On Contemporary Literature

On Contemporary Literature

Read FREE!

On Contemporary Literature

On Contemporary Literature

Read FREE!

Excerpt

There was perhaps a time when the literary critic was expected to tell the public the truth about books and authors. Current philosophy bids us relinquish that vain expectation. The critic may indicate the position of an author, and he may, if he chooses, compare that position with his own. But as for truth, it is a personal and private matter not to be measured by any common standard. Candid novelists like Mr. H. G. Wells admit that they make their "truth" as they need it. Courageous philosophers like Professor Dewey boldly proclaim that they abandon their "goodness" when it stands in the way of those who manipulate events. The modern sage in danger of martyrdom swiftly cuts loose from the forlorn hope and reattaches his conscience to a "going concern." "For what is truth, after all," asks the relativist, "but some definite person's impression at some definite point of view? Name the person and indicate the point of view, and I shall know how to value his truth." "And what is goodness," asks the cheerful pragmatist, "but the thing that goes?"--in an autocracy, presumably, the will of the autocrat, in a democracy the vote of the majority. The notion that one person is better qualified than another to fix values in literature has recently been designated by one of literature's professors as the favorite and most . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.