Literary Criticism Quotes

Top 100 famous quotes & sayings about Literary Criticism.

Famous Quotes About Literary Criticism

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Literary Criticism quotes by Ronald Carter

Had we but world enough, and time,
This coyness, lady, were no crime

(Andrew Marvell, To His Coy Mistress)

While theatre was the most public literary form of the period, poetry tended to be more personal, more private. Indeed, it was often published for only a limited circle of readers. This was true of Shakespeare's sonnets, as we have seen, and even more so for the Metaphysical poets, whose works were published mostly after their deaths. John Donne and George Herbert are the most significant of these poets.
The term 'Metaphysical' was used to describe their work by the eighteenth-century critic, Samuel Johnson. He intended the adjective to be pejorative. He attacked the poets' lack of feeling, their learning, and the surprising range of images and comparisons they used. Donne and Herbert were certainly very innovative poets, but the term 'Metaphysical' is only a label, which is now used to describe the modern impact of their writing. After three centuries of neglect and disdain, the Metaphysical poets have come to be very highly regarded and have been influential in recent British poetry and criticism. They used contemporary scientific discoveries and theories, the topical debates on humanism, faith, and eternity, colloquial speech-based rhythms, and innovative verse forms, to examine the relationship between the individual, his God, and the universe. Their 'conceits', metaphors and images, paradoxes and inte #Quote by Ronald Carter
Literary Criticism quotes by Geoffrey Harvey
#3. The 1980s witnessed radical advances in the theorisation of the study of literature in the universities. It had begun in France in the 1960s and it made a large impact on the higher education establishments of Britain and America. New life was breathed into psychoanalytic and Marxist theory, while structuralism gave way to post-structuralism. The stability of the text as a focus of study was challenged by deconstruction, a theory developed by the French philosopher, Jacques Derrida, which represented a complete fracture with the old liberal-formalist mode of reading. Coherence and unity were seen as illusory and readers were liberated to aim at their own meanings. Hardy's texts were at the centre of these theoretical movements, including one that came to prominence in the 1980s, feminism. #Quote by Geoffrey Harvey
Literary Criticism quotes by Christopher Hitchens
#4. Later on in Culture and Society, Williams scores a few points by reprinting some absolutist sentences that, taken on their own, represent exaggerations or generalisations. It was a strength and weakness of Orwell's polemical journalism that he would begin an essay with a bold and bald statement designed to arrest attention - a tactic that, as Williams rightly notices, he borrowed in part from GK Chesterton and George Bernard Shaw. No regular writer can re-read his own output of ephemera without encountering a few wince-making moments of this kind; Williams admits to 'isolating' them but has some fun all the same. The flat sentence 'a humanitarian is always a hypocrite' may contain a particle of truth - does in fact contain such a particle - but will not quite do on its own. Other passages of Orwell's, on the failure of the Western socialist movement, read more convincingly now than they did when Williams was mocking them, but are somewhat sweeping for all that. And there are the famous outbursts of ill-temper against cranks and vegetarians and homosexuals, which do indeed disfigure the prose and (even though we still admire Pope and Swift for the heroic unfairness of their invective) probably deserve rebuke. However, Williams betrays his hidden bias even when addressing these relatively easy targets. He upbraids Orwell for the repeated use of the diminutive word 'little' as an insult ('The typical Socialist ... a prim little man,' 'the typical little bowlerhatted sneak,' etc. #Quote by Christopher Hitchens
Literary Criticism quotes by Janet Malcolm
#5. Before the magisterial mess of Trevor Thomas's house, the orderly houses that most of us live in seem meagre and lifeless
as, in the same way, the narratives called biographies pale and shrink in the face of the disorderly actuality that is a life. The house also stirred my imagination as a metaphor for the problem of writing. Each person who sits down to write faces not a blank page but his own overfilled mind. The problem is to clear out most of what is in it ... The goal is to make a space where a few ideas and images and feelings may be so arranged that a reader will want to linger awhile among them, rather than to flee, as I wanted to flee from Thomas's house. #Quote by Janet Malcolm
Literary Criticism quotes by Harold Bloom
#6. School of Resentment is a term coined by critic Harold Bloom to describe related schools of literary criticism which have gained prominence in academia since the 1970s and which Bloom contends are preoccupied with political and social activism at the expense of aesthetic values.[1]
Broadly, Bloom terms "Schools of Resentment" approaches associated with Marxist critical theory, including African American studies, Marxist literary criticism, New Historicist criticism, feminist criticism, and poststructuralism - specifically as promoted by Jacques Lacan, Jacques Derrida and Michel Foucault. The School of Resentment is usually defined as all scholars who wish to enlarge the Western canon by adding to it more works by authors from minority groups without regard to aesthetic merit and/or influence over time, or those who argue that some works commonly thought canonical promote sexist, racist or otherwise biased values and should therefore be removed from the canon. Bloom contends that the School of Resentment threatens the nature of the canon itself and may lead to its eventual demise. Philosopher Richard Rorty[2] agreed that Bloom is at least partly accurate in describing the School of Resentment, writing that those identified by Bloom do in fact routinely use "subversive, oppositional discourse" to attack the canon specifically and Western culture in general. #Quote by Harold Bloom
Literary Criticism quotes by Christopher Hitchens
#7. To return to my point about the immense power that his enemies attribute to him, Orwell once wrote about the 'large, vague renown' that constituted the popular memory of Thomas Carlyle. His own reputation has long been of that kind, if not rather greater and more precise. But this is not the same as moving millions to despair and apathy (Deutscher), or spoiling the morale of a whole generation (Williams), or authoring a work of fiction that was in fact, in rather cunning disguise, the work of an entire 'culture' (Thompson). In some semi-articulated way, many major figures of the Left have thought of Orwell as an enemy, and an important and frightening one.

This was true to a somewhat lesser extent in his own lifetime. And, again, the dislike or distrust can be illustrated by a simple - or at any rate a simple-minded - confusion of categories. It was widely said, and believed, of Orwell that he had written the damning sentence: 'The working classes smell.' This statement of combined snobbery and heresy was supposedly to be found in The Road to Wigan Pier; in other words - since the book was a main selection of Victor Gollancz's Left Book Club - it could be checked and consulted. But it obviously never was checked or consulted, because in those pages Orwell only says that middle-class people, such as his own immediate forebears, were convinced that the working classes smelled. Victor Gollancz himself, though hopelessly at odds with Orwell in matters of politics, issu #Quote by Christopher Hitchens
Literary Criticism quotes by Jewel Spears Brooker
#8. The period of general neglect of Eliot's poetry was one in which a revolution was occurring in the theory of interpretation. Existentialist, phenomenologist, structuralist, psychoanalytic, feminist, and poststructuralist theories appeared and stimulated dazzling conversations about how texts mean. Bloom, Miller, Poulet, Gadamer, Foucault, Lacan, Kristeva, and Derrida are just a few of the critics who have contributed to these conversations. These studies have enormous value for critics interested in Eliot. In the first place, they have popularized insights about language which are central in Eliot poetry from "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" to Four Quartets. Anyone who doubts this should read Derrida "Structure, Sign, and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences" and follow up with a reading of part 5 of each of Four Quartets. In the second place, the studies in theory have created an audience that will be able to appreciate Eliot's dissertation and early philosophical work, an audience unthinkable a generation ago. #Quote by Jewel Spears Brooker
Literary Criticism quotes by Yukio Mishima
#9. …Shunsuké hated the preoccupation with modern psychology that judged his casual, offhand remarks or his daily actions as betraying his identity or ideas with better clarity than did his highly polished sentences. #Quote by Yukio Mishima
Literary Criticism quotes by Christopher Hitchens
#10. I have tried to write about politics in an allusive manner that draws upon other interests and to approach literature and criticism without ignoring the political dimension. Even if I have failed in this synthesis, I have found the attempt worth making. #Quote by Christopher Hitchens
Literary Criticism quotes by Harold Bloom
#11. Dark influences from the American past congregate among us still. If we are a democracy, what are we to make of the palpable elements of plutocracy, oligarchy, and mounting theocracy that rule our state? How do we address the self-inflicted catastrophes that devastated our natural environment? So large is our malaise that no single writer can encompass it. We have no Emerson or Whitman among us. An institutionalized counterculture condemns individuality as archaic and depreciates intellectual values, even in the universities. (The Anatomy of Influence) #Quote by Harold Bloom
Literary Criticism quotes by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
#12. In the whole world there is no deeper, no mightier literary work. This is, so far, the last and greatest expression of human thought... And if the world were to come to an end, and people were asked there, somewhere: "Did you understand your life on earth, and what conclusions have you drawn from it?" - man could silently hand over Don Quijote.

(The Diary of a Writer, cited in Gilman, 76) #Quote by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Literary Criticism quotes by Maureen Corrigan
#13. Social class. Class remains our national awkward topic, usually mumbled over in academic diversity workshops; indeed, most people don't know how to talk about class without automatically coupling it with race. That's because we Americans are loath to recognize that the sky's-the-limit potential we take as our birthright comes at a price far beyond what many Americans--of any race--can afford to pay. #Quote by Maureen Corrigan
Literary Criticism quotes by Frank Kermode
#14. The discords of our experience--delight in change, fear of change; the death of the individual and the survival of the species, the pains and pleasures of love, the knowledge of light and dark, the extinction and the perpetuity of empires--these were Spenser's subject; and they could not be treated without this third thing, a kind of time between time and eternity. He does not make it easy to extract philosophical notions from his text; but that he is concerned with the time-defeating aevum and uses it as a concord-fiction, I have no doubt. 'The seeds of knowledge,' as Descartes observed, 'are within us like fire in flint; philosophers educe them by reason, but the poets strike them forth by imagination, and they shine the more clearly.' We leave behind the philosophical statements, with their pursuit of logical consequences and distinctions, for a free, self-delighting inventiveness, a new imagining of the problems. Spenser used something like the Augustinian seminal reasons; he was probably not concerned about later arguments against them, finer discriminations. He does not tackle the questions, in the Garden cantos, of concreation, but carelessly--from a philosophical point of view--gives matter chronological priority. The point that creation necessitates mutability he may have found in Augustine, or merely noticed for himself, without wondering how it could be both that and a consequence of the Fall; it was an essential feature of one's experience of the world, and so wer #Quote by Frank Kermode
Literary Criticism quotes by Henry James
#15. Mr. Morris's poem is ushered into the world with a very florid birthday speech from the pen of the author of the too famous Poems and Ballads, - a circumstance, we apprehend, in no small degree prejudicial to its success. But we hasten to assure all persons whom the knowledge of Mr. Swinburne's enthusiasm may have led to mistrust the character of the work, that it has to our perception nothing in common with this gentleman's own productions, and that his article proves very little more than that his sympathies are wiser than his performance. If Mr. Morris's poem may be said to remind us of the manner of any other writer, it is simply of that of Chaucer; and to resemble Chaucer is a great safeguard against resembling Swinburne. #Quote by Henry James
Literary Criticism quotes by Ian Gregor
#16. Recognising such dimensions implicit to the reading experience can distract from the immediacy of our response; it can substitute literary archaeology for novelistic reality. That is one pole. But the other extreme is equally limiting. By failing to realise the issues involved in communicating with fictional modes that are different
to our own, in effect we do not read in the fullest sense. Between intellectual pedantry and cultivated ignorance I would pose a third approach to reading - that of the informed imagination. After occupying this position true evaluation can begin. #Quote by Ian Gregor
Literary Criticism quotes by Dumas Malone
#17. I would recommend it to you to reflect, and remark on, and digest what you read; to enter into the spirit and design of your author; to observe every step he takes to accomplish his end; and to dwell on any remarkable beauties of diction, justness or sublimity of sentiment, or masterly strokes of true wit which may occur in the course of your reading. #Quote by Dumas Malone
Literary Criticism quotes by Sherwood Anderson
#18. Those of my critics who declare I have no feeling for form will be filled with delight over the meandering formlessness of these notes. #Quote by Sherwood Anderson
Literary Criticism quotes by Ronald Carter
#19. Beowulf stands out as a poem which makes extensive use of this kind of figurative language. There are over one thousand compounds in the poem, totalling one-third of all the words in the text. Many of these compounds are kennings. The word 'to ken' is still used in many Scottish and Northern English dialects, meaning 'to know'. Such language is a way of knowing and of expressing meanings in striking and memorable ways; it has continuities with the kinds of poetic compounding found in nearly all later poetry but especially in the Modernist texts of Gerard Manley Hopkins and James Joyce. #Quote by Ronald Carter
Literary Criticism quotes by Geoffrey Harvey
#20. In his Preface to the 1892 edition of Tess of the d'Urbervilles Hardy warns the reader that 'a novel is an impression, not an argument'. However, the text offers several explanations of Tess's tragedy; social, psychological, hereditary, and fatalistic, all of which proceed from the assumption that Hardy's text is in some sense determined, and that the character of Tess is somehow knowable. Indeed, the tragedy of Tess is in this sense overdetermined. But it should be remembered that the character of Tess is constructed in the text from many points of observation, including that of the ambivalent narrator; constructed that is from impressions. #Quote by Geoffrey Harvey
Literary Criticism quotes by Jane Goldman
#21. The 1980s: feminism, postmodernism, sexual/textual politics

