Hallan Whitney [pseud. Harry Whittington]
New York: Original Novels, 1952
Revue of Reviewers, 4-25-17
2 hours ago
My present situation vis-à-vis the League of Canadian Poets is frankly selfish: I look on its annual meetings as no more than an opportunity for a free trip to somewhere or other in our broad land. Poets, I think, give so much to the world, and for so little that they’re entitled to this annual junket at the Canada Council’s expense. And I found the last meeting in Fredericton more rewarding for the chance it gave me to wander around that pleasant city than to listen to endless discussions on the subject of a paid Secretary, or Miriam Waddington scolding somebody, or Dr Cogswell expounding his theory of the place of the Sunday poet in our culture. If I get to the next general meeting I fully intend to register, greet a few friends, and disappear – unless there is an important vote to be taken on something really crucial like holding two general meetings every year.A member since the League’s inception in 1966, Glassco was never much of a supporter. He thought the name silly and had from the start fought to make it an exclusive club. The battle was lost. By the League's tenth anniversary membership had increased more than ten fold to 160. Published at the fourteen year mark, this "concise guide" lists 197 members.
— John Glassco, letter to Henry Beissel, 23 May 1975
If I understand Dr Cogswell correctly, his position is that everybody can and should write poetry, not so much in the pursuit of excellence or as a demanding vocation, but as a hobby or even a kind of therapy. This acknowledgement of the plight of the Sunday poet struck me as deeply humanitarian: we all know there is no one so pitiable as the person without talent who aspires to be a poet, and I can think of no one better qualified to represent her or him than Dr Cogswell, as his own work and his many sponsorings [sic] have shown over the years. He deserves the support he receives from these unhappy men and women. But I am troubled to see the league being taken over by them.Certainly one of the most accomplished of its number, Glassco held his upturned nose in maintaining his membership. He lived just long enough to see his entry in this guide as “John Glasgow”.
|The Gazette, 20 June 1945, p. 7|
|Nick and Lana Williams at the time of their capture.|
|The Hartford Courant, 28 September 1943|
|The Milwaukee Sentinel, 20 June 1945|
My thanks to Kirstin Jones for the photograph of Mrs Wegner's gravesite.
The darkness lay around us. It was raining again, and the wipers squeaked jerkily over the windshield. We crawled along the high rock faces, bouncing and jolting, the flints flying up and hitting the under-chasis like pistol shots. We were doing a little under thirty miles an hour [44 km/h]. A stranger would have been lucky to get fifteen.The chauffeur proves turncoat but remains dumb. Gregory manages an escape in true cartoon style by hanging from a tree limb jutting from the side of a cliff. When he finally reaches Ljubljana our hero finds his contact dead. Gregory is beaten senseless, regains consciousness who knows when, and is rescued by the very same man who had betrayed him just hours before. How many hours? I have no idea.
|The Spectator, 21 September 1956|
"Hear you lost your gondolier. Overfamiliarity."Object: A 144-page mass market paperback, fifty-five years after publication it's holding up very well. The back cover, about which I've complained too much, features a scene that does not appear in the novel.
For an instant her mouth curled. She hated me. She'd have killed me had there been no laws against it. Then the cabaret came to the fore and she smiled again. She said, "He gave me private poling lessons, darling. He was very good at it. The new one's so grim looking I won't even try."
|An African Millionaire|
London: Grant Richards, 1897
What did Marguerite de Navarre have to do with the settlement of New France?The answer, of course, is nothing – though she was alive in 1534 when Jacques Cartier claimed the Gaspé Penisula for her brother, Francis I.
|from An African Millionaire|
"For Maimie's Sake" is equally bad as art and as morals. "Maimie" is a young woman who has a penchant for falling dead in love with all the married men she comes across. This is called "innocence" by Mr. Allen, but it would be very easy to call it something else. Our opinion of "For Maimie's Sake," briefly, is that it is a mischievous and nasty book, unrelieved either by mental insight or humour.It's said that Grant Allen forbade friends from speaking of his commercial fiction, with the exception of For Maimie's Sake which he considered superior to the rest. True, the novel was written with an eye on filthy lucre, but it was just one eye. Allen, who knew the market better than anyone, recognized that it was too off-colour for serialization or lending libraries. Writing publisher Andrew Chatto, he described For Maimie's Sake as a "wicked novel," one that young women would find both shocking and appealing. I break with conventional criticism to suggest that it was written with tongue in cheek. 'Tis a farce... For goodness sake: For Maimie's Sake? A Tale of Love and Dynamite?
