30 JULY 1921, Page 26

Impressions and Comments : Second Series, 1914-1920. By Havelock Ellis.

(Constable.. 12s. net.)—The recent dis- cussions in the Press and elsewhere as to what constitutes a book have raised the query in the present writer's mind whether the impressionist method in literature cannot easily be carried too far. Mr. Havelock Ellis's second volume of impressions, which is replete with the fruits of observation and acute thinking and alive with entertaining anecdote, is nevertheless not alto- gether satisfactory as a book. It is natural for the mountain goat to leap from peak to peak, blissfully unconscious of the unplumbed depths between. But for the ordinary two-legged pedestrian this method of procedure is tiring and uncomfortable at the best, and generally quite impossible. Consequently the average reader is inclined on occasion to dub all this discon- nected wit and wisdom "printed matter" and not a book. But if we forget for a moment that we are supposed to be noticing a book, and if those who set out to explore will be content to rest a while on every peak before they take the next leap, the storehouse of Mr. Ellis's mind as he opens a window upon such widely differing prospects as Little D1MMoVV or the Old Testa- ment, Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, or Wells Cathedral, Eternity, or a field of poppies, must charm the most pedestrian of readers. And if one object of recording thought in book form is to provoke thought in those who read, these second impressions, though they be adjudged "No Book" in the Post Office sense of the word, on this count at least leave nothing to be desired.