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The Enduring Value Of Lafcadio Hearn’s Tokyo Lectures

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Chapter Summary

This chapter provides examples both of Lafcadio Hearn's style as a teacher and of the values he emphasized in his lectures, values similar to those prominent throughout his writings. It then describes his responses to three of his favourite authors: John Milton, best known for his epic poem Paradise Lost; Lord Byron, most piquant in word and life of the early nineteenth-century Romantic poets; and John Ruskin, the great Victorian cultural critic. Hearn himself was like Milton in the perfection of his word choice and in his loss of physical vision, like Byron in his worldwide reputation and in the passion and freedom he brought to his life and writing, and like Ruskin in his beautifully-crafted romantic prose style and social values. Finally, the chapter argues that students, teachers and all lovers of literature can still benefit from reading Hearn's Tokyo lectures.

Keywords: John Milton; John Ruskin; Lafcadio Hearn; Lord Byron; Paradise Lost; Tokyo lectures



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