[THE introductory passage, written by the editor of the Oxford Magazine, we are reprinting in its exact original form.]

PERHAPS not many people in Oxford have heard of Parker, erstwhile of Dartmouth College, Pennsylvania, now of Magdalen College, Oxford. This ignorance, however, is far from being shared by the 'great American public.' Indeed, it seems that 'over there' he is quite as famous as 'Patsy' Hendren and other prominent cricketers and footballers are here. His name is common property, for he captained last year the famous 'Green Side' at American football, the side which defeated Yale and the Army, compiled a record score against Chicago, and through the season unbeaten.


His fame was brought home to me by an American acquaintance, who exclaimed upon mention of his name, 'Gee, that Guy! I guess he's one of the most famous men in America.' It would seem that American College Football corresponds in popularity to Professional Soccer over here, and that the film which, in one of its subtitles, described a certain university as a 'large stadium with a university attached' hit the mark.

At all events, we have here this burly man endeavoring to adapt himself to English Rugby, with some success. Our readers have the opportunity of

1 From the Oxford Magazine (Oxford undergraduate weekly), November 18

reading below his reflections upon our game.

'It would be an excellent game if played with all its possibilities.' Thus runs the expression of the American who has been asked his opinion of Rugger Football after having witnessed or played in his first few games. In the back of his mind are the scientific methods of American football, which, if utilized, he thinks would bring out these possibilities which he visualizes for Rugger. A few more weeks of experience with the latter game, and he realizes that to introduce such tactics into it would bring about its ruin as a college game. The conclusion is forced upon him that here is a game played for the sport of it, while American football has developed into a serious proposition that might well be designated a business with much of the sporting side removed for the players. An attempt to compare these similar yet widely different games must of necessity be done with the writer's incompetence to deal justly with Rugger at least.

Considering a Rugger game in contrast to an American football game calls to mind many points of dissimilarity and few of similarity. They fall most naturally under the game from the standpoint of spectators, the game itself, and the interest of the general public and newspapers.

An American football game between large colleges or universities is witnessed by from forty to eighty thou

sand people, most of whom have had tickets for weeks in advance. Among the most interested of this large audience are the bands of the opposing colleges. They furnish entertainment before, during the intermissions, and after the game. They aid in raising partisan enthusiasm and keeping the tension of all at the highest pitch. Their uniforms, marching between the halves of the game, and all the activities of these two opposing units, add color to the picture of the American football spectacle. Cheering, both organized and unorganized, renders the voices harsh by the time the final whistle has blown. Then thousands of people pass out of the stadium, where the games are played, part of whom are happily wearied from the tenseness of their interest, and the others wearied but hopeful that the next game will be different.

In place of the forty thousand or more persons witnessing a football game, Varsity Rugger has its five or ten thousand followers, I am told. Applause does not take the strenuous form that American cheering does, and the enthusiasm is nowhere so apparent.

The game itself provides the few similarities in being played with a ball of the same shape, although a bit larger, in running with the ball to score a try where the American scores a touchdown, in tackling, and the try for goal afterward. Both games begin with a kick-off from midfield. Once under way, the differences become apparent. Forward passing, which plays a prominent part in the football game, is illegal in Rugger. Kicking the ball while it lies on the ground, which is so essential in Rugger, is seriously penalized in the American game. Blocking the opponents to permit a participant to get by with the ball is good play in football and barred in Rugger. To enable this blocking to be done with a degree of

safety the football player is well padded from his head to his knees, in contrast to the scanty attire of the Rugger


The time of the game and the matter of substitutions are unlike. Instead of two forty-minute periods, the American game consists of four fifteen-minute periods, with three minutes' rest between the first two and the last two, and fifteen minutes at half time, during which the teams leave the field and retire to the dressing-rooms. There the coaches who are so necessary to the American team point out to their respective teams the errors and omissions of the first half of the game, and instruct them as to the last half. Substitutes are vital to the success of a football team. As many as thirty-threemen are on hand to play a game, where only eleven men may play at one time for a team. Injured players are substituted for, and may return to the game just once after being taken out.

