« PreviousContinue »
LITERATURE AND LIFE
WILLIAM H. ELSON
Grand Rapids, Michigan
SCOTT, FORESMAN AND COMPANY
For permission to use copyrighted material grateful acknowledgment is made to The Mark Twain Company, the Estate of Samuel L. Clemens, and to Harper and Brothers for "How Tom Sawyer Whitewashed the Fence” from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Mark. Twain; to Everybody's Magazine and the author for "The Elephant Remembers," by Edison Marshall; to Macmillan and Company, Ltd., for "The Wonders of the World We Live In” from The Beauties of Nature, by Sir John Lubbock; to Fleming H. Revell Company for "America" from From Alien to Citizen, by Edward A. Steiner; to Small, Maynard and Company for “Trees” from April Airs, by Bliss Carman; to Colliers and the author for “The Citizen,” by James Francis Dwyer; to the author for "1620-1920,” by L. B. R. Briggs; to the Century Magazine and Mrs. Theodore Roosevelt for “Working Together in a Democracy" from "Fellow-Feeling as a Political Factor,” by Theodore Roosevelt; to Henry Holt and Company for "The Tuft of Flowers” from A Boy's Will, by Robert Frost; to The Macmillan Company and the author for "The Hemp Fields” from The Reign of Law, by James Lane Allen; to Charles Scribner's Sons for “Trees and the Master” from Poems, by Sidney Lanier; to Poetry and the author for "April-North Carolina," by Harriet Monroe; to D. Appleton and Company, Poetry, and the author for “On the Great Plateau” from The Wind in the Corn, by Edith Wyatt; to Doubleday, Page and Company for “Plowing on a Wheat Ranch” from The Octopus, by Frank Norris, and for “The Romance of a Busy Broker," from The Four Million, by O. Henry; to Amy Lowell for "Lilacs"; to Letta Eulalia Thomas for "What America Means to Me"; to Edwin Markham for "Lincoln, the Man of the People" and "Creed." "Opportunity,” by Edward R. Sill, is used by permission of and special arrangement with Houghton Mifflin Company, the authorized publishers.
For permission to use copyrighted pictures our thanks are tendered to Small, Maynard and Company for the halftone copy (in With Stevenson in Samoa, by J. B. Moors, copyright 1910) from which the picture on page 83 was adapted; to Agnes C. Gale for the halftone copy (in The Children's Odyssey, copyright 1912 by the Public School Publishing Company) for the picture on page 210; to Joseph Pennell for the drawing (in Pictures of the Wonder of Work, copyright 1916 by J. B. Lippincott Company) for the picture on page 563; to Underwood and Underwood for the photograph on page 480; and to The International News Service for the photograph on page 514.
This volume is the first in a series of Accordingly, this book and the others four books that provide material for an that follow in the series will be found to organized course in literature for secondary stress good citizenship. This term is deschools. In this series literature is re- fined in no narrow way. The treatment of garded not as an end in itself, a subject in it is not confined to a few patriotic selecwhich facts are to be collected and mem- tions for use on Washington's Birthday or orized, but as an instrument through to accompany the reading of the Declarawhich the pupil may be initiated into the tion of Independence. It extends throughspiritual heritage stored up for him in out the book, and is used in such a way books.
as to bring out very clearly certain fundaThe first requirement to such an initia- mental relations: the debt we owe to the tion is an abundant supply of carefully past, the relations of human brotherhood, chosen selections from the best writers of the relations between man and Nature. all time. In the present volume, for ex- As Emerson rightly held, these three ample, the range in time is from Homer relationships are the foundation of all to the present. Of the fifty or education: the mind of the past, the world authors represented, one half are masters of action, the world of Nature. By such of former times whose works have become organization the study of the book will classics; the other half are recent or reënforce powerfully the study of history, contemporary writers who are recognized of social and political conditions, and of interpreters of our own time.
