The Russian Review/Volume 1/February 1916/Literary Notes

Literary Notes.


"WHY DO THE NATIONS RAGE?"

The above is the title of a new book about the War, written by Mr. Herman Rosenthal, Chief of the Slavonic Department at the New York Public Library. Though a Russian by birth, still taking the greatest interest in the progressive movements in Russia, Mr. Rosenthal is an American in spirit and ideas, and he treats his subject largely from the American point of view. The conclusion he draws from the history that is in the making upon Europe's fields of carnage, is that the United States will, most probably, assume a leading role among the nations of the world in "organizing universal sentiment against the recurrence of cruel and devastating conflicts."

Mr. Rosenthal's opinion in this matter is based largely upon his conviction that the United States "is probably the best republic which the human race has so far been able to establish." The United States, as the inheritor of a democracy that has advanced from "the primitive conquering state, through a thousand transitions, to a state of free citizenship," has luckily escaped the curse of the dynastic and territorial dissensions and the Chauvinism that subverts the interests of whole nations to the ambitions of "militaristic bureaucracies and autocracies." These two fundamental evils, in many ways peculiar to Europe, are, according to Mr. Rosenthal's view, largely responsible for the tempest whose fury is shaking the whole world. Free from these glaring defects, the United States ought to assume a very prominent position in the readjustments, which must follow the War.

Mr. Rosenthal will not publish his work until after the War is over.


AMONG THE PUBLISHERS OF RUSSIAN BOOKS.

Alfred A. Knopf plans to publish the following Russian books this Spring:

GREAT RUSSIA,
by Charles Sarolea.
A HERO OF OUR TIME,
by Lermontov.
THE LITTLE DEMON,
by Sologub.
THE OLD HOUSE,
by Sologub.
SELF GOVERNMENT IN RUSSIA,
by Paul Vinogradoff.
THE MEMOIRS OF A PHYSICIAN,
by Veresayev.

The first of these volumes is almost ready. It is "an attempt to give a systematic and co-ordinated survey of Russian history and policy." It covers the relation of Russia's geographical conditions to her history and policy, the "inappreciable debt which the world owes to the Russian people," the ideals of Russian culture and the expression they found in the great masters of Russian literature, the Polish and the Jewish problems, and the Revolutionary Movement of 1905.

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Charles Scribner's Sons have published the second volume of Stanley Washburn's "Field Notes from the Russian Front." This volume is called "The Russian Campaign" and covers the period from April to August, 1915, i. e., practically the period of the German drive, which culminated in the occupation of Warsaw. The two volumes together form a highly interesting and graphic account of the Russian military fortunes during the first period of the War.

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The latest contribution to the list of books on Russian subjects made by the Macmillan Company, is a volume by Stephen Graham, called "The Way of Martha and the Way of Mary." This volume will be reviewed in the next number of "The Russian Review."

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