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Set up and electrotyped. Published January, 1917.
Norwood, Mass., U.S.A.
The chief value in the discussion of literature is gained when the student is led to read the literature under discussion. Then, the value of reading the literature consists chiefly in two things : that it affords relief, and that it stimulates, - relief from the "care and wearisome turmoil ” of the workaday world, and stimulus to the life of activity in the work of the world. If the reading of literature furnishes a stimulus to that disciplined form of living which we call “writing” or authorship, so much the more is gained than is commonly the case. In this book the authors have placed considerable emphasis upon the types of literature, largely because it is a type or “ kind” of literature that the student always thinks of himself as reading, and because his writing, much or little, will always consciously be of one of these types. The types are emphasized also because the historical movements in literature have always stressed more or less the use of certain types at given times. Hence, both use and the logic of history suggest the value of frequent attention to the kind of production which is uppermost at a given time or with a given author. Of course, it is hoped that the study of this book will directly aid the student in passing useful judgments upon what he reads, in novel, drama, favorite magazine, or whatever at any moment is in hand. It still remains true that it is not of so much importance that a reader shall be pleased with what he peruses as that he shall be “right" in being pleased.
Many autobiographic details which might be of passing interest in connection with authors have been omitted from this book. The main attempt has been to find the spirit of the true and beautiful and useful within the author as it has found expression in what he has written. " The artist is what he does,” and comparatively few artists in authorship have done much of special worth excepting to write books. Shakespeare, Keats, Tennyson, Browning, are indeed noted writers, but the facts of their lives other than the fact of writing are most insignificant. However, we have attempted everywhere to make clear the influences which have made the makers of literature in English-speaking countries what they have been.
Acknowledgment of much indebtedness is due to many who have been and are our teachers, colleagues, and students.
T. E. R.
NOVEMBER 15, 1916.
Its General Character, 138; The Poets, 140; The Essay.
ists, 162 ; The Novelists, 168; Philosophers and Historians,
257; Criticism, 278; Science, 295; Poetry, 296.