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I am not the first writer who found his opinions changing, nor shall I be the last. Why must we be bound to an iron consistency when to be human is to be subject to change--outward and inward, experiential and mental, circumstantial and emotional? But what actually happened is rather that I shifted my standpoint a little higher. The resulting changes were merely the resulting larger horizon and better perspective. If I had written these same books later, I would have written them differently. But the difference in content would not have been so much one of inconsistency as of enlargement. The difference in style would perhaps have been greater. There would have been a loss of vehemence and impressionability in the descriptive travel works, but a gain in discrimination and knowledge. There would have been a loss of iconoclasm and superficiality in the philosophic expository works, but a gain of balance and depth and carefulness.


-- Notebooks Category 12: Reflections > Chapter 5: The Literary Work > # 115






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