The Literary Character

The Literary Character

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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1867 edition. Excerpt: ...virtue is therefore virtuous, for we may then repose on a heart which knowing the right pursues the wrong. These paradoxical appearances in the history of genius present a curious moral phenomenon. Much must be attributed to the plastic nature of the versatile faculty itself. Unquestionably many men of genius have often resisted the indulgence of one talent to exercise another with equal power; and some, who have solely composed sermons, could have touched on the foibles of society with the spirit of Horace or Juvenal. Blackstone and Sir William Jones directed that genius to the austere studies of law and philology, which might have excelled in the poetical and historical character. So versatile is this faculty of genius, that its possessors are sometimes uncertain of the manner in which they shall treat their subject, whether gravely or ludicrously. When Bbebosuf, the French translator of the Pharsalia of Lucan, had completed the first book as it now appears, he at the same time composed a burlesque version, and sent both to the great arbiter of taste in that day, to decide which the poet should continue. The decision proved to be difficult. Are there not writers who, with all the vehemence of genius, by adopting one principle can make all things shrink into the pigmy form of ridicule, or by adopting another principle startle us by the gigantic monsters of their own exaggerated imagination? On this principle, of the versatility of the faculty, a production of genius is a piece of art which, wrought up to its full effect with a felicity of manner acquired by taste and habit, is merely the result of certain arbitrary combinations of the mind. Are we then to reduce the works of a man of genius to a mere sport of his talents--a game in which he is...show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 182 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 10mm | 336g
  • Rarebooksclub.com
  • Miami Fl, United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236594568
  • 9781236594563