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It will be generally admitted, we suppose, that America has not as yet a distinctively literary class such as England and France possess. But that she has a number of men-of-letters will hardly be denied even by those who refuse to admit that there is a literature which can be characterized as peculiarly American. The relative merits of this body of men-of-letters as compared with a similar body of English or French writers is a question that we can hardly be expected to discuss. A correspondent of the Critic asks why America should not have an institution similar to the French academy. He feels sure that America has forty living literary men who are worthy of being classed among the "immortals," and calls upon the Critic to constitute itself a ballot box for the election.

We think the idea is a good one and one that can not fail to be interesting in its results. Every Harvard student, however doubtful he may feel about the presence of forty men-of-letters in this country who are worthy of membership in an American academy, must feel that if such a body is to be chosen by popular vote he should have a voice in the selection. Therefore we call upon our readers to send in lists to us, which we will promptly forward to the Critic. The lists should contain the names of forty American authors who are thought worthy of a place in an American academy. The representatives of all branches of literature should be included-historians, novelists, poets, playwrights, scientific writers, and theologians. The voting is to continue through the month of March and we shall announce the result both of the Harvard votes and of the votes of the general reading public as soon as they ate counted. Each list should be written on one side of the sheet and should be accompanied by the name of the contributor which however will not be published.

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