Russian writer Maxim Gorky (right, in 1900)
arrived in New York yesterday (Hoboken, actually). The Times has quite a long story about his arrival. I liked the description of how he gazed at the Statue of Liberty as his ship, Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse, slid by on its way to the pier:
"Gorky paid renewed homage to America when the Kaiser came abeam of the Statue of Liberty. He had just fled from a swarm of interviewers and sought the seclusion of his cabin when the band on deck struck up Sousa's march, 'Hands Across the Sea,' by way of greeting the goddess...For fully two minutes (Gorky and his wife) stood there with the delegation waiting at the door and looking on. Gorky seemed fascinated by the giant figure that held the torch of liberty over everything within sight."
He was greeted by thousands at the Hoboken pier. He had a hard time making it through the crowd, until "a flying wedge of customs officials, Hoboken police, and pier hands sallied into the crowd Cossack fashion, and pushed it bodily back sufficiently to make a passage for Gorky and his party to the elevator."THE MUCK RAKE'S PROGRESS:
Norman Hapgood, editor of Collier's Weekly
since 1903, yesterday stole the march a bit on President Roosevelt. In anticipation of Roosevelt's criticism of investigative journalism in "The Man with the Muck Rake" speech scheduled for Saturday, Hapgood defended his work during a speech before the Phillips Exeter Alumni at the Hotel Manhattan. Here's how the New York Times quotes him: "To my mind, this temporary reaction against disclosures of public corruption is entirely without significance. It only points out slight and necesssary exaggerations which are necessary when any good work like this goes on." Among the good works was a story in Collier's a year ago, by Upton Sinclair
about the Chicago meat packing industry and one by Samuel Hopkins Adams, who exposed patent medicines with "The Great American Fraud." Without these exposes, Congress probably wouldn't be looking into a food and durgs act or a meat inspection act.EARTHSHAKING PREDICTION:
I've been ignoring the eruption of Vesuvius, which really got going in the first week of the month. The eruption has been devastating. Maybe 500 are dead. The Times printed a cable from the author F. Marion Crawford. Here's a passage: "I saw men, women and children and infants, whose mothers carried them at the breast or in their aprons, fleeing in an endless procession. Dogs, too, and cats were on the carts, and sometimes even chickens, tied together by the legs, and piles of mattresses and pillows and shapeless bundles of clothes. All were white with dust. Under the lurid glare I saw one old woman lying on her back across a cart, ghastly white and, if not dead already of fear and heat and suffocation, certainly almost gone. We ourselves could hardly breathe."
I forgot to mention that Sunday's New York Times (April 8) had a long article titled "Earthquake May Ingulf all Europe, Says German Scientist." (Yes, it was spelled "Ingulf.") He says the eruption at Vesuvius and the explosion in March of the mine in Courrieres in Northern France indicate that earthquake-related disaster lies ahead in the Eastern Hemisphere. If he's right, it's a good idea to get as far away from Europe as possible, like maybe to San Francisco