Thursday, April 21, 2011

a defect of cerebral development...

This from a review of Bronson Alcott's later book "Tablets" found in the "Boston Sunday Times"

"Messrs. Roberts Brothers of Boston have just published this volume from the pen of Mr. A. Bronson Alcott, a gentleman long known in this community, and whose " Orphic Sayings," in the days of that famous organ of New-England transcendentalists, " The Dial," excited the admiration of the judicious few, and the ridicule of the unthinking many.

A late number of " The Nation," the editor of which somewhat pretentious oracle seems to have been eager to strangle "Tablets " before it was born, contained a notice of the work, in which he showed a gross misapprehension of Mr. Alcott's meaning and drift. Probably through some defect of cerebral development, for which the critic is not responsible, he is about as competent to judge of Mr. Alcott's transcendent speculations as a blind man is to describe a rainbow. Having found much in this book to admire, when we have got at the meaning, we do not doubt, that, where we fail to recognize its beauties, the fault is not in the profound thinker who has given more than fifty years of study and meditation to these sententiously expressed meditations."

(painting by John Constable)

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