Full text: Secession (Number one) (1)

certitude, minor moods perhaps, to evoke fresh strong- 
responses. These assume for a time greater potency 
than their mighty predecessors. The literary history of 
France from 1830 to 1922 is replete with examples of 
reactions of this sort, the last being the present brilliant 
activities of Messieurs Aragon, Breton, Eluard, Soupault, 
et al. The exhaustion of certain literary forms, as, for 
instance, theFlaubertian novel-form seems to be exhausted 
today also shifts the importance of subject matter. 
Experiment and discovery of new methods can 
often be conducted better if what the writer has to 
say is not so overwhelmingly urgent that he must say 
it at all cost. The presentation rather than the matter 
must be his urgency and his attention is more efficiently 
spent upon that if it is less distracted by the subject 
matter. This reduces to the simple statement: in some 
periods what a writer says is of supreme importance 
to the esthetic emotion, in others the evasion of the 
grandly serious is the most provocative. 
❖ * 
Secession exists for those writers who are preoccupied 
with researches for new forms. It hopes that there is 
ready for it an American public which has advanced 
beyond the fiction and poetry of Sinclair Lewis and 
Sherwood Anderson and the criticism of Paul Rosen 
feld and Louis Untermeyer. 
Interested readers may look up an important origin 
and a general program for Secession in an essay by 
Malcolm Cowley entitled „This Youngest Generation,“ 
N. Y. Evening Post Literary Review, oct. 18, 1921. 
G. B. M.

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