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

By Donald Davidson | Go to book overview

in the later ones, such as The Romantic Comedians and They Stooped to Folly, it derives a good deal from the "modern temper." One suspects that there is a flavor of Frances Newman in these two novels. Whatever it is it subtracts more than it adds. One feels like discounting her attitudes and reading her books, distinguished though they are, for incidental rather than major rewards. No doubt Ellen Glasgow is, as the critics have frequently said, the wittiest novelist in America; but witticisms hardly do the social historian any good, except in dealing with drawing- room varieties of civilization. Yet I make the complaint with hesitation, being well aware that there is much more to say for Ellen Glasgow than I have been able to say in making this one small point.

Roark Bradford


Critic's Almanac April 20, 1930

There have been so many unpleasant books. We have read them dutifully as a concession to "culture." And having improved our minds by the usual process of psychological torture, we ask for some pleasant books, just for a change. To begin with there is Roark Bradford, who has arrived in our midst without producing a single reform from his vest pocket. Mr. Bradford's latest collection of Negro stories, Ol' King David an' the Philistine Boys, follows the line of his first success--the well-remembered Ol' Man Adam an' His Chillun. Furthermore it comes at the moment when the play Green Pastures, which Marc Connelly based on Ol' Man Adam, is greatly exciting the

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