The Result of the Competition The Editor offered a prize
of £5 for a list of The Seven Wonders of the Modern World (twentieth century).
A LIVELY competitor might have set himself to make a parallel list of ancient and modern wonders. He might have exchanged, shall we say, the Statue of Liberty for the Colossus of Rhodes, the Beam Wireless Station at Rugby for the Lighthouse of Alexandria, some New York roof garden for the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. . . . There would have been difficulties in the way, but the list would have been great fun to compile.
But no one thought of this procedure. It has been a disappointing competition altogether. Part of the respon- sibility is our own ; for we seem to have left our readers doubtful whether we wished a list of wonders constructed in this century, or of wonders still surviving. Three or four competitors, for example, began their lists with the Pyramids. It was a graceful reminder that we are the heirs of the ancient world, and that our ancestors still retain the power to astonish us: but, as we left our instructions vague, we must accept the interpretation of the majority of competitors. And this is a rather lax interpretation ; on the.whole, entries were concerned with works which are typically modern and can be seen in this century.
But the blame was certainly not ours if some readers included in their lists " Television," " Relativity," " Psycho-analysis," "Bolshevism," " Discovery of the South Pole," and similar unsubstantial things. These definite infringements of our conditions are almost enough to drive us to despair. We begin to suspect that after a remarkably successful three Years of competitions, our readers are tiring and have not Yet caught their second breath. This is perhaps bound to occur. The steady workers who seem never to have attracted Our notice grow discouraged. May we say, with perfect honesty, that the competitions have revealed to us a surprising level of intelligence and creative power in our readers, and that we have often been annoyed that we had no space)..to print, or even mention, entries of great skill and interest The price is 'awarded to Mr. C. R. 'Haines (Petersfield) for the following entry :—
THE SEA EN WONDERS OF THE MODERN WORLD.
1. Panama Canal.
2. Assouan Dam.
3. The Zambesi Bridge.
4. The New Delhi.
S. St. John's Cathedral, U.S.A.
6. Metropolitan Life Building, N.Y..
7. Cape to Cairo Railway.