The Poet as Citizen, and Other Papers

The Poet as Citizen, and Other Papers

The Poet as Citizen, and Other Papers

The Poet as Citizen, and Other Papers

Excerpt

Of the following pages all but Tennyson in 1833 and Tribute to Ireland (these reprinted from 'The Times Literary Supplement' by permission) were given as lectures; hence their colloquial style. Paternity in Shakespeare was read before the British Academy as its annual Shakespeare Lecture in 1932. My Cambridge audience endured the rest.

The title 'First Aid in Criticising' advertises four of these as elementary: and so of purpose they were. Few can admire more than I the hard thinking put into their work by some (and notably here in Cambridge) of the new race of 'psychological' critics, as I may call them; or hope more of their earnest sincerity. But the vocabulary of their science is not yet determined; they invent new words and locutions as they press along, and in such haste that B may too easily mistake what A precisely means by this or that abstract term, even if A shall have fixed it to his own mental satisfaction. Further, this concentration on Æsthetic tends more and more of late to distract the attention from the essential in any given work to let curiosity play upon (a) the reader, his 'resilience' or 'awareness' or 'sense of immediacy'; which at once transfers concern from the thing itself to So-and-So's ego and--there being so many of us in the world and our occasions so various--dissipates study: or (b) upon the private life of the author; e.g. of Wordsworth, not upon what he expressly wrote for our advantage in The Prelude but upon what someone guesses he set out to conceal.

For these reasons it seemed opportune to remind a . . .

Author Advanced search

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.