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 finished advisor to the historical past of literary feedback from antiquity to the current day offers an authoritative review of the main pursuits, figures, and texts of literary feedback, in addition to surveying their cultural, old, and philosophical contexts.

provides the cultural, old and philosophical heritage to the literary feedback of every era
permits scholars to work out the advance of literary feedback in context
Organised chronologically, from classical literary feedback via to deconstruction
Considers a variety 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 resources for A History of Literary Criticism: From Plato to the Present.

Sample text

It might be more accurate to say that, whatever the world is like in actuality, the only version of it to which the guardians should be exposed is that which sees it as orderly and coherent. We can see that a pattern begins to emerge here: in each of the areas of its indictment, whether it be the expression of justice, truth, or depiction of the gods, poetry offers a vision of ungovernable and irreducible multiplicity where the transcendence of any ideal is only sporadically and therefore incompletely achieved.

These definitions reveal two glaring features of the connection Plato makes between aesthetics and politics. Firstly, despite his claims that each of these concepts should be examined “in itself,” his definitions of them are politically motivated in that they arbitrarily import into these concepts a reference to the relation between classes in a hierarchically ordered state. In Plato’s scheme, a man can be brave, self-controlled, or sober only by acknowledging inwardly, as well as outwardly, the validity of the political status quo.

Given that the desired city will be wise, brave, sober, and just (IV, 427e), the guardians themselves must possess a number of qualities: keen senses, strength, bravery, high-spiritedness, and love of wisdom (376e). Plato regards both music and gymnastics as directed to the improvement of the soul: gymnastics alone would foster a brutal and harsh disposition, while an exclusively musical training would render the soul too soft. Hence the guardians’ nature must achieve a harmony between both dispositions, high-spiritedness on the one hand, and gentleness, together with a love of knowledge, on the other.

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

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