While it might be tempting to generalise that Woolf 's writing was being discussed almost in two separate camps during the 1980s, formalists on the one hand, and feminists on the other, this would be to simplify things too far.
Many critics were attempting to make sense of and connect her feminist politics with her modernist practices. Such investigations coincided with the explosion of theory in literary studies, and once again the work of Virginia
Woolf was central to the framing of many of the major theoretical developments in literary critical engagements with feminism, postmodernism, deconstruction and psychoanalysis. In the context of the rise of 'high theory'
and the questioning of old-school Marxist, materialist, humanist and historicist literary theories, Woolf studies wrestled with the locating of her radical feminist politics in the avant-garde qualities of the text itself, and its endlessly transgressive play of signifiers, with the Woolfian inscription of radically deconstructed models of the self and of sexuality and jouissance. #Quote by Jane Goldman
Literary Criticism quotes by Virginia Woolf
#22. And if we can imagine the art of fiction come alive and standing in our midst, she would undoubtedly bid us break her and bully her, as well as honour and love her, for so her youth is renewed and her sovereignty assured. #Quote by Virginia Woolf
Literary Criticism quotes by Steven Pinker
#23. A linguistically informed literary criticism is the key to resolving conflict and frustration, from psychotherapy and law to philosophy and politics. Call this the messianic theory. It is based on the idea that TO THINK IS TO GRASP A METAPHOR-the metaphor metaphor. #Quote by Steven Pinker
Literary Criticism quotes by Geoffrey Harvey
#24. The setting, concerns, and mood of The Woodlanders are consonant with the Wessex of the earlier novels. There is an element of nostalgia in Hardy's treatment of the woodlands of Little Hintock. Although such rural economies were very much alive in Hardy's day, he strikes an elegiac note in his evocation of a world that will inevitably pass away. However, the woodlands do not form the backdrop to an idyllic pastoral of humanity living in tranquil harmony with nature. The trees, which are such a dominant presence in the novel, compete with each other for nourishment and light, are vulnerable to disease and damage, and are frightening in their moaning under the lash of the storm. The woodlands represent the Darwinian struggle for existence that Hardy sees as extending not only to the inhabitants of this little world but also beyond ... #Quote by Geoffrey Harvey
Literary Criticism quotes by Frank Kermode
#25. For Aristotle the literary plot was analogous to the plot of the world in that both were eductions from the potency of matter. Sartre denies this for the world, and specifically denies, in the passage just referred to, that without potentiality there is no change. He reverts to the Megaric view of the matter, which Aristotle took such trouble to correct. But this is not our affair. The fact is that even if you believe in a Megaric world there is no such thing as a Megaric novel; not even Paterson. Change without potentiality in a novel is impossible, quite simply; though it is the hopeless aim of the cut-out writers, and the card-shuffle writers. A novel which really implemented this policy would properly be a chaos. No novel can avoid being in some sense what Aristotle calls 'a completed action.' This being so, all novels imitate a world of potentiality, even if this implies a philosophy disclaimed by their authors. They have a fixation on the eidetic imagery of beginning, middle, and end, potency and cause.

Novels, then, have beginnings, ends, and potentiality, even if the world has not. In the same way it can be said that whereas there may be, in the world, no such thing as character, since a man is what he does and chooses freely what he does--and in so far as he claims that his acts are determined by psychological or other predisposition he is a fraud, lâche, or salaud--in the novel there can be no just representation of this, for if the man were entirely free #Quote by Frank Kermode
Literary Criticism quotes by Margaret C. Sullivan
#26. How to explain the sheer tingling joy one experiences when two interesting, complex, and occasionally aggravating characters have at last settled their misunderstandings and will live happily ever after, no matter what travails life might throw in their path, because Jane Austen said they will, and that's that? How to describe the exhilaration of being caught up in an unknown but glamorous world of balls and gowns and rides in open carriages with handsome young men? How to explain that the best part of Jane Austen's world is that sudden recognition that the characters are just like you? #Quote by Margaret C. Sullivan
Literary Criticism quotes by Frank Kermode
#27. It might be useful here to say a word about Beckett, as a link between the two stages, and as illustrating the shift towards schism. He wrote for transition, an apocalyptic magazine (renovation out of decadence, a Joachite indication in the title), and has often shown a flair for apocalyptic variations, the funniest of which is the frustrated millennialism of the Lynch family in Watt, and the most telling, perhaps, the conclusion of Comment c'est. He is the perverse theologian of a world which has suffered a Fall, experienced an Incarnation which changes all relations of past, present, and future, but which will not be redeemed. Time is an endless transition from one condition of misery to another, 'a passion without form or stations,' to be ended by no parousia. It is a world crying out for forms and stations, and for apocalypse; all it gets is vain temporality, mad, multiform antithetical influx.

It would be wrong to think that the negatives of Beckett are a denial of the paradigm in favour of reality in all its poverty. In Proust, whom Beckett so admires, the order, the forms of the passion, all derive from the last book; they are positive. In Beckett, the signs of order and form are more or less continuously presented, but always with a sign of cancellation; they are resources not to be believed in, cheques which will bounce. Order, the Christian paradigm, he suggests, is no longer usable except as an irony; that is why the Rooneys collapse in laughter when the #Quote by Frank Kermode
Literary Criticism quotes by Jane Goldman
#28. Woolf 's control over the production of her own work is a significant factor in her genesis as a writer. The Hogarth Press became an important and influential publishing house in the decades that followed. It was responsible, for example, for the first major works of Freud in English, beginning in 1922, and published significant works by key modernist writers such as T. S. Eliot and Gertrude Stein. Woolf herself set the type for the Hogarth edition of
Eliot's The Waste Land (1923), which he read to them in June 1922, and which she found to have 'great beauty & force of phrase: symmetry; & tensity. What connects it together, I'm not so sure' (D2 178). #Quote by Jane Goldman
Literary Criticism quotes by Stephen King
#29. In many ways, Eulah-Beulah prepared me for literary criticism. After having a two-hundred-pound babysitter fart on your face and yell Pow!, The Village Voice holds few terrors. #Quote by Stephen King
Literary Criticism quotes by Oscar Wilde
#30. The mimicry of passion is the most intolerable of all poses. #Quote by Oscar Wilde
Literary Criticism quotes by Geoffrey Harvey
#31. A turning point in the criticism of Hardy's poetry came in his centenary year, in which W. H. Auden (1940) recorded his indebtedness to Hardy for his own education in matters of poetic technique.

In a radio interview, Larkin defended his liking for Hardy's temperament and way of seeing life: 'He's not a transcendental writer, he's not a Yeats, he's not an Eliot; his subjects are men, the life of men, time and the passing of time, love and the fading of love'.
Larkin freely acknowledges the influence on him of Hardy's verse, which results in his rejection of Yeats as a poetic model.


It is a similar kind of response that gave rise to an important study by Donald Davie (1973). Davie feels that 'in British poetry of the last fifty years (as not in America) the most far-reaching influence, for good or ill, has been not Yeats, still less Eliot or Pound, not Lawrence, but Hardy', and that this influence has been deleterious. #Quote by Geoffrey Harvey
Literary Criticism quotes by Brenda Ueland
#32. Yes, I hate orthodox criticism. I don't mean great criticism, like that of Matthew Arnold and others, but the usual small niggling, fussy-mussy criticism, which thinks it can improve people by telling them where they are wrong, and results only in putting them in straitjackets of hesitancy and self-consciousness, and weazening all vision and bravery.
... I hate it because of all the potentially shining, gentle, gifted people of all ages, that it snuffs out every year. It is a murderer of talent. And because the most modest and sensitive people are the most talented, having the most imagination and sympathy, these are the very first ones to get killed off. It is the brutal egotists that survive. #Quote by Brenda Ueland
Literary Criticism quotes by Jose Alaniz
#33. [In "The Night Gwen Stacy Died"], death took on an existential quality -- the beloved, innocent but weak Gwen is merely a victim, the casualty of a war between superpowered rivals -- and as such the episode proved a turning point int eh genre's depiction of mortality. #Quote by Jose Alaniz
Literary Criticism quotes by Jose Alaniz
#34. Disability fluctuates, growing visible, then invisible, then visible again, becoming both ever-present and haunting. Such a problematizing of physical life added a new wrinkle to the genre's double/secret identity trope: the characters now interact with their shifting bodies as bodies with all the complications involved. #Quote by Jose Alaniz
Literary Criticism quotes by Frank Kermode
#35. There may even be a real relation between certain kinds of effectiveness in literature and totalitarianism in politics. But although the fictions are alike ways of finding out about the human world, anti-Semitism is a fiction of escape which tells you nothing about death but projects it onto others; whereas King Lear is a fiction that inescapably involves an encounter with oneself, and the image of one's end. This is one difference; and there is another. We have to distinguish between myths and fictions. Fictions can degenerate into myths whenever they are not consciously held to be fictive. In this sense anti-Semitism is a degenerate fiction, a myth; and Lear is a fiction. Myth operates within the diagrams of ritual, which presupposes total and adequate explanations of things as they are and were; it is a sequence of radically unchangeable gestures. Fictions are for finding things out, and they change as the needs of sense-making change. Myths are the agents of stability, fictions the agents of change. Myths call for absolute, fictions for conditional assent. Myths make sense in terms of a lost order of time, illud tempus as Eliade calls it; fictions, if successful, make sense of the here and now, hoc tempus. It may be that treating literary fictions as myths sounds good just now, but as Marianne Moore so rightly said of poems, 'these things are important not because a / high-sounding interpretation can be put upon them but because they are / useful. #Quote by Frank Kermode
Literary Criticism quotes by Geoffrey Harvey
#36. Hardy's astonishing technical versatility has won the admiration of major poets from Ezra Pound and Cecil Day Lewis to Philip Larkin. Among other genres he employs the lyric, narrative, ballads, and the sonnet. He also moves easily between the amplitude of dramatic monologue and the compression of imagism. He experiments continually with an ingenious variety of stanza forms and rhyme schemes, rejecting the fluidity of contemporary poetry for his own idiosyncratic style, based on a real understanding of the variety of speech rhythms and registers. Each individual poem is designed to express in its language and form, and with utter honesty, Hardy's impressions of life. #Quote by Geoffrey Harvey
Literary Criticism quotes by Naomi Wolf
#37. Poststructuralism ... is a form of literary criticism that uses elaborate wordplay to prove its central premise, that all language is internally contradictory and has no fixed meaning. #Quote by Naomi Wolf
Literary Criticism quotes by Janet Spens
#38. The most interesting inconsistency in thought is connected with the Bower of Bliss. This passage
the twelfth canto of the second Book
is probably the best known in the whole poem and the most frequently cited as an example of Spenser's sensuous beauty. Professor de Selincourt writes: 'Those who blame Spenser for lavishing the resources of his art upon this canto, and filling it with magic beauty, have never been at the heart of the experience it shadows. It is from the ravishing loveliness of all that surrounds and leads to the Bower of Acrasia that she herself draws her almost irresistible power. When Guyon has bound Acrasia and destroyed the Bower of Bliss he has achieved his last and hardest victory. #Quote by Janet Spens
Literary Criticism quotes by Jerome K. Jerome
#39. What readers ask nowadays in a book is that it should improve, instruct and elevate. This book wouldn't elevate a cow. I cannot conscientiously recommend it for any useful purposes whatever. All I can suggest is that when you get tired of reading "the best hundred books," you may take this for half an hour. It will be a change. #Quote by Jerome K. Jerome
Literary Criticism quotes by Kenneth McLeish
#40. The text contains no literary criticism. I wanted to describe books, not to be clever at their expense. #Quote by Kenneth McLeish
Literary Criticism quotes by Ronald Carter
#41. Later, Hobbes will stress the notion central to Augustan thinking, the binary of passion and reason:
The Passions that encline men to Peace, are Fear of Death; Desire of such things as are necessary to commodious living; and a Hope by their Industry to obtain them. And Reason suggesteth convenient Articles of
Peace, upon which men may be drawn to agreement. These Articles, are they, which otherwise are called the Laws of Nature. #Quote by Ronald Carter
Literary Criticism quotes by Ronald Carter
#42. The novels of Daniel Defoe are fundamental to eighteenth-century ways of thinking. They range from the quasi-factual A Journal of the Plague Year, an almost journalistic (but fictional) account of London between 1664 and 1665 (when the author was a very young child), to Robinson Crusoe, one of the most enduring fables of Western culture. If the philosophy of the time asserted that life was, in Hobbes's words, 'solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short', novels showed ways of coping with 'brutish' reality (the plague; solitude on a desert island) and making the best of it. There was no questioning of authority as there had been throughout the Renaissance.
Instead, there was an interest in establishing and accepting authority, and in the ways of 'society' as a newly ordered whole.

