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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, The new world and the new book 8 0 Browse Search
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 4 0 Browse Search
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Book and heart: essays on literature and life 2 0 Browse Search
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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Book and heart: essays on literature and life, Chapter 1: discontinuance of the guide-board (search)
a broken law is sometimes an enchanting sense of freedom. Tolstoi tolerates no such enchantment; and he has written the only novel of illicit love, perhaps, in which the offenders-both being persons otherwise high-minded and noble-fail to derive from their sin one hour of even temporary happiness. From the moment of their yielding we see the shadow already over them; the author is as merciless to these beings of his own construction as if he hated them; and one feels like calling in an Omar Khayyam to defend once more the created against an unjust creator. Yet Anna Karenina has often been condemned as immoral, in the absence of the guide-board. If, now, we consider, in the light of these striking instances, what it is that has brought about this gradual disuse of the overt and visible moral, we shall soon see that it is a part of the general tendency of modern literature to do without external aids to make its meaning clear. There is undoubtedly a tendency to rely more and mor