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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Henry Walcott Boynton, Reader's History of American Literature 1 1 Browse Search
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, The new world and the new book 1 1 Browse Search
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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, The new world and the new book, IX (search)
writing for an audience which is, so to speak, unpicked, and which, therefore, includes the picked one, as an apple includes its core. One does not need to be a very great author in America to find that his voice is heard across a continent—a thing more stimulating and more impressive to the imagination than the morning drum-beat of Great Britain. The whole vast nation, but a short time since, was simultaneously following the Rise of Silas Lapham, or The Casting Away of Mrs. Leeks and Mrs. Aleshine. In a few years the humblest of the next generation of writers will be appealing to a possible constituency of a hundred millions. He who writes for a metropolis may unconsciously share its pettiness; he who writes for a hundred millions must feel some expansion in his thoughts, even though his and theirs be still crude. Keats asked his friend to throw a copy of Endymion into the heart of the African desert; is it not better to cast your book into a vaster region that is alive with m