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What is character but the determination of incident? What is incident but the illustration of character?

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Mark Twain was underestimated by his fans; Henry James was largely ignored by his countrymen and preferred to live in England (he even became a British Citizen). America was, alas, a country of great eccentrics and great prudes, of great writers and few readers.

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Hard and fast rules, a priori restrictions, mere interdictions (you shall not speak of this, you shall not look at that) have surely served their time, and will in the nature of the case never strikeĀ an energetic talent as anything but arbitrary. A healthy, living and growing art, full of curiosity and fond of exercise, has an indefeasible mistrust of rigid prohibitions.

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