19 AUGUST 1922, Page 24

GEORGIAN STORIES.* "E. M.'s" anthologies_ of contemporary verse include work

of a different and individual character, as well as a sprinkling of work of no particular character at all ; but their general effect nevertheless is to give a meaning and a flavour to the word Georgian which cannot justifiably be ignored. But what the editor of Georgian Stories expresses by his title except respect for his Monarch and " E. M." it would be difficult to say, for there is nothing distinctively Georgian about it. More- over, while the effect of Georgian Poetry was to bring before a wide public the work of a number of young poets of whom they had never heard, there is hardly a name in this collection that is not already well known to readers of the better and middling magazines. " The first essential in the editor's choice," he announces on the dust-cover, " has been a good story" : in other words, sound commercial fiction, the better-made ingredients of the magazines of the year. The present writer has no wish to insult certain of the contributors, such as E. M. Forster, Katherine Mansfield, J. D. Beresford and one or two others that the editor has plainly dragged in to save his cultural face ; but he sincerely regrets that the present title should have been appropriated by an editor who shows himself to have no par- ticular moral right to it. There is such a to-do among critics over the renascence of the short story that surely it could have produced something more distinctive. If it cannot, the " re- nascence of the short story " as a literary medium is a polite fiction: one will be driven back to the conclusion that all the genuinely creative imaginations of the age are expressing themselves in verse.

It is rumoured that Mr. Edward O'Brien and Mr. John Cournos have also an anthology in preparation. Will it be any better, one wonders ?