Thus, Defoe's best-known heroine, Moll Flanders, can titillate her readers with her first-person narration of a dissolute life as thief, prostitute, and incestuous wife, all the time telling her story from the vantage point of one who has been accepted back into society and improved her behaviour. #Quote by Ronald Carter
Literary Criticism quotes by Rebecca Mead
#43. Some very eminent critics writing in the decades immediately after the novel's publication felt that Eliot failed to maintain sufficient critical distance in her depiction of Ladislaw
that she fell in love with her own creation in a way that shows a lack of artistic control and is even unseemly, like a hoary movie director whose lens lingers too long on the young flesh of a favored actress. Lord David Cecil calls Ladislaw 'a schoolgirl's dream, and a vulgar one at that,' while Leslie Stephen complained 'Ladislaw is almost obtrusively a favorite with his creator,' and depreciated him as 'an amiable Bohemian. #Quote by Rebecca Mead
Literary Criticism quotes by J.C. Hallman
#44. In the analysis of books, as in the analysis of complex world events, we hover between two kinds of error: ascribing too much meaning where there is little, if any, to be found, and ignoring meaning that stares us right in the face. #Quote by J.C. Hallman
Literary Criticism quotes by Ronald Carter
#45. Chaucer's world in The Canterbury Tales brings together, for the first time, a diversity of characters, social levels, attitudes, and ways of life. The tales themselves make use of a similarly wide range of forms and styles, which show the diversity of cultural influences which the author had at his disposal. Literature, with Chaucer, has taken on a new role: as well as affirming a developing language, it is a mirror of its times - but a mirror which teases as it reveals, which questions while it narrates, and which opens up a range of issues and questions, instead of providing simple, easy answers. #Quote by Ronald Carter
Literary Criticism quotes by David Mitchell
#46. What surer sign is there that the creative aquifers are dry than a writer creating a writer-character? #Quote by David Mitchell
Literary Criticism quotes by Martin Amis
#47. But now it seems clear that literary criticism was inherently doomed. Explicitly or otherwise it had based itself on a structure of echelons and hierarchies; it was about the talent elite. And the structure atomized as soon as the forces of democratization gave their next concerted push.

Those forces – incomparably the most potent in our culture – have gone on pushing. And they are now running up against a natural barrier. Some citadels, true, have proved stormable. You can become rich without having any talent (via the scratchcard and the rollover jackpot). You can become famous without having any talent (by abasing yourself on some TV nerdathon; a clear improvement on the older method of simply killing a celebrity and inheriting the aura). But you cannot become talented without having any talent. Therefore, talent must go.

Literary criticism, now almost entirely confined to the universities, thus moves against talent by moving against the canon. Academic preferment will not come from a respectful study of Wordsworth's poetics; it will come from a challenging study of his politics – his attitude toward the poor, say, or his unconscious 'valorization' of Napoleon; and it will come still faster if you ignore Wordsworth and elevate some (justly) neglected contemporary, by which process the canon may be quietly and steadily sapped. A brief consultation of the Internet will show that meanwhile, everyone has become a literary critic – or at least, a book-re #Quote by Martin Amis
Literary Criticism quotes by Louis Aragon
#48. I demand that my books be judged with utmost severity, by knowledgeable people who know the rules of grammar and of logic, and who will seek beneath the footsteps of my commas the lice of my thought in the head of my style. #Quote by Louis Aragon
Literary Criticism quotes by Christopher Hitchens
#49. I want to give just a slight indication of the influence the book has had. I knew that George Orwell, in his second novel, A Clergyman's Daughter , published in 1935, had borrowed from Joyce for his nighttime scene in Trafalgar Square, where Deafie and Charlie and Snouter and Mr. Tallboys and The Kike and Mrs. Bendigo and the rest of the bums and losers keep up a barrage of song snatches, fractured prayers, curses, and crackpot reminiscences. But only on my most recent reading of Ulysses did I discover, in the middle of the long and intricate mock-Shakespeare scene at the National Library, the line 'Go to! You spent most of it in Georgina Johnson's bed, clergyman's daughter.' So now I think Orwell quarried his title from there, too. #Quote by Christopher Hitchens
Literary Criticism quotes by Frederick C. Crews
#50. From the very moment of Kanga's appearance the pastoral playground is overshadowed by doubt and guilt, for the all-too-loving anima-Woman has pitched her temple here! #Quote by Frederick C. Crews
Literary Criticism quotes by Kurt Vonnegut
#51. As for literary criticism in general: I have long felt that any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel or a play or a poem is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae or a banana split. #Quote by Kurt Vonnegut
Literary Criticism quotes by Jane Goldman
#52. In 1925 Woolf began an affair with Sackville-West, who was married to Harold Nicolson, the diplomat and writer, and the development of their close relationship, which does not seem to have undermined either woman's marriage, coincided with Woolf 's most productive years as a writer. #Quote by Jane Goldman
Literary Criticism quotes by Christopher Hitchens
#53. A few months ago, I was sitting morosely at my desk, wondering why I had ever agreed to review Barbara Bush: A Memoir for an English newspaper. The experience was proving to be a degradation of the act of reading. Imagine, if you will, being strapped into a chair and made to listen to Liberace playing the piano for hour upon hour. Or imagine being fed chocolate dinner mints, like a hapless goose, until you are on the verge of explosion. Such was my lot. #Quote by Christopher Hitchens
Literary Criticism quotes by Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel
#54. Whoever could properly characterize Goethe's Meister would have actually expressed what is the timely trend in literature. He would be able, as far as literary criticism is concerned, to rest. #Quote by Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel
Literary Criticism quotes by Frederick C. Crews
#55. But with whom, in the Pooh world, could a sexually and politically aroused Kanga speak? #Quote by Frederick C. Crews
Literary Criticism quotes by Ronald Carter
#56. Writers in what we now call the Middle English period (late twelfth century to 1485) did not necessarily always write in English. The language was in a state of flux: attempts were made to assert the French language, to keep down the local language, English, and to make the language of the church (Latin) the language of writing. #Quote by Ronald Carter
Literary Criticism quotes by Jane Goldman
#57. In 1922 Woolf met the writer Vita Sackville-West, who was to join Vanessa Bell and Leonard Woolf as the most significant people in her life. #Quote by Jane Goldman
Literary Criticism quotes by Tacita Dean
#58. The heart of [J.G.] Ballard's vision [is] the object at odds with its function and abandoned by its time. #Quote by Tacita Dean
Literary Criticism quotes by Ralph Waldo Emerson
#59. There is then creative reading as well as creative writing. When the mind is braced by labor and invention, the page of whatever book we read becomes luminous with manifold allusion. -Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer and philosopher (1803-1882) #Quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson
Literary Criticism quotes by Ronald Carter
#60. The range and variety of Chaucer's English did much to establish English as a national language. Chaucer also contributed much to the formation of a standard English based on the dialect of the East Midlands region which was basically the dialect of London which Chaucer himself spoke. Indeed, by the end of the fourteenth century the educated language of London, bolstered by the economic power of London itself, was beginning to become the standard form of written language throughout the country, although the process was not to be completed for several centuries. The cultural, commercial, administrative and intellectual importance of the East Midlands (one of the two main universities, Cambridge, was also in this region), the agricultural richness of the region and the presence of major cities, Norwich and London, contributed much to the increasing standardisation of the dialect. #Quote by Ronald Carter
Literary Criticism quotes by Sigmund Freud
#61. His understanding of transference in the therapeutic relationship and the presumed value of dreams as sources of insight into unconscious desires. He is commonly referred to as "the father of psychoanalysis" and his work has been highly influential- - popularizing such notions as the unconscious, defense mechanisms, Freudian slips and dream symbolism - while also making a long-lasting impact on fields as diverse as literature (Kafka), film, Marxist and feminist theories, literary criticism, philosophy, and psychology. However, his theories remain controversial and widely disputed. Source: Wikipedia #Quote by Sigmund Freud
Literary Criticism quotes by Ronald Carter
#62. It is the voice of everyday people, rather than of a self-conscious 'artist', that we hear in Caedmon's Hymn, and in such texts as Deor's Lament (also known simply as Deor) or The Seafarer. These reflect ordinary human experience and are told in the first person. They make the reader or hearer relate directly with the narratorial 'I', and frequently contain intertextual references to religious texts. Although they express a faith in God, only Caedmon's Hymn is an overtly religious piece. Already we can notice one or two conventions creeping in; ways of writing which will be found again and again in later works. One of these is the use of the first-person speaker who narrates his experience, inviting the reader or listener to identify with him and sympathise with his feelings. #Quote by Ronald Carter
Literary Criticism quotes by Frederick C. Crews
#63. No less instructive is the story, 'Pooh Goes Visiting,' in which Rabbit, having deceitfully offered Pooh admittance to sample his overstocked larder, artfully traps his victim in the doorway and exploits him as an unsalaried towel rack for an entire week. #Quote by Frederick C. Crews
Literary Criticism quotes by Eva Hunter
#64. Informative and understandable, even for non-techies like me... #Quote by Eva Hunter
Literary Criticism quotes by Steven Brust
#65. A novel, in which all is created by the author's whim, must strike a more profound level of truth, or it is worthless."
"And yet, I have heard you say that any novel that relieves your ennui for an hour has proved its usefulness."
"You have a good memory. It must have been ten thousands of years ago that I uttered those words."
"And if it was?"
"In another ten thousand, perhaps I will agree with them again."
"In my opinion, the proper way to judge a novel is this: Does it give one an accurate reflection of the moods and characteristics of a particular group of people in a particular place at a particular time? If so, it has value. Otherwise, it has none."
"You do not find this rather narrow?"
"Madam - "
"I was quoting you. #Quote by Steven Brust
Literary Criticism quotes by Frank Kermode
#66. Literary Fiction and Reality

Towards the beginning of his novel The Man Without Qualities, Robert Musil announces that 'no serious attempt will be made to... enter into competition with reality.' And yet it is an element in the situation he cannot ignore. How good it would be, he suggests, if one could find in life ' the simplicity inherent in narrative order. 'This is the simple order that consists in being able to say: "When that had happened, then this happened." What puts our mind at rest is the simple sequence, the overwhelming variegation of life now represented in, as a mathematician would say, a unidimensional order.' We like the illusions of this sequence, its acceptable appearance of causality: 'it has the look of necessity.' But the look is illusory; Musil's hero Ulrich has 'lost this elementary narrative element' and so has Musil. The Man Without Qualities is multidimensional, fragmentary, without the possibility of a narrative end. Why could he not have his narrative order? Because 'everything has now become nonnarrative.' The illusion would be too gross and absurd.

Musil belonged to the great epoch of experiment; after Joyce and Proust, though perhaps a long way after, he is the novelist of early modernism. And as you see he was prepared to spend most of his life struggling with the problems created by the divergence of comfortable story and the non-narrative contingencies of modern reality. Even in the earlier stories he concerned himself #Quote by Frank Kermode
Literary Criticism quotes by Frank Kermode
#67. The novel, then, provides a reduction of the world different from that of the treatise. It has to lie. Words, thoughts, patterns of word and thought, are enemies of truth, if you identify that with what may be had by phenomenological reductions. Sartre was always, as he explains in his autobiography, aware of their being at variance with reality. One remembers the comic account of this antipathy in Iris Murdoch Under the Net, one of the few truly philosophical novels in English; truth would be found only in a silent poem or a silent novel. As soon as it speaks, begins to be a novel, it imposes causality and concordance, development, character, a past which matters and a future within certain broad limits determined by the project of the author rather than that of the characters. They have their choices, but the novel has its end. *
* There is a remarkable passage in Ortega y Gasset London essay ' History as a System' (in Philosophy and History, ed. Klibansky and Paton, 1936) which very clearly states the issues more notoriously formulated by Sartre. Ortega is discussing man's duty to make himself. 'I invent projects of being and doing in the light of circumstance. This alone I come upon, this alone is given me: circumstance. It is too often forgotten that man is impossible without imagination, without the capacity to invent for himself a conception of life, to "ideate" the character he is going to be. Whether he be original or a plagiarist, man #Quote by Frank Kermode
Literary Criticism quotes by Kathleen Tessaro
#68. My husband claims I have an unhealthy obsession with secondhand bookshops. That I spend too much time daydreaming altogether. But either you intrinsically understand the attraction of searching for hidden treasure amongst rows of dusty shelves or you don't; it's a passion, bordering on a spiritual illness, which cannot be explained to the unaffected.

