By M. A. R. Habib
This entire consultant to the background of literary feedback from antiquity to the current day offers an authoritative evaluation of the foremost activities, figures, and texts of literary feedback, in addition to surveying their cultural, old, and philosophical contexts.
- Supplies the cultural, historic and philosophical heritage to the literary feedback of every era
- Enables scholars to determine the improvement 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 used along any anthology of literary feedback or as a coherent stand-alone introduction
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Additional info for A history of literary criticism and theory : from Plato to the present
For example, a beautiful object as portrayed by a poet or painter must have its beauty already and completely contained within a pregiven Form or definition of the beautiful. The uniqueness of the poet’s expression of a particular object in a particular setting must be reducible to an exemplary status. It is precisely the uniqueness or particularity which must be foregone or sacrificed in the interests of unifiability. Should the poet attempt to extend or alter the assessment of beauty, this becomes in Plato’s eyes a falsification of the nature or essence of this Form.
Plato’s terminology here is revealing: such a guardian would be “the most perfect and harmonious musician” (III, 410c–412a). 27 HOLC01b 27 06/27/2005, 10:50 AM part i: ancient greek criticism This terminology enables us better to understand just how Plato conceives of poetry as an ideologically destabilizing force. The harmony in the soul of the guardian is not innate; it is achieved only by long training and ideological inculcation. In describing such a guardian as a musician, in arrogating to this class of society the governance of music, in appropriating from poets themselves jurisdiction over their art, Plato is once again marking out music as the arena of ideological conflict between poetry and philosophy.
Such speech must be prohibited (III, 392b). In view of the qualities which need to be fostered in the 28 HOLC01b 28 06/27/2005, 10:50 AM plato (428 –ca. 347 bc ) guardians, this proscription must extend to certain specific features. Given that the guardians must be brave, tales of the underworld must be “supervised” and stripped of their “entire vocabulary” of terror and fear so as to avoid the risk of “softness” infecting the rulers. The portrayal of both lamentation and laughter in gods and men must be forbidden, since these are not conducive to sobriety and self-control.