Aesthetics of the Novel

Aesthetics of the Novel

Aesthetics of the Novel

Aesthetics of the Novel

Excerpt

Our first problem is to keep on our feet, to keep going. In the most sedentary occupation the essential thing in life is to be physically ready and fit. If a man have not the strength to sit up and take nourishment, if he cannot hang to a strap on the way downtown, if he cannot sit at his desk throughout the morning, he cannot tend to business. He must first tend to himself. The most sublimated life rests upon a physical substructure, and the more lofty a life becomes the more solid should be its basement. Primitive buildings and their denizens kept to the earth. Early men were not tempted to neglect their physical basis when it was their whole life. Among animals hardly anything but physical fitness counts, and in so far as men are animals it is the same with them.

Among boys the more alert and agile are the leaders almost solely on account of their athletic ability. The prestige of athletes continues and even increases through high school and college, partly due to the organization and propaganda of athletics, but chiefly to the prime importance of the physical in life. The popular heroes in the world of grown men are athletes. Prize fighters come first, because, more than wrestlers or swimmers or runners, they exhibit all-around physical perfection; they are trained to what is still regarded as the manly . . .

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