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Bliss Perry, The American spirit in lierature: a chronicle of great interpreters 2 0 Browse Search
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Bliss Perry, The American spirit in lierature: a chronicle of great interpreters, Chapter 7: romance, poetry, and history (search)
h not in doctrine or in sympathy. His literary affiliations were with the English and German Romanticists, and he possessed, for professional use, the ideas and vocabulary of his transcendental friends. Born in Salem in 1804, he was descended from Judge Haw. thorne of Salem Witchcraft fame, and from a long line of sea-faring ancestors. He inherited a morbid solitariness, redeemed in some measure by a physical endowment of rare strength and beauty. He read Spenser, Rousseau, and the Newgate Calendar, was graduated at Bowdoin, with Longfellow, in the class of 1825, and returned to Salem for thirteen brooding lonely years in which he tried to teach himself the art of story-writing. His earliest tales, like Irving's, are essays in which characters emerge; he is absorbed in finding a setting for a preconceived moral ; he is in love with allegory and parable. His own words about his first collection of stories, Twice-told tales, have often been quoted: They have the pale tint of flow