True, they're not for the faint of heart. Wild and chaotic, capricious and frustrating, there are certain physical laws that govern secondhand bookstores and like gravity, they're pretty much nonnegotiable. Paperback editions of D. H. Lawrence must constitute no less than 55 percent of all stock in any shop. Natural law also dictates that the remaining 45 percent consist of at least two shelves worth of literary criticism on Paradise Lost and there should always be an entire room in the basement devoted to military history which, by sheer coincidence, will be haunted by a man in his seventies. (Personal studies prove it's the same man. No matter how quickly you move from one bookshop to the next, he's always there. He's forgotten something about the war that no book can contain, but like a figure in Greek mythology, is doomed to spend his days wandering from basement room to basement room, searching through memoirs of the best/worst days of his life.)

Modern booksellers can't really compare with these eccentric charms. They keep regular hours, have central heating, and are staffed by freshly scrubbed young p #Quote by Kathleen Tessaro
Literary Criticism quotes by Ronald Carter
#69. All Renaissance drama, especially the works of Marlowe and Shakespeare, is profoundly concerned with shifting power relations within society. The individual was a new force in relation to the state. The threat of rebellion, of the overturning of established order, was forcefully brought home to the Elizabethan public by the revolt of the Earl of Essex, once the Queen's favourite. The contemporary debate questioned the relationship between individual life, the power and authority of the state, and the establishing of moral absolutes. Where mediaeval drama was largely used as a means of showing God's designs, drama in Renaissance England focuses on man, and becomes a way of exploring his weaknesses, depravities, flaws - and qualities. #Quote by Ronald Carter
Literary Criticism quotes by Jose Alaniz
#70. The stereotype of the supercrip, in the eyes of its critics, represents a sort of overachieving, overdetermined self-enfreakment that distracts from the lived daily reality of most disabled people. #Quote by Jose Alaniz
Literary Criticism quotes by Jewel Spears Brooker
#71. Eliot's understanding of poetic epistemology is a version of Bradley's theory, outlined in our second chapter, that knowing involves immediate, relational, and transcendent stages or levels. The poetic mind, like the ordinary mind, has at least two types of experience: The first consists largely of feeling (falling in love, smelling the cooking, hearing the noise of the typewriter), the second largely of thought (reading Spinoza). The first type of experience is sensuous, and it is also to a great extent monistic or immediate, for it does not require mediation through the mind; it exists before intellectual analysis, before the falling apart of experience into experiencer and experienced. The second type of experience, in contrast, is intellectual (to be known at all, it must be mediated through the mind) and sharply dualistic, in that it involves a breaking down of experience into subject and object. In the mind of the ordinary person, these two types of experience are and remain disparate. In the mind of the poet, these disparate experiences are somehow transcended and amalgamated into a new whole, a whole beyond and yet including subject and object, mind and matter. Eliot illustrates his explanation of poetic epistemology by saying that John Donne did not simply feel his feelings and think his thoughts; he felt his thoughts and thought his feelings. He was able to "feel his thought as immediately as the odour of a rose." Immediately" in this famous simile is a technical te #Quote by Jewel Spears Brooker
Literary Criticism quotes by Susan Sontag
#72. Religion is probably, after sex, the second oldest resource which human beings have available to them for blowing their mind. #Quote by Susan Sontag
Literary Criticism quotes by H.G.Wells
#73. I suppose it is a lingering trace of Plutarch and my ineradicable boyish imagination that at bottom our State should be wise, sane, and dignified, that makes me think a country which leaves its medical and literary criticism, or indeed any such vitally important criticism, entirely to private enterprise and open to the advances of any purchaser much be in a frankly hopeless condition. #Quote by H.G.Wells
Literary Criticism quotes by Frank Kermode
#74. We are all poor; but there is a difference between what Mrs. Spark intends by speaking of 'slender means', and what Stevens called our poverty or Sartre our need, besoin. The poet finds his brief, fortuitous concords, it is true: not merely 'what will suffice,' but 'the freshness of transformation,' the 'reality of decreation,' the 'gaiety of language.' The novelist accepts need, the difficulty of relating one's fictions to what one knows about the nature of reality, as his donnée.

It is because no one has said more about this situation, or given such an idea of its complexity, that I want to devote most of this talk to Sartre and the most relevant of his novels, La Nausée. As things go now it isn't of course very modern; Robbe-Grillet treats it with amused reverence as a valuable antique. But it will still serve for my purposes. This book is doubtless very well known to you; I can't undertake to tell you much about it, especially as it has often been regarded as standing in an unusually close relation to a body of philosophy which I am incompetent to expound. Perhaps you will be charitable if I explain that I shall be using it and other works of Sartre merely as examples. What I have to do is simply to show that La Nausée represents, in the work of one extremely important and representative figure, a kind of crisis in the relation between fiction and reality, the tension or dissonance between paradigmatic form and contingent reality. That the mood of Sartre has so #Quote by Frank Kermode
Literary Criticism quotes by Ronald Carter
#75. The beliefs and behaviour of the Restoration reflect the theories of society put forward by Thomas Hobbes in The Leviathan, which was written in exile in Paris and published in 1651. Like many texts of the time, The Leviathan is an allegory. It recalls mediaeval rather than Renaissance thinking. The leviathan is the Commonwealth, society as a total organism, in which the individual is the absolute subject of state control, represented by the monarch. Man - motivated by self-interest - is acquisitive and lacks codes of behaviour. Hence the necessity for a strong controlling state, 'an artificial man', to keep discord at bay. Self-interest and stability become the keynotes of British society after 1660, the voice of the new middle-class bourgeoisie making itself heard more and more in the expression of values, ideals, and ethics. #Quote by Ronald Carter
Literary Criticism quotes by Ronald Carter
#76. At the end of the 1400s, the world changed. Two key dates can mark the beginning of modern times. In 1485, the Wars of the Roses came to an end, and, following the invention of printing, William Caxton issued the first imaginative book to be published in England - Sir Thomas Malory's retelling of the Arthurian legends as Le Morte D'Arthur. In 1492, Christopher Columbus's voyage to the Americas opened European eyes to the existence of the New World. New worlds, both geographical and spiritual, are the key to the Renaissance, the 'rebirth' of learning and culture, which reached its peak in Italy in the early sixteenth century and in Britain during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, from 1558 to 1603. #Quote by Ronald Carter
Literary Criticism quotes by Philip Kitcher
#77. I intend Deaths in Venice to contribute both to literary criticism and to philosophy. But it's not "strict philosophy" in the sense of arguing for specific theses. As I remark, there's a style of philosophy - present in writers from Plato to Rawls - that invites readers to consider a certain class of phenomena in a new way. In the book, I associate this, in particular, with my good friend, the eminent philosopher of science, Nancy Cartwright, who practices it extremely skilfully. #Quote by Philip Kitcher
Literary Criticism quotes by Ronald Carter
#78. The Restoration did not so much restore as replace. In restoring the monarchy with King Charles II, it replaced Cromwell's Commonwealth and its Puritan ethos with an almost powerless monarch whose tastes had been formed in France.

It replaced the power of the monarchy with the power of a parliamentary system - which was to develop into the two parties, Whigs and Tories - with most of the executive power in the hands of the Prime Minister. Both parties benefited from a system which encouraged social stability rather than opposition.
Above all, in systems of thought, the Restoration replaced the probing, exploring, risk-taking intellectual values of the Renaissance. It relied on reason and on facts rather than on speculation. So, in the decades between 1660 and 1700, the basis was set for the growth of a new kind of society. This society was Protestant (apart from the brief reign of the Catholic King James II, 1685-88), middle class, and unthreatened by any repetition of the huge and traumatic upheavals of the first part of the seventeenth century. It is symptomatic that the overthrow of James II in 1688 was called The 'Glorious' or 'Bloodless' Revolution. The 'fever in the blood' which the Renaissance had allowed was now to be contained, subject to reason, and kept under control. With only the brief outburst of Jacobin revolutionary sentiment at the time of the Romantic poets, this was to be the political context in the United Kingdom for two centuries or more. #Quote by Ronald Carter
Literary Criticism quotes by Geoffrey Harvey
#79. Hardy's poetry is pre-eminently about ways of seeing. This is evident in the numerous angles of vision he employs in so many poems. Sometimes it involves creating a picture, as in 'Snow in the Suburbs', which allows the eye to follow the cascading snow set off by a sparrow alighting on a tree; or it employs the camera effect, as in 'On the Departure Platform', which tracks the gradually diminishing form and disappearance of a muslin-gowned girl among those boarding the train. However, Hardy is also a poet of social observation. His humanistic sympathies emerge in a variety of poems drawing upon his experience of both Dorset and London. #Quote by Geoffrey Harvey
Literary Criticism quotes by Frank Kermode
#80. Novels, says Sartre, are not life, but they owe our power upon us, as upon himself as an infant, to the fact that they are somehow like life. In life, he once remarked, 'all ways are barred and nevertheless we must act. So we try to change the world; that is, to live as if the relations between things and their potentialities were governed not by deterministic processes but by magic.' The as if of the novel consists in a similar negation of determinism, the establishment of an accepted freedom by magic. We make up aventures, invent and ascribe the significance of temporal concords to those 'privileged moments' to which we alone award their prestige, make our own human clocks tick in a clockless world. And we take a man who is by definition de trop, and create a context in which he isn't.

