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may be quite certain death to peep over marl this does not take long, though many that foot of ground in order to find out, are blown to pieces or hit in the back as and while they wait for a few instants | they scrape. As before, they cannot see shells may burst in their midst and de | how the rest of the attack is faring, nor stroy a half of them. Then the rest even where the other platoons of the batnerving themselves, rush up the ridge, talion are; they lie scraping in the roots and fall in a line dead under machine-gun of daffodils and lilies, while bullets sing fire. The supports come up, creeping and shriek a foot or two over their heads. over their corpses, get past the ridge, into A man peering from his place in the flowscrub which some shell has set on fire. ers may make out that the man next to Men fall wounded in the fire, and the | him, some three yards away, is dead, and cartridges in their bandoliers explode and that the man beyond is praying, the man slowly kill them. The survivors crawl beyond him cursing, and the man beyond through the scrub, half-choked, and come him out of his mind from nerves or out on a field full of flowers tangled three thirst. feet high with strong barbed wire. They Long hours pass, but the air above them wait for a while, to try to make out never ceases to cry like a live thing with where the enemy is. They may see noth bullets flying. Men are killed or maimed, ing but the slope of the field running up and the wounded cry for water Men to a sky line, and a flash of distant sea on get up to give them water and are killed. a Alank, but no sign of any enemy, only Shells fall at regular intervals along the the crash of guns and the pipe and croon field. The waiting men count the secand spurt of bullets. Gathering them onds between the shells to check the preselves together their brave men dash out cision of the battery's fire. Some of the to cut the wire and are killed; others take bursts Aing the blossoms and bulbs of their places and are killed; others step flowers into the bodies of men, where they out with too great a pride even to stoop, are found long afterwards by the X-rays. and pull up the supports of the wires Bursts and roars of fire on either flank and Aling them down, and fall dead on tell of some intense moment in other top of them, having perhaps cleared a parts of the line. Every feeling of tercouple of yards. Then a couple of ma- | ror and mental anguish and anxiety goes chine guns open on the survivors and kill through the mind of each man there, and them all in thirty seconds, with the con- | is put down by resolve. centrated fire of a battalion.
The supports come up, they rise with a The supports come up, and hear about cheer, and get out of the accursed flowers the wire from some wounded man who | into a gulley where some men of their has crawled back through the scrub. regiment are already lying dead. There They send back word, “Held up by is a little wood to their front; they make wire," and in time the message comes to for that, and suddenly come upon a deep the telephone which has just been blown and narrow Turk trench full of men. to pieces by a shell. Presently when the This is their first sight of the enemy. telephone is repaired, the message reaches They leap down into the trench and fight the gunners, who fire high-explosive shells hand to hand, kill and are killed, in the on to the wire, and on to the slopes where long grave already dug. They take the the machine guns may be hidden. Then trench, but opening from the trench are the supports go on over the Aowers and saps, which the Turks still hold. Men are met midway by a concentrated fire of are shot dead at these saps by Turk sharpshells, shrapnel, machine guns and rifles. shooters cunningly screened within them. Those who are not killed lie down among Bullets fall in particular places in the the flowers and begin to scrape little heaps trench from snipers hidden in the trees of earth with their hands to give protec-of the wood. The men send back for tion to their heads. In the light sandy | bombs, others try to find out where the
rest of the battalion lies, or send word ports and orders, link up, if they are that from the noise of the fire there must lucky, with some other part of their batbe a battery of machine guns beyond the talion, whose adventures, fifty yards wood, if the guns would shell it.
away, have been as intense, but wholly Presently, before the bombs come, different, and prepare the Turk trench bombs begin to drop among them from for the night. Presently word reaches the Turks. Creeping up, the men catch them from some far-away H. Q. (some them in their hands before they explode dug-out five hundred yards back, in what and Aling them back so that they burst seems, by comparison, like peaceful Engamong the Turks. Some have their land) that there are no supports, and that hands blown off, others their heads, in the orders are to hold the line at all costs doing this, but the bloody game of catch and prepare for a fresh advance on the goes on till no Turks are left in the sap, morrow. Darkness falls, and ammunionly a few wounded groaning men who tion and water come up, and the stretcherslowly bleed to death there. After long bearers hunt for the wounded by the hours, the supports come up and a storm groans, while the Turks search the entire of high explosives searches the little field with shell to kill the supports which wood, and then with a cheer the remnant are not there. Some of the men in the goes forward out of the trench into the trench creep out to their front, and are darkness of the pines. Fire opens on killed there as they fix a wire entanglethem from snipers in the trees and from ment. The survivors make ready for the machine guns everywhere; they drop and Turk attack, certain soon to come. die, and the survivors see no enemy, only There is no thought of sleep; it is too their friends falling and a place where no cold for sleep; the men shiver as they living thing can pass. Men find them stare into the night; they take the coats selves suddenly alone, with all their of the dead, and try to get a little friends dead, and no enemy in sight, but warmth. There is no moon and the rain the rush of bullets filling the air. They begins. The marl at the bottom of the go back to the trench, not afraid, but in trench is soon a sticky mud, and the one a kind of maze, and as they take stock dry patch is continually being sniped. and count their