THE LIBRARY LANR,
Published monthly from October to June by
Hamilton Smith Library, of the Univer t" k ibr7
of New Hampshire
Entered as second-class matter October 10, 1927, at the post office at Durham, iw a hire, und the
act of August 24, 1912.-
Vol. 15 JUNE. 1940
IT NEVER WORKS
THE CENSOR MARCHES ON, by Morris L. Ernst and Alexander Lindey.
Although in recent years there have been many judicial decisions on the liberal
side, censorship is still rampant. It must be continuously fought if freedom, the
only condition under which literature and art can develop, is to be maintained. The
authors discuss censorship in literature, the theatre, the movies, and other fields,
showing up its stupidities, its absurdities, and its utter failure to accomplish its
ends. They are particularly shocked at the lack of scientific method on the part
of those who would protect the public morals, substituting guesses for impartial
findings. These maintain, for instance, that a person whose morals would be
harmed by an improper movie is automatically immune to such corruption if he is
a member of the board of censorship previewing that same movie. A list of the
forbidden books of the last three thousand years is practically a roster of the
world's great literature, including such works as the Odyssey, La Fontaine's Fables,
Robinson Crusoe, Goethe's Faust, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Huckleberry Finn, Leaves
of Grass, and many other surprising titles. Will The Grapes of Wrath be on this
list a thousand years hence? The censors might as well put out their bonfires.
A NEW DEALER AMONG THE YANKEES
A SOUTHERNER DISCOVERS NEW ENGLAND, by Jonathan Daniels.
'Wife, it's too beautiful a night to stay in the house. I think I'll go out and
kill a hog.' This remark of a Vermont farmer is quoted by Mr. Daniels in his
lively survey of contemporary New England, as typical of the mingling of the prac-
tical and the poetic in the Yankee temperament. Much as we enjoyed A Southern-
er Discovers the South, in which this observant North Carolina editor presents a
picture of the social and economic conditions among all classes of people in his
own section, we are certain to read with more active curiosity this book in which
he has his say about us, based on a tour of New England which he made in 1939.
Coming to us a Southerner, a Democrat, and an ardent supporter of the New Deal,
he does not come, however, as a spy into enemy territory, but as an American,
eager to see for himself this much misunderstood region, and to try to estimate
what part it should play in the regeneration of the entire country. Connecticut,
playground of writers and rich New Yorkers; Quoddy Bay and its still unharnessed
tides; Manchester and the idle Amoskeag; rural Vermont, and the struggling in-
dustrial cities of Massachusetts and Rhode Island are some of the spots he visits.
From Governor Saltonstall down to immigrant boys pulling onions in the fields
near Amherst and French Canadians in Aroostook, Mr. Daniels has talked with
most of us, and he tries not only to record the beliefs of New Englanders, but to
find the reason for them and to interpret their meaning. Not by ourselves can we
survive, he thinks, but as a part of a nation we are willing to make sacrifices for.
"ONE THING I REMEMBER,
SPRING CAME ON FOREVER .."
COME SPRING, by Ben Ames Williams.
No matter how long and desolate the Winter, Mima Robbins always felt that
joy and success would come with the Spring, and with the passing of many years,
she was able to prove the wisdom of her belief. As a girl of nineteen, she came
with her family to Penobscot Bay to homestead. Her bravery, and that of all of
them, was tried that first terrible winter at Seven-Tree-Farm until they had suc-
cessful crops, but her sense of triumph in the Spring was undaunted, and the clear-
ing grew in the Maine woods. Her love for the gay young soldier, Joel Adams,
was strong and patient enough to enable her to wait through several Springs until
he became reconciled to the settled life of a farmer. Mima knew quite well what
she wanted, and had the brave patience to wait for it. Although the American
Revolution was their generation's war, although families around them had to give
up the struggle and go back down river to the town, although disaster changed
their plans and famine stalked one Winter, Mima and Joel found in each new
Spring together a wider horizon for living.
CHAD HANNA, by Walter D. Edmonds.
