by Brooks, Van Wyck
Publisher:Folcroft Library Editions
This historic book may have numerous typos, missing text or index. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. 1908. Not illustrated. Excerpt: ... CHAPTER III Education and other incidents--Background and reserve--Cut flowers --" Educated, by George!"--College men and the 'Tush"-- Household philosophy--A fine country but no hogs--Ideals and regrets--"New Thought"--Intelligence ,and instinct again-- Ingenuity and self-centred optimism. The oldest of all thought-- Politics considered as an incident--Mr Carnegie's reasons--Outside and in. BACKGROUND and reserve', you say -- that's just the point: they come from the cultivation of instinct. And you know we've already discussed why Americans are transparent! The oddest way it all works out--this preoccupation with the machinery--is that we regard education, politics, literature, and things of that sort (sic) as incidents, incidentals, things considered (beside the very important matter of getting a living) as of distinctly secondary importance, and not merely as unimportant branches of life but as unimportant objects, things you can touch and handle and separate one from another and turn your back upon. These things are not mixed into our lives, they are in some way excrescences. It is not because we are insincere in the enthusiasm for, say, religion or politics or art which we undoubtedly feel, but that they are not, in spite of our enthusiasm, the primary concern with us. They are reserved for Sundays or Election days, or the Saturday afternoons we spend at the museum, or the winter evenings we spend over a good book; they certainly do not flavour our moments as they pass, as if they were born and bred in us and somehow seemed always present though we never happened to see any particular picture or read any particular book. And although we are entirely sincere in our religion and politics and in our desire for some ideal of education, we are sincere in only o...
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