The novel is a lie only as our quotidian inventions are lies. The power which goes to its making--the imagination --is a function of man's inescapable freedom. This freedom, in Mary Warnock's words, 'expresses itself in his ability to see things which are not.' It is by his fiction that we know he is free. It is not surprising that Sartre as ontologist, having to describe many kinds of fictive behaviour, invents stories to do so, thus moving into a middle ground between life and novel. .... #Quote by Frank Kermode
Literary Criticism quotes by Ronald Carter
#81. Old English poetry is characterised by a number of poetic tropes which enable a writer to describe things indirectly and which require a reader imaginatively to construct their meaning. The most widespread of these figurative descriptions are what are known as kennings. Kennings often occur in compounds: for example, hronrad (whale-road) or swanrad (swan- road) meaning 'the sea'; banhus (bone-house) meaning the 'human body'. Some kennings involve borrowing or inventing words; others appear to be chosen to meet the alliterative requirement of a poetic line, and as a result some kennings are difficult to decode, leading to disputes in critical interpretation. But kennings do allow more abstract concepts to be communicated by using more familiar words: for example, God is often described as moncynnes weard ('guardian of mankind'). #Quote by Ronald Carter
Literary Criticism quotes by Jewel Spears Brooker
#82. The best of the New Critics were masters of close readings. Cleanth Brooks, for example, in 1937 wrote a detailed commentary on The Waste Land which is still a model of critical helpfulness. The fact that certain basic insights in the past generation have originated as reactions against Brooks and his colleagues does not in any way diminish their excellence. #Quote by Jewel Spears Brooker
Literary Criticism quotes by Mason Cooley
#83. Literary criticism now is all pranks and polemics. #Quote by Mason Cooley
Literary Criticism quotes by John Leonard
#84. It seems to me that my whole life I've been standing on some tower or a pillbox or a trampoline, waving the names of writers, as if we needed rescue. And the first person I had to rescue was myself. #Quote by John Leonard
Literary Criticism quotes by Joseph Brodsky
#85. Because every book of art, be it a poem or a cupola, is understandably a self-portrait of its author, we won't strain ourselves too hard trying to distinguish between the author's persona and the poem's lyrical hero. As a rule, such distinctions are quite meaningless, if only because a lyrical hero is invariably an author's self-projection. #Quote by Joseph Brodsky
Literary Criticism quotes by Margaret Atwood
#86. [Northrop] Frye was concerned mostly with literary criticism, and myths interested him as structural elements in works of literature. He used the word myth to mean story, without attaching any connotation of truth or falsehood to it; but a myth is a story of a certain kind. The myths of a culture are those stories it takes seriously - the ones that are thought to be a key to its identity. #Quote by Margaret Atwood
Literary Criticism quotes by Ezra Pound
#87. Literature is news which stays news. #Quote by Ezra Pound
Literary Criticism quotes by Ian Gregor
#88. t this point I would like to return to the question of the plot movement and the different narrative levels of the book. David Lodge raises a crucial issue when he asks 'how Charlotte Brontë created a literary structure in which the domestic and the mythical, the realistic world of social behaviour and the romantic world of passionate self-consciousness, could co-exist with only occasional
lapses into incongruity.' As far as the plot and setting go, however, this states the question rather misleadingly, for in fact at Thornfield there begins a progressive plot movement from realism to fantasy. By 'realism' I do not mean the predominance of the every day and commonplace, or an authorial objectivity of treatment,
but simply the use of material that the reader can accept
as existing in the ordinary world as well, or of events of a kind that might happen in it without being viewed as extraordinary. That is, things that have a face-value currency of meaning prior to any concealed meaning they may hold or suggest. Thus while Gateshead and Lowood School fit neatly into, and contribute importantly to,
the symbolic pattern of the book, they are perfectly believable places in their own right. Even the heavy-handed and obvious satire of Mr Brocklehurst and his family does not invalidate him as a credible conception. But with the beginning of the mystery of the Thornfield attic the plot starts moving away from this facevalue
actuality. #Quote by Ian Gregor
Literary Criticism quotes by Jewel Spears Brooker
#89. In his 1923 review of James Joyce Ulysses, T. S. Eliot focused on one of his generation's recurrent anxieties
the idea that art might be impossible in the twentieth century. The reasons that art seemed impossible are many and complex, but they were all related to the collapse of ways of knowing that had served the Western mind at least since the Renaissance and that had received canonical formulation in the seventeenth century in the science of Newton and the philosophy of Descartes. In both science and philosophy, the crisis was essentially epistemological; that is, it was related to radical uncertainty about how we know what we know about the real world. This crisis, disorienting even to specialists, was at once a cause of despair and an incentive for innovation in the arts. #Quote by Jewel Spears Brooker
Literary Criticism quotes by Frank Kermode
#90. Tick is a humble genesis, tock a feeble apocalypse; and tick-tock is in any case not much of a plot. We need much larger ones and much more complicated ones if we persist in finding 'what will suffice.' And what happens if the organization is much more complex than tick-tock? Suppose, for instance, that it is a thousand-page novel. Then it obviously will not lie within what is called our 'temporal horizon'; to maintain the experience of organization we shall need many more fictional devices. And although they will essentially be of the same kind as calling the second of those two related sounds tock, they will obviously be more resourceful and elaborate. They have to defeat the tendency of the interval between tick and tock to empty itself; to maintain within that interval following tick a lively expectation of tock, and a sense that however remote tock may be, all that happens happens as if tock were certainly following. All such plotting presupposes and requires that an end will bestow upon the whole duration and meaning. To put it another way, the interval must be purged of simple chronicity, of the emptiness of tock-tick., humanly uninteresting successiveness. It is required to be a significant season, kairos poised between beginning and end. It has to be, on a scale much greater than that which concerns the psychologists, an instance of what they call 'temporal integration'--our way of bundling together perception of the present, memory of the past, and expectation of th #Quote by Frank Kermode
Literary Criticism quotes by C.S. Lewis
#91. Only an obstinate prejudice about this period (which I will presently try to account for) could blind us to a certain change which comes over the merely literary texts as we pass from the Middle Ages to the sixteenth century. #Quote by C.S. Lewis
Literary Criticism quotes by Jane Goldman
#92. Leonard Woolf was two years older than Virginia, whom he had first met in 1901 in the rooms of her brother Thoby at Cambridge. He went from St Paul's School to Trinity College on a scholarship in 1899 and was the
first Jew to be elected to the Cambridge Apostles. His father Sidney Woolf (1844–92) was a barrister who died prematurely, leaving his widow, Marie, with the care of their ten children. After Cambridge, Leonard reluctantly
entered the Colonial Civil Service and he served in Ceylon for seven years. The experience forged him as a passionate anti-imperialist. In 1911 he began writing a novel based on his experiences, but written from the point of view of the Sinhalese; The Village in the Jungle was published in 1913. This work may have influenced his wife's novel The Voyage Out, which has a fictional colonial setting. On his return to England he became a committed socialist and he was active on the left for most of his life, publishing numerous pamphlets and books of significance on national and international politics. His role as intimate literary mentor to Virginia Woolf has sometimes overshadowed his considerable import as a political writer in his own right. #Quote by Jane Goldman
Literary Criticism quotes by China Mieville
#93. Virgina Woolf versus Edward Lear."
"Christ Alive," said Billy. "Are those my only choices?"
"I went for Lear," said Leon. "Partly out of fidelity to the letter L. Partly because given the choice between nonsense and boojy wittering you blatantly have to choose nonsense. #Quote by China Mieville
Literary Criticism quotes by Paul West
#94. Language is the thing that exceeds us all, being not merely conduit or message, but a placeless frieze of timeless resonance, a maze of etymology in which its ancient users and misusers whisper to us with dead glottises. #Quote by Paul West
Literary Criticism quotes by Frank Kermode
#95. You sometimes hear people say, with a certain pride in their clerical resistance to the myth, that the nineteenth century really ended not in 1900 but in 1914. But there are different ways of measuring an epoch. 1914 has obvious qualifications; but if you wanted to defend the neater, more mythical date, you could do very well. In 1900 Nietzsche died; Freud published The Interpretation of Dreams; 1900 was the date of Husserl Logic, and of Russell's Critical Exposition of the Philosophy of Leibniz. With an exquisite sense of timing Planck published his quantum hypothesis in the very last days of the century, December 1900. Thus, within a few months, were published works which transformed or transvalued spirituality, the relation of language to knowing, and the very locus of human uncertainty, henceforth to be thought of not as an imperfection of the human apparatus but part of the nature of things, a condition of what we may know. 1900, like 1400 and 1600 and 1000, has the look of a year that ends a saeculum. The mood of fin de siècle is confronted by a harsh historical finis saeculi. There is something satisfying about it, some confirmation of the rightness of the patterns we impose. But as Focillon observed, the anxiety reflected by the fin de siècle is perpetual, and people don't wait for centuries to end before they express it. Any date can be justified on some calculation or other.

And of course we have it now, the sense of an ending. It has not diminished, and #Quote by Frank Kermode
Literary Criticism quotes by Miguel El Portugues
#96. If you tell me bad things about someone, you're telling bad things about me behind me #Quote by Miguel El Portugues
Literary Criticism quotes by Tristram Stuart
#97. Determining the value of individual texts has been an ideological scuffle in literary criticism for centuries: but the environmental cost of printing them hauls this dispute from the ivory tower into day-to-day decision-making. Is it right to write? The publishing industry is slowly beginning to commit to using sustainably harvested trees. #Quote by Tristram Stuart
Literary Criticism quotes by Ronald Carter
#98. Henry Fielding, a highly successful satiric dramatist until the introduction of censorship in 1737, began his novel-writing career with Shamela, a pastiche of Pamela, which humorously attacked the hypocritical morality which that novel displayed. Joseph Andrews (1742) was also intended as a kind of parody of Richardson; but Fielding found that his novels were taking on a moral life of their own, and he developed his own highly personal narrative style - humorous and ironic, with an omniscient narrative presence controlling the lives and destinies of his characters.

Fielding focuses more on male characters and manners than Richardson. In doing so, he creates a new kind of hero in his novels. Joseph Andrews is chaste, while Tom Jones in Tom Jones (1749) is quite the opposite. Tom is the model of the young foundling enjoying his freedom (to travel, to have relationships with women, to enjoy sensual experience) until his true origins are discovered. When he matures, he assumes his social responsibilities and marries the woman he has 'always' loved, who has, of course, like a mediaeval crusader's beloved, been waiting faithfully for him. Both of these heroes are types, representatives of their sex.

There is a picaresque journey from innocence to experience, from freedom to responsibility. It is a rewriting of male roles to suit the society of the time. The hero no longer makes a crusade to the Holy Land, but the crusade is a personal one, with chivalry learne #Quote by Ronald Carter
Literary Criticism quotes by Harold Bloom
#99. Consciousness is the materia poetica that Shakespeare sculpts as Michelangelo sculpts marble. We feel the consciousness of Hamlet or Iago, and our own consciousness strangely expands. #Quote by Harold Bloom
Literary Criticism quotes by Harold Bloom
#100. To deprive the derelicts of hope is right, and to sustain them in their illusory "pipe dreams" is right also. #Quote by Harold Bloom
Literary Criticism quotes by Ronald Carter
#101. Pearl introduces an original story, in a form which was to become one of the most frequent in mediaeval literature, the dream-vision. Authors like Chaucer and Langland use this form, in which the narrator describes another world - usually a heavenly paradise - which is compared with the earthly human world. In Pearl, the narrator sees his daughter who died in infancy, 'the ground of all my bliss'. She now has a kind of perfect knowledge, which her father can never comprehend. The whole poem underlines the divide between human comprehension and perfection; these lines show the gap between possible perfection and fallen humanity which, thematically, anticipate many literary examinations of man's fall, the most well known being Milton's late Renaissance epic, Paradise Lost. #Quote by Ronald Carter
Literary Criticism quotes by Tao Lin
#102. If you're, like, a PhD student in English, and you look at each instance that Richard Yates is mentioned in the book ... it has sort of it's own narrative that one could analyze and write literary criticism about. #Quote by Tao Lin
Literary Criticism quotes by Jewel Spears Brooker
#103. The Stetson passage is an allusion to Frazer theory in The Golden Bough that religion originated as agricultural engineering. Through a grotesque process of literalization, all of the dying gods and heroes in The Golden Bough, along with Christ and the Fisher King, are transferred from mythic to modern consciousness ( Frazer himself was an unabashed positivist) to be made explicable in scientific terms as fertilizer. #Quote by Jewel Spears Brooker
Literary Criticism quotes by George Orwell
#104. In certain kinds of writing, particularly in art criticism and literary criticism, it is normal to come across long passages which are almost completely lacking in meaning. #Quote by George Orwell
Literary Criticism quotes by Irwin Shaw
#105. Critics in New York are made by their dislikes, not by their enthusiasms. #Quote by Irwin Shaw
Literary Criticism quotes by Ronald Carter
#106. In the humanist world following Erasmus, man is at the centre of the universe. Man becomes largely responsible for his own destiny, behaviour and future. This is the new current of thought which finds its manifestation in the writing of the 1590s and the decades which follow. The euphoria of Elizabeth's global affirmation of authority was undermined in these years by intimations of mortality: in 1590 she was 57 years old. No one could tell how much longer her golden age would last; hence, in part, Spenser's attempts to analyse and encapsulate that glory in an epic of the age. This concern about the death of a monarch who - as Gloriana, the Virgin Queen - was both symbol and totem, underscores the deeper realisation that mortality is central to life. After the Reformation, the certainties of heaven and hell were less clear, more debatable, more uncertain. #Quote by Ronald Carter
Literary Criticism quotes by H.L. Mencken
#107. You never push a noun against a verb without trying to blow up something. #Quote by H.L. Mencken
Literary Criticism quotes by Anna Quindlen
#108. There's a certain kind of conversation you have from time to time at parties in New York about a new book. The word "banal" sometimes rears its by-now banal head; you say "underedited," I say "derivative." The conversation goes around and around various literary criticisms, and by the time it moves on one thing is clear: No one read the book; we just read the reviews. #Quote by Anna Quindlen
Literary Criticism quotes by Christine De Pizan
#109. These are my habits and the way I spend my life: studying literature. #Quote by Christine De Pizan
Literary Criticism quotes by John Steinbeck
#110. In literary criticism the critic has no choice but to make over the victim of his attention into something the size and shape of himself. #Quote by John Steinbeck
Literary Criticism quotes by Ian Gregor
#111. Length, I want to suggest, has a peculiar significance for the reader of a Victorian novel and especially so if we are concerned with an awareness of it as a book; a physical object held in the hand...

The distinctive achievement of novels like Bleak House and Middlemarch is an expanding density and complexity towards the creation of a realised and felt fictional
world. Their imaginative breadth demands both a spatial freedom and temporal capacity equal to the creative intention...

