Your chairman accordingly gave a course of talks as follows: The first
at the Palace Hotel, on December 14, 1918, reviewed some recent novels
of France from "Colette" by Maurice Barres, to "La Veillee des Armes" of
Marcelle Tinayre, and "Le Feu" by Henri Barbusse. The second talk, at
the Fairmont, a month later, gave a brief view of the Belgian and Italian contributions to modern thought, especially in the writings of Verharen and Maeterlinck, D'Annunzia and Giacosa.
On the first day of February, the chairman gave a lecture at the Paul
Elder Gallery on "Russian Writers and the Growth of the Revolutionary Spirit."
This seemed to be quite in line with the Federation's study for the year,
so notices were sent to the members and many attended, much to
the pleasure of the speaker.
The last two lectures in the course were on British and American Writers just before and during the war. The last meeting was held in April at Mills College, where members of the Federation had lunch and were shown over the beautiful campus.
In the Autumn of 1919, there was a prospect that several distinguished
foreign writers would visit San Francisco. At Dr. CASTLE's suggestion,
a series of preparatory talks was planned, each to be given before the
arrival of a noted literary visitor. The first talk of the season, however,
in recognition of the Lowell Centenary just finishing, discussed "The American
Idea," as expressed principally by Lowell and his contemporaries. The second
lecture, by request, gave an account of the novelist Hugh Walpole, and
his work, followed by a discussion of Ibanez's "Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse,"
its story and purpose. A number of the members soon after had the pleasure
of hearing Mr. Walpole lecture on "Making a Novel," and some who understood
Spanish heard Mr.
Ibanez on another occasion.
When it was known that the noted English dramatist Granville Barker
would be in San Francisco in February, 1920, negotiations were undertaken
with his manager, Professor Samuel Hume of the University of California,
for a short address to the City Federation. An introductory lecture on
Mr. Barker's writings and his activities as a modern play producer was
given by the chairman. On the following Wednesday, February 18th, occurred
the very delightful literary tea at the Fairmont Hotel
with Mr. Barker as guest of honor and principal speaker. About four hundred guests, among them many well known men and women of letters, enjoyed this occasion, which was a successful close of the season.