Winter 1944 • Vol. VI No. 1 Book ReviewsJanuary 1, 1944 |

Putting the Ego on the Other Foot

Romanticism And The Modern Ego by Jacques Barzun. Little Brown. $2.75. Perhaps the time has come to revive a subject that has been seriously presented by the late Irving Babbitt; but whether it has or not, Dr. Jacques Barzun has reopened the discussion, gallantly and with good will. He has made the occasion of his Lowell Lectures last winter an excellent excuse to speak of Romanticism and the modern ego, and in the process of converting his lectures into eight chapters of a book, he has found it his pleasure to add a Chapter Nine which is a "sampling" of the word, "Romantic," in modern usage, and he concludes with a Chapter Ten which contains his notes and references. It is almost an impertinence to say that his book has the outward appearance of being both orderly and lively; and truly enough, if one were to read it aloud, a thoroughly engaging and brilliantly conversational presence soon makes itself known. As we listen to what he has to say we gain the impression that Dr.

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