strength there comes the A few exhausted ones fall not into sleep roar of the Turkish war cry, the drum but into nervous dreams, full of twitches like proclamation of the faith, and the and cries, like dogs' nightmares, and away Turks come at them with the bayonet. at sea some ship opens with her great Then that lonely remnant of a platoon guns at an unseen target up the hill. stands to it with rapid fire, and the ma- The terrific crashes shake the air; some chine gun rattles like a motor bicycle, and one sees a movement in the grass and some ribald or silly song goes up, and fires; others start up and fire. The whole the Turks fail to get home, but die or irregular line starts up and fires, the mawaver and retreat and are themselves chine guns rattle, the officers curse, and charged as they turn. It is evening now; the guns behind, expecting an attack, the day has passed in long hours of deep send shells into the woods. Then slowly experience, and the men have made two the fire drops and dies, and stray Turks, hundred yards. They send back for sup- | creeping up, Aling bombs into the trench. B. NARRATION OF FICTION Fiction is the "white-headed boy" | mote, the bizarre, the sentimental, and the of literature, the darling of both writer Realist to the familiar, the commonplace, and reader. Its appeal is felt by the and not seldom the sordid. The same imaginative child, the dreaming old materials, however, will serve either for crone, and the men and women the romantic or the realistic writer. The of that busier and more practical middle former will achieve by a definite artistic period. Wherein lies this charm? It design the truth of a possible reality; the may be that the narration of incidents latter by a less arbitrary pattern, the truth and sensations which we find either of actuality. As Clayton Hamilton strange or only partly familiar but which philosophically states it, the Romanticist, we have little difficulty in experiencing | employing the deductive method, convicariously fills us with the delight of a ceives a general law and illustrates it mysterious Perhaps, a word in which some specifically; the Realist, using the inducone has said is wrapped all of this world's tive method, "leads us through a series of wisdom. Or again, and not at all para imagined facts as similar as possible to doxically, it may be that we derive great the details of actual life which he studied satisfaction in discovering that others in order to arrive at his general concepthrob to the same emotions that we do, tion.". So Hawthorne in “The Ambiand are actuated by the same motives. tious Guest” and Kipling in "The Brush
Be that as it may, Fiction, beginning wood Boy" illustrate spiritual truths by a with the relation of isolated anecdotes, sequence of incidents not necessarily imideveloped through the episodic or (when tative of actuality; while Alexander Kuextended) loosely constructed tale and prin in "Anathema" and Anzia Yezierthe interminably long romance into the ska in "The Fat of the Land" acquaint novel, novelette, and short story that we us with the truths they wish to express by know to-day. These latter narratives implying in the details of their narratives are the product of years of experiment | a larger meaning. during which the type was being evolved. Each of these methods has its advanThis, of course, is ignoring the drama, a tages. Each also has its dangers. Ro very special subdivision of objective nar manticism through its function of exration, whose origin dates back some five alted symbolism offers freedom from cold or six centuries before the Christian era. facts; but it also tends not merely to gross Drama actually imitates the actions of improbability of theme, but to mawkish life which the other forms of narration sentiment, arbitrary actions, and inconmerely report. In consequence, it de sistent characterization. Realism appeals mands a technique peculiar to itself. As to the scientific spirit of the moderns, but the only type of Fiction which comes when all artistic restraint is removed, it within the scope of this book is the Short often assumes a formlessness from which Story, whatever mention is made of these no truth at all can be educed. The purely other forms will necessarily be by in- | photographic has little or no significance. direction and as a means of better under Even in the most uncompromising Realstanding this latest development in the ism there must be the suggestion of some realm of prose.
design, some attempt to group selected deBroadly speaking, all writers of Fic- tails in a pattern, else there is no arttion are by nature either Romanticists or only a register. Realists. The distinction between the As Realism began to deal openly with two is rather one of attitude and treat
Clayton Hamilton, A Manual of the Art ment than of subject matter; although of Fiction, Doubleday, Page and Company, the Romanticist is attracted to the re- | Page 33.
many subjects which had previously been taboo, the question of morality in art and letters flared up with much the same intensity that marked the more justifiable controversy during the late Restoration period. Nineteenth century Realists like Balzac and Zola (especially the latter), writing side by side with the Romanticists Wilkie Collins, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Mrs. Humphrey Ward, found such feverish delight in depicting the ugliness of man's baser nature that the smug respectability of many eminent Victorians received a decided shock. The result is that the moralists still look askance at the later phase of Realism, finding much of it if not pernicious at least lacking in inspiration and purpose.
What these modern Realists claim to be doing is stripping the tinsel from our
false idealisms and finding in the nakedness of truth a terrible beauty that is sometimes passionate, sometimes restrained, but always fearless. This search for beauty wherever it may be found raises the Realist from the rôle of psychologist to that of artist. When Lulu Bett, in Zona Gale's famous novel, disillusioned by her first marriage, accepts the love of Cornish, the uninspired dispenser of cheap music, it is not the conventional fulfillment of happiest hopes, as some would have us think, but the realization (to quote the Pfarrer in Sudermann's Heimat) that there comes to nearly all of us an hour when we must gather the fragments of our shattered ambitions and piece them together the best we may; and in that brave adjustment to reality lies a true beauty.
