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

By M. A. R. Habib

This accomplished advisor to the background of literary feedback from antiquity to the current day presents an authoritative review of the main pursuits, figures, and texts of literary feedback, in addition to surveying their cultural, old, and philosophical contexts.

offers the cultural, old and philosophical heritage to the literary feedback of every era
allows scholars to work out 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 advent

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

Sample text

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 . . softly overflows the characters and pursuits of men and from these issues forth grown greater to attack their business dealings, and from these relations it proceeds against the laws and the constitution with wanton license .

The “brood of desires” now “seize the citadel of the young man’s soul, finding it empty and unoccupied by studies and honorable pursuits” (VIII, 560b–561a). ” In other words, “there is no order or compulsion in his existence” (VIII, 561d). Most tellingly, Plato affirms that the democratic man “is a manifold man stuffed with most excellent differences, . . containing within himself the greatest number of patterns of constitutions and qualities” (VIII, 561e). We can see here, quite apart from Plato’s explicit association of poetry and democracy, that poetry is charged with the same fundamental traits as democracy.

Even if allegorical, such tales are impermissible since “the young are not able to distinguish what is and what is not allegory” (II, 377c–378e). Such representations falsify the actual nature of God who is “good in reality” and cannot, further, be the cause of evil things as these poets and Aeschylus suggest (II, 379b–e). Nor should poets be allowed to present the gods as assuming manifold forms since, in actuality, “each of them, being the fairest and best possible, abides forever simply in his own form” (II, 381c–d).

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