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

By M. A. R. Habib

This accomplished advisor to the historical past of literary feedback from antiquity to the current day presents an authoritative assessment of the main routine, figures, and texts of literary feedback, in addition to surveying their cultural, old, and philosophical contexts.

  • Supplies the cultural, ancient and philosophical historical past to the literary feedback of every era
  • Enables scholars to determine 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 info for A history of literary criticism and theory : from Plato to the present

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It is, in other words, an encouragement toward variety and multiplicity, toward valuing the particular for its own sake, thereby distracting from contemplation of the universal. In projecting this model onto the state as a whole, Plato aligns the mass of people with the unruly multitude of desires in the soul, and the guardians considered collectively with the unity of reason. The individuality of the guardians is to be all but erased, not merely through ideological conditioning but through their compulsory existence as a community: they are to possess no private property or wealth; they must live together, nourished on a simple diet, and receiving a stipend from the other citizens (III, 416d–417b).

If, for instance, we say “this table (subject) is beautiful (predicate),” we are stating that the table possesses a quality of beauty which is a universal. To posit that beauty exists in its own right is to argue that the quality can exist independently of any object to which it is attached. Notwithstanding such difficulties, this theory underlies all areas of Plato’s thinking and is indispensable for understanding his views of art and poetry. The theory of Forms is an archetypal insistence that what we call reality cannot be confined to the here and now; that reality encompasses an organized and interconnected totality whose elements need to be understood as part of a comprehensive pattern.

Given the desired psychical constitution of the guardians as brave, sober, and selfcontrolled, we might sympathize or at least understand Plato’s proscriptions of such passages – until we come across his actual definitions of these qualities. ” In qualification, Plato explains that the courage thus defined is “the courage of a citizen” (IV, 430b). He likens the implantation of such courage in the guardians to a dye which “might not be washed out by those lyes that have such dread power to scour our faiths away” (IV, 430a).

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