Thursday, September 13, 2007

Notice of William B. Greene, The Blazing Star

"Notice of New Books," The New Englander, XXXII, 1 (January, 1873), 183.

MR. WILLIAM B. GREENE'S BLAZING STAR† seems to us to shine by a reflected light, and that light, whatever there is, is reflected from the Appendix on the Jewish Kabbala, if this be not darkness visible. We frankly confess to have been able to gather little or nothing from both except the excitement of our curiosity to learn somewhat more of this same Kabbala. But whatever these first portions of this volume have failed to furnish has been more than compensated by the tract on the Philosophy of Spencer and the tract on New England Transcendentalism. The first is sharp, clear, and decisive, and abounds in the clear analysis of which the author is capable, and the soldier-like charge upon his adversary, in which there is nothing unchivalrous though it is annihilating. Mr. Spencer's pretentious inflations would not long survive a few such criticisms as this. The tract on New England Transcendentalism is equally able though not so long. Its affinity with Buddhism is clearly set forth, and there is a sad pathos and almost stern reproof in the reflections at the close.

† The Blazing Star; with an Appendix treating of the Jewish Kabbala. Also a tract on the Philosophy of Mr. Herbert Spencer, and one on New England Transcendentalism. By WILLIAM B. GREENE. Boston: A. Williams & Co. 1872.

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