Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Literature and Life by Phillips Brooks

Literature and Life
Phillips Brooks

LIFE comes before literature, as the material always comes before the work.
The hills are full of marble before the world blooms with statues.
The forests are full of trees before the sea is thick with ships.
So the world abounds in life before men begin to reason and describe
and analyze and sing, and literature is born.

The fact and the action must come first. This is true in every kind
of literature. The mind and its workings are before the metaphysician.
Beauty and romance antedate the poet.

The nations rise and fall before the historian tells their story.
Nature’s profusion exists before the first scientific book is written.
Even the facts of mathematics must be true before the first diagram
is drawn for their demonstration.

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