The SHORT STORY In England the novel attained a rank . The short story as a literary form is a that challenged the best efforts of the comparatively recent development dating other nations. In Germany, the nov back little earlier than the middle of elette, or Novelle, was brought to perfec the nineteenth century. There were of tion by the Romanticists of the nineteenth course ancient fables and tales in which century. It remained for America to usually a single episode was given special win supremacy in the field of the short significance, or a string of episodes tied story. Mr. Edward J. O'Brien, institut together with only the frailest of unifying in 1915 an annual volume of the best ing devices. American short stories, remarked, “The The Egyptian, Indian, and Persian American short story has been developed tales of the marvelous, the Hebrew lyrias an art form to a point where it may cal narratives, the Greek and Roman anifairly claim a sustained superiority, as dif mal fables, and later the sagas of the ferent in kind as in quality from the tale Norsemen and the lays of the Normans, or conte of other literatures."
to say nothing of the early narratives of If one inquires into the reason for many less vigorous races, show us at a this superiority, he will not discover it in glance the delight our ancient ancestors the great bulk of the material which took in the fiction then in vogue. Aloods our periodicals, for though quan With this popularity as an urgent tity of production expresses a live in force, it is strange that the form was so terest in the form it does not necessarily inert. The drama was brought to an spell quality. He will find it rather in early perfection among the Greeks and the adroit adaptation to material of a later under different skies burst forth flexible form which still cherishes the with renewed vigor during the Renaisfundamental principles of the genre; and sance; the essay rose to sudden favor, and in the recognition by our best writers declined; and the novel, which still holds that the surest means of creating a per-| a noble place in prose literature, suddenly manent literature is to reflect in it the eclipsed all its rivals. The tale, however, various phases of our national life. was almost static, although the practice of grouping within a "frame" a number catch many reflections from the innumerof brief narratives often highly divergent able facets of human experience and time in tone and subject became more and more for that “leisurely analysis” which dispopular. The Decameron of Boccaccio tinguishes all great novels; but the short and (in poetry) the Canterbury Tales of story writer "seeks to interpret life, not Chaucer are medieval examples which il fully, but keenly,” and his entire perlustrate this tendency. Some of the spective must be changed to accommodate tales in these collections were original, the smaller canvas. It is a mistake to assome current of the time, and still others sume that a short story is a condensed culled from classical sources.
novelette or a developed sketch, even The origin of the Short Story proper though the types sometimes blend. The may be traced to a union of the episodic middle form entails a dramatic conflict tale and the eighteenth century essay. In which comes to a swift climax, a characthe Sir Roger De Coverley Papers, teristic which is peculiar to itself and to Steele and Addison employed the vivid the one-act play. ness of narration to give added weight to This rising dramatic interest involved their satire. But it was a means to an | in what textbook cant calls the opposition end, not the end itself. It remained for of forces is what chiefly differentiates the Washington Irving in those American Short Story from the tale or sketch. On classics "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" the other hand it is unity of action and and “Rip Van Winkle" so to emphasize singleness of impression that marks the the narrative element as to create a rec distinction between the Short Story and ognizable link between the essay and the the longer forms. Edgar Allan Poe was Short Story. With this heritage the continually preaching the necessity for pioneers of the true genre-Prosper keeping the dénouement always in view Merimée, Alexander Pushkin, Edgar Al and for pruning ruthlessly all excrescences lan Poe, and Nathaniel Hawthorne-be -which is another way of saying that gan their work.
the writer must not be seduced into blindIt is easy to see from the lack of con alley incidents or be lured by the charms densation, the unnecessary violation of of quaint character or picturesque lothe unity of time, and the resulting blur cality to inscribe impressions which his of the intended impression in “The Shot” | ultimate purpose does not demand. Con(1830) that Alexander Pushkin either scious art must rise above predilection. had not understood the precepts which | If, then, the attempt is made to formuwere to govern the Short Story for the late a definition which will accord with next century or else had been unable to the philosophy of the critics and the pracapply them. It was Prosper Merimée | tice of the writers, the result will approxiwho in “Mateo Falcone" (1829) had first mate the following dictum: A Short pointed the way to that nice proportion, Story is the adroit resolution of a drathat economy of detail and singleness of matic conflict in a prose narrative brief impression which Poe was to bring to enough to permit a single, definite impresperfection a decade later.
sion. Like all fiction except drama it is What are the characteristics of this told from the point of view of the chief new artistic form? In some respects the character, a minor character, or the "ommaterials of the novel and the Short Story niscient author.” are similar. Both deal with imaginary When one begins to catalogue the incidents that happen to imaginary peo- | various types of prose that fall within this ple in a place which may or may not ex definition, he is staggered by the number ist. It is the great difference in length and variety of the possible classifications. which utterly separates the technique of There are stories of the highly romantic the two forms. The novelist in his hun and the highly realistic, the allegorical dred thousand words or more has room to l and the supernatural, the analytic (for