Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 51.djvu/576

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562
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

Angot concludes with a statement of the plausible but undemonstrable theory recently proposed by Unterweger. To the body of the work is appended a Catalogue of the Auroras seen in Europe below latitude 55° from 1700 to 1890, filling eighty-eight pages. A large part of the data employed in this volume were gathered in Lapland during the winter of 1838-'39 by the expedition on board the Recherche, others are taken from Nordenskiöld's Voyage of the Vega, and still others from a variety of sources which the author indicates. The book will go far toward giving the general reader clear ideas in place of fragmentary notions.


GENERAL NOTICES.

The evolution of special lines of culture is a most interesting study. Tylor's Primitive Culture and Early History of Mankind have been followed by a host of books of a general or a special kind, in which almost everything has been "traced." Curiously, however, there is no serious work upon art evolution—using the term art in its wide sense to include all the fine arts—Tylor's arts of pleasure. The book before us, which is the fourth in the Anthropological Series, undertakes to study the Beginnings of Art.[1] Dr. Grosse holds that in modern savages we may safely hope to find similar crude beginnings to those made by primitive man long ago. He denies our right to draw illustrations from among barbarous or civilized peoples, and insists upon taking them from savages only. In marking out culture stages, he emphasizes the mode of gaining food supply, and considers those peoples only as savages—Naturvölker—who depend upon hunting and wild food. There are really few such peoples: the Australians, Andamanese, Bushmen, Fuegians, Botocudos, and Eskimos are about all. From these Dr. Grosse collects his examples of primitive art forms. There are two classes of arts—arts of rest (i. e., plastic and graphic) and arts of motion (i. e., the dance, poetry, and music). The former appear to begin with ornamentation and personal decoration, but real representative art also begins early. The arts of the dance, poetry, and music are usually closely connected in savage life. Not only does Dr. Grosse try to show how the various art forms began, he also tries to show how the art reacts upon the artist; he traces the social influence of arts. This is one of the strikingly original features of the work. The book is a translation from the German; the translator has done his part faithfully. The book is perhaps the best that has so far appeared in the Anthropological Series.

Prof. Tarr has not undertaken to make this book [2] a perfectly balanced treatise by giving each part of his subject just the prominence due to its intrinsic value. He has made a book for a special purpose—the instruction of pupils in high schools—and has proportioned it as he deems best for that purpose. He believes that stratigraphical geology should be, for the most part, left to a more advanced stage than that of the secondary school, and so has included only its main truths and some examples of its evidence here. But with structural and dynamical geology, he says, "the body of fact necessary for elementary understanding is not so great nor so difficult to grasp. The teachings of these truths are illustrated on every hand, and, in fact, some of them are already familiar to the pupil before he enters upon the study. They deal with phenomena in the midst of which we dwell, and hence should become a part of the mental possessions of every high-school pupil." Accordingly, he devotes about three fifths of the volume to the dynamic side of the subject, and gives a hundred pages to structural geology, leaving also a hundred for the stratigraphical division. In the structural portion he gives most attention to describing the minerals and rocks that occur extensively in the earth's crust, and

  1. The Beginnings of Art. By Ernst Grosse. The Anthropological Series. New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1897. Pp. xiv + 327, 6mo. Price, $1.75.
  2. Elementary Geology. By Ralph S. Tarr. New York: The Macmillan Co. Pp. 499, 12mo. Price, $1.40.