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Germany (Germany) (search for this): chapter 29
ten in its frivolity; while the French critics have lately discovered Jane Austen, and are trying to find in that staid and exemplary lady the founder of the realistic school, and the precursor of Zola. Among contemporary novelists, Mr. Howells places the Russian first, then the Spanish; ranking the English, and even the French, far lower. He is also said, in a recent interview, to have attributed his own style largely to the influence of Heine. But Heine himself, in the preface to his Deutschland, names as his own especial models Aristophanes, Cervantes, and Moliere —a Greek, a Spaniard, and a Frenchman. Goethe himself thinks that we cannot comprehend Calderon without Hafiz,— Nur wer Hafis liebt und kennt Weiss was Calderon gesungen,— and Fitzgerald, following this suggestion almost literally, translated Calderon first, and then Omar Khayyam. Surely, one might infer, the era of a world-literature must be approaching. Yet in looking over the schedules of our American unive<
Cambridge (Massachusetts, United States) (search for this): chapter 29
that race had the texture of marble. To treat this supremacy as something accidental, like the long theologic sway of the Hebrew and Chaldee, is to look away from a world-literature. It is as if an ambitious sculptor were to decide to improve his studio by throwing his Venus of Milo upon the ash-heap. There is no accident about art: what is great is great, and the best cannot be permanently obscured by the second best. At the recent sessions of the Modern Language Association, in Cambridge, Mass., although all the discussions were spirited and pointed, it seemed to me that the maturest and best talk came from those who showed that they had not been trained in the modern languages alone. The collective literature of the world is not too wide a study to afford the requisite foundation for an ultimate worlderature; and surely the nations which have brought their product to the highest external perfection need to be studied the most. It seems safe to rest on two propositions whic
uct. In this respect we are not confronted by a theory, but by a condition. The supremacy of the Greek in sculpture is not more unequivocal than in literature; and the two arts had this in common, that the very language of that race had the texture of marble. To treat this supremacy as something accidental, like the long theologic sway of the Hebrew and Chaldee, is to look away from a world-literature. It is as if an ambitious sculptor were to decide to improve his studio by throwing his Venus of Milo upon the ash-heap. There is no accident about art: what is great is great, and the best cannot be permanently obscured by the second best. At the recent sessions of the Modern Language Association, in Cambridge, Mass., although all the discussions were spirited and pointed, it seemed to me that the maturest and best talk came from those who showed that they had not been trained in the modern languages alone. The collective literature of the world is not too wide a study to affor
Arthur Richmond Marsh (search for this): chapter 29
asp at what all literatures have in common. Thus in the immense range of elective studies at Harvard University there are twenty-one distinct courses in Greek, and about as many in Latin, English, French, and German; but not a single course among them which pertains to a world-literature, or even recognizes that these various branches have any common trunk. The only sign that looks in the slightest degree toward this direction is the recent appointment of my accomplished friend, Mr. Arthur Richmond Marsh, as professor of Comparative Literature. No study seems to me to hold less place in our universities, as a rule, than that of literature viewed in any respect as an art; all tends to the treatment of it as a department of philology on the one side, or of history on the other; and even where it is studied, and training is really given in it, it is almost always a training that begins and ends with English tradition and method. It may call itself Rhetoric and English Composition,
J. W. Goethe (search for this): chapter 29
XXVIII A world-literature in Eckermann's Conversations with Goethe that poet is represented as having said, in January, 1827, that the time for separate national literatures had gone by. Nationown especial models Aristophanes, Cervantes, and Moliere —a Greek, a Spaniard, and a Frenchman. Goethe himself thinks that we cannot comprehend Calderon without Hafiz,— Nur wer Hafis liebt und kebreaking — up and rearranging, the preparation for a world-literature has been so neglected. If Goethe's view is correct,— and who stands for the modern world if Goethe does not?—then no one is fitteGoethe does not?—then no one is fitted to give the higher literary training in our colleges who has not had some training in world-literature for himself, who does not know something of Calderon through knowing something of Hafiz. And observe that Goethe himself is compelled to recognize the fact that in this worldliterature, whether we will or no, we must recognize the exceptional position of the Greek product. In this res
John Weiss (search for this): chapter 29