Behind the actual playing of the football game lie the differences that the writer has in mind that make the modern game essentially a business. In the first place, there is a head coach, with his staff of assistants, paid to produce a football team. Under their supervision men learn to play the game which the public witnesses just once a week. Between the games the afternoons are spent in practising. Concentration on each phase of the game necessary to the individual's playing his position is the requirement of these daily practice sessions. Hours are spent in falling on the ball, picking it up on the run, kicking of different varieties, passing, tackling a dummy, and learning plays. Perhaps intermingled with these afternoon practice periods is an hour a week in the evening for examining men on the rules of the game and the details of each play they are given. Strict training is a part of the system,

and infractions of this rule are punishable. This takes the nature of no smoking, no drinking, and regular hours for sleep. Perhaps this is slight justification for implying that the American football game has assumed the nature of business rather than sport.

The interest of the public in college football, excited and increased, as a season progresses, by the American newspapers, is responsible, in the writer's mind, for the highly scientific and businesslike systematizing that football has undergone. Highly paid coaches, a product of keen competition between colleges and universities, must employ all the resources that are available to make their teams successful. It is a life work for many, and their living is to a large extent dependent upon their success in turning out good teams. Here the newspapers play an important part, for they are continually comparing teams and individuals, and stirring up public interest in both. The game assumes far too great an importance in the minds of both public and participants for the good of either, and especially the latter.

A game to be played this month in Chicago, between the American Military Academy and the Naval Academy, serves to illustrate this tremendous

public interest. The scene of the game is a thousand miles from the site of either institution. One hundred thousand people, perhaps more, will jam their way into a huge stadium to witness this contest. Practically all of these people have had tickets for months in advance, and the excitement being aroused as the time draws near will be at its height when the day of the game arrives. Then for an hour two teams will to use the newspaper phrase-battle for supremacy, and gratify the demands of the spectators, who have been looking forward to this for months. For weeks prior to the game the newspapers will have their sporting pages filled with stories of the coming game, pictures of the players, and predictions concerning the outcome. The day following the game will find all newspapers giving front pages to the detailed account of it and incidents as seen by different writers. All this in contrast to the column or halfcolumn devoted to describing the result of a varsity match. Is it any wonder that Americans who have played football, and liked it, gradually come to appreciate that Rugger, whether or not highly scientific, and played with all its possibilities, as seen by them, is essentially a game, and, as such, provides pleasure and exercise sufficient for all?



If the Russian proverb that you must not count chicks until fall is right, then it is equally true that the time to count the year's fiction in France is between July and August, when every writer will have released his contribution to the year's literature. It would be a mistake to estimate that every French belletrist writes no more and no less than one novel a year, and that it takes him exactly one year to finish it. The fact is that commercial reasons force the publishers to take certain precautions. There are exceptions: Jean Giraudoux and André Maurois have each published two books this year; but most of the others-Morand, Montherlant, Beraud, and Benoit have limited themselves to one. For all we know, the artistic temperament of French novelists may have a mysterious connection with the changing seasons, and they may require exactly three hundred and sixty-five days to produce fifteen printed sheets of twenty thousand ems each the standard measure of a modern French novel. Pierre Benoit, however, recently said to an interviewer: 'I have written several novels, but it would be disadvantageous for me to publish more than one a year.' The critics must be allowed enough time to discuss the book, and it must be given a chance to attain its maximum sale.

Be this as it may, here before me I see a stack of volumes - one year's crop. I do not intend to write about

1 From Volia Rossii (Prague Socialist semimonthly), September

every one of them, but only of those which I think especially worthy of praise or blame. Thus I shall purposely omit the Faux Monnayeurs of André Gide.

