A History of Literary Criticism: From Plato to the Present. by M. A. R. Habib

By M. A. R. Habib

This entire consultant to the heritage of literary feedback from antiquity to the current day presents an authoritative review of the foremost hobbies, figures, and texts of literary feedback, in addition to surveying their cultural, historic, and philosophical contexts.

offers the cultural, ancient and philosophical history to the literary feedback of every era
allows scholars to work out the advance of literary feedback in context
Organised chronologically, from classical literary feedback via to deconstruction
Considers a variety of thinkers and occasions from the French Revolution to Freud’s perspectives on civilization
can be utilized along any anthology of literary feedback or as a coherent stand-alone creation

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Additional resources for A History of Literary Criticism: From Plato to the Present.

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Most scholars seem to agree that the early dialogues expound the central philosophical concerns and method of Socrates. These dialogues, which include the Apology, Charmides, Crito, Euthyphro, Gorgias, Ion, Laches, Protagoras, Lysis, and the first book of the Republic, are devoted to exploring and defining concepts such as virtue, temperance, courage, piety, and justice. Such early works exhibit a naturalist tendency to seek by rational analysis a definition of the essence of such concepts, challenging and often rejecting their meanings as conferred by conventional authority and tradition.

This “poetic” account, according to Socrates, confuses justice with its effects, its material results, the reputation it engenders, and its psychological motivation. The implicit charge is that poetry fails to abstract justice itself from its contingent surroundings and conditions, failing to apprehend its essential, universally applicable, unity. Poetry can perceive only an incoherent multiplicity, only particular appearances, and is intrinsically unable to see these as part of a larger totality.

Most tellingly, Plato affirms that the democratic man “is a manifold man stuffed with most excellent differences, . . containing within himself the greatest number of patterns of constitutions and qualities” (VIII, 561e). We can see here, quite apart from Plato’s explicit association of poetry and democracy, that poetry is charged with the same fundamental traits as democracy. Like democracy, poetry fosters genuine individuals, “manifold” men who are “stuffed” with differences and resist the reduction of their social function, or indeed their natural potential, into one exclusive dimension.

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