TREASURY OF WORLD LITERATURE by Dagobert G.- Ed. Runes

TREASURY OF WORLD LITERATURE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Culling his collection from the literature of three continents, editor Dagobert Runes sets before the readers of his anthology an extraordinary assortment of authors and works. A read-through of any letter in the table of contents by author impresses one with the catholicity of origin. For example, the C's read: Calderon, Capek, Carducci, Cervantes, Chamisso, Chateaubriand, Chatterjee, Chaucer, Chekhov, Chikamatsu, Ch'u Yuan, Confucius, Conrad, Cooper, Stephen Crane. The editor states that he has attempted to give the Orient its place where readable translations permit. The selections are varied in type and in completeness: short stories of Gorky, De Maupassant, Poe, etc., appear in full, as do poems of Hafiz, Heine, Donne etc.. Drama is represented by very brief scenes or speeches -- through Moliere's Bourgeois Gentilhomme or Sophocles' Oedipus; novels by very brief passages as of Don Quixote or elided short sections as of Les Miserables. Some inclusions are satisfying in themselves, some merely make the reader impatient for more. A brief note about the author precedes the selections from his work. The choices reflect Mr. Runes' interests and preferences, as he is first to point out. For this reader there is a pervading sense of his concern with popular culture, his social and philosophical consciousness and orientation -- as in choices from Gogal, Galsworthy, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Sholem Asch -- a tendency which is again countered by the inclusion of such an artist as Mallarme. Among the moderns, Faulkner, Hemingway, Joyce, D.H. Lawrence, Frost are here, while Eliot and Auden, Mansfield and Woolf are not. But the giants stand in astounding array. Good supplement for general world literature courses.

Pub Date: Nov. 12th, 1956
Publisher: Philosophical