The LIFE MAGAZINE review of The Garden Party and Other Stories
by the New Zealand writer Katherine Mansfield (1888 – 1923) is attached here for your enjoyment. Mansfield lived a short but productive life before tuberculosis got the best of her in 1923. This was one of any number of favorable reviews that she enjoyed in her lifetime and she is today often considered one of the best short story writers of her period.
Literary critic Edmund Wilson (1895 – 1972) was a big part of the intellectual world that existed in New York throughout much of the Twenties through the Fifties. His reviews could be found in a number of magazines such as VANITY FAIR, THE DIAL and THE NEW REPUBLIC. Wilson is remembered for championing many of the younger poets that we still read to this day and in this review, "Bunny" Wilson celebrated the new poetic form that the modern era had created: free verse. Good words can be read on behalf of the poetry of Carl Sandburg and Amy Lowell.
An appreciative essay celebrating the work of Guillaume Apollinaire (born Wilhelm Apollinaris de Kostrowitzky: 1880 – 1918) by the high-brow art critic Paul Rosenfed (1890 - 1946).
"For Apollinaire possessed the perfect adjustibility of the born poet. He would have found himself much at home in any environment into which he would have been born, whether it would have been one of pampas and herds and lonely hamlets, or one of concrete, newspapers, war and steel."
*See the Jolly Face of Guillaume Apollinaire in this 1914 Film Clip*
Writing his review of "O Pioneers", DRESS and VANITY FAIR book critic Henry Brinsley wrote:
"Miss Willa Cather in "O Pioneers!" (O title!!) is neither a skilled storyteller nor the least bit of an artist. And yet by the end of the book, something has happened in the readers mind that leaves him grateful...There isn't a vestige of 'style' as such: for page after page one is dazed at the ineptness of the medium and the triviality of the incidents...And the secret of this is the persistence throughout of a single fine quality of the author - her extraordinary sincerity."
Dashiel Hammett (1894 - 1961) had a pretty swell resume by the time World War Two came along. He had a number of celebrated novels and short stories published as well as a few well-paying gigs writing in Hollywood. It was during this period, in the Thirties, that he had created some of the wonderful characters that are still remembered to this day, such as Sam Spade ("The Maltese Falcon") and Nick and Nora Charles ("The Thin Man"). During the war, it was rare but not unheard of, for an older man with such accomplishments to enlist in the army -and that is just what he did. This one page article clearly spells out Hammett's period serving on an Alaskan army base; his slow climb from Buck Private to Sergeant; his difficulty with officers and the enjoyment of being anonymous.
Accompanying the article is a black and white image of the writer wearing Uncle Sam's olive drab, herringbone twill -rather than the tell-tale tweed he was so often photographed wearing.
At the time this profile first appeared in 1919, P.G Wodehouse (1904 - 1975) had recently resigned his post as the drama critic for Vanity Fair in order to realize his ambitions as a novelist and playwright. This article revealed to all Wodehouse's keen interest in American slang and American comic strips.