American Writers, Volume 1 - download pdf or read online

By Leonard Unger

ISBN-10: 0684136732

ISBN-13: 9780684136738

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Adams might have answered this criticism of his plot by pointing out that he was telling the simple truth. Statesmen like Senator Ratcliffe in the Reconstruction era did dominate the scene, and men like Carrington were helpless to do more than record their own indignant dissent. Madeleine Lee, in flying off to Europe, has only expressed the despair of her creator at the prospect of Washington. Living a century later in not dissimilar times, should we not appreciate her position? Perhaps. But we are dealing with a novel, and novels must be concerned less with truth than the appearance of it.

He was fascinated by Senator Lodge's enthusiasm for it. Adams had not anticipated much from his friend as a sightseer. Lodge, he had been afraid, would visit the dreary old capitals of Europe as though he was still twenty and as though Napoleon III was still reigning. Now, however, Lodge returned to the enthusiasm that he had manifested as a student under Adams at Harvard, and lectured the party brilliantly on the construction and fortifications of the monastery. The climax of the trip came with Chartres.

Would he have been gratified to find himself a "best seller" in an age whose intellectual taste he despised? I believe that Adams always misconceived his principal talent. He wanted the recognition of scientists for his theories in a field where he was not equipped to make any serious contribution. The picture of Adams, the descendant of presidents, a kind of early American "Everyman," a survival from the Civil War in the day of the automobile, traveling from one end of the globe to the other in quest of the absolute, pausing before Buddhas and dynamos, has so caught the imagination of the academic community that his biography, which he wrote as well as lived, has become, so to speak, one of his works, and his most fantastic speculations 20 I AMERICAN WRITERS the subjects of serious theses.

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American Writers, Volume 1 by Leonard Unger

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