Linguistics and Literary History: Essays in Stylistics

Linguistics and Literary History: Essays in Stylistics

Linguistics and Literary History: Essays in Stylistics

Linguistics and Literary History: Essays in Stylistics

Excerpt

The following studies owe their birth to the kind invitation of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at Princeton University, extended to me at the behest of Professor Amirico Castro, to give a lecture on the subject indicated by the title of the first essay, and to the further invitation of the Princeton University Press to expand the lecture (which is reproduced herein with the addition of some notes) into a book which would show some practical applications of my linguistic method to literature.

I dedicate this first book of mine printed in America, which is to continue the series of studies in stylistics previously published in Germany-Aufsätze zur romanischen Syntax und Stilistik, Halle (Niemeyer) 1918; Stilstudien, I-II, München (Hueber) 1928; Romanische Stil- und Literaturstudien, I-II, Marburg an der Lahn (Elwert) 1931--to Assistant Professor ANNA GRANVILLE HATCHER who is an outstanding American scholar in the too little cultivated field of syntax-- which, in her case, is expanded into stylistic and cultural history--and who could thus teach me, not only the intricacies of English syntax and stylistics, but some of the more recondite features of American culture and of its particular moral, logical, and aesthetic aspirations: a knowledge without which all endeavors of the philologist to explain poetry to an American public must fail completely. For poetry has always been addressed to a public with which the poet felt himself to be united--so that the explanation of poetry, too, must needs be addressed to a public whose reactions the commentator is able to foresee. It is one of the benefits falling to the lot of the emigrant scholar that, however much his outward activity may be curtailed in the new country in comparison with his former situation, his inner activity is bound to be immensely enhanced and intensified: instead of writing as he pleases, after the usual fashion of the German scholar in particular (who is so well satisfied to live in the paradise of his ideas, whether this be accessible to his fellow men or not), he must, while trying to preserve his own idea of scholarship, continually count with his new audience, bearing in mind not . . .

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