13 APRIL 1929, Page 43


PAPER HOUSES. By William Plomer. (llogarth Press. 7s. 6d.)-In his rather peevish and rambling preface, Mi. Plomer says that his book " makes no claim to being either romantic or realistic. It belongs neither to the raw-meat school nor to the literature of escape." He goes on to say', : " With regard to actual method, it is my aim to present each piece, however slight, as an organic whole which shall combhie something of the precision of a case-history with the restrained friedMii,- the angel-in-a-cage, of imaginative writing." Sinie Mr. Plomer has fulfilled his purpose, there is not much for a reviewer to add. It is all a little negative : the author has, by his own confession, not stressed his points. His " pieces" are not entirely story nor entirely propaganda, and it is difficult to see the real purpose that underlies the chaff at cynicism. There are eight of these case-histories, and each portrays, in subtly' amusing manner, some aspect of Japanese life. Much stress is laid on the casual suicidal habits of the Japanese young.