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January 13, 1924 - Image 1

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The Pictorial Review
Synthetic Lit'ry Criticism
Nothing in the literary history of ALAN STANFORD
the past hundred years more insist-
ently demands our attention than the
usurpation by other arts of dominionsO
once belonging entirely to literature.
In spite of Baude'aire, in spite of Rii-
baud, in spite of Swinburne, all of
whom tried to capture for words the
fields of painting, of music, even of
architecture, nevertheless the poet, S
the dramatist, and finally the novelist,
have seen themselves robbed of theme
after theme, have seen themselves
denied the right to tell a story, to -g
paint a picture, or to compose a O
snatch of music.C
And this constant surrender of
words in behalf of other more vivid
means of expression is really a gain.
No man ever succeeded in conveying
his thoughts by words alone. Words
give experience at second, or some-
times at third-hand. They represent
life diluted, rendered innocuous.
It follows therefore that any fur-
ther conquest by some other part is a
cause for rejoicing. The latest strong-
hold of literature to fall is Criticism.
Logically this ought to have fallen
first, because Criticism in words is
ahout as far removed from actuality
as Poiret's from an Ann Arbor sor-
rority house. In poetry there may THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV"
sometimes occur "words that breathe "THE BROTHERS HARAMAZO"
and thoughts that burn"; in Criticism other two figures in the Criticism one has ever attempted such a thing be- denies the necessity for reducing life
never. It is consequently a cause at represents Jesus of Nazareth, the fore, but there can be little doubt that a bit in order to make it more com-
once for surprise and for congratula- spirit of flagellation; the two-headed in perhaps a short time others will prehensible; but there is no need for
tion that pictorial criticism is now figure manifests the dual personality take up the idea. Surely a perusal of going through the process twice. The
supplanting verbal criticism. controlling not only the actors in the the usual verbal atrocities passing' advantage of pictorial criticism is
I have already said that the former novel, but also the Russian race as a unier the name of criticism makes that it restores to a literary work that
kind possesses many advantages over whole. iny one save the professional review- vividness and freshness characteristic
the latter. To see in detail what From even this short and inade- er perceive the inadequacy of words of life itself. Of course, here bobs up
those advantages are one need only quate interpretation of Mr. David- to interpret a work of art. At the again the age-old query, "Why have
examine the drawing above, which is son's pictorial criticism may be gath- worst, words conceal or destroy that 'criticism at all?" Logically, there is
a review of Fyodor Distolevski's ered some idea of the possibilities in- which they are meant to clarify; at no reason; but criticism is apparently
"The Brothers Karamazov." Back of herent in that art. No one else, so their best they bind still further an here to stay. That being the case,
everything stands the blind, uncouth far as I have been able to ascertain, already enchained experience. No one surely the more direct the criticism,
giant, which is Holy Russia. In the the more valuable it is. We may
background of the picture the artist therefore hope that in the future
has delineated a flash of lightning, T he L at Sunner words will be supplanted for the pur-
which symbolizes the blinding bril- poses of criticism as they have al-
liance, the overwhelming power, of ROBERT BARTRON HENDERSON ready been supplanted in the arts of
the book. Limned against the light- narative, description, and pure emo.
ning stand forth, terrifically clear and T HAD all been explained to a gorgeous powdered wig. He had tion.
stark, the characters of the story. As her, and yet . . . come late one night to her, and his kind
they are in life and in the pages of Plainly she was nervous..but stern consideration quite over
Dostoievski, so has the artist por- It seemed as though the whelmed her. The very fact of a visit
trayed them-terrible, monstrous, yet hour would never come. The feeble from so high a person convinced her
inadequate. Ie has portrayed, too, the clock ticked at an exasperating pace. how obligatory it was on her part to
discordant relations which they bear The hands, it seemed, almost refused release the Duc. ORLANDO BEEDE
to one another, the hopeless welter of to move. All the sounds of the dark- This nobleman, she understood, was
passions and ideals which are the ness outside made her start, and then an uncle of the Duc, a close confidant There are four different attitudes
tragedy of life. Symbolizing the fatal when nothing came of them she re- of the young man's father. He told taken towards jazz music. Some peo-
spirit of evil that wraps itself about laxed into feverish anxiety over the her that the Du was shortly to be ple are crazy about it, other hate it,
all the actors of the tale except Al- details of the table. married to the great Lady Trenton some think it clever and amusing,
yosha, a bloated serpent glares at the from England across the channel. He at
oserver. Dominating the middle- It had all een carefully explained wfrom Englanddacrosshthe channel. Re
gounsr fher drmawingtheasonmfdd halso told her many other things as
ground of the drawing, hy reason of to her, itsn she had professed to he well, but the conclusion was that the all.
his central position, is the figure of content. She had been told how fu- Duc would see her no more. of, It may generally be said of those
the father, Sharing the attention is tile and even unbecoming it was of course, it might be hard for her at who are crazy about jazz that they
the large figure of Grushenka, to be her to expect the Due to regard his first, perhaps a trifle unjust, but there are young and giddy, and that they
seen at the right of the father. The . . . his friendship for her seriously, were surely many men of her own love to dance (for jazz is really ex-
monastic hrother, Alyosha, has heen The Duc, she was reminded, was a class who would desire her, and soon
placed-with obvious appropriateness gentleman, one of the noble gentry, she would forget. celent to dance to); that their minds

-at the left of the sketch, accom- while she . . . but a pretty peasant She had said she understood, and are either permanently dull, or per-
panied by the emblems of penance, girl. The Duc, truly, had been inter- had promised him, and he gd left s haps yet unsharpened. Those who
the cross and the scourge. Nearby, ested In her, perhaps Indiscreetly p isfied. Just love jazz may, as any body else,
also, is pictured an emaciated crea- but that in itself ought to be honor have sudden crazes on Robert Frost,
ture which will at once remind the A few days later, however, she re- music, philosophy, or anything intel-
observer of the aintin in which t enough to content her There are ceived a note from the Duc himself lectual, you know; but eventually
famoservr fRts artint Rorich h^ law e wis told, unwritten laws de- asking her to let h'm see her but their old, beloved Jazz will prove a
famos K-slv sri~tHon5, i. '.' ' ut-s easte that makie it
typified the religious spirit of his e. ,,it sit a lanss'tottt nmore before 'his marriage. Late constant companion, and they will re-
plh. it.e P.r ' 'rother- a;is k ' night, he hai added. She told turn to him with an increased enthu-
formal -nl a 'In msenger in reply to tell the Duc siasm. They'll just let Old Man Jazz
fathir. T_ ,,0 t '. : on , . - 1 ''is;, roise to tse noilemoa .hase away those blues, when Frost
sneer ,,l I.11 . I ' ' i t ' ''. ,: 1 itid eetho e ae ft'ite3


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