But here are the books. I list them not so much to give knowledge as to direct people with intellectual curiosity and with interest in their own land to the sources of knowledge; not to create life directly, but to point out where it has been created or copied. On some of the books I have madebrief observations. Those observations can never be nearly so important to a reader as the development of his own powers of observation. With something of an apologetic feeling I confess that I have read, in my way, most of the books. I should probably have been a wiser and better informed man had I spent more time out with the grasshoppers,horned toads, and coyotes.
list. I am a realmist. I write about realms of democracy and realms of the spirit." Those realms include The Woodpile, The Grindstone, Blueberries, Birches, and many other features of the land North of Boston.
To an extent, any writer anywhere must make his own world, no matter whether in fiction or nonfiction, prose or poetry. He must make something out of his subject. What he makes depends upon his creative power, integrated with a sense of form. The popular restriction of creative writing to fiction and verse is illogical. Carl Sandburg's life of Lincoln is immeasurably more creative in form and substance than his fanciful Potato Face. Intense exercise of his creative power sets, in a way, the writer apart from the life he is trying to sublimate. Becoming a Philistine will not enable a man to interpret Philistinism, though Philistines who own big presses think so. Sinclair Lewis knew Babbitt as Babbitt could never know either himself or Sinclair Lewis. J. F. D.
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