Excerpt from English Literature There are some things in this world that are more easily understood than explained. One of these is literature, which apparently has to do with books, yet we kw that almanacs, catalogs, dictionaries, and many other kinds of books are t literature. Men may laboriously compile a great work of research, like a census report or an encyclo pedia, extending through many portly volumes, and yet t write a single line of literature in the entire undertaking. On the other hand, an inspired writer may arrange a few words in a particular order, produce what the world accepts as a great poem, and win immortality for the literature that he has wrought. Sometimes it is easy to decide whether a particular work is literature or t. Shakespeare's Hamlet and Gray's Elegy are literature; a city directory and the Congressional Record are t. At times, however, the decision is more difficult. A personal diary may be a dull narrative of uninteresting daily routine, or it may be a vivacious record of a human life that continues to interest succeeding generations of readers. Whenever a book or a document of any sort gives evidence of artistic revelation of anything more than a bare statement of fact We begin to detect the literary quality. That quality may be only sufficient to arouse a brief temporary interest, or it may be eugh to assure the writer's fame for all time. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art techlogy to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.