adver-
Norway for Ibsen-but too catholic takes a biography of him. There is pamphlet. tising pamphlet. This is the first time
were his tastes to be represented by material in abundance and much of it First there was "The Key, the offici- that I knew that linoleum had a ner,
remains unpublished. al organ of Kappa Kappa Gamma," vous system and a conscious center.
a few names and boundary lines. He whatever that is. Being an ardent Then the "Monthly Review," issued
was a thorough cosmopolite, immersed mReaders of huneker may have some y
misgivings concerning a posthumous ember of the Ku Klux Klan, Ire- by the Federal Reserve Bank of Bas-
fuey olo ttetig etcm o.Il wager that they r fe
in the life and art of all nations. Paa- volume of his critiques. Publishers fused to look at the thing. Next came ton. I'll
sessed of an impressive store of too often throw together cast-off "The Yellow Strand," a twelve page ihe hard-earned money of the widows
knowledge; equally versed in all the scraps and uadvertising document. Some of its and orphans. I wouldn't trust none
publish them after an au- phrases are ringing in my ears yet. of them skunks!
arts; apparently familiar with every thor's death. "Ambition, a Journal of Inspira- "Pere Marquette Service," was the
movement, every work of art, every "Variations," which has just been tion to Self help," next smote my name of another. I didn't know there
artist the world over, Huneker was published by Scribner's, is not a total eyes. But hold, you who are about (Continued on Page 7)
disappointment. True, it is not Hunek- I
far from being a pedagogic recluse. er at his best, but it is Huneker; and
Quite the opposite: he was distinctly he always has something to say. Sev-
a man of the world, an aristocratic eral of the articles, as "Chopin or thei
bohemian, a true intellectual. The Circus?", are obviously written to fill -
night-roving man about town, the gen- "assignments," while such remnants'
ial imbiber of Pilsner, the erudite con- as a sycophantic account of a visit to a!m
versationalist, was one of the biggest Roosevelt-which wanders off into an
figures in American letters of the appreciation of George Cabot Lodge--
twentieth century. and an extract on Nietzsche might well!
Astonishing as was pis scope of in- have been omitted. T -
formation, little less so was the The first half dozen critiques are
breadth of his acquaintance. But, in particularly good. Many of the others
his personal contact, as in his writ- are on music, a subject which is not{-/
ings it was first-raters with whom he for me to discuss. The remaining deal
dealt. It would be difficult to mention with various topics. In an arti'le On t
a celebrity of this century or last who "Eill Ei" he soon has done with
does not figure In the page. of Hunek- Jacob Sandier and takes up the sub-
er's books. And the percentage of ject of the Jews, a race whom, as he
these whom the author knew person- has frequently mentioned before, he
ally is amazingly high. Through his especially admires. In this, as in many;
volumes runs an imposing parade of of his writings, he strays from his '
great men and women-painters, poets, subject, a fault easily forgiven a mind
singers, philosophers, sculptors, mu- so filled with ideas and knowledge as
sicians, psychologists, dramatists, poli- his.
ticians. His eighteen published books Like most writers of the past few
are indeed a liberal education in the years, Mr. Huneker takes advantage
arts, of the opportunity to state his opinion
And yet, Huneker, for all his cul- of Prohibition. In "Art and Alcohol"
ture, his brilliance, his worldliness, he says, "Alcohol has been the nurs-
his extensive contact with famous peo- ing bottle of genius, and of many com- EVERYBODY
ple, never quite got over being daz- monplace citizens may not the same A
zied by the rays of the limelight. be said? Woe to him who abuses the
Names were at once his stronghold priceless gift. He is doomed. And a private, personal boa of candy
and his stumbling block. Again and doomed, too, is the prohibitionist who s at Christmas time.
again they stand out from his pages, overindulges in flapjacks and fried Here are suggestions that will
one on this, forty on the next; scarce- steak. Native cookery has slain more & CN 1V suit every good taste in choco-
ly ever a page without a name. He is than the rum mills of the universe." t env lates and confections.
forever boasting, often quite irrelev- "Variations" will not add much to This year give
antly, of a post card form this person- Iuneker's name. Yet these articles,,
age, a letter from that, a word of con- written during his last two years, show
gratulation from another. And he him as enthusiastic in his apprecia-
marched the whole regiment into his tions and as fresh in his observations You know the Sampler, the
"Steeplejack." The subject index of as ever he was. He is reported to Pleasure Island, Salmagundi
this book looks like an international have said that he was nauseated at Chocolates, Super Extra Choco-
"Who's who." the thought of any of his books except hates, The Fussy Package sod
This weakness was what kept "Egoists." But in "Variations" there sll the others, See our display
"Steeplejack" from being the auto- is no hint of ennui. It would seem to
biography it set out to be. His last reveal him as going his nightly round
work but one before his death, its two in much the same spirit as in the C alk in s -F letch er
volumes should have given the real earlier days; as leading, to the last,
Huneker; for his was a life fully de- the pleasant, eventful life of the art
serving of an autobiography. But lover. With Hazlitt, he might have.
Instead he made the book a list of ob- said, "So I have loitered my life away, D ru -
servations and reminiscences, a long reading books, looking at pictures, go-
artistic catalog, His personality is, ing to plays, hearing, thinking, or
of course, the leitmotif; but, in this writing on what pleased me most."


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