Up Stream: An American Chronicle

Up Stream: An American Chronicle

Up Stream: An American Chronicle

Up Stream: An American Chronicle

Excerpt

It was, as nearly as I can remember, during the spring of 1916 that a simple enough idea suddenly came home to me with very great force. The notion seemed reasonable and yet it struck me at first, as it seems to strike people still, as being dangerous, arrogant, in the highest degree disturbing. Yet it was merely this, that the facts and the right interpretation of the facts of one's individual experience in the world might be of an inestimable value not only to oneself but to others. Having been brought up in America I was afraid, of course, of seeming egotistical. And my suspicion of many average American reactions has been and is still being confirmed by the facts. In writing and in speech people still blame me for being too convinced of my own importance, for thrusting my ego into the foreground and either cannot or will not see the essential humility of the act of scrupulously examining one's own experience for the purpose of testing, by origin, by quality, by the analysis of character and circumstance, its nature and its validity. . . .

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