Criticism in America, Its Functions and Status: Essays

By Irving Babbitt; Van Wyck Brooks et al. | Go to book overview

The National Genius1

By STUART P. SHERMAN

SOME people have one hobby and some another. Mine is studying the utterances of the Intelligentsia--a word by which those who think that they exhibit the latest aspect of mind designate themselves. I like to hear what our "young people" say, and to read what they write; for, though they are not meek, they will, at least in a temporal sense, inherit the earth--and one is always interested in heirs. So much depends upon them.

Not long ago, progressive thinkers organized a public dinner in order to consult together for the welfare of the Republic. The marks of a progressive thinker are profound pessimism with regard to the past and infinite hope

____________________
1
Originally published under this title in the Atlantic Monthly, January, 1921; reprinted as the title-essay of The Genius of America in 1923; and here reprinted by permission of the publishers, Charles Scribner's Sons. It is to be regretted that it has not been possible to include another essay in that volume, "The Point of View in American Criticism," in the present collection.

-228-

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Criticism in America, Its Functions and Status: Essays
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 1
  • Prefatory Note 3
  • Contents 5
  • The New Criticism 9
  • Two Phases of Criticism: Historical And Esthetic 46
  • Criticism 88
  • The Critics and Young America 116
  • Genius and Taste 152
  • Criticism of Criticism of Criticism 176
  • The Perfect Critic 191
  • Tradition and the Individual Talent 211
  • The National Genius 228
  • Footnote on Criticism 261
  • Criticism in the United States 287
  • Ku Klux Kriticism 309
  • Appendix 321
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