Read e-book online A History of Literary Criticism: From Plato to the Present. PDF

By M. A. R. Habib

ISBN-10: 0631232001

ISBN-13: 9780631232001

This accomplished consultant to the historical past of literary feedback from antiquity to the current day presents an authoritative evaluate of the most important activities, figures, and texts of literary feedback, in addition to surveying their cultural, old, and philosophical contexts.

offers the cultural, old and philosophical history to the literary feedback of every era
allows scholars to determine the advance of literary feedback in context
Organised chronologically, from classical literary feedback via to deconstruction
Considers quite a lot of thinkers and occasions from the French Revolution to Freud’s perspectives on civilization
can be utilized along any anthology of literary feedback or as a coherent stand-alone creation

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Extra info for A History of Literary Criticism: From Plato to the Present.

Example text

Also, like democracy, poetry nurtures all parts of the soul, refusing obeisance to the law of reason. By implication, then, poetry itself 33 HOLC01b 33 06/27/2005, 10:50 AM part i: ancient greek criticism is spurred by the “greed” for liberty which is the hallmark of a democratic society. Poetry is, in the sphere of ideology, the archetype of social disorder, individuality, emphasis rather than suppression of difference, and insubordination to reason. Like that of democracy, its nature is rooted in self-will and physical pleasure, in a refusal to acknowledge the hierarchy either within the soul or between the soul and body.

Hence “unity” is anything but a confluence or coexistence of equal parts. Rather, it is effectively a euphemism for a system of dominance, a rigid hierarchy whereby the “lower” (referable to the body, the appetites, or the majority of people in a state) is not merely subsumed under the “higher” but is divested by such subsumption of any independent claim to reality, meaning, or value. The lower – which spans the various particulars of the material world – can have meaning or reality only in proportion with its potential to exemplify a pregiven Form.

Just how seriously Plato takes this threat is signaled by the fact that it is music which primarily defines the function of guardianship: “It is here . . in music . . ” Alert to the potential “insensible corruption” of the state, what they must guard against above all are “innovations in music and gymnastics counter to the established order . . For a change to a new type of music is something to beware of as a hazard of all our fortunes. ” Such innovations, fears Plato (who is speaking through Adeimantus), encourage a “lawlessness” which “by gradual infiltration .

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A History of Literary Criticism: From Plato to the Present. by M. A. R. Habib


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