Academic Illusions in the Field of Letters and the Arts: A Survey, a Criticism, a New Approach, and a Comprehensive Plan for Reorganizing the Study of Letters and Arts

By Martin Schütze | Go to book overview

The former, e.g., the type of the sonnet, the rondeau, the ode; the dactylic or the iambic meter, and the different rules which are applicable to all poetry alike, are constants. They have no more essential relation to poeticartistic form than have orthography, the lexicographic meanings of words, grammar and linguistic constants generally, to poetic-artistic language. They are the general trade tools of verbal utterance which the competent creative or interpretative man of letters takes for granted--except when they interfere with the integral variables of meaning and form which are essential to a particular work. In such cases he rightly disregards them, not sparing even the most hoary rules of grammatical or rhetorical correctness.

The theory of integral variables, including the principle of cultural personality, involves a comprehensive theory of the relations of meaning and form, of structure and functions, of the reality and values essential to poetry and the arts to the reality and values of all the other fundamental types of experience and institutions. It is the eager hope of the author that he may complete this engaging task in another volume. In the present essay he will limit himself to a somewhat detailed application of his theory to our present ways of studying and teaching the humanities.


SUMMARY

We may sum up the conclusions reached in this chapter, in the following theses:

In letters and arts or the humanities, the ultimate measure of truth, reality, value, and form is integral unity of intelligent personality.

The principle of integral variability which constitutes

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