Reflections on a Literary Revolution

Reflections on a Literary Revolution

Reflections on a Literary Revolution

Reflections on a Literary Revolution

Excerpt

I had the honour to deliver these lectures at The Catholic University of America under the auspices of the Monsignor George A. Dougherty Foundation and the Department of English in the spring of 1959. They are an attempt to put together some general ideas on the poetic upheaval of the earlier part of this century. I start from the supposition that we have experienced a revolution as great as the Romantic one of a century before; and that the revolution is now over. We are just now, perhaps, in a position to ask ourselves what its nature was, and how it can be related to our previous literary experience.

Many among my audience plainly disagreed with what I had to say, and I would thank them for their kindly forbearance to my person in spite of their detestation of my opinions. While I was working on these lectures I was Visiting Professor at Cornell University, and I should like to offer my warmest thanks to my colleagues in the English Department there for many lively and illuminating discussions of the matters considered in these pages. Lastly, I wish to thank Professor H. E. Cain of the Department of English at The Catholic University for the considerable thought he took in arranging these lectures.

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