The circus, and other essays

Paperback | February 7, 2012

byJoyce Kilmer

not yet rated|write a review
This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated.1916 Excerpt: ... THE CIRCUS RESTRAINT is perhaps the most conspicuous literary virtue of the artists in words who have the pleasant task of describing in programs, in newspaper advertisements, and on posters, the excellences of circuses. The litterateur who, possessed of an intimate knowledge of the circus, merely calls it "a new, stupendous, dazzling, magnificent, spectacular, educational, and awe-inspiring conglomeration of marvels, mysteries, mirth, and magic," deserves praise for a verbal economy almost Greek. For he is not verbose and extravagant, he is taciturn and thrifty; he deliberately uses the mildest instead of the strongest of the adjectives at his disposal. Shyly, it seems, but in fact artfully, he uses modest terms--"new," for example, and "spectacular" and "educational." These are not necessarily words of praise. An epidemic may be new, an earthquake may be spectacular, and even a session of school may be educational. Yet the adjectives proper to these catastrophes are actually applied--in letters of gold and silver and purple--to the circus! The laureate of the circus, with an aesthetic shrewdness which places him at once on a level with Walter Pater (whose description of the "Mona Lisa," by the by, is an admirable example of circus press-agent writing) considers, and rejects as too bewilderingly true, the mightiest of the adjectives that fit his theme. Discreetly he calls it "new" instead of "immemorial"; "educational" instead of "religious." He does not, as he might, call the circus poetic, he does not call it-aristocratic, he does not call it democratic. Yet all these great words are, as he well knows, his to use. The consciousness of his power makes him gentle. His abnegation becomes the mbre startlingly virtuous when it is» considered that he resi...

Pricing and Purchase Info

$19.95

Out of stock online

From the Publisher

This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated.1916 Excerpt: ... THE CIRCUS RESTRAINT is perhaps the most conspicuous literary virtue of the artists in words who have the pleasant task of descr...

Format:PaperbackDimensions:20 pages, 9.69 × 7.44 × 0.04 inPublished:February 7, 2012Publisher:General Books LLCLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0217380352

ISBN - 13:9780217380355

Look for similar items by category:

Customer Reviews of The circus, and other essays

Reviews