THE LIBRARY LANTERN
Published monthly from October to June by the
Hamilton Smith Library, of the University-
of New Hampshire
Entered as second-class matter October 10, 1927, at the post office at Durham, New Hampshire~iunder the
act of August 24, 1912.
Vol. 13 FEBRUARY, 1938 No. 5
FROM PEKING TO KASHMIR
FORBIDDEN JOURNEY, by Ella K. Maillart.
In January 1935 Peter Fleming and Ella Maillart joined forces at Peking
and started on their journey across Central China to India. This particular route
was last crossed by a foreigner in 1927. Fleming and Maillart met with all kinds
of obstacles, such as difficulties in procuring the necessary papers for their journey,
bandits, petty officials who were no better than bandits, the scarcity of good
guides and pack animals. It proved to be quite an undertaking in a good many
ways. They travelled through deserts and mountains. The temperature, de-
pending on locality, ranged from below freezing to torrid, but in spite of all these
trials they reached their goal. One of the outstanding impressions one gets
from the narrative is the extent to which Soviet Russia has forced her political
beliefs into the heart of China. This is a timely book because it enables one to
get an idea of the problems which beset China today.
THE CONTEMPORARY NOVEL
MODERN FICTION, a study of values, by Herbert J. Muller.
Never was the art of fiction more vigorous than it is today, nor more sub-
ject to examination by all shades of critical opinion. This study by Dr. Muller
of Purdue University contributes greatly to the understanding of the contemporary
currents in fiction. He begins with a discussion of pessimism, realism, and the
use of psychology. Pessimism in the past was tempered with a belief in "the
divine government of the world", which gave dignity and meaning to the great
tragedies. Today we have a pessimism of sheer despair, disenchantment, and
futility, which Dr. Muller considers only an offshoot from the main stem of the
novel. He shows how realism fails as a motive power for art. Having become
a fetish, it remains only a method, a fruitful one, but no guarantee of value or
"truth". The larger part of the book is devoted to an examination of the most
important novelists from Flaubert to the present. Finally, in presenting the case
for the modern novel, Dr. Muller strikes a very hopeful note. He believes that
humanism, and the synthesizing operations of science and Gestalt psychology,
will lead the novel of the future into healthier channels.
A PERSONAL GUIDE TO ENJOYMENT
THE IMPORTANCE OF LIVING, by Lin Yutang.
An oriental interpretation of, and approach to, life, delightful, understandable,
and thoughtful. It is full of quotations, whimsies, and piquant turns of the sen-
tence. "Four thousand years of efficient living would ruin any nation." "For a
nation to take things philosophically is terrific." It is a personal philosophy; a
Chinese philosophy; an enjoyable philosophy; a wise and merry philosophy; a
philosophy with a happy blending of wit and wisdom, frankness and gaiety.
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MISUNDERSTOOD AND NEGLECTED
STORIES BEHIND THE WORLD'S GREAT MUSIC, by Sigmund Spaeth.
Not all the great composers suffered poverty and misunderstanding, but most
of them did, and in spite of it they composed the masterpieces by which we now
know them. In these sketches one finds occasionally one like Mendelssohn, whose
life was comparatively smooth and happy. On the other hand the master of them
all was greatly misunderstood, because of an extreme personality and the deafness
which clouded his later life. These intimate and sometimes amusing stories will
add to the understanding of the men and their music.
WE WERE NEW ENGLAND, edited by Barrows Mussey.
From the diaries and autobiographies of New Englanders of past years Bar-
rows Mussey has collected excerpts covering the many phases of New England
life since the time of Jonathan Edwards. From scoundrels like Stephen Burroughs
to the "Pope of Yale", Timothy Dwight, all have their stories to tell. Even in
that day the women wrote in their diaries that so-and-so had a new hat, while the
men criticized the government. School children in Ridgefield in 1799 often had
to chop the wood for the schoolroom stove, but the wood was so green that the
fire seldom kept well. Life had its adventures without the radio and the airplane.
