Page:The Cambridge History of American Literature, v3.djvu/442

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424
Education

institutions, by ingenious conquest of the nation’s boundless wealth, the literary creator had no need to turn for materials for the imagination to the slightly stimulating and highly conventional life of the school taskrmaster. Still is much of present educational literature characterized too often by superficiality, as is our education; still is it inaccurate, as our educative processes are inexact; practical, as the demands of our lives are practical; still does it deal with immediate problems, as our education and our social organization are bound to do. On the other hand, much of it has attained a scientific character unknown in any preceding period; some of it possesses a philosophical penetration and reveals a form of exposition worthy of the best of any period. Much of it is rich in the promise of the future. In some respects even the practical working idealism of American life, usually concealed under a materialistic exterior, finds expression in literary forms worthy of its conscious, though usually unexpressed, purposes.