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viii PREFACE begin. We shall no longer believe that to be authen- tically "national" we must continue to hash up the crude and inconsequential exaggerations character- istic of us in the minds of foreign readers; but by abandoning the impossible attempt to create supreme art out of social materials that are shifting and local, we shall see our way toward a national literature that shall embrace, perhaps for the first time in the history of the world, the universal hopes and im- pulses of humanity. A confirmation of this belief lies in considerations of a more practical nature. The output of books in modern life is so great; translations from writers of large outlook are so many and admirable; and so marvellous are the communications by which the world's best books are brought to our hands, that only the blind can fail to see that lasting literary achievement must concern itself henceforward, as never before, with broadly human vision. Yet this vision will not come, as a few of our more recent poets seem to fancy, from some imaginarily