THE BIRD MAN
JOHN CORNELIUS, by Hugh Walpole.
A man from fairyland living in a real world where people often ridiculed him
for his awkwardness and homely features: such was John Cornelius, author of
fairy tales and simple romantic stories of his native Glebeshire. He lived in pov-
erty, oblivious of his surroundings, dwelling in an imaginary world, the world of
his ambitions. Within hearing distance of the guns of the Great War he walked
into a non-existent chateau and found people who existed only for him. So he
lived surrounded and sheltered by the few friends who really knew him.
THE MAKING OF AMERICA
THE BLACK FOREST, by Meade Minnigerode.
The period in American history from 1754 to 1788, showing, through the
eyes of one man, the building of the American frontier, and how suddenly it was
no longer frontier but settled land. The story is primarily that of Angus Drumlin,
an English trader who penetrated into the depths of the great Forest of Pennsyl-
vania and beyond to the French trading posts of Vincennes and Kaskaskia. The
action is divided into three periods: the first part, 1754-1764, covers that period
during which a road was built through the Cumberland Valley to transport men
and supplies during the French and Indian Wars. The second part, 1764-1779
is the story of the times previous to, and including, the Revolution. The last
period, 1779-1788 deals with the Critical Period in American history.
FAIR CAPTIVE, by Annie L. Mearklc.
In 1755, during the period preceding the declaration of war between Great
Britain and France in America, the Iroquois Indians descended upon Hinsdale
in New Hampshire, massacred many folk and carried some away to be sold or kept
as slaves. Jemima Howe, a beautiful, courageous young wife whose husband was
killed and whose children were taken from her, is The Fair Captive. This narra-
tive poem is based on her own account of her captivity and sufferings. The poetry
is not always good, but the subject is an engaging one, particularly to those in-
terested in New Hampshire history.
MODERNS IN AMERICAN LITERATURE
I HEAR AMERICA, by Vernon Loggiis.
"Only those Americans who have forsaken once and for all the nineteenth-
century outlook deserve to be called moderns." I Hear America is a delightful
interpretation of twentieth-century American literature and writers. Whitman in
his Leaves of Grass is a kind of prelude to all modern authors. He is a cosmo-
politan, and "so is his offspring, the twentieth-century American author." The
latter is a blending of races; he represents many religions; he has drawn wisdom
from all the ancients; and his literature is strong. Yet America still borrows
more from Europe than she lends. "What in literature worth lending to other
nations has America created since 1900?" This is what Mr. Loggins answers.
He develops twelve aspects of American literature, and successfully interprets the
writers and their writings with each aspect. We have Emily Dickinson and Un-
premeditated Art; Henry Adams and Questioning Despair; Edith Wharton and
Manners; Jack London and Revolution: Branch Cabell and Cap and Bells; and
so on to O. Henry and Mindful of the Millions.
AS IT WAS DONE
THE DIARY OF A SURGEON IN THE YEAR 1751-1752, by John Knyveton.
As a narrative of medical treatment and hospital procedure this diary is a
gruesome affair. One hundred seventy-five years seems a short time for the great
advance of modern knowledge and hospitals. And as a finishing touch to medical
training nothing could be more grim than a term as assistant ship's surgeon. It
is vastly enlightening as a picture of life in 1751 and of the study of medicine.
It touches upon such bits as a night at the theatre; describes a hanging or two;
tells of an all night party with Dr. Johnson at the Club; treats of a Christmas day
spent in London, of a bit of grave robbing, of various foods eaten on festive occa-
sions, and of where Soho gets it name. But most interesting of all is the awaken-
ing of a young medical student with his questioning of the old doctrine of the
humorss" and his bewilderment at the microscope, its revelations and its place
in the scheme of life. On the whole "to be taken when feeling very well and cheer-
GREATEST OF MODERNS
RODIN, by Judith Cladel.
