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Chapter 11: Hyperion and the reaction from it

‘Outre-Mer’ had been published some time before, with moderate success, but ‘Hyperion’ was destined to attract far more attention. It is first mentioned in his journal on September 13, 1838, though in a way which shows that it had been for some time in preparation, and its gradual development is traceable through the same channel. One entire book, for instance, was written and suppressed, namely, ‘St. Clair's Day Book,’ the hero having first been christened Hyperion, then St. Clair, and then Paul Flemming. Its author wrote of it, ‘I called it “Hyperion,” because it moves on high among clouds and stars, and expresses the various aspirations of the soul of man. It is all modelled on this idea, style and all. It contains my cherished thoughts for three years.’1

The cordiality with which ‘Hyperion’ was received was due partly to the love story supposed to be implied in it, and largely to the new atmosphere of German life and literature which it opened to

1 Life, i. 353.

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