Anglo-American Literary Relations

By George Stuart Gordon | Go to book overview

V
BRITISH AUTHORS' COPYRIGHT

I AM now arrived at the point which comes inevitably in such a course as this--a short course on a great subject--when the lecturer is faced with audit, and begins, somewhat ruefully, to balance his accounts. That in attempting a course at once so brief and so ambitious I was attempting the impossible, I have succeeded in concealing only occasionally from myself, and never at all, I should suppose, from you. Yet I am far from regretting the experiment. My only regret is that I find myself now, within sight of the end, confronted by such a teeming choice of interests most of which I must forgo. As the twentieth century approaches, and increasingly with every year of it, the interaction of the two countries, in literature as in everything else, grows more habitual and intense: authors, publishers, and readers all swimming in an element sometimes highly and characteristically national, sometimes hardly to be distinguished as either English or American, but rather a traders' compound of the two. Had I time I should take you sailing there, and dredge. But I am bound to deny myself, and to select. One important subject, which has engaged for more than a century the attention and even the passions of both English and American authors, it is my obvious duty to deal with; I mean the subject--the now less thorny subject--of copyright. The other principal topic, which I have decided to reserve for my next and last lecture, is the appearance and value of that native strain in American literature which both America and England had clamoured for so long, and of which Whitman is the prophet: that, and what goes with it, the growth, efficiency, and future of the American language--or, as the older

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Anglo-American Literary Relations
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Prefatory Note 5
  • Contents 8
  • I - Early American LIterature 11
  • II - The Rise of American LIterature 31
  • III - Friendship in Letters 44
  • IV - British Authors in America 62
  • V - British Authors' Copyright 82
  • VI - The LIterary Hopes of America 99
  • Index of Persons 117
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