The very first thing that strikes me is this low average. With the exception of Giraudoux, — and we are stretching a point to consider his Bella a new book, the young writers give small evidence of genius.

Henry de Montherlant, representative and leader of the littérature du sport, portrayed in his early books a simplified type of man who substituted the interests of the flesh for those of the spirit. His heroes suffered, rejoiced, and triumphed like other mortals, but for different reasons. They disdained psychology, and made a cult of the body and its movements, a certain simplification of mental processes which let each understand it according to his lights - might easily pass for limited intelligence. Montherlant conceived a new type, but could not depict it in a new way. Some readers, however, mistook novelty of subject for novelty of manner, and Montherlant became one of the coryphées. His next novel was Les Bestiaires. Its advent was preceded by press dispatches announcing that Montherlant had become a devotee of bullfighting, that he planned to take part in a bullfight, that he had carried out his intention, and, finally, that he was wounded! Yet even without this it was clear that the novel contained many autobiographical elements.

It would be difficult to judge this novel from a mere outline of its plot; but it will at least be clear that its merits are few when I say that it is a mixture of pseudo sport and naïve philosophy. Quite unexpectedly, Montherlant becomes a follower of Mithra, and the bull is a symbol the Evil Spirit which is to be sacrificed to the Sun. Yet in another place the bull is the Sun itself. Complete confusion. The religious-philosophic content of the novel jars with the banal phrases about Spain and Spaniards. Evidently the famous French football player Nicolas was right when he wrote his article, "To Montherlant, the Montherlant, the Would-Be Sportsman.'

Paul Morand, a no less brilliant representative of the moderns, heads the cosmopolitan school. The French have the reputation of being stay-athomes. Morand, however, has explored every country in the world. But he is no longer exceptional in that respect, because since the war Frenchmen have become more curious and restless. Besides, Morand's very manner inevitably led him up a blind alley. At first he seemed interested in people regardless of their nationality—that is, he succeeded in pointing out both their national and their individual peculiarities. He never described Swedes in general, but a certain Swedish girl; or the Spanish in general, but a particular Spanish woman he had met in Barcelona. We cannot judge how truly he has described them, for we once read with rapture the most improbable details of Hindu or Patagonian life in Jules Verne. To judge, however, by Morand's story, Je brûle Moscou, we must say that, if he exaggerates, he does it consciously, bitterly, and, in a sense, judiciously.

One danger constantly threatens him — gradually he has ceased to depict living people and has taken to

describing mannequins dressed in national costumes. His observations do not penetrate beneath the skin-a case where Proust's influence failed to work. His curiosity gave place to satiety. Once Paul Morand could put his finger on everything that was new, lively, and engaging in Paris and his immediate surroundings; now he has chased clear around the world in search of novelty. His new book, Rien que la terre, is the record of this tour. Morand has seen and observed almost nothing, for in our day people travel too fast. Rien que la terre is a collection of sundries and anecdotes. The reader of Paul Morand is entitled to something more than a list of cocktails, a detailed description of Asiatic hotels, and monosyllabic characterizations of five continents. He shows himself not unlike those travelers who, as Joseph Conrad says, see nothing but their ship's cabins and hotel rooms, and take in no more than do their suitcases, whose cosmopolitan labels are the only lasting evidence of their owners' travels. The description of the various hotels Morand visited takes up about one third of his book and what petty reporting, what a mass of anecdotes. Morand forgot that the amusing alone is insufficient to make a book. As to his personal attitude toward the things he writes about, it differs from his previous works by generalization, carelessness, and irresponsibility.

Morand is one of the creators of French literary snobisme, which seemed a live phenomenon as long as it was still in the process of creation. But gradually it even penetrated the socalled boulevard literature, and we have been regaled with the sight of the mysterious Countess Vera sitting on the roof of a skyscraper, sipping a Kissme-quick cocktail and reading Proust. To judge by his last book, Morand follows the canons he created, but forgets

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