Literature in a Changing Age

Literature in a Changing Age

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Literature in a Changing Age

Literature in a Changing Age

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Excerpt

The human mind has from its earliest days played with two opposite conceptions -- all is fixed -- all is changing. As men observe the diversities of human nature and the incessant movement of the physical world, they turn for relief and assurance to some ideal of stability and permanence. But they have never long rested content with any assurance of fixed reality, and have hastened to discover new evidence of change and variety. From the time of the Greek philosophers and of "Ecclesiastes," the reconciliation of these two views has continued a great problem of philosophy, and it appears still beyond hope of solution. Every effort after a new realism seems likely to be countered by a new idealism, and each assertion of authority will afford a fresh impulse for revolution.

These two conceptions, affording the bases for opposing schools in philosophy and politics and supplying direction for the social forces of conservatism and radicalism, have naturally influenced our interpretations and theories of literature. Here as . . .

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