The daughter of Rodin's close friend, Judith Cladel knew the great sculptor
intimately from her early childhood. Totally incompetent in practical affairs, he
looked to her for help in the management of his private affairs, and for secretarial
and other assistance. Her biography therefore is the most important source for
the study of Rodin's life and work. She reveals much about his genius (in so far
as genius can be revealed) and his mind, as well as the outward facts of his life.
The book is beautifully illustrated with many photographs of his work.
YOUTH VERSUS CAPITALISM
THE CHUTE, by Albert Halper.
The fifth floor of the Golden Rule Mail-Order Company forms the background
for this novel of the eager, uneducated, over-worked youth of Chicago. The Suss-
mans are the chief characters, and their story is a pathetic one of struggle against
poverty, and oppressive labor and social conditions. The chute represents the
continuous force driving these people towards discouragement, lack of ambition and
mental stagnation. It is a machine against which they are powerless. Mr. Hal-
per's description of these conditions is excellent, but he offers no solution to the
problems which his characters are facing.
AMERICAN FOLK TALES
THE HURRICANE'S CHILDREN, by Carl Carmer.
Regardless of the fact that our country is young, we have a goodly collection
of legendary heroes. Paul Bunyan and Johnny Appleseed are as familiar to us
as our next door neighbors, but do you know the story of Mike Fink who started
to jump across the Ohio River where it joins the Mississippi? When he got half-
way across-well, in case you do not know the story we won't spoil your fun.
Then there is the tale of Ichabod Paddock who certainly went old Jonah one bet-
ter, but probably the old fellow didn't know how to play pinochle anyway. Annie
Christmas, John Henry, Ocean-Born Mary and the rest have an undisputed place
in our folk-lore. Tall tales these, which Mr. Carmer has gathered from Cali-
fornia to New Hampshire, filled with the vigor and imagination which have shaped
CHOSEN WITH CARE
WOOLLCOTT'S SECOND READER, edited by Alexander Woollcott.
Again Mr. Woollcott has assembled in a fat volume a selection of short stories
and full-length novels, to each of which he adds a Woollcottian "Afterword." These
stories are ones which Mr. Woollcott feels will have a deservedly wider circle of
devotees when brought together in this manner. Invariably you pounce upon your
favorite piece with delight (Kenneth Grahame's Golden Age is ours in this case)
before sampling the unfamiliar items. This Reader is slightly longer than the first
one. Gustav Eckstein, Willa Cather, D. H. Lawrence, Stephen Crane and Clar-
ence Day are among the writers included. Three pounds of book might dis-
courage the weaker members of the reading world, but we congratulate the editor
on his fine choices.
IMPRESARIO AT LARGE
ADVENTURES AMONG IMMORTALS, by Percy Burton.
An entertaining book of reminiscences told to Lowell Thomas by a famous
theatrical producer and impresario. Mr. Burton attributes much of his success
to the training which he received when working for James Anthony Bailey of that
old institution Barnum and Bailey's Circus. His association with the stage brought
him in contact with the great actors and playwrights, and we have many anec-
dotes of Sir Henry Irving, Sir John Hare, Sir James M. Barrie, George Bernard
Shaw, Sarah Bernhardt and others. The closing chapter on Leslie Howard is of
special interest to his many admirers.
GREAT CONTEMPORARIES, by Winston S. Churchill.
These extremely well done biographical essays of Europeans, covering the 20th
century, include such people as the Earl of Rosebery, the ex-Kaiser, Hindenburg,
Lawrence of Arabia, Marshal Foch, Alfonso XIII, Douglas Haig, Philip Snow-
den, and King George V. These portraits, written over a period of years, often
present new, generous, and personal evaluations. Taken in its entirety the book
gives a very good panoramic view of the 1900's.
Plans are progressing rapidly for an exhibition of American and European
antiques to be held in the new west wing reading room of the Library on Feb-
ruary 19 and 20. Sections of the exhibition will be devoted to furniture, painting,
books, manuscripts, china, glass, lusterware, etc. Private collectors in the state
have already promised the loan of a sufficient number of works of art to assure
us that this exhibition will be one of the largest and best of its kind ever held
in the state.