A Book of Modern Essays

By Bruce Welker McCullough; Edwin Berry Burgum | Go to book overview

SENTIMENTAL AMERICA*

H. S. CANBY

(Mr. Canby was formerly professor of English in the Sheffield School of Yale University. During this period of his career, he instigated the composition of a text-book on rhetoric that became almost as renowned among freshmen in our American universities as the texts of Erasmus were among the scholars of the Renaissance. For a decade "Canby and Others," as the back of the book led us to call it, was the standard text in many institutions, and one cannot yet say that it has been superseded.

Nevertheless, Professor Canby found this reputation insufficient. He had been for nine years an assistant editor of the Yale Review, when he decided to devote himself chiefly to editorial work. Between the years 1920 and 1924, therefore, he acted as editor of the Literary Review of the New York Evening Post. In the latter year he completed his emancipation, and set up his own Saturday Review of Literature. Within the short period of its existence, this new review of his has become one of the organs of opinion about literature most influential among our intellectuals. The policy of the editor has been to give qualified writers of national reputation free rein in the expression of their own opinions. The magazine has not sought through its editorial policy to align itself with any particular faction of thought now prevalent.

Somewhat of the same impersonal tolerance has characterized Mr. Canby's own writings. In the essay included here, for instance, he does not berate the American public for their excess of sympathy for "the noble" or of pity for "the downtrodden." He does not censure them for reading the novels of Miss Porter

____________________
*
From Definitions. Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1922.

-113-

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A Book of Modern Essays
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Introduction v
  • Contents ix
  • "Highbrow" and "Lowbrow" 1
  • What is a Puritan? 17
  • Portrait of a Family 45
  • The Norwegian Migration to America 63
  • The West and American Ideals 79
  • The Once Open Road 101
  • Sentimental America 113
  • Louisiana: (Madame de la Louisiane) 127
  • Fez 141
  • The Rhythm of Life 147
  • Summer 153
  • On an Unknown Country 161
  • Ideals and Day-Dreams 169
  • Castles in Spain 187
  • Science and the Faith of the Modern 201
  • On Friendship 219
  • A Relic 225
  • The Cheerful Breakfast Table 235
  • Conversation 249
  • Trivia 259
  • On Jargon 265
  • Names Practical and Poetic 285
  • The American Language 297
  • What the American Rhodes Scholar Gets from Oxford 321
  • Literary Taste 339
  • Dickens 347
  • The Vicar of Wakefield 365
  • Don Quixote 373
  • The Novel Démeublé 389
  • The Politics of Martha and of Mary 397
  • Autumn Tints in Chivalry 419
  • Index of Authors 431
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