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The American Mind

The E. T. Earl Lectures

Cover image for


Author: Bliss Perry
Published: 1912
Language: English
Wordcount: 48,124 / 150 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 42.8
LoC Categories: PN, HN
Downloads: 1,326
Added to site: 2009.09.11 25259
Genre: Essays

Race, nation, and book -- The American mind -- American idealism -- Romance and reaction -- Humor and satire -- Individualism and fellowship.

Show Excerpt

te literature without knowing it.

Such considerations belong, I am aware, to the accepted commonplaces,--perhaps to what William James used to call "the unprofitable delineation of the obvious." Everybody recognizes that literary gifts imply an exceptionally rich development of general human capacities, together with a professional aptitude and training of which but few men are capable. There is but one lumberman in camp who can play the fiddle, though the whole camp can dance. Thus the great book, we are forever saying, is truly representative of myriads of minds in a certain degree of culture, although but one man could have written it. The writing member of a family is often the one who acquires notoriety and a bank account, but he is likely to have candid friends who admit, though not always in his presence, that, aside from this one professional gift and practice, he is not intellectually or emotionally or spiritually superior to his brothers and sisters. Waldo Emerson thought himself the intellec



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