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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1932

GILBERT HIGHET

THIS essay has two origins—a habit and a request. It was an Italian friend of mine who asked me to choose for him twenty novels which contained the spirit of Britain…

Abstract

THIS essay has two origins—a habit and a request. It was an Italian friend of mine who asked me to choose for him twenty novels which contained the spirit of Britain to‐day: and it was a very English friend who enquired “Why do you read only American magazines, and so many of those?”

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Library Review, vol. 3 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 1930

GILBERT HIGHET

LOST CAUSES.—They find a home in Oxford, we are told: “lost causes, and forsaken beliefs, and unpopular names, and impossible loyalties.” Every bookcase is haunted by some…

Abstract

LOST CAUSES.—They find a home in Oxford, we are told: “lost causes, and forsaken beliefs, and unpopular names, and impossible loyalties.” Every bookcase is haunted by some antic ghost, which peers fleetingly from your friend's shoulder as he talks of literature, and cannot be exorcised by aspersions of laughter. Here sits a phantom Galsworthy, toying with a gold albert; there flit the twin spirits of Mrs. Woolf and Miss Sackville‐West, and “like smoke vanish away, twittering”; my own room is beset, as you see, by the sober shade of Arnold; and the banshee shriek of Shaw is still loud in the land. These survivals have a piquant inconsistency, and we take a perverse pride, like Pater's Marius, in murmuring old rites and feeding the hoary Lar which drags its slow colubrine length about our hearth But not every author becomes a private deity. Millions now living are already dead: often, indeed, they themselves make it difficult to diagnose the continuance of life.

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Library Review, vol. 2 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1931

GILBERT HIGHET

DAILY journalism is a risky business. You need not be in Fleet Street to know that; and within the past few years it has become apparent that the risks are growing…

Abstract

DAILY journalism is a risky business. You need not be in Fleet Street to know that; and within the past few years it has become apparent that the risks are growing greater. A melancholy madness has seized upon our newspapers: they propose and dispose with a frenetic zeal: their words and gestures seem less and less coherent, and they are gagging recklessly, like actors who know their play must be succeeded by another at the end of the week, and are already learning their new parts.

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Library Review, vol. 3 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 1930

LION FEUCHTWANGER

THE question is frequently being raised: Why did the greatest historical event of late, the European war, not essentially inspire modern fiction ? That this colossal drama…

Abstract

THE question is frequently being raised: Why did the greatest historical event of late, the European war, not essentially inspire modern fiction ? That this colossal drama of homicidal glory and appalling horrors, but also of bravery and heroism, gave birth but to a few epic and dramatic creations, seems in fact surprising.

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Library Review, vol. 2 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1931

LUIGI PIRANDELLO

PEOPLE are always asking me to tell them something of the tendencies of the modern theatre: as if it were possible for anyone to account for the countless manifestations…

Abstract

PEOPLE are always asking me to tell them something of the tendencies of the modern theatre: as if it were possible for anyone to account for the countless manifestations of a form of expression that is anything but scientific! To ask such a question is to show a lamentable ignorance of art, for never has it been possible to indicate the tendencies and evolution of any form of art that was in any way worthy of the name. I do not say that the theatre, as understood in some countries to‐day, does not reveal certain marked tendencies, but I am certain that any theatre that deliberately sets out with any given tendency is doomed to failure. I am a sworn enemy of tendencies or schools of thought. Artistic creation must be born spontaneously. It must spring unconsciously from the mind and the creative artist must never know what he is striving after. Art is a work of fantasy. It is elfin and wayward. It follows no masters and has no axe to grind. If the dramatist ever attempts to utilise the stage as a pulpit he is doomed to failure, for art always exacts a heavy toll from any man who thus prostitutes it.

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Library Review, vol. 3 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 1932

Our South African correspondent writes:—Considerable damage has been done to the University Library of the Witwatersrand as the result of an extensive fire which destroyed…

