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Book News

WHILE SOME MELBOURNE

BOOKSHOPS are stocking books from abroad for" the planner of a new life after the war, especially books for the new-chum on the land, American publishers are bringing out a great rush of "reorientation books," as they have been called, addressed to the former serviceman or war worker. The enterprising Messrs Simon and Schus- ter have published an omnibus, While You Were Away, which tells what was going on while the serviceman was overseas in American political, eco- nomic, and social life. (S and S's book happens to have the same title as The Argus booklet with a similar subject, published for Australian servicemen some months back.) Among Ameri- can "reorientation novels" is Zelda Popkin's The Journey Home, for which the author did her research on a rail- way day coach, interviewing returned men on the run from Florida to New York. Then Grace Livingston Hill's latest (her 93rd? her 98th?) is called A Girl To Come Home To.

* » * * *

"Read Arthur Koestler and have a good cry"-intellectuals have been say- ing it for some years now. The latest publication by the author of The Yogi and the Commissar is a four-act play, Twilight Bar (no moaning please), of which the theme is that "the earth is the unhappiest of the planets." Koest- ler wrote the play, he says, "in a period of extreme depression."

* « * * *

. Richard de Gallienne, a leading Eng- lish literary figure of the 1890's, has survived the occupation in southern Prance and is sending the manuscript of a new book to a New York pub- lisher. Le Gallienne, who has relations in Melbourne, is now nearly 80.

MELBOURNE UNIVERSITY

PRESS hopes to publish in a few weeks The Renaissance and Other Essays, by Professor R. M. Crawford. Popular in approach, it attempts to re- move misconceptions of the meaning of humanism and of the term Renaissance itself. . . . Jack Cato has just finished the manuscript of his memoirs, cover- ing his experiences as a portrait photographer among the eminent 'in London and Melbourne, as a traveller, and as a friend of Melba. . . . Brian Fitzpatrick, author of the two big problems British Imperialism in Aus- tralia and of a Short History of the Australian Labour Movement (second edition 1944), is putting the finishing touches to a popular history of Aus-

tralia.

***** *

I have received a number of "please explains" from readers of my state- ment, in a reviev of Grace Moore's You're Only Human Once, that to bring out all that is funny in the fol- lowing might take several paragraphs: "He came of the genus joker practi~ calis, which some people can take or leave alone. I'm the last-named variety."

Without taking several paragraphs I would point out: One "belongs to," not "comes of," a genus; members of the same species, like Miss Moore and her friend, can't be members of dif- ferent genera; "genus" should be "variety"; "some people can take it; or leave it alone" means "some people Savè^the craving well under control,"

.p.t,"some like it, some do not"; "last" homfl be "latter"; "variety" points pl "genus."

Well, you asked for it. Of course the cream of the whole thing is the sud- den occurrence, in a book by a diva, of a passage that reads like an up- roariously well-written bit of inflated, uneducated pub-talk. <

THIS WEEK a friend asked me if

any books have told of the speci- fications - hard facts, figures, and plans - whereby ballets have been handed down from generation to generation intact. As might be ex- pected, the inquirer was a lecturer in engineering, but the ballet season may have prompted the same query else- where A work of this class has just arrived, The Ballet Called Giselle, by Cyril W. Beaumont (London: pub- lished by the author; Spencer's book- shop), with full information on "book," costumes, choreography, pro- duction, and evolution over a century.

Three little books, with little-known Sydney imprints, are Leon Batt's "Restless Poems, entitled Not For Fools" (Sydney: Pertinent Publishing Co; 5/), an attack on hypocrisy and injustice that will leave every reader feeling more righteous than before; Stephen Kelen's Camp Happy and Other Stories (Sydney: Panda Books), humorous and sentimental tales pub- lished in the better-known Sydney weeklies; and Flicka Daze, by Hartney Arthur (Sydney: Mulga Publications; 5/6), with drawings by Cedric Flower, which would show that the films of a generation ago were more inept than those of today.

While the standard of service read- ing is being stepped up by AES, «Sec, a civilian accompaniment of CEMA is the publication in. the June number of the Journal of the Clothing Trades Union of a sketch by John Steinbeck, a short story by the Englishman, Eric Knight, and a long review of Alan Marshall's These Are My People.

j * *. * * *

Title of the year: Lady Loverly's Chatter, a novelette, shortly to be pub- lished, by an American author, Marcel

Rodd.

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