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The following selections are reprinted by arrangement with and
*The Falconer of God” from The Falconer of God by William Rose
This volume is the second in a series have been organized by teachers, of four books that present a course and their
their component parts have in literature for secondary schools, been published in syllabi or lists of marked by effectiveness, originality, readings. Such guides are useful to and vitality of organization. The the teacher, who through experience basis of the course is the body of and skill may be reasonably clear as material tested for many years by to what he wishes to accomplish. teachers in every part of the country. But one should remember that to These books contain, in complete form the pupil the course of study, if and with adequate editorial apparatus, printed, is just a list of "classics," more material than the list of the and that his study through the years National Conference on English re- seems to be just one masterpiece or quires for admission to college. They book of selections after another; he also comply fully with the require- can have little clear idea of the conments of the comprehensive list of that nection between them, or of the meanConference and with the recommenda- ing of the course as a whole. tions of the North Central Association But the course outlined and printed of Colleges and Secondary Schools. in full in the four volumes of LiterTeachers who desire to supply classes ature and Life, is organized for the with abundance of contemporary liter- pupil. The connections between the ature will find that these books answer units to be read are explained for their needs. For the study of literary him in the editorial apparatus. The types, for the study of the history of result is a growing consciousness of American and English literature, and power and interest impossible when for elementary literary criticism, this one small separately edited classic series also provides adequate equip- succeeds another, in an endless sucment.
cession. The masterpieces of literNevertheless, the books are not ature, old and new, short and long, merely anthologies made up of mas- are here used as chapters or paragraphs terpieces chosen from the various or songs in the great Book of Literapublished lists, such as those of the ture, which is the true subject of study. Report on Reorganization of English. The present volume is planned for In continuity, emphasis, and progres- the second year of the high school sive plan, the series constitutes an
It features literature as story: initiation into literature. This means Stories in Verse, Stories in Prose, that the problem of the teaching of Dramatic Story, and the Story of literature in the high school is here American Literature. To secure apregarded as a unity, like the problem preciation, the general Introduction to of teaching composition. For the the book is devoted to the subject, vague effort to arouse interest in good “How to Read.” From the very bereading, definiteness of purpose and of ginning, therefore, the pupil is taught means is substituted.
to see more in his reading than merely Many good courses in literature the story. The Introduction points
out, through concrete examples, what bethan stage. It should be noted, is involved in creative reading. It in passing, that a great advantage of shows that learning to read is a never- the course in Shakespeare given in ending process, intimately related to these four books is that in each year pleasure and to wisdom. The funda- a different point of approach is chosen. mental reason for the failure of many Opportunity is thus given for buildcollege freshmen to keep up with their ing up, step by step, a knowledge of work is that they do not know how to Shakespeare and of his art that will read. They do not know, because become a vital and permanent elethey have not been taught. The In- ment in the equipment of the troductions to the four books in the pupil. series are therefore fundamental to Still another illustration of the way the plan. They constitute a progres- in which the study of types of litersive course in the method of creative ature is carried on in Literature and reading, made concrete in scores of Life, Book Two, will be found in the ways as the pupil advances in his case of Silas Marner, the chief unit in study.
the prose story group, corresponding to In Book Two, as in Book One, ab- Treasure Island in Book One. Here, stract and ethical ideas are kept sub- as elsewhere, the presentation has not ordinate to the necessity for gaining been restricted to the bare text, and interest through objective and con- none of the advantages of the separate crete story material. But this mate- "classics" have been sacrificed. Study rial differs from that of the earlier questions of stimulating character are book in the fact that it represents supplied, along with the Introduction, somewhat more complex ideas of lit- Notes, and Glossary that are to be exerary art. Thus verse story, repre- pected. But this is not all. Silas sented in Book One by epic, ballad, Marner is here given its definite place and the long metrical romances of in relation to other types of fiction, Scott, here passes into modern narra- such as the earlier prose romance of tive poetry, picturesque in style, poet- Scott, and the short story. In this ic in diction, and making great de- way the pupil is led to see the differmands upon the imaginative power of ence between realism and romance, the reader.
to distinguish the novel, the romantic Furthermore, the Introductions in tale, the short story. Opinions of Book One to the types of literature critics are not dictated to him, to be (ballad, epic, etc.) are here carried memorized temporarily and then forfarther. Metrical romance goes back gotten. The method of study here into medieval times; a little chap- developed has an intimate relation to ter of literary history is once more the reading he will do when he leaves inserted, corresponding to similar school. It is especially desirable on chapters in Book One, to become a account of the vogue of realism reppart of that comprehensive study resented in the enormous popularity continued during the four years' of Main Street and other books of its work. Another case in point is the type. Silas Marner may thus be Introduction to As You Like It, the made a great aid to the pupil's underShakespearean play chosen for study standing of life through literature by in the second year. Here the stress means of the definite scheme of study is on comedy, especially on Shake- supplied with it. Here, as throughspearean comedy, and on the Eliza- out the series, the pupil is enabled to prepare his assignment intelligently. to constitute a powerful stimulus to He sees the problems that are to be the historical imagination of the pupil. solved; he is not left to stumble in The method of treatment is fresh the dark.
and unhackneyed. Traditional headIn all this material: verse narrative, ings for the chapters have been prose romance, short story, novel, and avoided. Care has been taken, also, drama, the beginnings of the study to avoid the danger of making the of character are made. The romantic history of literature merely a colleclovers of St. Agnes' Eve, the political tion of facts and critical opinions to prisoner of Chillon, such varied types be memorized. The pupil is not told of character as Ulysses, Enoch Arden, what to think about an author; he is Sohrab, Tam O'Shanter—all these supplied with the information that is stories present character as well as needed for intelligent reading of the incident. In Hawthorne's stories of works of the author. Moreover, the the wood-carver and of the doctor selections illustrate not only the phases who dabbles in scientific research, of the author's work; they illustrate something of psychological analysis is also the successive interpretations of presented under large, symbolic forms, American thought and ideals that giving way in Silas Marner to more make the story of American literature subtle analysis, and in the Shake- a powerful adjunct to training for spearean comedy to that marvelous citizenship. In this section, also, will combination of romance and realism be found a carefully prepared Introthat forms a fitting climax to a series duction to the literature of today, a of interesting studies. Pupils like dis- matter of importance in view of the cussions of motive and character, great awakening of interest that is and the study topics give abundant characteristic of the present time. suggestions for class debate, project Here, as throughout the series, the work, and other means for relating editorial matter shows the relationship their reading to that social activity of literature to the life and interests that is characteristic of the modern of the pupil and to his preparation for classroom. Class discussions will be his career as a citizen. This element lively where these books are used. is not overdone. It is not introduced
The last section of the book is de- in a “preachy” or didactic manner. voted to a story of American literature, The effort is made to avoid dictating written especially for students of this what the pupil should think. His ingrade. In the earlier years they have telligence is left free. But he cannot read many selections from American very well escape thinking. authors. At this point the whole Other characteristics of this book story of the development of American will be apparent upon examination of literature, so far as that story is appli- the Table of Contents. As in Book cable to high school needs, is told in an One, proper attention has been given to orderly way, with an abundance of new the presentation of the classics named selections and with cross-references to in the various conference reports as work previously done. This part of essential. In Books One and Two, for the book supplies the study of Amer- example, eight complete units from ican ideals that is a feature of each the “A” list of the National Conference book in the series. The approach, as are given in full; only ten from this in Book One, is not chiefly political, list are required for the entire four although the story is so organized as years.
In addition, it should be