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Bliss Perry, The American spirit in lierature: a chronicle of great interpreters, Chapter 6: the Transcendentalists (search)
, one of the very Sun-Gods. The pilgrim to Concord who stops for a moment in the village librarynorth, close to the rude bridge of the famous Concord fight in 1775, is the Old Manse, once tenanteu and William James close by. But although Concord is the Emerson shrine, he was born in Boston,Emerson occupying a room in the Old Manse at Concord, strolling in the quiet fields, lecturing or second time, had bought a house of his own in Concord, and purposed to make a living by lecturing onfidence in God and the soul. Citizens of Concord in May, 1862, hearing that Henry Thoreau, thetime he printed only two books, A week on the Concord and Merrimac rivers-which was even more complncils and ground plumbago in his own house in Concord. The mother was from New Hampshire. It was er in Boston and elsewhere, he descended upon Concord, flitted to the queer community of Fruitlands, was starved back to Concord, inspired and bored the patient Emerson, talked endlessly, wrote inef
Bliss Perry, The American spirit in lierature: a chronicle of great interpreters, Chapter 7: romance, poetry, and history (search)
exquisitely written. After a couple of years in the Boston Custom-House, and a residence at the socialistic community of Brook Farm, Hawthorne made the happiest of marriages to Sophia Peabody, and for nearly four years dwelt in the Old Manse at Concord. He described it in one of the ripest of his essays, the Preface to Mosses from an Old Manse, his second collection of stories. After three years in the Custom-House at Salem, his dismissal in 1849 gave him leisure to produce his masterpiece, erpool and three subsequent years of residence upon the Continent saw no literary harvest except carefully filled notebooks and the deeply imaginative moral romance, The Marble Faun. Hawthorne returned home in 1860 and settled in the Wayside at Concord, busying himself with a new, and, as was destined, a never completed story about the elixir of immortality. But his vitality was ebbing, and in May, 1864, he passed away in his sleep. He rests under the pines in Sleepy Hollow, near the Alcotts
clothes — and a confused preface on America as a field for the true poet. Then followed the new gospel, I celebrate myself, chanted in long lines of free verse, whose patterns perplexed contemporary readers. For the most part it was passionate speech rather than song, a rhapsodical declamation in hybrid rhythms. Very few people bought the book or pretended to understand what it was all about. Some were startled by the frank sexuality of certain poems. But Emerson wrote to Whitman from Concord: I find it the most extraordinary piece of wit and wisdom that America has yet contributed. Until the Civil War was half over, Whitman remained in Brooklyn, patiently composing new poems for successive printings of his book. Then he went to the front to care for a wounded brother, and finally settled down in a Washington garret to spend his strength as an army hospital nurse. He wrote Drum Taps and other magnificent poems about the War, culminating in his threnody on Lincoln's death,
more generalized types of story-writing, and that he has never in his long career written an insincere, a slovenly, or an infelicitous page. My literary friends and acquaintance gives the most charming picture ever drawn of the elder Cambridge, Concord, and Boston men who ruled over our literature when young Howells came out of the West, and My Mark Twain is his memorable portrait of another type of sovereign, perhaps the dynasty that will rule the future. Although Henry James, like Mr. Howmatter, to any locality save possibly London, anything more than a visiting mind. His grandfather was an Irish merchant in Albany. His father, Henry James, was a philosopher and wit, a man of comfortable fortune, who lived at times in Newport, Concord, and Boston, but who was residing in New York when his son Henry was born in 1843. No child was ever made the subject of a more complete theory of deracination. Transplanted from city to city, from country to country, without a family or a vot
nia, a continuation of English society, 14; in 1724, 44 Virginia House of Burgesses, address of the, Jefferson 80 Virginians, the, Thackeray 45 Vision of Sir Launfal, the, Lowell 170, 172 Walden, Thoreau 131, 134, 135 Walley, Thomas, 41 Warner, C. D., 93 Washington, George, 64-65, 66, 77-78 Waterfowl, to a, Bryant 103, 106 Webster, Daniel, eulogy for Adams and Jefferson, 86-87; civic note in oratory of, 208; criticism of Clay, 210; his oratory, 211-15 Week on the Concord and Merrimac rivers, a, Thoreau 131 Wendell, Barrett, 6 West, The, in American literature, 237 et seq. Westchester farmer, the, Seabury 76 When Lilacs last in the Dooryard Bloomed, Whitman 201 When the Frost is on the Punkin, Riley 248 Whitaker, Alexander, 26-27, 38 Whitman, Walt, in 1826, 90; in New York, 108; life and writings, 196-205; died (1892), 255; typically American, 265; argues for American books, 266 Whittier, J. G., in 1826, 90; attitude towards Transcendenta