Appreciation of Literature and America in Literature

Appreciation of Literature and America in Literature

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Appreciation of Literature and America in Literature

Appreciation of Literature and America in Literature

Read FREE!

Excerpt

LITERATURE is an art of expression. The material which it employs is experience; or, in other words, literature is the expression of life. Action, emotion and thought are the three great divisions of life, and constitute experience. Literature undertakes to represent such experience through the medium of language, and to bring it home to the understanding of the reader. It is obvious that literature makes its appeal to the individual mind and is intelligible only in so far as the individual is able to comprehend its language and interpret the experience there embedded.

A good reader is an author's best fortune, for the writer strives in vain unless he be understood. The reader's own experience is the key to literature. It may be direct experience, events and passions personal to himself; or it may be indirect, events and passions observed in the career of others, or at least learned by report; but in any case the power to understand indirect experience, that is, experience not one's own, depends on the existence of a common human nature and on the share of it which the reader has already realized in his own life and self-consciousness.

It is by sympathy and imagination that one enters into the lives and fortunes of others; and these two . . .

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