A history of literary criticism and theory : from Plato to by M. A. R. Habib PDF

By M. A. R. Habib

ISBN-10: 0631232001

ISBN-13: 9780631232001

ISBN-10: 1405176083

ISBN-13: 9781405176088

This complete consultant to the historical past of literary feedback from antiquity to the current day presents an authoritative review of the key pursuits, figures, and texts of literary feedback, in addition to surveying their cultural, old, and philosophical contexts.

  • Supplies the cultural, old and philosophical historical past to the literary feedback of every era
  • Enables 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 used along any anthology of literary feedback or as a coherent stand-alone introduction

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Extra resources for A history of literary criticism and theory : from Plato to the present

Example text

In the first of these dialogues, Socrates discourses with a rhapsode (a singer and interpreter) named Ion. In Socrates’ understanding, there are basically two components of the rhapsodist’s art: learning the lines of a given poet must be backed by understanding of his thought (Ion, 530b–c). Most of Socrates’ argument concerning rhapsody addresses its interpretative, critical function rather than its musical and emotional power. Throughout the ostensible “dialogue,” Ion acts as the willing and naive tool of Socrates’ own perspective, unwittingly dragged through the implications of his own initial boast that he “of all men .

Plato’s point is that people who have known only these shadows will take them for realities: if they were forced to stand up and turn around, they would, at first dazzled by the light coming into the entrance of the cave, be unable to see the objects whose shadows they had previously seen. Indeed, they would insist that those shadows were more real. If they were now forced to ascend the road, which was “rough and steep,” they would be yet more blinded. After habituating themselves to the new light, however, they would gradually discern the shadows and reflections of the real objects and eventually would be able “to look upon the sun,” realizing that it “presides over all things in the visible region,” and was in a sense their underlying “cause” (Republic, 515c–516c).

Moreover, the reference operates along the lines of a stringent hierarchy. It can be seen shortly, then, that much of Plato’s censure of poetry rests on the fact that the objects of its apprehension are merely references, not things in themselves. 35 HOLC01b 35 06/27/2005, 10:50 AM part i: ancient greek criticism A second, and deeply related, metaphysical presupposition underlying Plato’s work generally is contained in his strategy of hypostatization, of reducing variety and multiplicity to a constant and definable essence.

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A history of literary criticism and theory : from Plato to the present by M. A. R. Habib

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