Philosophy and Poetry

Philosophy and Poetry

Philosophy and Poetry

Philosophy and Poetry

Excerpt

The lecture to which this is the preface, is the work neither of a literary critic nor of a poet. It is, on the contrary, the work of a teacher of philosophy and bears no doubt the stigmata both of didactic intention and analytic technique. These are not features destined to arouse the sympathies of readers, for logical analysis is one of the least winsome of methods and the habit of instructing is actually repulsive.

It must also be confessed that the author of this lecture has not for some years been able to credit a set of standards which would permit him to say, "This work of art is greater than that" regardless of historical considerations. The time, the place, the author, the public, the artistry, the mood and the appetite of the observer never seem willing to step aside and let him see a picture, or read a poem in a kind of aesthetic vacuum. He admits having so great an interest in works of art that he has lost his taste, just as he admits having so great an interest in the psychology of human beings that he has lost his power of praise and blame. Thus, though he criticises poetry in his lecture, he does not expect that others will accept his criticism.

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