observation is so exact that it has the effect of imagination; 
it evokes scenes, conversations, characters. His dialogue is 
by turns extraordinarily natural and brilliant, and impossibly 
melodramatic; when he has to describe anything he 
has a sureness and economy which recall Maupassant; he 
neither turns away from unpleasant details, nor does he 
stress them. There is, however, a curious inequality among 
his characters. Brett, the heroine, might have stepped out 
of “The Green Hat”; she is the sentimentally regarded 
dare-devil, and she never becomes real. But most of the 
other characters, the majority of them American Bohemians 
living in Paris, are graphically drawn. The original merits 
of the book are striking; its fault, equally apparent after 
one’s first pleasure, is a lack of artistic significance. We 
see the lives of a group of people laid bare, and we feel that 
it does not matter to us. Mr. Hemingway tells us a great 
deal about those people, but he tells us nothing of importance 
about human life. He tells us nothing, indeed, which any 
of his characters might not tell us; he writes with honesty, 
but as a member of the group he describes; and, accordingly, 
his narrative lacks proportion, which is the same 
thing as significance. But he is still a young writer; his 
gifts are original; and this first novel raises hopes of 
remarkable achievement. The Spanish scenes, Cohen’s fight 
with the matador, the dance in the streets, the bull fight—
these bring us in contact with a strong and original visual 

Like almost all Mrs. Wharton’s novels, “Twilight 
Sleep” is well written, well constructed, full of understanding 
and good sense, and serious, but not too serious, in 
spirit. She is an admirable writer; she has recognized her 
limitations; she has set her standard; and in her excellence 
there is inevitably a touch of monotony. The present 
story will maintain her reputation. 

“A Friend of Antæus” is an exasperating story. In 
the heroine, Evadne, Mr. Hopkins has admirably and truthfully 
drawn a difficult character, and he has written several 
scenes showing a sincere imagination. But he has encrusted 
his talent, which is essentially direct and dramatic, 
with all the stale paraphernalia of the Jamesian novel. We 
have the unreal male confidant, partly masculine duenna 
to the characters, partly laborious accoucheur of the story; 
we have the tediously impressionistic Jamesian style and the 
blurred Jamesian psychology. Disembarrassed of all this, 
the novel would be an unusually good one. Mr. Hopkins
has something to say, but for the most part he does not use 
his own voice.

Miss Ferber’s short stories are written and constructed 
with devastating efficiently. They rarely transcend the class 
of the good magazine story, but they never fall below it. 
The author has, above all, an effective style; she has also 
a tireless curiosity and an unembarrassed mind. Her 
observation is clear and concise. All this makes her stories 
very interesting, but she transcribes too directly from life, 
and only rarely attains the imaginative intensity which 
sometimes makes transcription art.

“The Flaming Flower” is a romance of the age of 
Queen Anne, introducing some of the literary figures of the 
time, but hardly remarkable except for flamboyance of style.

It would be interesting to compare Thomas Mann’s huge 
novel with the works of Proust and Mr. Joyce. Herr Mann 
has many things in common with both writers. Like Proust, 
he is teased by the problem of time, and says many interesting 
things about it; like both Proust and Mr. Joyce, he 
casts into the mould of the novel a mass of material which 
for some time has been considered unsuitable for it. He is 
encyclopædic, like Mr. Joyce, but his knowledge is fuller, is 
used only where it is needed, and is never exhibited for 
show. His view of life takes him, like Proust, into metaphysics, 
and his novel is an attempt to provide a criticism 
of human existence after taking into account all the revolutions 
which science has made in our conception of it. The 
sheer weight of the apparatus which he applies to the figures 
he portrays, the immense volume of response he draws from 
them, using one instrument after another, make the book 
fascinating to anyone interested in the problems of the age. 
The scene of the novel is laid in a sanatorium in the Alps 
where consumptives of all nationalities are gathered. The 
environment itself makes the issues of life more insistent. 
Life and death are here on equal terms; disease becomes 

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something which cannot be ignored; the isolation of the 
patients from the countries down below, the timelessness and 
yet swiftness of their years, set them apart and make their 
response to life already a metaphysical one. On death 
Herr Mann writes with a fullness which has been absent 
from English literature for a long time, and his analysis 
of its processes is marvellously done. He has a fascinating 
chapter on physiology; his analysis of Time, showing how 
it can appear fleeting and eternal in the same period, has 
been mentioned already. But one can indicate only a few 
of the things in this astonishing book. It is packed with 
figures: patients, doctors, nurses, visitors. Mynheer 
Peeperkorn in the second volume is a masterly comic character 
and a heroic figure at the same time. Herr Mann’s 
preoccupation with death may appear morbid to the contemporary 
mind, but he conceives it throughout as one of 
the processes of life, to be comprehended by the imagination 
like any of the others, and this redeems him from what 
might have otherwise been an obsession. There are wearisome 
passages in the novel, and much of it is difficult, but 
the most difficult chapters, when they are faced, turn out 
to be the most fascinating. No student of modern literature 
can ignore the book. The translator’s task has been infinitely
difficult. Considering this, she has done very well, but all 
the same, her English is no equivalent for Herr Mann’s 
exquisite and crystalline prose. The difficulty and extent of 
her task, the service she has rendered in making the book 
accessible to English readers, entitle her to high praise.