On Literature, Culture, and Religion

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Overview

Irving Babbitt was a giant of American criticism. His writings from the 1890s to the 1930s helped advance American criticism and scholarship to international esteem. More than seventy years after his death his intellectual staying power remains undiminished. On Literature, Culture, and Religion is an ideal introduction to this seminal American thinker.

Babbitt's opinions were uncompromising, and his vocal allies and opponents included almost every name in American literature and scholarship: T. S. Eliot, Edmund Wilson, Paul Elmer More, H. L. Mencken, and Sinclair Lewis. A founder of New Humanism, Babbitt was best known for his indictment of Romanticism and his insistence that the modern age had gone wrong. Babbitt argued for a renewal of humanistic values and standards--which he found best articulated in classical Greece, Hinduism, and Buddhism. The selections cover topics central to Babbitt: criticism, Romanti-cism, classical literature, French literature, education, democracy, and Buddhism. They typify Babbitt's method: recondite allusion, penetrating insight and analysis, impeccable scholarship, and unrelenting pursuit of the furthest ramification and the profoundest implication. The original annotation is retained. Brief introductions to the essays place them in the Babbitt canon.

A major introductory essay by George A. Panichas surveys Babbitt's career and critical reception and summarizes the concepts that inform Babbitt's writing. Panichas raises again controversial issues that were not really resolved in Babbitt's time. The essay will challenge those long familiar with Babbitt and New Humanism and those newly introduced thereto.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412804998
  • Publisher: Transaction Publishers
  • Publication date: 12/29/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

George A. Panichas is professor emeritus of English at the University of Maryland and editor of Modern Age: A Quarterly Review. Among his numerous writings are The Reverent Discipline: Essays in Literary Criticism and Culture and The Courage of Judgment: Essays in Criticism, Culture and Society.

George A. Panichas is professor emeritus of English at the University of Maryland and editor of Modern Age: A Quarterly Review. Among his numerous writings are The Reverent Discipline: Essays in Literary Criticism and Culture and The Courage of Judgment: Essays in Criticism, Culture and Society.

Irving Babbitt (1865-1933) was professor of French literature at Harvard University. He is a noted literary critic who helped start the New Humanism movement in the early twentieth century. His numerous books include On Being Creative, The Masters of Modern French Criticism, andLiterature and the American College.

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Table of Contents

Introduction to the Transaction Edition vii
Introduction xxi
Part I Outlook and Overview 1
What I Believe 3
The Terms Classic and Romantic 19
The Rational Study of the Classics 42
Part II The Life of Literature 59
English and the Discipline of Ideas 61
Form and Expression 71
Romantic Love 89
Matthew Arnold 103
Joubert 116
Part III Ideas and the World 133
Democracy and Standards 135
Madame de Stael 188
Lights and Shades of Spanish Character 210
Buddha and the Occident 224
Reference Notes 271
Bibliography 293
Acknowledgments 299
Index 301
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