Essays In English Literature, 1780-1860 (1895)


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Essays in English Literature, 1780-1860 (Barnes & Noble Digital Library)

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free.
This is an OCR edition with typos.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780217713856
  • Publisher: General Books LLC
  • Publication date: 8/16/2009
  • Pages: 98
  • Product dimensions: 7.44 (w) x 9.69 (h) x 0.20 (d)

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III. WALTER SAVAGE LANDOR. THERE might be a worse occupation for some proficient in the lighter kind of criti- LANDOR. , -11 . . . . cal or miscellaneous writing than the drawing up of a list of opinions and sayings which, in other than Herodotean sense, it is not now lawful to utter concerning certain famous writers. Landor would come in for a good share of that list. That the critics admire the author of the Imaginary Conversations and that the public does not; that he is an example of classical as opposed to romantic writing; that he will dine late, but that the room will be well lighted and the guests select; that he was partly a philosopher and partly a schoolboy; that he was like Boythorn; that he was not like Boy- thorn ; that he was a better writer of ornate prose than De Quincey; that he was not so good a writer of ornate prose as De Quincey: these and a good many other things require no more saying. If they are said, let us by all means take off our hats to them as the French wit did in similar case; but let us not repeat them, if we . .. . . Landor. can help it. The dining-room saying especially, though it be Landor's own, is a most treacherous dictum. It necessarily begets in the quoter a secret sense that he is one of the select guests, that the room has been lighted for him at the late and sacred hour. The contrast-theory, too, of philosopher and schoolboy is to be avoided as much as possible, like all contrast theories, which are for the most part, if not universally, as delusive as they are tempting and as barren as they are facile. It is an interesting, though perhaps in some little degree an idle, question to enquire whether that popularity, at least that realpopularity, which the critics prophesy and implore for Landor will ever co...
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