lists, Mr. Howells places the Russian first, then the Spanish; ranking the English, and even the French, far lower. He is also said, in a recent interview, to have attributed his own style largely to the influence of Heine. But Heine himself, in the preface to his Deutschland, names as his own especial models Aristophanes, Cervantes, and Moliere —a Greek, a Spaniard, and a Frenchman. Goethe himself thinks that we cannot comprehend Calderon without Hafiz,— Nur wer Hafis liebt und kennt Weiss was Calderon gesungen,— and Fitzgerald, following this suggestion almost literally, translated Calderon first, and then Omar Khayyam. Surely, one might infer, the era of a world-literature must be approaching. Yet in looking over the schedules of our American universities, one finds as little reference to a coming world-literature as if no one had hinted at the dream. There is an immense increase of interest in the study of languages, no doubt; and all this prepares for an interchange <
Aristophanes (search for this): chapter 29
have lately discovered Jane Austen, and are trying to find in that staid and exemplary lady the founder of the realistic school, and the precursor of Zola. Among contemporary novelists, Mr. Howells places the Russian first, then the Spanish; ranking the English, and even the French, far lower. He is also said, in a recent interview, to have attributed his own style largely to the influence of Heine. But Heine himself, in the preface to his Deutschland, names as his own especial models Aristophanes, Cervantes, and Moliere —a Greek, a Spaniard, and a Frenchman. Goethe himself thinks that we cannot comprehend Calderon without Hafiz,— Nur wer Hafis liebt und kennt Weiss was Calderon gesungen,— and Fitzgerald, following this suggestion almost literally, translated Calderon first, and then Omar Khayyam. Surely, one might infer, the era of a world-literature must be approaching. Yet in looking over the schedules of our American universities, one finds as little reference to a co<
Heinrich Heine (search for this): chapter 29
ola. Among contemporary novelists, Mr. Howells places the Russian first, then the Spanish; ranking the English, and even the French, far lower. He is also said, in a recent interview, to have attributed his own style largely to the influence of Heine. But Heine himself, in the preface to his Deutschland, names as his own especial models Aristophanes, Cervantes, and Moliere —a Greek, a Spaniard, and a Frenchman. Goethe himself thinks that we cannot comprehend Calderon without Hafiz,— NurHeine himself, in the preface to his Deutschland, names as his own especial models Aristophanes, Cervantes, and Moliere —a Greek, a Spaniard, and a Frenchman. Goethe himself thinks that we cannot comprehend Calderon without Hafiz,— Nur wer Hafis liebt und kennt Weiss was Calderon gesungen,— and Fitzgerald, following this suggestion almost literally, translated Calderon first, and then Omar Khayyam. Surely, one might infer, the era of a world-literature must be approaching. Yet in looking over the schedules of our American universities, one finds as little reference to a coming world-literature as if no one had hinted at the dream. There is an immense increase of interest in the study of languages, no doubt; and all
P. H. Fitzgerald (search for this): chapter 29
n first, then the Spanish; ranking the English, and even the French, far lower. He is also said, in a recent interview, to have attributed his own style largely to the influence of Heine. But Heine himself, in the preface to his Deutschland, names as his own especial models Aristophanes, Cervantes, and Moliere —a Greek, a Spaniard, and a Frenchman. Goethe himself thinks that we cannot comprehend Calderon without Hafiz,— Nur wer Hafis liebt und kennt Weiss was Calderon gesungen,— and Fitzgerald, following this suggestion almost literally, translated Calderon first, and then Omar Khayyam. Surely, one might infer, the era of a world-literature must be approaching. Yet in looking over the schedules of our American universities, one finds as little reference to a coming world-literature as if no one had hinted at the dream. There is an immense increase of interest in the study of languages, no doubt; and all this prepares for an interchange of national literatures, not for merg<
ed at historically, we appropriating from each the best that can be employed. If this world-literature be really the ultimate aim, it is something to know that we are at least getting so far as to interchange freely our national models. The current London literature is French in its forms and often in its frivolity; while the French critics have lately discovered Jane Austen, and are trying to find in that staid and exemplary lady the founder of the realistic school, and the precursor of Zola. Among contemporary novelists, Mr. Howells places the Russian first, then the Spanish; ranking the English, and even the French, far lower. He is also said, in a recent interview, to have attributed his own style largely to the influence of Heine. But Heine himself, in the preface to his Deutschland, names as his own especial models Aristophanes, Cervantes, and Moliere —a Greek, a Spaniard, and a Frenchman. Goethe himself thinks that we cannot comprehend Calderon without Hafiz,— Nur w
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