Excerpt: ... of "the sea which is Shakspere." Again, in Hazlitt and Leigh Hunt you will discover essayists inferior only to Lamb himself, and critics perhaps not inferior. Hazlitt is unsurpassed as a critic. His judgments are convincing and his enthusiasm of the most catching nature. Having arrived at Hazlitt or Leigh Hunt, you can branch off once ...Read MoreExcerpt: ... of "the sea which is Shakspere." Again, in Hazlitt and Leigh Hunt you will discover essayists inferior only to Lamb himself, and critics perhaps not inferior. Hazlitt is unsurpassed as a critic. His judgments are convincing and his enthusiasm of the most catching nature. Having arrived at Hazlitt or Leigh Hunt, you can branch off once more at any one of ten thousand points into still wider circles. And thus you may continue up and down the centuries as far as you like, yea, even to Chaucer. If you chance to read Hazlitt on Chaucer and Spenser, you will probably put your hat on instantly and go out and buy these authors; such is his communicating fire! I need not particularise further. Commencing with Lamb, and allowing one thing to lead to another, you cannot fail to be more and more impressed by the peculiar suitability to your needs of the Lamb entourage and the Lamb period. For Lamb lived in a time of universal rebirth in English literature. Wordsworth and Coleridge were re-creating poetry; Scott was re-creating the novel; Lamb was re-creating the human document; and Hazlitt, Coleridge, Leigh Hunt, and others were re-creating criticism. Sparks are flying all about the place, and it will be not less than a miracle if something combustible and indestructible in you does not take fire. I have only one cautionary word to utter. You may be saying to yourself: "So long as I stick to classics I cannot go wrong." You can go wrong. You can, while reading naught but very fine stuff, commit the grave error of reading too much of one kind of stuff. Now there are two kinds, and only two kinds. These two kinds are not prose and poetry, nor are they divided the one from the other by any differences of form or of subject. They are the inspiring kind and the informing kind. No other genuine division exists in literature. Emerson, I think, first clearly stated it. His terms were the literature of "power" and the literature of "knowledge." In nearly all great...Read Less
Very Good+ 8vo 138 pages; Former owner's name on ffep, otherwise clean and tight in original binding of brown cloth spine over lighter brown boards with gilt lettering at spine.; Experience the pleasure of reading and appreciating this actual printed item. It has its own physical history that imbues it with a character lacking in ephemeral electronic renderings.
Good+ No date; c 1909-1927; Handsome brown hard cover with black and gilt title to front board and dulled gilt title to spine; hinges perfectly intact. From private collection; No marks. Damp spot on front board.; 8vo 8"-9" tall; 138 pages; 26787.
Used-Acceptable. Fair paperback. 1st Penguin edition (Pelican Special, edited by Frank Swinnerton, with additional lists). Owner's name on first page; pages & spine browned; some wear to spine. Originally published in 1909.
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