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If Winter Don't by Barry Pain









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First Printing, September 9, 1922 Second Printing, October 19, 1922 Third Printing, November 22, 1922 Fourth Printing, December 5, 1922

Printed in the United States of America

_These parodies do good to the book parodied; great good, sometimes; they are kindly meant, and the parodist has usually keenly enjoyed the book of which he sits down to make a fool._




"IF WINTER COMES" placed its author not only as a Best Seller, but as one of the Great Novelists of to-day. Not always are those royalties crowned by those laurels. Tarzan (of, if I remember rightly, the Apes) never won the double event. And I am told by superior people that, intellectually, Miss Ethel M. Dell takes the hindmost. Personally, I found "If Winter Comes" a most sympathetic and interesting book. I think there are only two points on which I should be disposed to quarrel with it. Firstly, though Nona is a real creation, Effie is an incredible piece of novelist's machinery. Secondly, I detest the utilization of the Great War at the present day for the purposes of fiction. It is altogether too easy. It buys the emotional situation ready-made. It asks the reader's memory to supplement the writer's imagination. And this is not my sole objection to its use.


I wonder if I might, without being thought blasphemous, say a word or two about the Great Novelists of to-day. They have certain points of resemblance. I do not think that over-states it.

They have the same little ways. They divide their chapters into sections, and number the sections in plain figures. This is quite pontifical, and lends your story the majesty of an Act of Parliament. The first man who did it was a genius. And the other seven hundred and eighteen showed judgment. I propose to use it myself when I remember it.

Then there is the three-dot trick. At one time those dots indicated an omission. To-day, some of our best use them as an equivalent of the cinema fade-out. Those dots prolong the effect of a word or sentence; they lend it an afterglow. You see what I mean? Afterglow ...

One must mention, too, the staccato style--the style that makes the printer send the boy out for another hundred gross of full-stops. All the Great Novelists of to-day use it, more or less.


Let us see what can be done with it. Here, for instance, is a sentence which was taught me in the nursery, for its alleged tongue-twisting quality: "She stood at the door of Burgess's fish-sauce shop, Strand, welcoming him in." In that form it is not impressive, but now note what one of these staccato merchants might make of it.

"Across the roaring Strand red and green lights spelling on the gloom. 'BURGESS'S FISH-SAU.' A moment's darkness and again 'BURGESS'S FISH-SAU.' Like that. Truncated. The final --CE not functioning. He had to look though it hurt him. Hurt horrible. Damnably. And his eyes traveled downward.

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