The Victorian novel, then, assumes through its length the possibility of a completed and enclosed fictional world. The reading experience, through a linear and sequential development will be, quite obviously, distinct from, say Ulysses or Finnegans Wake.
It is what Josipovici has called the 'swelling continuity' of Victorian narrative, a form which encourages a particular kind of reading response:
Reading an intricately plotted nineteenth-century novel is very much like travelling by train. Once one has paid for one's ticket and found one's seat one can settle down in comfort and forget all everyday worries until one reaches one's destination, secure that one is in good hands #Quote by Ian Gregor
Literary Criticism quotes by Vladimir Nabokov
#112. But even in such works where the author is ideally unobtrusive, he remains diffused through the book so that his very absence becomes a kind of radiant presence. As the French say, il brille par son absence - "he shines by his absence." In connection with Bleak House we are concerned with one of those authors who are so to speak not supreme deities, diffuse and aloof, but puttering, amiable, sympathetic demigods, who descend into their books under various disguises or send therein various middlemen, representatives, agents, minions, spies, and stooges. [...]

Roughly speaking, there are three types of such representatives. Let us inspect them.

First, the narrator insofar as he speaks in the first person, the capital I of the story, its moving pillar. [...] Second, a type of author's representative, what I call the sifting agent. [...] The third type is the so-called perry, possibly derived from periscope, despite the double r, or perhaps from parry in vague connection with foil as in fencing. But this does not matter much since anyway I invented the term myself many years ago. #Quote by Vladimir Nabokov
Literary Criticism quotes by Jane Goldman
#113. In January 1912 Leonard proposed marriage. She was unable to answer directly and he pressed further in a passionate letter: 'It isn't, really it isnt, merely because you are so beautiful – though of course that is a large reason & so it should be – that I love you: it is your mind & your character – I have never known anyone like you in that – wont you believe me? #Quote by Jane Goldman
Literary Criticism quotes by Jewel Spears Brooker
#114. Reading The Waste Land, then, is in part reading about reading in the early twentieth century. The crisis in epistemology brought on by the discrediting of objectivity is especially relevant to understanding the poem, because the problem of knowledge is itself one of its major subjects. Like Joyce, Valéry, and other contemporary writers, Eliot consciously adds a dimension in which his work is self-reflexive, a dimension in which it refers to itself and its nature as a linguistic structure, a dimension which incorporates the larger subject of the crisis in Western culture into the process of reading. The Waste Land contains, in addition to its many other gifts, a partial set of instructions on how to read in the twentieth century. We believe and shall try to demonstrate that Eliot's poem, in one of its aspects, is a brief and striking primer, a McGuffey's Eclectic Reader for the twentieth century. #Quote by Jewel Spears Brooker
Literary Criticism quotes by Jane Goldman
#115. Reading Virginia Woolf will change your life, may even save it. If you want to make sense of modern life, the works of Virginia Woolf remain essential reading. More than fifty years since her death, accounts of her life still set the pace for modern modes of living. Plunge (and this Introduction is intended to help you take the plunge) into Woolf 's works – at any point – whether in her
novels, her short stories, her essays, her polemical pamphlets, or her published letters, diaries, memoirs and journals – and you will be transported by her elegant, startling, buoyant sentences to a world where everything in modern life (cinema, sexuality, shopping, education, feminism, politics, war and so on) is explored and questioned and refashioned. #Quote by Jane Goldman
Literary Criticism quotes by Carol J. Adams
#116. If the body becomes a special focus for women's struggle for freedom then what is ingested is a logical initial locus for announcing one's independence. Refusing the male order in food, women practiced the theory of feminism thorugh their bodies and their choice of vegetarianism. #Quote by Carol J. Adams
Literary Criticism quotes by Dwight Macdonald
#117. Lots of writers are fascinated by evil and write copiously about it, but they are bored by virtue; this not only limits their scope but prevents a satisfactory account of evil, which can no more be comprehended apart from good than light can be comprehended apart from darkness. #Quote by Dwight Macdonald
Literary Criticism quotes by Harold Bloom
#118. There is no God but God, and his name is William Shakespeare. #Quote by Harold Bloom
Literary Criticism quotes by Jewel Spears Brooker
#119. The decline of sustained close reading of Eliot is also related, ironically, to the emergence of historical scholarship regarding sources and allusions. The major figure here is Grover Smith, who in the midfifties published an encyclopedic study of Eliot's sources. 3 The mere existence of Smith's scholarly tome changed the shape of close readings of Eliot. The poet's allusions and sources moved to the foreground of concern, and although most readers of Eliot's poetry and plays benefited from Smith's work, others found themselves frustrated by the weight of the intellectual backgrounds. #Quote by Jewel Spears Brooker
Literary Criticism quotes by Janet Malcolm
#120. A fundamental rule of journalism, which is to tell a story and stick to it. The narratives of journalism (significantly called "stories"), like those of mythology and folklore, derive their power from their firm, undeviating sympathies and antipathies. Cinderella must remain good and the stepsisters bad. "Second stepsister not so bad after all" is not a good story. #Quote by Janet Malcolm
Literary Criticism quotes by Frederick C. Crews
#121. Rabbit and Owl are aging bachelors whose respective megalomania and fussiness are tempered only by their mutual friendship, of which the less said, the better. #Quote by Frederick C. Crews
Literary Criticism quotes by John Kenneth Galbraith
#122. Much literary criticism comes from people for whom extreme specialization is a cover for either grave cerebral inadequacy or terminal laziness, the latter being a much cherished aspect of academic freedom. #Quote by John Kenneth Galbraith
Literary Criticism quotes by Rebecca West
#123. A bad short story or novel or poem leaves one comparatively calm because it does not exist, unless it gets a fake prestige throughbeing mistaken for good work. It is essentially negative, it is something that has not come through. But over bad criticism one has a sense of real calamity. #Quote by Rebecca West
Literary Criticism quotes by Gerald Weaver
#124. Apparently, faith in life is one thing and faith in literature is another. #Quote by Gerald Weaver
Literary Criticism quotes by Ian Gregor
#125. Because it is written by a nineteenth-century American, and because of its closeness to the twentieth century, The Portrait of a Lady foregoes Victorian affirmations. The price it pays, however (together with several twentieth-century novels) is that it eventually leaves the reader, along with its heroine, 'en Vair' amid its self-reflections. #Quote by Ian Gregor
Literary Criticism quotes by George Orwell
#126. I often have the feeling that even at the best of times literary criticism is fraudulent, since in the absence of any accepted standards whatever
any external reference which can give meaning to the statement that such and such a book is "good" or "bad"
every literary judgement consists in trumping up a set of rules to justify an instinctive preference. One's real reaction to a book, when one has a reaction at all, is usually "I like this book" or "I don't like it" and what follows is a rationalisation. #Quote by George Orwell
Literary Criticism quotes by C.S. Lewis
#127. It must be remembered that no art lives by nature, only by acts of voluntary attention on the part of human individuals. When these are not made it ceases to exist. #Quote by C.S. Lewis
Literary Criticism quotes by Ivor A. Richards
#128. A book is a machine to think with, but it need not, therefore, usurp the functions either of the bellows or the locomotive. #Quote by Ivor A. Richards
Literary Criticism quotes by John Fante
#129. Literary criticism is generally bunk. Nonsense. Usually based on self-serving post-intellectual bullshit. #Quote by John Fante
Literary Criticism quotes by Frank Kermode
#130. Apocalypse is a part of the modern Absurd. This is testimony to its vitality, a vitality dependent upon its truth to the set of our fear and desire. Acknowledged, qualified by the scepticism of the clerks, it is--even when ironized, even when denied--an essential element in the arts, a permanent feature of a permanent literature of crisis. If it becomes myth, if its past is forgotten, we sink quickly into myth, into stereotype. We have to employ our knowledge of the fictive. With it we can explain what is essential and eccentric about early modernism, and purge the trivial and stereotyped from the arts of our own time. Great men deceived themselves by neglecting to do this; other men, later, have a programme against doing it. The critics should know their duty.

Part of this duty, certainly, will be to abandon ways of speaking which on the one hand obscure the true nature of our fictions--by confusing them with myths, by rendering spatial what is essentially temporal--and on the other obscure our sense of reality by suggesting that fictions represent some kind of surrender or false consolation. The critical issue, given the perpetual assumption of crisis, is no less than the justification of ideas of order. They have to be justified in terms of what survives, and also in terms of what we can accept as valid in a world different from that out of which they come, resembling the earlier world only in that there is biological and cultural continuity of some kind. Our or #Quote by Frank Kermode
Literary Criticism quotes by Jane Goldman
#131. Modernism and feminism are two broad axes on which Woolf criticism turns, and there are many other categories that reflect the range of positions available in literary criticism more generally, such as postmodernist, psychoanalytical,
historicist, materialist, postcolonial, and so on. #Quote by Jane Goldman
Literary Criticism quotes by P.G. Wodehouse
#132. A certain critic
for such men, I regret to say, do exist
made the nasty remark about my last novel that it contained 'all the old Wodehouse characters under different names.' He has probably by now been eaten by bears, like the children who made mock of the prophet Elisha: but if he still survives he will not be able to make a similar charge against Summer Lightning. With my superior intelligence, I have out-generalled the man this time by putting in all the old Wodehouse characters under the same names. Pretty silly it will make him feel, I rather fancy. #Quote by P.G. Wodehouse
Literary Criticism quotes by Germaine Greer
#133. Above all, for his merciless, contemptuous treatment of Clifford Chatterley, blown to bits in Flanders in 1918, Lawrence can be damned to hell. Damned but not banned. #Quote by Germaine Greer
Literary Criticism quotes by Samuel R. Delany
#134. The artist has some internal experience that produces a poem, a painting, a piece of music. Spectators submit themselves to the work, which generates an inner experience for them. But historically it's a very new, not to mention vulgar, idea that the spectators experience should be identical to, or have anything to do with, the artist's. That idea comes from an over-industrialized society which has learned to distrust magic. #Quote by Samuel R. Delany
Literary Criticism quotes by Charles E. Bressler
#135. embracing literary theory, we learn about literature, but more important we are also taught tolerance for other people's beliefs. By rejecting or ignoring theory, we are in danger of canonizing ourselves as literary saints who possess divine knowledge and who can, therefore, supply the one and only correct interpretation for a given text. #Quote by Charles E. Bressler
Literary Criticism quotes by Claude Calame
#136. What cannot be borne in reality, becomes a source of pleasure when it is transposed into the visual and somatic fiction of the dramatic spectacle. #Quote by Claude Calame
Literary Criticism quotes by Jane Goldman
#137. Leonard and Virginia married in August 1912. Virginia was 30. Soon after her marriage she suVered another breakdown and her mental health declined sporadically over the following year, culminating in a suicide attempt in September 1913. They were advised against having children because of Virginia's recurring depressive illness, a cause of some regret to her, and a point of much heated debate among her later biographers. #Quote by Jane Goldman
Literary Criticism quotes by Joanne Harris
#138. In the old days of literature, only the very thick-skinned - or the very brilliant - dared enter the arena of literary criticism. To criticise a person's work required equal measures of erudition and wit, and inferior critics were often the butt of satire and ridicule. #Quote by Joanne Harris
Literary Criticism quotes by Geoffrey Harvey
#139. However, for Hardy the possibility of poetry's traditional function of transcendence remains, but in a more limited form. In Hardy's work the poet transcends himself towards humanity, affirming the central values of loving-kindness and fellowship. #Quote by Geoffrey Harvey
Literary Criticism quotes by George Orwell
#140. A man who would write the same book twice could not even write it once. #Quote by George Orwell
Literary Criticism quotes by Jewel Spears Brooker
#141. Eliot's own reflections on the primitive mind as a model for nondualistic thinking and on the nature and consequences of different modes of consciousness were informed by an excellent education in the social sciences and philosophy. As a prelude to our guided tour of the text of The Waste Land, we now turn to a brief survey of some of his intellectual preoccupations in the decade before he wrote it, preoccupations which in our view are enormously helpful in understanding the form of the poem. Eliot entered Harvard as a freshman in 1906 and finished his doctoral dissertation in 1916, with one of the academic years spent at the Sorbonne and one at Oxford. At Harvard and Oxford, he had as teachers some of modern philosophy's most distinguished individuals, including George Santayana, Josiah Royce, Bertrand Russell, and Harold Joachim; and while at the Sorbonne, he attended the lectures of Henri Bergson, a philosophic star in Paris in 1910-11. Under the supervision of Royce, Eliot wrote his dissertation on the epistemology of F. H. Bradley, a major voice in the late-nineteenth-, early-twentieth-century crisis in philosophy. Eliot extended this period of concentration on philosophical problems by devoting much of his time between 1915 and the early twenties to book reviewing. His education and early book reviewing occurred during the period of epistemological disorientation described in our first chapter, the period of "betweenness" described by Heidegger and Ortega y Gasset, the #Quote by Jewel Spears Brooker
Literary Criticism quotes by David Cecil
#142. The critic's aim should be to interpret the work they are writing about and help readers appreciate it, by defining and analysing those qualities that make it precious and by indicating the angle of visions from which its beauties are visible. But many critics do not realize their function. They aim not to appreciate, but to judge; they seek first to draw lines about literature and then bully readers into accepting these laws. #Quote by David Cecil
Literary Criticism quotes by Mason Cooley
#143. Strict rules of evidence would destroy psychoanalysis and literary criticism. #Quote by Mason Cooley
Literary Criticism quotes by Jen Campbell
#144. CUSTOMER (to her friend): What's this literary criticism section? Is it for books that complain about other books? #Quote by Jen Campbell
Literary Criticism quotes by Charles E. Bressler
#145. All writers misspeak, revealing not what they thought they said, but almost what they were afraid to say. #Quote by Charles E. Bressler
Literary Criticism quotes by Marco Mincoff
#146. There are long stretches of the work [Paradise Lost] that are for anyone not theologically minded sheer howling boredom from the point of view of the content. #Quote by Marco Mincoff
Literary Criticism quotes by Vladimir Nabokov
#147. The Lethean Library, for all its incalculable volumes, is, I know, sadly incomplete without Mr. Goodman's effort. #Quote by Vladimir Nabokov
Literary Criticism quotes by Frank Kermode
#148. In fact this desire for consonance in the apocalyptic data, and our tendency to be derisive about it, seem to me equally interesting. Each manifests itself, in the presence of the other, in most of our minds. We are all ready to be sceptical about Father Marystone, but we are most of us given to some form of 'centurial mysticism,' and even to more extravagant apocalyptic practices: a point I shall be taking up in my fourth talk. What it seems to come to is this. Men in the middest make considerable imaginative investments in coherent patterns which, by the provision of an end, make possible a satisfying consonance with the origins and with the middle. That is why the image of the end can never be permanently falsified. But they also, when awake and sane, feel the need to show a marked respect for things as they are; so that there is a recurring need for adjustments in the interest of reality as well as of control.

