By M. A. R. Habib
This entire consultant to the background of literary feedback from antiquity to the current day presents an authoritative evaluation of the foremost pursuits, figures, and texts of literary feedback, in addition to surveying their cultural, ancient, and philosophical contexts.
offers the cultural, historic and philosophical history 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 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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Additional resources for A History of Literary Criticism: From Plato to the Present.
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 . . [has] the finest things to say on Homer” (Ion, 530c). Characteristically, Socrates’ strategy is not to contradict this statement directly but to unfold various contexts in whose light the connections between the constituent elements of Ion’s claim very precisely emerge as absurd.
In book X, Plato will allege that poetry establishes a “vicious constitution” in the soul, setting up emotions as rulers in place of reason (X, 605b–c, 606d). Hence in the earlier book Plato advocates an open and strict censorship of poetry, introducing certain charges hitherto unelaborated: (1) the falsity of its claims and representations regarding both gods and men; (2) its corruptive effect on character; and (3) its “disorderly” complexity and encouragement of individualism in the sphere of sensibility and feeling.
Plato sees poetry as pandering primarily to two types of constitution, the democratic and the tyrannical (VIII, 568a–d). Tyranny, moreover, is viewed by Plato as somehow not opposed to democracy but a logical extension of it. The precise significance of this association of poetry with democracy may be evinced from a broader political context. Plato suggests that there five basic forms of government. His own ideal constitution can be conceived as either royalty or aristocracy (IV, 445d). The other four forms represent a progressive degeneration away from this model: timocracy (where the pursuit of honor is paramount), oligarchy, democracy, and tyranny (such an evolution, it might be added, has no basis in Greek history).