Adelaide Southern Cross in Adelaide, South-Australia 17 Aug 1928
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Adelaide Southern Cross (Newspaper) - August 17, 1928, Adelaide, South Australia
National Library of Australia a weekly commentary on things literary special to the Southern Cross by Matthew Paris the " memories " of two melodies to. \ there Are not Many great biographies ii English literature. Indeed there fire barely a dozen that might b e numbered in what loosely May be called the first class. To write a. Bio Graphy Calls for special gifts of know ledge. Experience sympathy Selec Tion and literary skill. These gifts Are rarely found in the co Ordmand inter Active and Quick ened. Your novelist excellent and even notable As he May be in his own Field is almost certain to prove an indifferent biographer and with All his intimacy with himself and deep acquaintance with the doings and experiences Peculiar and individual to himself May even be a worse Auto biographer. The truth is that he who would draw a True presentment of a Given subject or character must like the historian who. Is the Bio Grapher As it were of a period or periods be a person exceptionally equipped and of a temper rare and measured. As difficult As it is to be a Bio Grapher it is almost More difficult to be the writer of an autobiography that May take rank of Power historical importance and possess enduring qualities. That this May not be denied can be realised by even the most rapid Survey of the Field of autobiography. How few great books bulk up in its not inexpensive expanse you could count on the Fin Gers of both hands almost All. Great autobiographies the centuries have yielded. Notwithstanding this absence of greatness in ninety nine out of every Hundred of the biographies written works with pettiness futility and the Idle chatter of Idle Days and emptor nights there is no lowering of the level of the Stream of vacuous " reminiscences memoirs diaries and " note books that flow from the inexhaustible founts of the press. An Houm the sunlight of publicity a smile from a Dai sed one a hectic few years before the footlights the inheritance of a title from some non entity who also inherited it these appear to be separate justifications for five memo lists to take the world which has forgotten if it Ever heard by the names into close and Nartis tic Confidence. The chief impulse to the writing of the common Auto Bior Graphy or Book of reminiscences is based on snobbish Ness the desire to Tell people of the satisfaction which the author Felt in meeting at least one or two of the great ones of the Earth. Such authors with that Egre griou3 egoism which is so marked an attribute of the snob imagine that that which gave them satisfaction interested or amused them must pro vide interest and amusement for. Others. As a Rule they have no skill in describing their experiences accepting that those experiences were Worth describing. They do not con fess this however. In Many cases it is obvious that they Are riot aware of the poverty of their descriptive ability. They have not the Candor which might make their narrative alive nor the Power of selection which might Kielp them to choose such episodes As Are Worth recalling. Their Hooks Are ephemeral things which their friends May Purchase but which posterity we May Well be sure will not need posterity being a wonder fully Well equipped and arbitrary judge in things literary Pas t autobiography recently pub Lisher copies of which hav just reached australian is " Clara butt Ber life Story Hai Frap and co., i end Onby Winifred Ponder. Miss Poi Der so Dame Clara butt asserts. In her " foreword " has established a High reputation in Australia As Well As in South Africa As a i Happer to know something at least of most of the journalists in austra Lia of recent years who have won High reputations,".but miss Ponder s name is unfamiliar. Be that As it May if mass Ponder has not achieved a High reputation As a journalist. She achieved something like a Sensa Tion with her Book a passage of which was the subject of controversy last week in the cablegram and the news papers. That passage referred to an alleged incident in which Dame Nellie melba1 is represented As having counselled Clara butt when on he australian town to sing pm muck this incident Melba has denied. In consequence of this denial the " life Story has been withdrawn. Like a warship outmoded before it has left the slips the trivial and essentially vulgar work should never have been. Launched upon the Waters of Publica Tion. For it is full of Petty details of a life which is commonplace in its general mass even considering Dame Clara s Success As a Singer. The affectations and snobbish Ness of the author and her relation of certain episodes As though they were of High consequence Are amusing because of their i. naivete. However there is a vein of bad taste and attempted supercilious Ness running through the whole unnecessary Book. Moreover Many of the observations Are untrue. In the dominions where the arts Are in their infancy she writes " intelligent criticism of them especially of music is As Yea rarity and with few exceptions what passes for it in the press is in the hands either of reporters who tace police court proceedings Street Acci dents political speeches first nights and concerts in their stride or of locally trained music teachers whom unsuspecting editors believe to be experts competent to sit in judgment upon the world s greatest this is hot True. The level of musical criticism in australian journalism is admirably High. � v Clara butt Hertzfe Story has been withdrawn but Only temporarily j it. Can confidently be said for there will be a huge demand for it _ not by those who wish to learn some thing of Clara butt the artist Little that is exact or discriminating is told of the Art of the popular contralto but by those attracted by what they feel May be sensational or near scan Dalous in the " life which is As Dull and gratuitous As � melodies and memories by Nellie Meiba published about three years ago and which like miss Ponder s work has an atmosphere charged with lingering sighs for the Good old Days and the fantastic society of the late 19th Cen Tury. In Melba s Book we come across such writing As this " it was not Only an age of Lovely women it was a spacious age where hospitality was far More lavish probably than it will. Ever be again. Who to Day for example could give a dinner party in which there