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Essays in Criticism

First Series (Classic Reprint)

Matthew Arnold


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Excerpt from Essays in Criticism: First Series

Several of the Essays which are here collected and reprinted had the good or the bad fortune to be much criticised at the time of their first appearance. I am not now going to inflict upon the reader a reply to those criticisms for one or two explanations which are desirable, I shall elsewhere, perhaps, be able some day to find an opportunity; but, indeed. It is not in my nature, - some of my critics would rather say, not in my power, - to dispute on behalf of any Opinion, even my own, very obstinately. To try and approach truth on one side after another, not to strive or cry, nor to persist in pressing forward, on any one side, with violence and self-will, - it is only thus, it seems to me, that mortals may hope to gain any vision of the mysterious Goddess, whom we shall never see except in outline, but only thus even in outline. He who will do nothing but fight impetu ously towards her on his own, one, favourite, parti cular line, is inevitably destined to run his head into the folds of the black robe in which she is wrapped.

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Forgotten Books, 9781334507960, 402pp.

Publication Date: May 17, 2018