THE very newest thing in literature which aims at being light is "The Yellow
Book" (Lane and Matthews). I do not pretend to understand the literary
aims of "The Yellow Book," if it has any in particular. To some extent it is an adver-
tisement, or manifesto, of several ingenious young men. The decorations are by Mr.
Beardsley, so are some of the designs. What do they aim at? Clearly they desire
épater le bourgeois: it is an ambition that may lead far, in the wrong direction. For
the letter-press, Mr. Henry James contributes an amusing tale of a literary lion who
died of luncheon parties; Mr. Saintsbury has a piece of humor, à son devis, on the
historical and sentimental associations of wines; Mr. Gosse and Mr. Davidson con-
tribute very agreeable verses; and some of the young men try desperately hard to be
clever and startling. But we know every move in the game of startling the steady citizen,
and oh, I cannot say how weary I am of cheap literary audacities at
second hand. Mr. Pennell's design of Puy en Velay has much pleasingly fantastic
perspective; but Sir Frederick Leighton's little study in chalk is in odd company.
The whole serial, which is to appear quarterly, is a kind of book of beauty, the other
way about, and nobody knows the end thereof.


 MLA citation:
 Lang, Andrew. "In the World of Art and Letters." Rev. of The Yellow Book 1. The Cosmopolitan 17.3 (July 1894): 373. The Yellow Nineties Online. Ed. Dennis Denisoff and Lorraine Janzen Kooistra. Ryerson University, 2010. Web. [Date of access].