was a Pearl irl each soup plate i suppose there Are Many who could but it is a slight Advance in civilisation from those Good old Days that nobody does. But it is this almost criminal ostentatious Ness and social snobbery tha attracted both Dames apparently if we Are to judge by the truly awful productions which pretend to Tell their life stories. That John Evelyn As a writer and diarist stands upon a somewhat higher plane than that occupied by either of the authors of the books Here considered will i think be allowed. Some Wise words of or. Evelyn s to or. Samuel Pepys his rival diarist might be pondered by All who wish to set Down or have set Down the empty record of their trivial Days and nights in the form of biography and autobiography " the scant Ness mutability and Little satisfaction of the things of this world after All our researches in quest of something we think Worth the pains but Are indeed the images Only of what we pursue warn me. That there is an other and a better state of things which concerns and for which i Pray almighty god to prepare us both. Pray remember what o clock it is with you and me. It is in this mood that even our can trat ices should have their memoirs written re mindful that they warble not Only in the spotlight of the operatic or concert stage but before fee footlights. Of the australasian Catholic Assurance co., Ltd. Head office Ocean House 34 Martin puce Sydney life and endowment Assurance of All classes effected special endowment. Assurance for children fire. Insurance specially catered for at lowest rates. Personal Accident and sickness plate Glass Etc. Victoria Brandt offices Western Australia 75 Collins Street c .1 a. Warwick House Melbourne. Of out Australia to. Georges Ter c. A. Adams resident in or. �.i. I j 1 1 race Perth. Secretary. 29 km8 William St., Adelaide. T. J. Mcgrath resident Michael j. Collins resident Secretary see to or. District offices and agencies throughout the states. 3. T. Gurr Secretary. E. J. Mooney managing director. 1 p. Phone 5145 Catholic repository 39 Arcade Rundle Street Adelaide. The town on the h la a Catholic soc Eta s Chr Sti an eight Days re novel. Mrs. Geo. Norman 6/4 posted the Dawn of Pathol cism in avs trial . Eris a o brie two. Volumes. �2 4/. Posted. Foundations of catholicism in Australia life of Are priest therr two volumes. Rev e. A. O Brien. �2 4/ posted. Europe and the Faith. H. Belloc. � -10/6 posted. = 1 treat. Mother St. Paul. 7/10 posted. Life of St. Francis Xavier. Kelly. 7/4 posted. _ victim fouls abbe Jazulin Cloteaux .10/4j osted a key to the doctrine of the / eucharist. Vonier ios a. J7i/10 a in strangers of Hovet. Isabel Clarke. 6/4 posted. S official souvenir of eucharistic con Gress. Now on Sal 6/6 posted. This is a handsome plaque depicting the completed St. Mary s Cathedral altar requisites and articles of All Kiros at cheapest reviews. Life of lieutenant Michael car by a priest of new Mel Leray Abbey Peosta Iowa . " publishers p. J. Ken Nedy & sons new York. This Book is a most Welcome Addi Tion to the Long list of biographies of saintly men and women. The study of a virtuous life always holds a Peculiar fascination for us and though we Are frequently not aware of the fact we always derive great spiritual profit from such a study for since virtue is of its very nature Diffusive it exerts a potent influence for Good on those who Are brought in Contact with it. The compiler of this life has made generous use of Carlier s let ters by Means of which we ate Given a Clear insight into the Workings of Grace in his born at Valenciennes in 1891, Carlier after a very successful Scholastic career entered the Trappist monastery at chimay where he devoted himself wholeheartedly to a life of contemplation and to the assiduous cultivation of virtue. He wished to live and die in his monastic seclusion. However on the outbreak of the great War he was called up for Active service under the French Standard. When bidding him Farewell Carlier s Superior admonished him to be a Good Soldier and from this time june 1914, until september 14, 1917, when he was killed in action the Young Monk proved by his deeds of valor that he was resolved to fulfil this injunction. His piety was never. Obtrusive yet imperceptibly his fellow soldiers came to love and Revere him. Since he possessed remarkable descriptive Powers Carlier s letters from the battlefields bring vividly before us the horrors of that grim a titanic struggle. The Book is written in a style that is scholarly without being too tech Nical or academical. Several illustrations Are inserted and the format and printing of the work Are typical of the care always evinced in the books of these Well known publishers. \ a volume of " " the University of hard knocks by Ralphe Parlette 2/6which comes to us from the Cornstalk pub Lishing company is a selection of thoughts and illustrations from a number of lectures delivered it would appear with appropriate " these Little essays they Are essays in miniature Tell somewhat obviously and in a manner at once american How the readers actions should be ordered. The Little disquisition Ray not be profound but they Are helpful and can do nothing but Good to the Reader. They serve a very Patent moral , and Are the very reverse of " failing to negotiate a Sharp Bend in Jeffries Parade on the South Bank of the Yarra on wednesday morning a double seater car plunged Over the Henley embankment into the rivet. The Driver who was the Only occupant was drowned his body being re covered More than two hours later by a diver. It is reported that Poison has been found in the body of Captain Alfred Loewenstein the belgian millionaire who was drowned by falling from an aeroplane while crossing the English Channel by the analyst in Paris who examined the body. Three murderers reputed to have been members of a blackmailing gang were reprieved dramatically in London on tuesday night on the eve of their execution following the. Home Secretary s audience with the King. They Are Percival Taylor. J Ames Jay Eaver and. George Donovan. They Are to be imprisoned for life. There a slogan As old As Mankind Solh frequently uttered to dby _ which predicts. That Contentment Well find if we laugh All life s worried away. By to mortal feels equal to that with w hoarse hacking cough to endure. Huch sad laughter sounds husky and Flat without words great Peppermint cure. & the i Deral Mutual for fire insurance
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