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LITERATURE

J. MIDDLETON MURRY

John

м см XX

LONDON : 48 PALL MALL, S.W.
W. COLLINS SONS & CO. LTD.
GLASGOW : MELBOURNE : AUCKLAND

Copyright, 1920

PN
511

1183

TO

BRUCE RICHMOND
TO WHOSE GENEROUS ENCOURAGEMENT

I OWE SO MUCH

Preface
Two of these essays, “The Function of Criticism'
and 'The Religion of Rousseau,' were contributed to
the Times Literary Supplement; that on 'The Poetry
of Edward Thomas' in the Nation; all the rest save
one have appeared in the Athenæum.

The essays are arranged in the order in which they were written, with two exceptions. The second part of the essay on Tchehov has been placed with the first for convenience, although in order of thought it should follow the essay, 'The Cry in the Wilderness.' More important, I have placed The Function of Criticism' first although it was written last, because it treats of the broad problem of literary criticism, suggests a standard of values implicit elsewhere in the book, and thus to some degree affords an introduction to the remaining essays.

But the degree is not great, as the critical reader will quickly discover for himself. I ask him not to indulge the temptation of convicting me out of my own mouth. I am aware that my practice is often inconsistent with my professions; and I ask the reader to remember that the professions were made after the practice and to a considerable extent as the result of it. The practice came first, and if I could reasonably expect so much of the reader I would ask him to read The Function of Criticism' once more when he has reached the end of the book.

I make no apology for not having rewritten the essays. As a critic I enjoy nothing more than to trace

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