The Salon and English Letters: Chapters on the Interrelations of Literature and Society in the Age of Johnson

The Salon and English Letters: Chapters on the Interrelations of Literature and Society in the Age of Johnson

Read FREE!

The Salon and English Letters: Chapters on the Interrelations of Literature and Society in the Age of Johnson

The Salon and English Letters: Chapters on the Interrelations of Literature and Society in the Age of Johnson

Read FREE!

Excerpt

It is one of the venerable commonplaces of criticism that 'manners,' as distinct from romance and the idealistic interpretation of life, make the bulk of eighteenth century literature. Comment has often begun and more often ended with this platitude. But that large body of work vaguely termed 'literature of manners' can no more be dismissed with a truism than can the life that it depicts, but demands a critical method as varied as the matter which is treated. In so far as this prevailing interest of the century manifested itself in belles lettres , in novel, drama, satire, and descriptive verse, it offers no unusual problem to the literary historian; but side by side with such types we have forms no less characteristic of the age, but much less susceptible of adequate criticism: intimate biography, autobiography, memoirs, diaries, and familiar correspondence. These must of necessity be rather summarily passed over by the literary historian as not exclusively belletristic in appeal. And below these, in turn, there are certain expressions of the social spirit so anomalous that they can at most detain the critic but a moment, and must often be . . .

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.