Reason and Romanticism: Essays in Literary Criticism

By Herbert Read | Go to book overview

REASON AND ROMANTICISM

I
THE ATTRIBUTES OF CRITICISM

Une croyance est l'œuvre de notre esprit, mais nous ne sommes pas libres de la modifier à notre gré. Elle est notre création, mais nous ne le savons pas. Elle est humaine et nous la croyons Dieu. Elle est l'effet de notre puissance et elle est plus forte que nous.-- FUSTEL DE COULANGES, La Cité antique.


§ I

IN the practice of criticism a writer will habitually isolate certain aspects of his mind, giving a definition and coherence to ideas which are in reality linked or correlated with his complete individuality. If we adopt an image that has been more than once used of the mind, and compare it to a crystal of many facets, then we may say that the literary critic is accustomed to present only one or two facets to the light. The others recede into a shadowy perspective, or disappear altogether as to another hemisphere. Perhaps the complete crystal can only be revealed in a life developed fully in all its instincts and desires--a life, moreover, of active expression, demanding physique and will of

-1-

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Reason and Romanticism: Essays in Literary Criticism
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Note vii
  • I - The Attributes of Criticism 1
  • II - The Nature of Metaphysical Poetry 31
  • III - Pure Poetry 59
  • IV - The Future of Poetry 67
  • V - Psycho-Analysis and Criticism 83
  • VI - The Disciples of Diderot 107
  • VII - The Definition of Comedy 127
  • VIII - The Dialogue 139
  • IX - Charlotte and Emily BrontË 159
  • X - Tobias Smollett 187
  • XI - The Modern Novel 207
  • Index 225
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