The Spyglass, Views and Reviews, 1924-1930: Selected and Edited by John Tyree Fain

By Donald Davidson | Go to book overview

Book Clubs* Critic's Almanac November 18, 1928

The Book-of-the-Month Club and the Literary Guild have got their start as book-selling schemes and are waxing apace. Now comes a third organization which is of a more persuasive and perhaps a more sensible character than either of its predecessors. The Book League of America, whose general offices are at 80 Fifth Avenue, New York, announces the poet Edwin Arlington Robinson as the head of its editorial board, with Van Wyck Brooks, Hamilton Holt, Gamaliel Bradford, and Edwin E. Slosson as colleagues, Frank L. Polk as advisory editor and Isaac Don Levine as managing editor. The plan of the Book League is to offer, for a subscription price of $18 a year, twelve new books, chosen by its editors from current publication, and twelve old books, chosen from the general ranks of the classics and of late successes. The twelve new books will be published, one complete book per month, in the Book League Monthly, which has the form of a magazine and has the further attraction of containing, first, an introductory discussion of the book published; written by a competent authority; second, literary articles and essays, reviews of current books, news and comment; third, a "review of reviews" consisting of quotations from critics' remarks in other periodicals; fourth, a readers' own department. The other twelve books, the standard ones, will be published in a good library edition and will be selected by the subscriber from a list tendered him.

____________________
*
In a letter to Tate, February 23, 1927, Davidson said, "I wish, you'd tell me HOW the Nation's prize poem is chosen. Also what's behind this Literary Guild, presided over by that sweet-toothed Carl V. D.? As a Southerner, egad, and a gentleman (I hope) of independent mind, I hate these cliques and Star Chambers. So far as my critical word goes . . . I propose to fight 'em like hell."

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