A Primer for Critics

A Primer for Critics

A Primer for Critics

A Primer for Critics

Excerpt

It is with many misgivings that I publish this analysis of the main ideas of aesthetic criticism. For it was made not in the interests of the general reader nor in those of the technical student of philosophy. It is thus neither a book of what the French call vulgarisation nor yet a contribution to scholarship as that word is usually employed. It is addressed to that group of people who enjoy the clarification of issues even when those issues do not touch upon their professional occupation, who would prefer clarity to edification even in those fields where edification is customary, who do not object to talking sense even when talking sense robs their conversation of its air of profundity. Books on the fine arts are notoriously obscure, almost hermetic. This is attributable not only to the sanctity which artists have acquired in modern times but to the vocabulary in which people discuss their works. It was with a view to dispelling that obscurity that this study was undertaken some years ago. Unfortunately the accomplishment of the task has led to an insistence upon distinctions which will prove trying to all but the most good-natured readers. Let the others remember that the author is a school teacher now in his middle years who, in spite of his being a member of the post-war generation, still retains a faith in education. That may make them patient.

It would be ungracious to send this book to press without a word of thanks to those who have helped me . . .

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