Eyes of World
Man's a Man
Son of Father
Long Ago Told
To My Sons
I know Him
BSC no numb.
Hall Photo Co.
Matt's Cabn RP
Matt's Cabn tnt
Matt, Mollie, etc
Uncle Ike RP
Uncle Ike Tint
Bennett Sp. Tint
Bennett Spr RP
1925, Son Father
1925. Brian K
1926, Barb W
1935, When Man
1936, The Mine
1936, Wild Brian
1937, West Gold
1937, Out West
1937, Secret Vly
1959, Shep (TV)
Indiana U. Libr.
E Clampus Vitus
II. Books Containing Original
Material by Wright
20. My Maiden Effort,
Being the Personal
Confessions of Well-known American Authors as to their Literary
Beginnings, edited by Gelett Burgess. Garden City, New York, and Toronto:
Doubleday, Page, 1921. One hundred
twenty-six authors (click to see list)
including the following one-and-a-half page contribution by Harold Bell
Click Photos to Enlarge
HAROLD BELL WRIGHT
Considering the painful fact that every
mother's son and daughter of the million or more professional critics will
most strenuously assert that I have yet to accomplish "my first
literary effort," this request from the Editor, I confess, is rather
a good joke. However, a careful study of the formidable list of
names submitted for my encouragement heartens me. Upon second
thought I am convinced that in such a company of distinguished authors, I
shall stand alone.
I, alone, of the whole ungodly crew have no
literary efforts, maiden or matured to confess.
The vital question of literature being thus
settled to the satisfaction of everybody, there is left for me nothing but
to offer the sad tale of my first crime. My initial offense in the
long series of atrocities that brought me to my present degradation was
committed in The Christian Standard, a religious weekly published in
Cincinnati. As I remember, the year was Eighteen Hundred and
Ninety-five. Thank God I have forgotten the details.
Discerning judges will not fail to note the significance of this, my first
choice of publisher, in its bearing upon my infamous career and so will
properly credit me with a genius of sort.
That I was not, in those young days, sufficiently
depraved by nature to endure without a struggle the poignant emotions
entailed by such a success, is evidenced by the fact that eight years
passed before I was hardened by various other minor attempts to the point
of perpetrating my first novel.
This outrage, too, was published by a religious
weekly, The Christian Century, or rather, to be exact, I should say it was
published in part. The editor cut it--he cut it religiously--one
might say he carved it. In answer to my protests this Christian
martyr explained gently, "But, my dear boy, your drunken men actually
stagger; and really you know, my readers do not like to see such
Years have taught me that the editor was right;
drunken men do not stagger. But the editor did not go far enough--he
really should have slaughtered the whole staggering monstrosity.
Later, Mr. E. W. Reynolds, then a Chicago book
seller, for reasons best known to himself forced this fearful horror upon
his defenseless customers--staggers and all--and I was thus established in
my deplorable profession.
Click here to see list of the other 125
21. Sage of the Desert and Other Cacti.
By Francis Bonker and Dean John James Thornber, with an introduction by
Harold Bell Wright. Boston: The Stratford Co., 1930. 7.6" by 5.25", dark
brown, 106 pages, tan dust jacket. gc
Click Photos to
a great Eastern city, an
artist said to me: "I am told that you live in the desert."
returned humbly, "I do."
"But I don't
understand," he said--with an air--"what inspiration can one possibly find
in a desert?"
ever been west of the Mississippi?" I asked. "
"Then," said I gently, "it would be useless for me even to attempt to tell
you about it--you could not understand."
Indeed, I was not trying to be rude; I merely expressed the feeling of
helplessness which always comes over me when I am asked to tell why I love
the desert or what it means to me.
One can, of course, say the usual things: Turquoise skies, far horizons,
vast reaches of level mesas, wide valleys and rolling hills--blue-veiled
mountains with tinted peaks, gray granite crags and purple-shadowed
canyons--flaming wonder of the sunset, still mystery of the star-crowded
night, gentle majesty of the morning, golden glory of the sun-filled day.
But when all this is said there is something more which cannot be told but
is only to be felt as one feels a "still small voice, speaking without
words in the hidden depths of ones soul.
of all can one describe the desert in blossom time. I have seen an almost
unbroken carpet of living color--an infinite variety of shade and
hue--extending as far as the eye could reach. I have seen the foothills,
thirty miles away, turned to solid gold by wild poppies. I have
counted, in a space of four feet square, fourteen varieties of wild
flowers. I have seen the desert when one could not put foot tot he ground
without crushing a blossom. It should be said, however, that this wealth
of bloom comes only when we have been blessed with abundant winter rains.
It does not happen so when the winter months are too dry.
cactus blooms--rain or no rain. These strange, grotesque, forbidding and
evil-looking plants seem to defy all laws of blossom making. One marvels
that they manage even to live. indeed, many of them--bare green or brown
sticks, without sign of leaf--seem not to be alive. But when their time is
fulfilled, no matter how unfavorable the season, they burst forth with
offerings of breath-taking loveliness.
wonder, sometimes, if certain laws of human character development do not
apply in this strange vegetable kingdom also. Have you not noticed how
often among human plants those that have been forced to fight hardest for
a bare existence flower in rarest beauty? It is almost as if loveliness
were the child of bitter hardship and travail.
seems so easy for the rose bush in my lady's garden to bring forth beauty;
for the cactus to bloom is a miracle. I like to think that God, who is God
of both the garden and the desert, gives to the cactus this beauty, rare
and fine, because it has fought a good fight.
those who know the desert, none, I think, can speak of these strange
plants with greater knowledge than my good friend, Dean Thornber, of the
University of Arizona.
Your Questions and Suggestions are Welcome.
Click here for
This Harold Bell Wright web site is written and produced
by Gerry Chudleigh with the help of many friends.
Copyright © 2000-May, 2011 by Gerry Chudleigh