Here is an antidote for the blues. Anyone who in childhood tagged along
ecstatically at the end of a circus parade, or daringly offered peanuts to the ele-
phant, should thoroughly enjoy Chad Hanna. Mr. Edmonds has reconstructed
the life of a small circus of one hundred years ago so vividly that we feel we know
each member of the troupe from Mr. Huguenine to Oscar the lion.
Chad Hanna was handy boy at the Yellow Bud Tavern in Canastota when
Mr. Bisbee arrived with the posters of Huguenine's Great and Only International
Circus. The day the circus showed, Chad's plans for the escape of a runaway
negro miscarried and he had to leave town, so he joined the circus as roustabout.
You know Chad will marry Caroline Trid, you know Huguenine's will have to
fight their rival, you know Burke will get Albany and Buck, but your interest never
wanes because Mr. Edmonds makes each event better than you pictured it. We
need more books like Chad Hanna in these troubled times.
AND GLADLY TEACH?
MISS MUNDAY, by Sophia Engstrand.
Of lives of doctors, farmers, housewives, even college professors we've had
a-plenty, but few indeed have been the stories of American public school teachers.
But here is one, a realistic, skillfully drawn picture of the life of Helen Munday,
English teacher in the River Port, Wisconsin, high school. At 20, just out of
college, Helen had faced her career with eager anticipation. What work could
compare with that of helping to educate, to make better and happier the lives of
youth? At 30 she was beginning to wonder. Was the joy that came from her
success as a teacher worth the loneliness, the hypocrisy, the malicious scheming of
politicians that she was called upon to endure silently? Her friendship with Adam
LaFond, an "east side" fisherman, was the first break in the set pattern into which
her life had been forced. But Helen Munday was too set by her years of teaching
into "west side" conventionality, and she could not make the adjustment which she
herself thought that she wanted more than anything else. There will be many
who will think Mrs. Engstrand's is too harsh a portrayal. But though the in-
dividual details may not be entirely characteristic, none can dispute the picture as
"SHE WALKED IN BEAUTY..."
MR. SKEFFINGTON, by Elizabeth.
Lady Frances Skeffington, accustomed to universal homage to her charm and
beauty, found as she approached her fiftieth birthday, that everything was wrong.
True, she had been quite ill, and had expected some unflattering consequences, but
to see in the altered glances of her friends, and the open stares of strangers, what
a poor creature she had become, was bewildering. Then, too, she was constantly
seeing Job, whom she had not seen in reality since that year a quarter-century be-
fore when she had felt it necessary to divorce him. And see him she persisted in
doing, behind the fish dish, when there was no fish dish, under the desk, and after
awhile, everywhere she went. Something had to be done, of course, not only
about "laying" Mr. Skeffington's ghost, but also about her own peace of mind. The
nerve specialist recommended inviting Mr. Skeffington to dinner, but that was too
simple a solution. The cure was more than that; it is as we go with Fanny Skef-
fington in search of her peace of mind across the paths of the many who had loved
her that we see her as she is, and learn the value of what she becomes. So cleverly
written is this delightful novel, that when the problem is solved, we like Fanny
are ready for it, and greet it with emotions that would have been impossible for
us, and for Fanny, at the beginning of it all.
UPON SUCH BITTER PYRAMIDS IS GENIUS BORN
THE STAR-GAZER, by Szolt de Harsanyi.
The fire of imagination, enthusiasm, intellect and moral courage, lifts the story
of Galileo Galilei above the class of the ordinary biographical novel. Thus is the
character of the "star-gazer" portrayed. It is the constant struggel of a unique
intellect against the social institutions that bound and tortured, and would have
crushed, a weaker man. What power was it that made Galileo capable of rising
above the surroundings of personal oppression and antagonism offered him by an
angry church? Perhaps it was his ability to remain through it all a deeply pious
individual. Szolt de Harsanyi is considered Hungary's leading novelist, and we
can easily see-beautiful in translation-the strength and intensity of language so
characteristic of his nationality.
