The Innocent Eye

The Innocent Eye

The Innocent Eye

The Innocent Eye

Excerpt

Lern im Leben die Kunst, im Kunstwerk lerne das Leben,
Siehst du das Eine recht, siehst du das andere auch.
HÖLDERLIN

THE OUTBREAK of another war, with a consequent suspension of normal activities, gave me the impulse and the opportunity to continue the narrative which I began ten years ago in The Innocent Eye. The contrast between that early idyllic prelude and the confused experience of the years which followed might, I thought, be of more than personal interest, and provide the material for some moral generalizations external to the narrative. I have tried to be honest with my evidence, and it is for others to pass a verdict. My story--which is deliberately a story of the mind --is the story of an idealist confronted with the possibility of despair, of a romantic condemned to the incidence of bleak realities. What value it may have seems to me as the narrator to be due to the fact that in spite of a disillusion which is at once personal and universal, I persist in a simple faith in the natural goodness of man. These pages will make sufficiently clear that I consider the no-man's-years between the wars as largely futile, spent unprofitably by me and all my kind. I do not pretend to know how we could have . . .

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