Dionysus in Doubt: Collected Articles and Addresses

Dionysus in Doubt: Collected Articles and Addresses

Dionysus in Doubt: Collected Articles and Addresses

Dionysus in Doubt: Collected Articles and Addresses

Excerpt

Old men are supposed to have the privilege, for a reason that I do not pretend to understand, of talking about themselves. This privilege I have used in a somewhat different way by reconsidering thoughts that I have expressed at various times during an unusually long career, and I have here assembled those essays and addresses which I could not bring myself wholly to destroy. They represent some of the chief interests which I have had for many years, poetry, painting, teaching, and, above all, that strange position in which man finds himself in a universe that eludes all comprehension. I now fling them out like the bantling on the rocks, to live or die, in the hope that they may not be without some casual interest to those concerned, like myself, with some of the more significant problems of our little life.

Most of these essays, as their title indicates, have been published before, and are reprinted with such alterations as it was found impossible to resist; but I have not tried to bring them up to date, nor even to make them conform to my opinions as they have changed during the years. Many of these papers are drawn from a quiet repose in the files of highly regarded magazines, where some may think it would have been judicious to leave them undisturbed. They ore now revived not "by request of friends," but by kind permission of the editorial boards who first displayed an interest in them. The essays on Shelley, Housman, and Trollope are from The Yale Review; those on The Great Diarist, Sitter and Portrait, and Ancestor-Worship appeared in The Atlantic Monthly. Those on Johnson, the Brontës, the Pre-Raphaelites, and the Courteous Reader . . .

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