New Lamps for Old: A Sequel to the Enchanted Glass

New Lamps for Old: A Sequel to the Enchanted Glass

New Lamps for Old: A Sequel to the Enchanted Glass

New Lamps for Old: A Sequel to the Enchanted Glass

Excerpt

My book, the Enchanted Glass, was published about a quarter of a century ago. In that book I attempted to discover something about the Elizabethan mind in literature, and by literature I meant almost everything that seemed to have a bearing on it--scholarship, criticism, creativity, cultural background with theories and beliefs, and even vagaries. I wished to discover the secret of renascence. I did not succeed, but I did perhaps point out some operative elements. I tried to tell these things to my contemporaries and succeeded perhaps in reaching some of them.

The Elizabethans, indeed the men of the Italian Renaissance, are old friends and associates of mine and it seems only fair that I should tell them about our mind as it occupies itself with these literary matters. We cannot address the men of the Renaissance directly, but they nevertheless deserve consideration, and, if we could reach them by written or spoken word, we should have to acknowledge that, for some still unknown reason, they, in spite of their disadvantages and shortcomings and of our vast superiority in everything that one would think matters, have the better of us. I cannot address the Elizabethans or, with any degree of safety, modern scholars and critics, who are often specialists and seem to have no need of the more general types of truth. I have therefore taken counsel of Diotima and decided to tell the simple truth as I see it to ordinary reading persons and to . . .

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