The Business of Criticism

The Business of Criticism

The Business of Criticism

The Business of Criticism

Excerpt

The two sets of lectures which are printed together here were each given in response to special invitations. The first series, 'The Profession of a Critic', was delivered in the University of London in the spring of 1953, in response to an invitation to give three lectures, on a subject of my own choice, to students engaged in research in English Literature. I had just published my edition of John Donne Divine Poems, and had no 'work in progress' sufficiently advanced to be worthy of the occasion. I decided that I would take an opportunity to ask myself what, after twenty-five years of teaching and writing, I thought my aim was. The lectures have been expanded from lecture form and documented; but they are substantially unaltered.

The second series, 'The Limits of Literary Criticism', was given at King's College, Newcastle, in the spring of 1956, in response to an invitation from the University of Durham to deliver the Riddell Memorial Lectures for that year. They were published in the autumn of that year and are reprinted here without alteration. The terms of the Deed of Foundation for these lectures demand that the lectures should be concerned with the relation between religion and contemporary developments of thought, 'with particular emphasis on and reference to the bearing of such developments on the Ethics and Tenets of Christianity. The audience for these lectures was not, therefore, an audience whose primary interest was in English Literature. This accounts for their emphasis. It made me discuss rather fully the work of an influential New . . .

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