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contemporary. The two historical novels, Esmond and The Virginians are very fine. His sympathetic grasp of eighteenth-century conditions shows here to exceptional advantage. Of the other books one might pick out for the highest commendation Vanity Fair, Pendennis, and The Newcomes.
In "graver prose" there has also been development. History, beginning with Hallam's Middle Ages, changes its whole attitude, and attains a fascinating style with an even added accuracy of matter. It becomes interesting as well as just. The change is a radical one; Macaulay's History of England would have horrified the authorities of a century back-doubtless Carlyle's French Revolution made them turn in their graves. Hallam, Macaulay and Carlyle are the three leaders in this noble study, and the latter's History of Frederick the Great should be added to those already mentioned.
Criticism, as a special branch of literature, begins with this century. The advance has been to a completely new way of looking at things: The critic must be "disinterested "-a phrase, like its application, due to the present age. A new point of view is gained, broader, truer, more penetrating. The old formulas in life, as well as literature, are all brought under the keen test of specialized thought. The typical critics of the century have been Matthew Arnold and John Ruskin. The one wrote on the subject of good living, the other on good art; their criticism must always retain high literary worth.
The typical works are Arnold's Essays and Ruskin's Modern Painters. Criticism has naturally taken the shape of the essay-a form which has been assiduously cultivated, and in some cases with unique success. Lamb brought back a charm unknown since Addison, adding a delight of his own. With him and Carlyle and Macaulay and the others, the essay holds a place certainly not below its position at any previous time.
The whole body of American writing during the century is extremely interesting because it represents the emergence of a new literature—or at any rate a rehabilitation of the old. As is to be expected, it does not attain the heights of that to which Wordsworth and Scott and Tennyson belong, but its general excellence is very marked. The literary movement has followed with peculiar symmetry the course of the century. It opened auspiciously with Irving's History of New York, in 1809. It reached its climax between 1840 and 1860. During that time the following books appeared: Cooper's Deerslayer, Emerson's Essays, Hawthorne's Twice Told Tales, Poe's Tales, Longfellow's Evangeline and Hiawatha, Lowell's Biglow Papers, Holmes's Autocrat and Professor, Prescott's Conquest of Mexico and Conquest of Peru, Parkman's Oregon Trail and Conspiracy of Pontiac, not to speak of other famous things. And the end of the century seems to mark the close of a literary epoch. Certainly no twenty years since can compare with those mentioned.
The New England writers have done nearly all the best work; all the most typical elements are found in the poetry and prose of Longfellow, Hawthorne, Emerson and their fellows. If one were to add Irving, Lowell and Prescott to the last names, he would have, pretty fairly, the leading American authors of the century. The whole literature possesses a unique value. Never before has an offshoot from the parent stem taken root and come to maturity on a foreign soil.
German literature during the nineteenth century has been greater than ever before. Its noblest period is found between 1794 and 1805, when Goethe and Schiller were doing their best work, each inspired by the friendship of the other. And their best work produced marked effects in other directions than poetry. To the two great poets Germans owe the establishment of their language as a vigorous medium of expression. Before that time German was by no means in high repute even in the Fatherland, where the gentle speech was French. But the influence of the two leaders was so immense as to change absolutely that state of affairs. With the truest patriotism they devoted their efforts to the strengthening of the national literature, the restoration of the national language in its full beauty. Both men loved their country intensely; this is seen all through their writings. "The destiny of the Germans is not yet fulfilled," said Goethe in 1813. "But the time, the right time, no human eye can
foresee, nor can human power hasten it on. To us individuals, meanwhile, it is given, to every one according to his talents, his inclinations, and his position, to increase, to strengthen, and to spread national culture . . . that the national spirit, instead of being stifled and discouraged, may be kept alive and hopeful and ready to rise in all its might when the day of glory dawns."
It is easy to understand that the patriotic writers of the early century were inspired to greater work by utterances like this.
German literature might be divided into three periods. First, the rule of Goethe, then the rule of Heine, and last the appearance of the new forces of the present day which seem to indicate a future achievement. In German poetry Goethe's Faust stands first--in some respects the most remarkable poem of the century in any language. His beautiful idyll, Hermann and Dorothea, shows another phase of his great genius; his prose writings a third. Schiller's supreme works were the five great dramas written at the close of his career, and among these stand forth Wallenstein and William Tell.
Goethe's greatest successor was Heine. He wrote during the second quarter of the century and had a wonderful command of lyric poetry. His gift was essentially lyrical and he will live by virtue of his exquisite songs-in such collections as The North Sea, The Romancero. He wrote no long poems. His prose was chiefly confined to his famous Travel
Pictures. Prisoned in a foreign land by fate, Heine always longed for Germany-"the real Germany, the great, mysterious, one might say anonymous, Germany of the German people, with whose sceptre and crown the apes are playing." He has been an abiding influence. The third feature-so to speak -of German literature has been what many consider the very important new literature at the century's end. Men like Sudermann and Gerhardt Hauptmann voice its sentiment—a spirit of revolt. It takes the shape of a new Storm and Stress, which seems to point to the reorganization of society. So strong are the forces thus finding expression that German literature shows greater promise than any other at the close of the nineteenth century.
France's political history during the past hundred years has been full of changes that are not very strongly reflected in the range of her letters. The great year was 1830. Before that the names of Chateaubriand and Lamartine mark the trend of literature. The latter was the first great poet of the period in France. His Jocelyn is one of the leading contributions to French poetry. With 1830 as a culminating point came an influx of new ideas that completely changed the current of mental life. To Hugo belongs the honor of actually winning the battle for romanticism. The "men of 1830" form a remarkable group. In fiction, in poetry, in the drama and in criticism, they did very much for French literature. As a matter of fact,