The Book of the Epic, the World's Great Epics Told in Story (Classic Reprint)

The Book of the Epic, the World's Great Epics Told in Story (Classic Reprint)

by H. A. Guerber
     
 

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Excerpt from The Book of the Epic, the World's Great Epics Told in Story

Every now and then in our reading we come suddenly face to face with first things, - the very elemental sources beyond which no man may go. There is a distinct satisfaction in dealing with such beginnings, and, when they are those of literature, the sense of freshness is nothing short of

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Excerpt from The Book of the Epic, the World's Great Epics Told in Story

Every now and then in our reading we come suddenly face to face with first things, - the very elemental sources beyond which no man may go. There is a distinct satisfaction in dealing with such beginnings, and, when they are those of literature, the sense of freshness is nothing short of inspiring. To share the same lofty outlook, to breathe the same high air with those who first sensed a whole era of creative thoughts, is the next thing to being the gods' chosen medium for those primal expressions.

All this is not to say that the epic is the oldest form of literary expression, but it is the expression of the oldest literary ideas, for, even when the epic is not at all primitive in form, it deals essentially with elemental moods and ideals. Epical poetry is poetic not because it is metrical and conformative to rhythmical standards, - though it usually is both, - but it is poetry because of the high sweep of its emotional outlook, the bigness of its thought, the untamed passion of its language, and the musical flow of its utterance.

Here, then, we have a veritable source book of the oldest ideas of the race; but, not only that - we are also led into the penetralia of the earliest thought of many separate nations, for when the epic is national, it is true to the earliest genius of the people whose spirit it depicts.

To be sure, much of literature, and particularly the literature of the epic, is true rather to the tone of a nation than to its literal history - by which I mean that Achilles was more really a Greek hero than any Greek who ever lived, because he was the apotheosis of Greek chivalry, and as such was the expression of the Greeks rather than merely a Greek. The Iliad and the Odyssey are not merely epics of Greece - they are Greek.

This is an age of story-telling.

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Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com

This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781331088325
Publisher:
FB &c Ltd
Publication date:
07/10/2015
Pages:
528
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.06(d)

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