Noguchi

By Gustav Eckstein. Harper and Brothers, 1931, Second Printing

E. B. Vedder
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Dr. Eckstein has presented a notable biography, undoubtedly one of the best of the year. Biographies fall into two classes, the first which can find no faults in its hero, and the second which presents the living man with both his virtues and failings. This biography belongs to the latter class.

The style of the author is peculiar and often appears disjointed. But on reflection this appears to be true artistry, both depicting the irregular life of Noguchi and capturing the spirit of Japan. The narrative is interspersed with many quotations from Noguchi's letters, illustrating the development of his remarkable personality. As the story unfolds we find that Noguchi was born from the humblest peasant stock, inherited from his mother an ingrained capacity for the hardest labor, together with an alcoholic ne'er-do-well strain from his father. As a result his early life was a queer jumble of alternating periods of passionate work and dissipation.

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