Life in Poetry: Law in Taste: Two Series of Lectures Delivered in Oxford, 1895-1900

Life in Poetry: Law in Taste: Two Series of Lectures Delivered in Oxford, 1895-1900

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Life in Poetry: Law in Taste: Two Series of Lectures Delivered in Oxford, 1895-1900

Life in Poetry: Law in Taste: Two Series of Lectures Delivered in Oxford, 1895-1900

Read FREE!

Excerpt

There is a certain irony in the relation between art and criticism. The artist under the impulse of imitation within him follows the lead of Nature, and brings his imaginative idea into being guided only by instinct and judgment. At a later stage in the history of society, perhaps after creative energy has ceased, comes the critic, and traces the idea backward as far as he can through the artist's mind, always stopping short, however, of the real sources of life. Then deeming that he has penetrated the secret of art, the critic begins to lay down the law for the artist, and his law is usually wrong.

Wrong, indeed, he is almost bound to be, because he has followed the order not of Nature but of logic. Yet, so vast is the persuasive power of logic, that deductive criticism, a priori criticism, has had an appreciable influence on the course of literature, has, in fact, been the parent of all the Academies. And it is observable that this kind of criticism flourishes most in societies in which the spirit of . . .

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