Problems and Methods of Literary History

Problems and Methods of Literary History

Problems and Methods of Literary History

Problems and Methods of Literary History

Excerpt

A memory and a wish are responsible for this book.

The memory is of years, already distant, when the author was privileged to study at the Université de Paris and the École normale supérieure under excellent masters. From these years he has brought away a feeling of special gratitude for the devotion with which these masters strove not only to communicate to their pupils a part of their own learning but also to initiate them into the actual methods of scientific work. He cannot forget the conferences on Saturday afternoons when, grouped about Professor G. Lanson, a few young men were made acquainted with the tools and the practical side of a study still new to them; or those hours when Lanson generously placed at their disposal the material destined to form the Manuel bibliographique; or, above all, the moments of personal contact when, with his wealth of erudition, his keen penetration, his strict but kindly criticism, he guided his students, started them on the right road and kept them in it, pointed out the stumblingblocks, and explained the best way to avoid them and to proceed with safety and success. Those were unforgetable lessons, and their memory, to which the author hopes not to prove faithless, will be found in every chapter of this book. The name of G. Lanson will appear several times, but the echo of his thought and of his very words will be heard on every page.

Other teachers gave no less invaluable help to their pupils, guiding them personally through the library stacks, showing them the principal bibliographical implements and illustrat-

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