Abstract

Our South African correspondent writes:—Considerable damage has been done to the University Library of the Witwatersrand as the result of an extensive fire which destroyed a large part of the collection and the building. The Library was, in the course of the past year, in process of reorganisation….. A plea for closer co‐operation between the libraries of South Africa was made by Mr. Percy Freer of Johannesburg at a meeting of the Witwatersrand and Victoria Branch of the South African Library Association. Mr. Freer said that most of the libraries were concentrating on particular subjects, and it was desirable that all libraries should be able to draw on the resources of each other. He suggested that the following libraries should function as regional centres with a view to relieving pressure on the National Central Library: the South African Public Library (Cape Town), Bloemfontein (operating with Kimberley), Maritzburg (with Durban), Johannesburg, Bulawayo and Port Elizabeth. The headquarters of the National Central Library itself should be attached to the State Library at Pretoria. A union catalogue and other bibliographical aids were desirable…. Dr. Gie (Secretary for Education) has been urging teachers to have a greater regard for books. He had been astonished to learn from recent investigations that many teachers not only did not read current books and periodicals regularly, but did not keep in touch with current topics through the newspapers. He advised teachers to assist in setting up libraries and centres where they did not exist.

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Library Review, vol. 3 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 1930

CLIVE HOLLAND

TO the lover of books Paris is one of the most charming of cities, for almost from time immemorial she has had bookstalls and book‐sellers, and for two or three centuries…

Abstract

TO the lover of books Paris is one of the most charming of cities, for almost from time immemorial she has had bookstalls and book‐sellers, and for two or three centuries at least there have been delightful open‐air book boxes ranged along the quais, especially those from the Pont Royale to the Pont Notre Dame, with their actual interests and potential treasures. The bookstall keepers are of many types and of both sexes. Some are good natured philosophers who, plying their trade for the sake of a living, are always open to bargain if one spots a treasure that one desires to possess. Others are more serious salesmen who well know the value of their wares, unless perchance some rara avis has got into their possession which is in value beyond their ken. Yet others are wonderful scholars, who not only know the value of the books, but love books for their own sake, and actually suffer pangs of regret to part with them when a customer comes along. These are mines of information regarding editions, title pages, colophons, and all the small data which may make a book extremely valuable, and without which the book may be worth next‐door to nothing. The women book‐sellers, mostly buxom dames with smiling faces and bright alert eyes, are keener over a bargain when selling their books than their male confreres, and though often possessing expert knowledge have a tendency—some of them—to over‐estimate the value of their possessions, and to say “But yes, monsieur, this is a rare edition,” when one questions the price, and knows quite well that there is nothing at all special about the book.

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Library Review, vol. 2 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1931

G.H. GRUBB

IN all this rush for bargains in first editions, and the feverish anxiety on the part of many collectors, pseudo and genuine, there is a natural desire to look ahead, and…

Abstract

IN all this rush for bargains in first editions, and the feverish anxiety on the part of many collectors, pseudo and genuine, there is a natural desire to look ahead, and to discover the big writers of to‐morrow, because it is their books of to‐day that will be the rare and valuable items of to‐morrow. But there's the conundrum It is easy enough, if we are rich enough, to buy, shall we say, Arnold Bennett's Old Wives Tale for £50 or more, because we are constantly learning how few copies there are about, and because it is really a good first edition to have. The same may be said of the rare things of Shaw, Barrie, Wells, Galsworthy and others. To select an unknown writer, and to say to oneself: his first book is going to be a notable and closely sought for book to‐morrow, is, indeed, a difficult task which few of us can encompass. Yet it is done. There are those happy ones who said it about Shaw in his early days, of Tomlinson in his, and they now possess real worth in two ways. I do not ever want to forget the literary value of these, and other writers: there is, indeed, value there; but there is the other way—the economic value. Some wiseacres, in their shrewd vision and intelligent and intellectual anticipation, hug themselves in bibliographic glee in that these two ways are theirs. Fads and fashions, conventions and popularisms, come up and pass these good people by. They blazed their own trail, and, in their quiet and contented way, they proceeded to their own contented end, and now they may justifiably revel in their own fore‐sightedness. Blessed are they among the growing army of book collectors.

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Library Review, vol. 3 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

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Article
Publication date: 10 June 2014

Stuart James

Abstract

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Reference Reviews, vol. 28 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0950-4125

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 1938

H. PHIPPS HEMMING

JUST over a hundred years ago began what was truly described as the “slaughter” of the hoards of books collected by Richard Heber, whom Thomas Campbell called “the…

Abstract

JUST over a hundred years ago began what was truly described as the “slaughter” of the hoards of books collected by Richard Heber, whom Thomas Campbell called “the fiercest and strongest of the bibliomaniacs.” The thousands and thousands of volumes were treated by Heber's executors simply as property to be promptly turned into cash in the auction‐room so that the estate could be wound up. They were dumped on the market and, naturally, prices slumped.

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Library Review, vol. 6 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

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