The Dial/Volume 15/Number 170/Literary Notes and News

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Literary Notes and News.

The Johns Hopkins Press will publish in September "Florentine Life during the Renaissance," by Dr. Walter B. Scaife.

"The Science of Mechanics," from the German of Professor Mach, will be published at once by the Open Court Publishing Co.

The German papers announce a posthumous work by Hegel, entitled "Kritik der Verfassung Deutschlands," edited by Dr. G. Mollat.

"The Shadow of the Obelisk, and Other Poems," by the late Dr. Parsons, will be published in the autumn by Messrs. Houghton, Mifflin & Co.

Some announcements of the Century Co. are these: "The Public School System of the United States," by Dr. J. M. Rice; "An Embassy to Provence," by Mr. Thomas A. Janvier; "The White Islander," by Mrs. Catherwood; and a new volume of poems by Mr. Gilder.

"Borderland," is the title selected by Mr. W. T. Stead for his newest periodical venture. It is to be "a quarterly review and index devoted to the study of the phenomena vulgarly called 'supernatural.'" Mr. Stead, it may be mentioned, has lately become a medium himself, and we may expect some astonishing tales from his forthcoming quarterly.

In the French Academy of Inscriptions M. Haureau recently announced the discovery of a new manuscript of Abelard's poem addressed to his son. It contains 1,040 verses, of which only 461 were hitherto known. It contains some of the heretical views attributed to him, it mentions Héloise, and versifies a passage from one of her letters. M. Haureau will publish the poem.

Sir Frederick Pollock has the following "note" in "The Author" for July: "I earnestly hope that no attempt will be made at the Chicago meeting to revive the project of perpetual copyright. In my opinion it would be pure waste of time. The abstract jurisprudence of this question was thoroughly discussed in the great case of Jefferys vs. Boosey in the House of Lords, in 1854, and there can be nothing new to say about it."

"Pierre Loti" has decided to devote himself to a new work, the plot of which will be laid in the Holy Land. To obtain materials for his "coloring" he will make a pilgrimage through Palestine, starting from Cairo as soon as the summer heat is over, and proceed across the desert to Jerusalem. There will be no Europeans in his caravan. His idea is to follow as near as he can the route taken by the Holy Family in the flight into Egypt.

We learn from the London "Academy" that Mr. Paget Toynbee, who has been engaged for some years upon a Dictionary of the "Divina Comedia," has decided to divide the publication into two parts. The first, which will be complete for the whole of Dante's works, Latin as well as Italian, will contain the articles dealing with the proper names. The second will comprise the Vocabulary proper. Mr. Toynbee hopes eventually to supplement the latter with the vocabulary of the "Convito," "Vita Nuova," and "Canzoniere."

Mr. R. H. Sherard writes from Paris to "The Author" of the breakfast given to M. Zola in celebration of the completed Rougon-Macquart series. He says: "There were about two hundred guests, and the déjeûner was held on one of the islands in the Bois de Boulogne. Zola looked very spruce in a black frock coat, light grey trousers, and a pair of varnished boots. He called his publisher 'my old friend,' and said, 'If I have not ceased writing you have not ceased publishing," so that, in sort, as much of the honor was due to the publisher. It was a pleasant sight to see author and publisher sitting side by side united by such bonds of affection."

The Independent Theatre of London offers the following highly attractive programme for next season: "William Rufus," by Michael Field, to be given without scenic accessories; "The Black Cat," a play in three acts, by Dr. Todhunter; "A Family Reunion," a play also in three acts, by Mr. Frank Danby; "Salve," a one-act play, by Mrs. Oscar Beringer; "The Death of Count Godfrey," by Messrs. Walter Besant and W. H. Pollock; Mr. Archer's translation of Herr Ibsen's "Wild Duck"; and "The Heirs of Rabourdin," translated by Mr. A. Teixeira de Mattos from M. Zola. "La Princesse Maleine" of M. Maeterlinck is to be given by marionettes. Herr Strindberg's "Father" is being translated by Mr. J. H. McCarthy; and Mr. G. Bernard Shaw will supply a new play.

A passage put into the mouth of Horne-Tooke by Landor (in the first Conversation between Johnson and Horne-Tooke) bears aptly upon the present discussion of the decadence of modern English. Indeed, the whole dialogue is wise and racy in comments on the tendencies of English. "I wish I were as sure," says Horne-Tooke, "that

Multa renascentur quae jam cecidere,

as I am that,

Quae nunc sunt in honore vocabula.

I am unacquainted with any language in which, during the prosperity of a people, the changes have run so seldom into improvement, so perpetually into impropriety. Within another generation, ours must have become so corrupt that writers, if they hope for life, will find it necessary to mount up nearer to its Sources."

Mr. C. A. Ward, writing to "The Athenæum," tells of the recovery of a Coleridge manuscript by many thought to have no other than a mythical existence. Mr. Ward's letter is as follows: "The name of Samuel Taylor Coleridge stands out so prominently in the columns of 'The Athenæum' of June 17th that if attention be not solely to be restricted to the poetical successes of this myriad-minded man—the greatest man of our century, towering over all else by a head and shoulders, as critic, thinker, bard—what follows may have interest. There have drifted to me by accident (though at each step traceable historically) two volumes, quarto, of MSS., bound, entitled respectively: 'The History of Logic' and 'Elements of Logic.' In Coleridge's letter to Allsop the work is mentioned as complete and nearly ready for press. This assertion has been called an opium-dream. But here is the book. It is not very like modern philosophy; but some care to hear two sides of a question. I write to ascertain whether the agnostic materialism is now so established that high spiritualism can no longer be allowed to breathe, and for such purpose nothing can test the point like 'The Athenæum.'"