In a recent poll of practicing art critics, 75 percent reported that rendering judgments on artworks was the least significant aspect of their job. This is a troubling statistic for philosopher and critic Noel Carroll, who argues that that the proper task of the critic is not simply to describe, or to uncover hidden meanings or agendas, but instead to determine what is of value in art. Carroll argues for a humanistic conception of criticism which focuses on what the artist has achieved by creating or performing the work. Whilst a good critic should not neglect to contextualize and offer interpretations of a work of art, he argues that too much recent criticism has ignored the fundamental role of the artist's intentions. Including examples from visual, performance and literary arts, and the work of contemporary critics, Carroll provides a charming, erudite and persuasive argument that evaluation of art is an indispensable part of the conversation of life.
This volume of The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism, first published in 2000, provides a thorough account of the critical tradition emerging with the modernist and avant-garde writers of the early twentieth century (Eliot, Pound, Stein, Yeats), continuing with the New Critics (Richards, Empson, Burke, Winters), and feeding into the influential work of Leavis, Trilling and others who helped form the modern institutions of literary culture. The core period covered is 1910–60, but explicit connections are made with nineteenth-century traditions and there is discussion of the implications of modernism and the New Criticism for our own time, with its inherited formalism, anti-sentimentalism, and astringency of tone. The book provides a companion to the other twentieth-century volumes of The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism, and offers a systematic and stimulating coverage of the development of the key literary-critical movements, with chapters on groups and genres as well as on individual critics.
Why do we read literature and how do we judge it? C. S. Lewis's classic An Experiment in Criticism springs from the conviction that literature exists for the joy of the reader and that books should be judged by the kind of reading they invite. He argues that 'good reading', like moral action or religious experience, involves surrender to the work in hand and a process of entering fully into the opinions of others: 'in reading great literature I become a thousand men and yet remain myself'. Crucial to his notion of judging literature is a commitment to laying aside expectations and values extraneous to the work, in order to approach it with an open mind. Amid the complex welter of current critical theories, C. S. Lewis's wisdom is valuably down-to-earth, refreshing and stimulating in the questions it raises about the experience of reading.
Ivor Armstrong Richards was one of the founders of modern literary criticism. He enthused a generation of writers and readers and was an influential supporter of the young T.S. Eliot. 'Principles of Literary Criticism' was the text that first established his reputation and pioneered the movement that became known as the 'New Criticism'. Through a powerful presentation of the need to read critically and creatively, with an alertness to the psychological and emotional effects of language, Richards presented a powerful new understanding both of literature and of the role of the reader.
Essential anthology of Poe's critical works reviews works by Dickens, Hawthorne, many others. Includes Theory of Poetry ("The Philosophy of Composition," "The Rationale of Verse," "The Poetic Principle"). Introduction.
Criticism of Religion offers a spirited critical commentary on the engagements with religion and theology by a range of leading Marxist philosophers and critics: Lucien Goldmann, Fredric Jameson, Rosa Luxemburg, Karl Kautsky, Julia Kristeva, Alain Badiou, Giorgio Agamben, Georg Lukács, and Raymond Williams. Apart from offering sustained critique, the aim is to gather key insights from these critics in order to develop a comprehensive theory of religion. The book follows on the heels of the acclaimed Criticism of Heaven, being the second volume of a five volume series called Criticism of Heaven and Earth.
Clement Greenberg is widely recognized as the most influential and articulate champion of modernism during its American ascendency after World War II, the period largely covered by these highly acclaimed volumes of The Collected Essays and Criticism. Volume 3: Affirmations and Refusals presents Greenberg's writings from the period between 1950 and 1956, while Volume 4: Modernism with a Vengeance gathers essays and criticism of the years 1957 to 1969. The 120 works range from little-known pieces originally appearing Vogue and Harper's Bazaar to such celebrated essays as "The Plight of Our Culture" (1953), "Modernist Painting" (1960), and "Post Painterly Abstraction" (1964). Preserved in their...