Special Departments

Brickbats and Bouquets

June 15 1929
Special Departments

Brickbats and Bouquets

June 15 1929

Brickbats and Bouquets

Wherein the Chorus Enters and, With a Loud Shout, Defends MacLean’s Fiction

Editor, MacLean’s:

In “Brickbats and Bouquets” of April, I notice a letter from a subscriber in Ancaster, who says he wonders if any of your readers ever read a good story or article. I have lived twenty-five years in the States and for the last five years there was chief clerk and reader of manuscripts for a publishing house, and read a great many magazines, weekly and monthly, besides averaging four books a week by the best English and American authors, and I consider the stories printed in MacLean’s will compare favorably with any of them. I have been a subscriber for some years, and look forward to its coming, and did when I lived in Chicago, in spite of the fact that I could have those wonderful American magazines at a reduced rate on account of my position.

Every knock is a boost, but I hope for the future of Canada that there are not many of the low calibre of mind of your correspondent in Ancaster in this country of ours. You are doing a great work in publishing such a magazine at such a price, and I hear many favorable comments on it from the people I come in contact with.

With best wishes for your continued success.—H. J. Garland, Ottawa.

Editor, MacLean’s:

Your column “Brickbats and Bouquets” is so interesting that I must join the fray.

For “Francis Eggleston” should not one read “Francis Egoist?” Who is this individual posing as a world-wide critic of literature? The probabilities are that a large percentage of the “all Canadian” readers and supporters of MacLean’s have absorbed, even in childhood days, infinitely better prose and. poetry than ninety-nine per cent of the trash with which the bulk of American magazines are padded.

Your articles on Canadian topics, war-time and otherwise, are most interesting, and it is refreshing to read about our own abilities when our neighbors to the South are so ubiquitous. I thoroughly endorse the remarks of E. M., Lloydminster and also “A Subscriber, Ottawa.” I think that Mrs. J. Anderson has “got it wrong.” No one wants to glorify war—but in a time of such widespread, and sometime, I fear, injudicious, peace propaganda, there is a terrible tendency to forget. The example of those brave boys should never be allowed to die for one moment, as any bereaved mother would say, I am sure, if asked. If MacLean’s only added something about Canadian history it would be perfect. A Canadian magazine for Canadian homes.

Here’s to your success.—A. V. and G. E. Whipple, Westmount, Quebec.

Editor, MacLean’s:

In “Brickbats and Bouquets” (April 15), a gentleman from Ancaster, Ontario, spreads some green ink—or blue vitriol. I suppose that a certain amount of criticism is necessary, but I think that the great majority of MacLean’s readers would wish the criticism constructive— not vitriolic. This gentleman evidently has a very poor opinion of the literary tastes of Canadians. He does not like anything in MacLean’s—although, it is true, he has not raised a kick regarding the advertisements.

A lot of praise has been given to the article by Major Drew and by the Honorable E. C. Drury. They are undoubtedly praiseworthy writings—great sub-

jects ably treated. Where can we find in any American publication an article treated as ably as Major Drew’s presentation of Canada’s Part in The Great War?

Regarding the fiction: Benge Atlee’s “Who is blackened,” full of color and atmosphere, can truly be called “a good story.” “To Love and To Cherish,” written with a truly human touch is another good one. “A Valor-Ruined Man,” by Norman Reilly Raine, in the last issue, is the very best short story with a Great War background that I’ve read. Raine knows the Ypres Salient, and had evidently seen war in its raw state. It is not only a story but a very vivid penpicture of those hectic days.

I don’t like articles that are as dry as chips, but I do like a good tale well told and that is what we get in MacLean’s.

This gentleman has mentioned “an American weekly” as the acme of good reading. I wonder if he will tell us which one—if any?

And now, Mr. Editor, I’d like again to express my appreciation for MacLean’s and also my regrets to the gentleman from Ancaster, the regrets being torn from the fact that although I’ve read hundreds of American publications I’ve never found to any great extent the welltreated articles or the “good” stories, although I have read in them some articles that I thought were stories and not very good ones at that.—Harry Hiltz, Kingsport, N. S.

And Some of it is Fastidious

Editor, MacLean’s:

You have great writers on your staff— Grattan O’Leary is forceful and gripping. Just like Bob Service was in his poetry. Drury’s articles on the St. Lawrence waterway were fine. In fact, all the works, facts and fiction, are good. Every Canadian should read MacLean’s Magazine. There is reading in it to suit the most fastidious taste.

Woollacott’s article on “Canada’s NewFound Empire” is a good one—if the “stuff” is there, as he says, the construction of the Hudson Bay Railway will not have been in vain. I spent four years in the Yukon—I think I can appreciate the article. I think his contentions are feasible. Time, distance and climatic conditions are almost eliminated in this fast moving age.—J. P., Kensington, P.E.I.

We hope to—some day

Editor,* M acLean’s :

“Liking your magazine as well as ever, but still got the one and only kick. Why in the name of whatsoever you swear by don’t you give us a weekly? Come along and get out a national weekly. Wishing you continued success and don’t forget to keep lots of pep. Do not be afraid— Canada’s day has dawned.”—T. A. C. Shackleton, Kamloops, B.C.

Pick Up the Marbles—You Win

Editor, MacLean’s:

Re-introducing B.C’s Hairy Giants, page 9, April 1st issue—let’s read it again.

“. • . He was in a rage and jumped from the boulder to the ground. I fled, but not before I felt his breath upon my cheek.

“I never ran so fast before or since. . . was moored. From time to time, I looked back over my shoulder. The giant was fast overtaking me—a hundred feet separated us, another look and the distance measured less than fifty—”

Now, according to Pete, he felt the creature’s breath upon his cheek, and a moment later, he was gaining rapidly— being scarcely a hundred feet away.

What I wish to understand is what

the giant was doing from the moment he was breathing upon the scared Peter, until he was scarce one hundred feet behind! A hesitation waltz? or did Pete do the hundred in nothing flat?

As MacLean’s deals with fiction, possibly Pete is—no, I won’t say that, for ’tis a well-known fact that Indians carry grudges—and tomahawks. Still wondering.—G. H. Wray, Calgary.

Those Hairy Giants

Editor, MacLean's:

The article pertaining to the hairy giants of B.C. by J. W. Burns, reminded me of a tale I heard about those weird creatures in Oregon sixteen years ago. I happened to get acquainted with some old-time prospectors who spent most of

their life prospecting around the Cascade Range in the State of Oregon. One of those fellows believed that the hairy giants really existed, from information he had gathered from the Indians.

It seemed to me by the way the ola fellow related the story that the Indians knew very little about those hairy and mysterious people, as to how they existed, if they were a different race from any that we know of, or if they lived in caves.

One thing I am positive of is that the old prospector believed what the Indians told him. Those hairy giants were not of a very friendly disposition, and the Indians feared them.

The article should be of great interest to ethnologists.—M. O’Connell, Vancouver, B.C