Choice Specimens of American Literature and Literary Reader; Being Selections from the Chief American Writers

Choice Specimens of American Literature and Literary Reader; Being Selections from the Chief American Writers

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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1874 edition. Excerpt: ...and generous, which such an interpretation of the Don Quixote necessarily implies. At the very beginning of the work, he announces it to be his sole purpose to break down the vogue and authority of books of chivalry, and at the end of the whole he declares anew in his own person, that "he had no other desire than to render abhorred of men the false and absurd stories contained 'in books of chivalry;" exulting in his success as an achievement of no small moment. And such, in fact, it was, for we have abundant proof that the fanaticism for these romances was so great in Spain, during the sixteenth century, as to have become matter of alarm to the more judicious.... To destroy a passion that had struck its roots so deeply in the character of all classes of men, to break up the only reading which at that time could be considered widely popular and fashionable, was certainly a bold undertaking, and one that marks anything rather than a scornful or broken spirit, or a want of faith in what is most to be valued in our common nature. The great wonder is, that Cervantes succeeded. But that he did there is no question. No book of chivalry was written after the appearance of Don Quixote, in 1605; and from the same date, even those already enjoying the greatest favor ceased, with one or two unimportant exceptions, to be reprinted; so that, from that time to the present, they have been constantly disappearing, until they are now among the rarest of literary curiosities--a solitary instance of the power of genius to destroy, by a single well-timed blow, an entire department, and that, too, a flourishing and favored one, in the literature of a great and proud nation. The general plan Cervantes adopted to accomplish this object, ...show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 158 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 9mm | 295g
  • Rarebooksclub.com
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236774264
  • 9781236774262