This has relevance to literary plots, images of the grand temporal consonance; and we may notice that there is the same co-existence of naïve acceptance and scepticism here as there is in apocalyptic. Broadly speaking, it is the popular story that sticks most closely to established conventions; novels the clerisy calls 'major' tend to vary them, and to vary them more and more as time goes by. I shall be talking about this in some detail later, but a few brief illustrations might be useful now. I shall refer chiefly to one aspect of the matter, the falsifi #Quote by Frank Kermode
Literary Criticism quotes by Anne Stevenson
#149. There is far too much literary criticism of the wrong kind. That is why I never could have survived as an academic. #Quote by Anne Stevenson
Literary Criticism quotes by Ronald Carter
#150. There is a remarkable degree of consistency in the way mediaeval literature affirms humanity. With all its faults, humanity emerges as more realistic than heavenly ideals.
Because the mediaeval period is seen from our own times as historically distant, 'behind' the Renaissance with all the changes which that period brought, it has been undervalued for its own debates, developments and changes. The fact that mediaeval times have been revisited, re-imagined and rewritten, especially in the Romantic period, has tended to compound the ideas of difference and distance between this age and what came after. But in many ways the mediaeval period presages the issues and concerns of the Renaissance period and prepares the way for what was to come. #Quote by Ronald Carter
Literary Criticism quotes by Ronald Carter
#151. Two literary figures bridge the gap between the mediaeval age and the Renaissance. They are Sir Thomas Malory, the author of Le Morte D'Arthur, and the first 'poet-laureate', John Skelton. In their entirely separate ways, they made distinctive contributions to the history of literature and to the growth of English as a literary language.
Le Morte D'Arthur is, in a way, the climax of a tradition of writing, bringing together myth and history, with an emphasis on chivalry as a kind of moral code of honour. The supernatural and fantastic aspects of the story, as in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, are played down, and the more political aspects, of firm government and virtue, emphasised. It was a book for the times. The Wars of the Roses ended in the same year as Le Morte D'Arthur was published. Its values were to influence a wide readership for many years to come. There is sadness, rather than heroism, in Arthur's final battle..
John Skelton is one of the unjustly neglected figures of literature. His reputation suffered at the hands of one of the earliest critics of poetry, George Puttenham, and he is not easily categorised in terms of historical period, since he falls between clearly identified periods like 'mediaeval' and 'Renaissance'. He does not fit in easily either because of the kinds of poetry he wrote. But he is one of the great experimenters, and one of the funniest poets in English. #Quote by Ronald Carter
Literary Criticism quotes by Ronald Carter
#152. Milton argued, in 1649, after the execution of Charles I, that a people 'free by nature' had a right to overthrow a tyrant; a subject that recalls vividly the questions examined by Shakespeare in his major tragedies about fifty years before.

Milton continued to defend his ideals of freedom and republicanism. But at the Restoration, by which time he was blind, he was arrested. Various powerful contacts allowed him to be released after paying a fine, and his remaining years were devoted to the composition - orally, in the form of dictation to his third wife - of his epic poem on the fall of humanity, Paradise Lost, which was published in 1667.

It is interesting that - like Spenser and Malory before him, and like Tennyson two centuries later - Milton was attracted to the Arthurian legends as the subject for his great epic. But the theme of the Fall goes far beyond a national epic, and gave the poet scope to analyse the whole question of freedom, free will, and individual choice. He wished, he said, to 'assert eternal providence,/And justify the ways of God to men'. This has been seen as confirmation of Milton's arrogance, but it also signals the last great attempt to rationalise the spirit of the Renaissance: mankind would not exist outside Paradise if Satan had not engineered the temptation and fall of Adam and Eve. For many critics, including the poets Blake and Shelley, Satan, the figure of the Devil, is the hero of the poem. #Quote by Ronald Carter
Literary Criticism quotes by Frank Kermode
#153. The formerly absolute distinction between time and eternity in Christian thought--between nunc movens with its beginning and end, and nunc stans, the perfect possession of endless life--acquired a third intermediate order based on this peculiar betwixt-and-between position of angels. But like the Principle of Complementarity, this concord-fiction soon proved that it had uses outside its immediate context, angelology. Because it served as a means of talking about certain aspects of human experience, it was humanized. It helped one to think about the sense, men sometimes have of participating in some order of duration other than that of the nunc movens--of being able, as it were, to do all that angels can. Such are those moments which Augustine calls the moments of the soul's attentiveness; less grandly, they are moments of what psychologists call 'temporal integration.' When Augustine recited his psalm he found in it a figure for the integration of past, present, and future which defies successive time. He discovered what is now erroneously referred to as 'spatial form.' He was anticipating what we know of the relation between books and St. Thomas's third order of duration--for in the kind of time known by books a moment has endless perspectives of reality. We feel, in Thomas Mann's words, that 'in their beginning exists their middle and their end, their past invades the present, and even the most extreme attention to the present is invaded by concern for the future.' The conc #Quote by Frank Kermode
Literary Criticism quotes by China Mieville
#154. Dismissing fantasy writing because some of it is bad is exactly like saying I'm not reading Jane Eyre because it is a romance and I know romance is crap. #Quote by China Mieville
Literary Criticism quotes by Ronald Carter
#155. The language of Shakespeare is the first and lasting affirmation of the great changes that took place in the sixteenth century, leaving the Middle English of Chaucer far behind. In many ways, the language has changed less in the 400 years since Shakespeare wrote than it did in the 150 years before he wrote. #Quote by Ronald Carter
Literary Criticism quotes by Frank Kermode
#156. I hope I have now made it clear why I thought it best, in speaking of the dissonances between fiction and reality in our own time, to concentrate on Sartre. His hesitations, retractations, inconsistencies, all proceed from his consciousness of the problems: how do novelistic differ from existential fictions? How far is it inevitable that a novel give a novel-shaped account of the world? How can one control, and how make profitable, the dissonances between that account and the account given by the mind working independently of the novel?

For Sartre it was ultimately, like most or all problems, one of freedom. For Miss Murdoch it is a problem of love, the power by which we apprehend the opacity of persons to the degree that we will not limit them by forcing them into selfish patterns. Both of them are talking, when they speak of freedom and love, about the imagination. The imagination, we recall, is a form-giving power, an esemplastic power; it may require, to use Simone Weil's words, to be preceded by a 'decreative' act, but it is certainly a maker of orders and concords. We apply it to all forces which satisfy the variety of human needs that are met by apparently gratuitous forms. These forms console; if they mitigate our existential anguish it is because we weakly collaborate with them, as we collaborate with language in order to communicate. Whether or no we are predisposed towards acceptance of them, we learn them as we learn a language. On one view they are 'th #Quote by Frank Kermode
Literary Criticism quotes by William Styron
#157. No, I wasn't trying to make Nat Turner look stupid. I was trying to make him more human. More like me. Angry, impotent, confused about his own sexuality. Wait a minute, that didn't come out right. Is that microphone really on? #Quote by William Styron
Literary Criticism quotes by Sue Hubbell
#158. [N]o such thing as objective writing, ... every inscription, every traveler's tale, every news account, every piece of technical writing, tells more about the author and his time than it does about the ostensible subject. #Quote by Sue Hubbell
Literary Criticism quotes by Frank Kermode
#159. It happens that in our phase of civility, the novel is the central form of literary art. It lends itself to explanations borrowed from any intellectual system of the universe which seems at the time satisfactory. Its history is an attempt to evade the laws of what Scott called 'the land of fiction'-the stereotypes which ignore reality, and whose remoteness from it we identify as absurd. From Cervantes forward it has been, when it has satisfied us, the poetry which is 'capable,' in the words of Ortega, 'of coping with present reality.' But it is a 'realistic poetry' and its theme is, bluntly, 'the collapse of the poetic' because it has to do with 'the barbarous, brutal, mute, meaningless reality of things.' It cannot work with the old hero, or with the old laws of the land of romance; moreover, such new laws and customs as it creates have themselves to be repeatedly broken under the demands of a changed and no less brutal reality. 'Reality has such a violent temper that it does not tolerate the ideal even when reality itself is idealized.' Nevertheless, the effort continues to be made. The extremest revolt against the customs or laws of fiction--the antinovels of Fielding or Jane Austen or Flaubert or Natalie Sarraute--creates its new laws, in their turn to be broken. Even when there is a profession of complete narrative anarchy, as in some of the works I discussed last week, or in a poem such as Paterson, which rejects as spurious whatever most of us understand as form, it se #Quote by Frank Kermode
Literary Criticism quotes by Flannery O'Connor
#160. Everywhere I go, I am asked if I think university stifles writers. My opinion is that it doesn't stifle enough of them. #Quote by Flannery O'Connor
Literary Criticism quotes by Ronald Carter
#161. As a novelist, Scott's influence was immense: his creation of a wide range of characters from all levels of society was immediately likened to Shakespeare's; the use of historical settings became a mainstay of Victorian and later fiction; his short stories helped initiate that form; his antiquarian researches and collections were a major contribution to the culture of Scotland. #Quote by Ronald Carter
Literary Criticism quotes by Roxane Gay
#162. Often in literary criticism, writers are told that a character isn't likable, as if a character's likability is directly proportional to the quality of a novel's writing. #Quote by Roxane Gay
Literary Criticism quotes by Oscar Wilde
#163. Surely you do not think that criticism is like the answer to a sum. The richer the work of art the more diverse are the true interpretations. There is not one answer only, but many answers. I pity that book on which critics are agreed. It must be a very obvious and shallow production. #Quote by Oscar Wilde
Literary Criticism quotes by Roman Payne
#164. Analogies are like lies. #Quote by Roman Payne
Literary Criticism quotes by Frank Kermode
#165. What Kant took to be the necessary schemata of reality,' says a modern Freudian, 'are really only the necessary schemata of repression.' And an experimental psychologist adds that 'a sense of time can only exist where there is submission to reality.' To see everything as out of mere succession is to behave like a man drugged or insane. Literature and history, as we know them, are not like that; they must submit, be repressed. It is characteristic of the stage we are now at, I think, that the question of how far this submission ought to go--or, to put it the other way, how far one may cultivate fictional patterns or paradigms--is one which is debated, under various forms, by existentialist philosophers, by novelists and anti-novelists, by all who condemn the myths of historiography. It is a debate of fundamental interest, I think, and I shall discuss it in my fifth talk.

