ROBERT W. CHAMBERS AND COMMERCIALISM
"Money rules because men are for sale." Ferguson, The Religion of Democracy.
"If the nation is not to suffer by cheap complacency and the triumph of ostentatious mediocrity, the whole educational life must be filled with a new spirit of devotion to serious tasks." Hugo Münsterberg, American Problems, 1910.
HUGO MÜNSTERBERG is recognized here and abroad as a specialist of the first rank in his chosen field; Robert W. Chambers is not. There are those who openly call him a literary charlatan or quack; there are those who veil their lack of faith in him in more diplomatic or evasive language.
Very few of his best friends will pretend that his later work shows a serious spirit of devotion to anything but record-breaking sales and the most obvious results of the same, and to the almighty dollar that inspires and creates them.
Professor Münsterberg has proved to us, in one way or another, that, in Germany to-day, literature seriously considered, in verse and in prose, in fiction as well as the drama, is, on the whole, a national asset and an educational force recognized and to be reckoned with.
Here in America to-day, there is a growing tendency to question the educational value of fiction of the order of ostentatious mediocrity turned out whole
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Publication information: Book title: Literature and Insurgency:Ten Studies in Racial Evolution: Mark Twain, Henry James, William Dean Howells, Frank Norris, David Graham Phillips, Stewart Edward White, Winston Churchill, Edith Wharton, Gertrude Atherton, and Robert W. Chambers. Contributors: John Curtis Underwood - Author. Publisher: Biblo and Tannen. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1974. Page number: 447.
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