science, the three main divisions into A glance at the Table of Contents, which school and college courses however, will show that the editors have divided. The study of literature, therenot regarded it as their task merely to fore, is not a by-product, an occupation supply a large amount of carefully chosen for leisure hours, but is made the heart of and graded material in rich variety and of the school. recognized excellence. They have kept To this end, care has been taken not in mind the purpose set down in the only to secure the right selection of litopening paragraph of this Preface: the erature, grouped under these fundamental initiation of the child into the spiritual divisions, but also to secure proper underheritage stored up for him in books. standing of them as individual selections
This spiritual heritage is perhaps the and as parts of a group. This is done, most important single element in the first, through the various introductions, education of the child. We hear much, written for the pupil, and in accordance these days, about Americanization, the with a definite plan that extends throughpreparation of the child for citizenship. out the series. The general and special It is self-evident, we think, that if any introductions, taken together, are such preparation stops with patriotic elementary treatise on how to read, on emotion plus a study of our political in- literary criticism, on the service of litstitutions, it has not met its full responsi- erature to life. These introductions cover bility. The meaning of our democratic a great variety of subjects: the nature of institutions is best understood by those literature, the characteristics of poetry, who add to patriotic emotion and acquain- the relation of literature to human histance with the machinery of government a tory and the development of institutions, training in the history of the ideals that the types of literature, the value and kinds underlie our faith, and especially a train- of versification and figures of speech, the ing in the ideals themselves as interpreted history of literature itself. in literature.
The other aids to study are equally
distinctive. The editors have sought to comprehensive as well as the restricted avoid the over-annotation which always list are printed in full. results from regarding the masterpiece as The second point is that the editors are a unit in itself. The notes are not de- in entire agreement with the statement of signed to show editorial erudition or the aims and scope of the course in English minuteness; they are prepared to enable as set forth in the recent report of the the pupil to come to a complete under- Committee on English of the North Censtanding of his reading without inter- tral Association of Colleges and Secondary rupting that reading a moment longer Schools. This series does not limit itself than necessary. At the end of the selec- to a small list of books for intensive study; tion, or, in the case of longer units, at the around these major works are grouped chapter or scene divisions, will be found many others, so that there is abundant helps of two kinds. The first of these con- material for choice. Teachers may decide sists of explanatory notes giving addi- for themselves which selections are to be tional information necessary to intelligent read rapidly and which are to be studied reading; the second and more important carefully and with detail. They may consists of questions to guide the pupil's also condense and onit at will. The series reading as he prepares his lesson and also as a whole thus supplies guidance for the as the basis for class discussion. Many teacher in making the course of study; of these questions involve independent it does not prescribe so narrowly as to thinking. Many of them seek to con- destroy initiative or to prevent the choice nect his reading with other interests. of a course suited to special conditions. The relation between literature and life The books will be found especially adapted in this series is no fanciful relation. It for use in schools that organize classes on is organic, interwoven in many differ- a basis of uniform ability. ent ways into the body of the book and The course here provided has been its method.
checked carefully with such documents as In this series as a whole two general the Report of the Committee of the Naconditions have influenced the choice of tional Council of Teachers of English, and material. In the first place, the master- with the special courses and syllabi propieces required for admission to college vided by the states of New York, Pennunder the conference plan are so fully sylvania, and others. Moreover, it illusrepresented that it will be unnecessary trates the leading tendencies in the best for separate classics to be purchased. modern teaching: wide variety and inBesides the advantage of economy, there terest of subject matter, indisputable is also in this plan the advantage of careful quality, the union of the contemporary gradation and organization. Through and the classic, the study of such types of many years of experience by hundreds of literature as the drama, the epic, the teachers there has grown up a fairly metrical romance, the ballad, the lyric, standardized list of minimum essentials, and prose fiction. Finally, interwoven a list of books that every American boy or with the plan will be found ample material girl should know. These are presented for such study of the history of literature, without curtailment except in the case of both American and British, as the secondsome of the longer novels in which a plan ary school should undertake. for library reading with class discussion To all this material the publishers have has been worked out.
given a typographical form that is dignified supply, through the school library, a suffi- and attractive. The four volumes of the cient number of complete copies of these series will constitute a miniature selection few books to enable the pupils to read them of the best literature of the English-speakin connection with the study plans given ing peoples. They are not school texts in the text. But in the series as a whole to be used and thrown aside, but books more than enough of the classics in the worth a place in the permanent library.
THE WORLD OF ADVENTURE (An Introduction)
Introduction to Stevenson's Treasure Island
*This and all other units in the Literature and Life series are printed complete, unless otherwise indicated.