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.
"LaCapra offers an intriguing collection of essays to support both his enthusiasm for intellectual history . . . and his concern about the 'excesses' he finds in techniques and practices of the new social history. Admitting that the essays are polemical with a 'measure of exaggeration and a stylization of arguments, ' LaCapra seeks to restore the historian's appreciation for 'great' literature, the techniques of literary criticism, and the rhetoric that must be studied and analyzed to integrate this criticism into historical analysis. LaCapra calls for an engaged dialogue with the past on both an objective and a subjective plane. . . . [He] shows great familiarity with (and due respect for) recent innovations of social historians and theoreticians using the Annales approach. As a critique of their work as well as a defense of LaCapra's alternatives, this is a valuable study." Choice"
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.
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.
The founding text of modern hermeneutics. Written by the philosopher and theologian Friedrich Schleiermacher as a method for the interpretation and textual criticism of the New Testament, it develops ideas about language and the interpretation of texts that are in many respects still unsurpassed and are becoming current in the contemporary philosophy of language. Contrary to the traditional view of Schleiermacher as a theorist of empathetic interpretation, in this text he offers a view of understanding that acknowledges both the structurally and historically determined aspects of language and the need to take account of the activity of the individual subject in the constitution of meaning. This volume offers the text in a new translation by Andrew Bowie, together with related writings on secular hermeneutics and on language, and an introduction that places the texts in the context of Schleiermacher's philosophy as a whole.
These two volumes examine a significant but previously neglected moment in French cultural history: the emergence of French film theory and criticism before the essays of Andr� Bazin. Richard Abel has devised an organizational scheme of six nearly symmetrical periods that serve to "bite into" the discursive flow of early French writing on the cinema. Each of the periods is discussed in a separate and extensive historical introduction, with convincing explications of the various concepts current at the time. In each instance, Abel goes on to provide a complementary anthology of selected texts in translation. Amounting to a portable archive, these anthologies make available a rich selection of nearly one hundred and fifty important texts, most of them never before published in English.
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.