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“Books and Authors” From The Globe and Mail: Review of The Savoy

    A Work of art is an expression of its
author, for art is something more than
an imitation of nature.  It is a lan-
guage in that it inevitably discovers
the character and the purpose of the
artist.  Art has its ideals, its laws and
its traditions.  When these are violated
in turn ad overridden, the world has
occasion to demand the strictest cre-
dentials of the invader.  “By what au-
thoirity doest thou these things?” may
well be asked of the school set about
the secularization, nay, the degrada-
tion of the Beautiful.  Foremost among
the impious is one Aubrey Beardsley,
whose name has come to be synony-
mous with the most revolting depths of
decadence in art, a turpitude conceiv-
able only with a diseased well.  Art is
essentially moral in its nature
and influences.  It is perhaps more
than any other human development
the criterion of civilization. With its
advance and underits banner, truth,
go hand in hand gentler manners, pur-
er speech and thought.  What must be
said, then, of those who from base com-
mercial motives substitute for perfec-
tion—ultimate deformity; for reason,
maddness; for joy, hope, illumination-a
hideous dream? This is what is done
in the new illustrated quarterly called
“The Savoy” (Arundel St., Strand, Lon-
don, WC)—a channel evidently for the
outpouring of Mr. Beardsley’s loath-
some wit.  No pen is too caustic for
such an event. The evil is insidious
and should be met; not, however, by
the allied genius of ̓Mr. Bernard
Shaw, who contributes the opening ar-
ticle in the number, and entitles it
“Going to Church.”  His is a general
protest against the world as it is, in-
cluding those “predestined children of
predition, obsessed by the ugly, the
grotesque and the wicked,” but tinc-
tured as well with the disgusting egot-
ism which consumes those whom he

MLA citation:

“Books and Authors.” Review of The Savoy, vol.1, January 1896, The Globe and Mail March 1896, p.[]. Yellow Nineties 2.0, edited by Lorraine Janzen Kooistra, Ryerson University Cente for Digital Humanities, 2019.