JOSEPH VISSARIONOVICH DJUGASHVILI
STALIN'S KAMPF, edited by M. R. Werner.
This is a selection of the significant writings and speeches of Stalin under the
following topics: The Profession of Revolution; Inside Russia; The Politics of
Communism; The World and the Soviet. The picture of Stalin which emerges
is not a counter-part of the one we know. In reference to the non-aggression pact
with Poland in 1931, we read, "There are politicians who promise a thing one day,
and the next day either forget all about it, or else deny that they promised any
such thing, and do so without blushing. That is not our way." Speaking of the
Party's attitude toward religion, we find this assertion, "We carry on and will
continue to carry on propaganda against religious prejudices. Our legislation
guarantees to citizens the right to adhere to any religion." He ridicules the state-
ment that members of the American Communist Party get orders from Moscow.
He affirms that the Soviet's foreign policy is essentially a policy of upholding the
cause of peace. The liquidation of the intelligentsia is mentioned without a hint
of the inhuman slaughter by which it was accomplished. In short, the Stalin pic-
tured here is such a good fellow, we advise you to read Stalin, by Eugene Lyons
to get another side of the picture.
SHANGHAI; CITY FOR SALE, by Ernest O. Hauser.
NEWS IS MY JOB, by Edna Lee Booker.
One of these books is essentially a history of Shanghai, the first to be written;
the other a reporter's records of interviews and events. Shanghai; City for Sale
is most interesting reading. Although possibly a bit critical of "foreign devils" the
author makes their coming to China a very special story. How the English and
Americans develop their commerce and the city is unique and the city's rise and
fall is closely allied with China's trade and revolutions.
The second book, containing the glamor and thrill of an oriental city, is by a
woman reporter on the China Press. From her first fantastic impressions of the
exotic and colorful city, Miss Booker proceeds to relate the events from 1922 to
1940. Even through the war news there is the personal element in the book
which enhances its interest and oriental flavor.
GROWTH OF HATRED
EUROPE TO LET, by Storm Jameson.
"The memoirs of an obscure man" is the sub-title. The obscure man is an
English journalist who was in the last war in Europe and has not yet seen the
present war. He meets Germans, Czechs and French, watching their hatred and
unrest grow. Everyone has hatred for someone, if not himself. The true bitter
character of the people in this book is a clear explanation of the horrors they can
create today. Why shouldn't they destroy homes, when they do not know what
happy home life is? Why should they love science and the arts, when fine teachers
are removed if not sufficiently patriotic, or if they are Jews; when the military
life is forced upon all of them? While the facts are symbolic rather than true,
and the characters seem slightly difficult to comprehend, this picture of Twentieth
Century Europe is worth looking at.
RISE OF THE IMPRESSIONISTS
MODERN FRENCH PAINTERS, by H. R. Wilenski.
How satisfying it is to discover a book that is carefully outlined, its material
all sorted in orderly fashion. This new book by Wilenski describes the lives and
ambitions of the modern painters of France, both separately and collectively, to
form a true chronological picture, from the Impressionist school to the present
day. The story begins in the 1860's with a discussion of the development of
Manet from Realist to Impressionist. His associates, Degas, Cezanne, Renoir,
and others are brought into the play, as the author calls it. There is great difficulty
in promoting their Impressionist work, and they are confronted with refusals from
the Salon des Beaux Arts to show their pictures. Later politics defeat them, yet
their story goes on.
SHORT STORIES FROM THE SOUTH
WHEN THE WHIPPOORWILL -, by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings.
These ten short stories and a novelette by the author of The Yearling, are an
addition to regional literature. Most of the characters are Florida "Crackers"
and the vernacular is so well-handled you may find yourself adopting it in an un-
guarded moment. The humor of Alligators and the three stories in which Quincey
Dover figures relieves the pathos of Jacob's Ladder, A Crop of Beans and The
Pardon. Of the remaining stories, A Mother in Mannville is perhaps the most
appealing. There is an unmistakable ring of authenticity aboul these stories, be-
cause Mrs. Rawlings writes about a region and a people she knows and under-