From The National Observer: “The Yellow Book”
The Yellow Book. Vol VII. London : Lane.
The Yellow Book has sadly fallen from that estate in which
it was created. We said so of the volume which preceded
this, and we are not going to harp on the matter. Mr. Le
Gallienne opens with something that seems midway between a
personal recollection and a fantasy on sausages and Tintara.
It is written in a style well considered, deft, neat, with a little
languor between the phrases as if he rather liked the taste of
his own diction. Mr. Le Gallienne is always readable, though
not always at his best; in what he calls ‘A Seventh Heaven’
he is halfway between his worst and his best. Mr Henry
Harland has a long rigmarole called ‘The Queen’s Pleasures,’
which we read with bewilderment. We did not, however, find
it very interesting, and we certainly did not understand what it
was all about. It may be a compliment to Mr. Harland, or it
may only be the damning evidence of our own stupidity when
we say that we do not know as we read whether Mr. Harland
was writing fiction or history. If it is a little of both, then in
all humility we cannot profess to admire his mixture. The
Yellow Dwarf is a reviewer who falls foul of his brethren of
the quill pen and tries to write ‘sarkastic.’ He says his soul
panteth after Criticism, and he only gets reviews and resumés,
and slating and praisings: Criticism he never gets. Poor
Yellow Dwarf! He had to get through a good deal of review-
ing himself before he finished his article, and he began to feel
frightened lest the reviewers whom he had been slating might
turn on him and ask, “is this, then, what you call criticism,
Mr. Yellow Dwarf?’ and fortwith tell him he was only a
reviewer himself. So he excused himself from writing criticism,
and said he would give us his views on a few books which were
reviewed so long ago that we had forgotten all about them.
He doesn’t like Hall Caine, which shows he has read some
reviews to good purpose, but he does love Gallia and
Monochromes. As the authoress of Monochromes has a con-
tribution in the volume in which this apology for criticism
by the Yellow Dwarf appears, we turned in haste to read it.
It is quite a clever little study in the beginnings of madness.
A man dreams he has killed a man whom he hates. There-
after slowly his hate dwindles away, and he feels sorry. Then
he learns it was only a dream, and his hate returns. Mr.
Kenneth Grahame has an article on ‘The Iniquity of
Oblivion,’ marked with all that writer’s admirable qualities of
style and happiness of invention. Mr. Grahame gives good
promise of blossoming into the essayist who shall fill the place
vacated by him who died at Samoa.
“The Yellow Book.” Review of The Yellow Book, vol. 7, October 1895, The National Observer, 14 December 1895, pp. 152-3. Yellow Nineties 2.0. Edited by Lorraine Janzen Kooistra, Ryerson University Centre for Digital Humanities, 2019. https://1890s.ca/yb7-review-national-observer-dec-1895/