– The American, 13 February 1886
"Just what?" the Captain cried, in a sharp tone of astonished exclamation.Maimie does make her way to London, but only after her father drowns at sea. Now adrift, so to speak, she ends up living in lovely Regent Park with celebrated painter Jocelyn Capriani and his wife Hetty. What the young women of two centuries past made of this arrangement I cannot guess, but these worldly and somewhat jaded eyes quickly recognized the Capriani marriage as "open" with "kisses" used as euphemism. Eventually, Maimie and Jocelyn's smooching becomes a cause of concern for Mrs Capriani. For the first time in her marriage, she fears losing her painter husband to a paramour, and insists that he sever ties.
"Just heavenly!" Maimie repeated, unconscious' of her crime.
"There's no such thing," the Captain burst out, reddening in the face. "There's no such place. There's no such land at all on the Admiralty chart. There's no such world; there's no such existence anywhere as heaven. And even if there were, it wouldn't in the least resemble London."
"Adrian," she said, "dearest Adrian, I have loved a great many men in my time – almost every man I've ever met with: but I've never loved anybody yet as I love you, my darling."There will be kissing.
"Sydney!" she cried, looking straight in his face, simple and truthful and direct as ever. "You will never forgive me. You can't forgive me..."Of course he can. As life leaks out of Sydney, and Maimie tells him of her chance meeting with Adrian, he takes pen to paper and composes a suicide note, then turns to his wife:
"There's nothing to forgive, Mamie! It was the impulse of a moment. I know what you are, darling! A child, a dear little simple, innocent child, Mamie. If everyone else would only look at it as I look at it, they'd kiss you, so, and forgive you easily."For Maimie's sake, for Maimie's sake... the phrase appears more than three dozen times in this 232-page novel. The title is apt. Sydney's faux suicide note is just one example of the lengths to which its characters will go. For Maimie's sake a servant drives herself to an early grave, a hospital ward is set ablaze, a man kills himself in the Thames, and a nation is denied a discovery that would've secured world dominance.
* Adrian himself can't marry Maimie because as an undergraduate he wed – secretly – a buxom barmaid named Bessie. Made "bloated and unwholesome from much drink," she dies before the novel's mid-point.
|The Nation, 11 February 1886|
The work is altogether unnatural in tone and action, but one's interest never fails and it is a capital means of an hour's relaxation from more serious reading.
– The Chronicle [University of Michigan], 13 March 1886
Lately we had occasion to commend a recent novel by Mr. Grant Allen. Of his For Maimie's Sake nothing good can be said. It is flashy, coarse, and even ungrammatical.Object: A survivor of the publish and crumble house of F.M. Lupton, my copy was purchased earlier this year for US$5.99 from an American online bookseller.
– The Literary World, 17 April 1886
Toronto: Thomas Allen, 1946
"Great Chief! Great Chief!" said she, "I pray thee desist! Go I from you forever to be Maid of the Mist! From this rocky ledge to you torrent I go. To dwell eternal with the Manitou in the Falls below. And my spirit wafted upward on yonder haze, eternal shall be for men always to gaze! As I leave you forever I bid you goodby! Stand and watch my soul rising on yonder mist high!"You can't write this stuff, but Launcelot Cressy Servos did.
|The McGill University Magazine, Vol. 1, No. 1 (September 1983)|
The McGill University Magazine dedicates itself to the preservation of those of McGill's ancient traditions still extant, and to the revival of those now lost. Without its customs, a university is merely a machine for teaching, indistinguishable from its rivals; with them, it is a great and thriving institution that extends across time to unite our ancestors and our posterity in common enterprise.Three more principles follow: the demand for academic excellence, the rejection of public funding for higher education, and the peculiar insistence that the prosperity of the university take priority over that of the country. Something about the protection of private property appears tacked on as an afterthought.
RF: No, we don't.And on it goes for another page and a-half, ending with this:
MUM: But you do, you really do.
RF: We certainly don't give a tenth of our coverage to the gay community, which if we were to be fair is what we would give.
MUM: Wouldn't it seem to the other 90 per cent of the campus that you are ignoring their interests?
RF: No. To the minority who are homophobic, there is a problem. That have a dangerous bigotry. This is the problem with reflecting student opinion. If student opinion is bigoted, should we reflect that? I don't think so. The intolerance encouraged by what I would call the Right, these days represented by our Student Society and some of their publications, is really quite pathetic.
MUM: We are not questioning the right to print what you want, but we wonder whether your commitment to letting other sides be heard is as strong as it should be.
RF: I think the Daily is the most accessible publication I have ever seen. There's no doubt about it. We have a number of people whose politics are vastly different from the rest of the staff's. They are accepted. Sure, the majority of the staff have left-leaning views.
MUM: Why then, for example, do we not see any articles against McGill's divesting from South Africa?
RF: Something like divestment is a thing where even our most right-wing staffers don't disagree.
MUM: You wrote an editorial denouncing the right of a representative of a group called the South African Foundation, John Chettle, to speak at McGill...
RF: I don't think people who deny free speech to others should enjoy free speech themselves.