Knut Wicksell: Selected Essays in Economics - Vol. 2

By Knut Wicksell; Bo Sandelin | Go to book overview

28

CHARLES GIDE, NATIONALEKONOMIENS GRUNDDRAG {THE PRINCIPLES OF ECONOMICS}

By permission of the author translated and partially revised by Georg Schauman and Axel v. Christierson, Helsinki, G.V. Edlund, 1897

If one goes over the list of foreign works on economics that have become naturalized in our literature in the course of time, one cannot help being reminded of what B jörnson wrote about the Swedish nation:


Oh people of the heart and fancy,
Of yearning and of poesy, etc.

A fertile imagination, idealistic visions, vast, preferably infinite perspectives—this, above all, is what public taste and the business instincts of the publishers demand of a writer on economics, in our country; inner coherence, conclusive argumentation, reliably corroborated facts, etc., are of merely secondary importance, in so far as they are not actually abhorred as tedious pedantry. Thus, while writers like Carey, Henry George, F. List and others have not needed to wait long for translators, not a single one of the classical authors, in contrast, as far as is known—not even Adam Smith or John Stuart Mill—has been deemed worthy of appearing in Swedish garb.

All the greater the pleasure one is bound to take in the opportunity given to our reading public by two young Finnish scholars to acquaint itself, in our own language, with a work as deserving as Charles Gide’s Principes d’économie politique. Without being a great or, in the true sense of the word, an original writer, Gide commands in a high degree the art of elegant and concise presentation that seems to be the privilege of French textbook authors, and in addition, he is free of, or at least attempts to keep himself free of, on the

Originally published in Ekonomisk Tidskrift, 1899.

-181-

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