Certainly, it seems, there must, even when we have achieved a modern degree of clerical scepticism, be some submission to the fictive patterns. For one thing, a systematic submission of this kind is almost another way of describing what we call 'form.' 'An inter-connexion of parts all mutually implied'; a duration (rather than a space) organizing the moment in terms of the end, giving meaning to the interval between tick and tock because we humanly do not want it to be an indeterminate interval between the tick of birth and the tock of death. That is a way of speaking in temporal terms of literary f #Quote by Frank Kermode
Literary Criticism quotes by Daniel J. Boorstin
#166. Like Hamlet, Goethe's Faust offers a wide panorama of scenes from the vulgar to the sublime, with passages of wondrous poetry that can be sensed even through the veil of translation. And it also preserves the iridescence of its modern theme. From it Oswald Spengler christened our Western culture 'Faustian,' and others too have found it an unexcelled metaphor for the infinitely aspiring always dissatisfied modern self.
Goethe himself was wary of simple explanations. When his friends accused him of incompetence in metaphysics, he replied. 'I, being an artist, regard this as of little moment. Indeed, I prefer that the principle from which and through which I work should be hidden from me. #Quote by Daniel J. Boorstin
Literary Criticism quotes by Dorothy Parker
#167. I know that an author must be brave enough to chop away clinging tentacles of good taste for the sake of a great work. But this is no great work, you see. #Quote by Dorothy Parker
Literary Criticism quotes by Jane Goldman
#168. The daughter of the literary biographer Leslie Stephen, and close friend of the innovative biographer of the Victorians, Lytton Strachey, Woolf herself put forward, in 'The New Biography' (1927) (reviewing work by another biographer acquaintance, Harold Nicolson), her own memorable theory of biography, encapsulated in her phrase 'granite and rainbow'. 'Truth' she envisions 'as something of granite-like solidity', and 'personality as
something of rainbow-like intangibility', and 'the aim of biography', she proposes, 'is to weld these two into one seamless whole' (E4 473). The following short biographical account ofWoolf will attempt to keep to the basic granitelike facts that Woolf novices need to know, while also occasionally attending in brief to the more elusive, but equally relevant, matter of rainbow-like personality. #Quote by Jane Goldman
Literary Criticism quotes by Jane Goldman
#169. Bloomsbury lost Fry, in 1934, and Lytton Strachey before him, in January 1932, to early deaths. The loss of Strachey
was compounded by Carrington's suicide just two months after, in March. Another old friend, Ka Cox, died of a heart attack in 1938. But the death, in 1937, of Woolf 's nephew Julian, in the Spanish Civil War, was perhaps the
bitterest blow. Vanessa found her sister her only comfort: 'I couldn't get on at all if it weren't for you' (VWB2 203). Julian, a radical thinker and aspiring writer, campaigned all his life against war, but he had to be dissuaded by his
family from joining the International Brigade to fight Franco. Instead he worked as an ambulance driver, a role that did not prevent his death from shrapnel wounds. Woolf 's Three Guineas, she wrote to his mother, was
written 'as an argument with him #Quote by Jane Goldman
Literary Criticism quotes by Frank Kermode
#170. At some very low level, we all share certain fictions about time, and they testify to the continuity of what is called human nature, however conscious some, as against others, may become of the fictive quality of these fictions.

It seems to follow that we shall learn more concerning the sense-making paradigms, relative to time, from experimental psychologists than from scientists or philosophers, and more from St. Augustine than from Kant or Einstein because St. Augustine studies time as the soul's necessary self-extension before and after the critical moment upon which he reflects. We shall learn more from Piaget, from studies of such disorders as déjà vu, eidetic imagery, the Korsakoff syndrome, than from the learned investigators of time's arrow, or, on the other hand, from the mythic archetypes.

Let us take a very simple example, the ticking of a clock. We ask what it says: and we agree that it says tick-tock. By this fiction we humanize it, make it talk our language. Of course, it is we who provide the fictional difference between the two sounds; tick is our word for a physical beginning, tock our word for an end. We say they differ. What enables them to be different is a special kind of middle. We can perceive a duration only when it is organized. It can be shown by experiment that subjects who listen to rhythmic structures such as tick-tock, repeated identically, 'can reproduce the intervals within the structure accurately, but they cannot grasp s #Quote by Frank Kermode
Literary Criticism quotes by Wolfgang Iser
#171. This is why, when we have been particularly impressed by a book, we feel the need to talk about it; we do not want to get away from it by talking about it - we simply want to understand more clearly what it is in which we have been entangled. We have undergone an experience, and now we want to know consciously what we have experienced. Perhaps this is the prime usefulness of literary criticism - it helps to make conscious those aspects of the text which would otherwise remain concealed in the subconscious; it satisfies (or helps to satisfy) our desire to talk about what we have read. #Quote by Wolfgang Iser
Literary Criticism quotes by Witold Gombrowicz
#172. If you were to stare at this box of matches, you could extract entire worlds out of it. If you search for tastes in a book, you will certainly find them because it was said: seek and ye shall find. But a critic should not rifle, search. Let him sit back with folded arms, waiting for the book to find him. Talents should not be sought with a microscope, a talent should let people know about itself by striking at all the bells. #Quote by Witold Gombrowicz
Literary Criticism quotes by Rainer Maria Rilke
#173. Read as little as possible of literary criticism - such things are either partisan opinions, which have become petrified and meaningless, hardened and empty of life, or else they are just clever word-games, in which one view wins today, and tomorrow the opposite view. #Quote by Rainer Maria Rilke
Literary Criticism quotes by Ian Gregor
#174. The loudness of tone in Jane Eyre is undoubtedly effective in communicating tension and frustration, but the style does of course have its related limitations. It precludes the use of the small suggestive detail or the quiet but telling observation that Mrs Gaskell and George Eliot are so good at. In such a fortissimo performance
as this, the pianissimo gets drowned out, or noted only as an incongruity (which helps to account for the book's moments of unintended comic bathos). Again, it makes the whole question of modulation of tone a difficult one,6 and it is also hard to manage irony elegantly, as the Brocklehurst and Ingram portraits show.
There is unconscious ambiguity but little deliberate irony in Jane Eyre. Hence the remarkable unity of critical interpretation of the book - the reader knows all too well what he is meant to think about the heroine and the subsidiary characters. The novel does not merely request our judicious sympathy for the heroine, it demands
that we see with her eyes, think in her terms, and hate her enemies, not just intermittently (as in David Copperfield) but in toto. It was, incidentally, because James Joyce recognised the similar tendency of Stephen Hero that he reshaped his autobiographical material as A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, retaining the 'first-person effect' but building in stylistic and structural
irony that would guard against the appearance of wholesale authorial endorsement of Stephen. #Quote by Ian Gregor
Literary Criticism quotes by Frank Kermode
#175. What, then, can Shakespearean tragedy, on this brief view, tell us about human time in an eternal world? It offers imagery of crisis, of futures equivocally offered, by prediction and by action, as actualities; as a confrontation of human time with other orders, and the disastrous attempt to impose limited designs upon the time of the world. What emerges from Hamlet is--after much futile, illusory action--the need of patience and readiness. The 'bloody period' of Othello is the end of a life ruined by unseasonable curiosity. The millennial ending of Macbeth, the broken apocalypse of Lear, are false endings, human periods in an eternal world. They are researches into death in an age too late for apocalypse, too critical for prophecy; an age more aware that its fictions are themselves models of the human design on the world. But it was still an age which felt the human need for ends consonant with the past, the kind of end Othello tries to achieve by his final speech; complete, concordant. As usual, Shakespeare allows him his tock; but he will not pretend that the clock does not go forward. The human perpetuity which Spenser set against our imagery of the end is represented here also by the kingly announcements of Malcolm, the election of Fortinbras, the bleak resolution of Edgar.

In apocalypse there are two orders of time, and the earthly runs to a stop; the cry of woe to the inhabitants of the earth means the end of their time; henceforth 'time shall be no more.' I #Quote by Frank Kermode
Literary Criticism quotes by Jane Goldman
#176. Woolf turned her back on a number of tokens of her rising eminence in the 1930s, including an offer of the Companion of Honour award, an invitation from Cambridge University to give the Clark lectures, and honorary doctorate degrees from Manchester University and Liverpool University.
'It is an utterly corrupt society,' she wrote in her diary, '. . . & I will take nothing that it can give me #Quote by Jane Goldman
Literary Criticism quotes by F.L. Lucas
#177. Thence it is possible to arrive by easy stages at the happy notion, not uncommon among 'intellectuals', that taste consists of distaste, and that the loftiest of pleasures is that of feeling displeased; and thus to end by enjoying almost nothing in literature but one's own opinions, while oneself incapable of writing a living sentence. #Quote by F.L. Lucas
Literary Criticism quotes by Solange Nicole
#178. As long as people believe in the written word and a good story.. They will believe in me. #Quote by Solange Nicole
Literary Criticism quotes by Erica Jong
#179. Beware of the man who denounces woman writers; his penis is tiny and he cannot spell. #Quote by Erica Jong
Literary Criticism quotes by Sara Raasch
#180. That's why literature is so fascinating. It's always up for interpretation, and could be a hundred different things to a hundred different people. It's never the same thing twice. #Quote by Sara Raasch
Literary Criticism quotes by Carolyn Abbate
#181. Because it exists as a living sonority, music is animated by voices, and these voices do not evaporate when music confronts the insights of contemporary literary criticism, or philosophy of language. #Quote by Carolyn Abbate
Literary Criticism quotes by Christopher Hitchens
#182. Isaac Deutscher was best known - like his compatriot Joseph Conrad - for learning English at a late age and becoming a prose master in it. But, when he writes above, about the 'fact' that millions of people 'may' conclude something, he commits a solecism in any language. Like many other critics, he judges Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four not as a novel or even as a polemic, but by the possibility that it may depress people. This has been the standard by which priests and censors have adjudged books to be lacking in that essential 'uplift' which makes them wholesome enough for mass consumption. The pretentious title of Deutscher's essay only helps to reinforce the impression of something surreptitious being attempted. #Quote by Christopher Hitchens
Literary Criticism quotes by Jewel Spears Brooker
#183. The sixties began what many admirers of Eliot would consider a bleak period. The anxiety of influence of the profession at large seemed to inspire quick and increasingly uninformed dismissals of Eliot, and these repeated denigrations produced, predictably, a generation of students with vague and inaccurate impressions about his poetry and ideas. But there is a bright side to Eliot studies of the last quarter century. The general retreat from Eliot coincided with the beginning of basic and important work on his ideas, especially on his early philosophical writings. #Quote by Jewel Spears Brooker
Literary Criticism quotes by George Orwell
#184. Most modern literary criticism is literary and nothing else - that is, it concentrates on an author's style and thinks it rather vulgar to notice his subject matter. #Quote by George Orwell
Literary Criticism quotes by Joseph Joubert
#185. Criticism even should not be without its charms. When quite devoid of all amenities, it is no longer literary. #Quote by Joseph Joubert
Literary Criticism quotes by Graham Greene
#186. I tossed up whether I'd see [the critic] or not: I knew too well the pompous phrases of his article, the buried significance he would discover of which I was unaware and the faults I was tired of facing. #Quote by Graham Greene
Literary Criticism quotes by H.L. Mencken
#187. He writes the worst English that I have ever encountered. It reminds me of a string of wet sponges; it reminds me of tattered washing on the line; it reminds me of stale bean soup, of college yells, of dogs barking idiotically through endless nights. It is so bad that a sort of grandeur creeps into it. It drags itself out of the dark abysm of pish, and crawls insanely up the topmost pinnacle of posh. It is rumble and bumble. It is flap and doodle. It is balder and dash.
(writing about US President Warren G. Harding) #Quote by H.L. Mencken
Literary Criticism quotes by Ronald Carter
#188. As we have seen, French culture and language interacted with native English culture for several generations after the Norman Conquest. A common word such as 'castle' is a French loan word, for example; and the whole romance tradition comes from the French. But this sensibility, culture, and language becomes integrated with native culture.
As well as the beginnings of what came to be called a courtly love tradition, we can find in Early Middle English (around the time that Layamon was writing Brut) the growth of a local tradition of songs and ballads. #Quote by Ronald Carter
Literary Criticism quotes by Ian Gregor
#189. Wuthering Heights, however it may appear in retrospect,
demands a reading of the utmost intensity, the feeling present in the writing seems to seek a matching response in the reading. If we turn from the story that Emily Brontë tells to the kind of story that Hardy tells, we find a markedly different kind of reader being called into being, a reader who is to be drawn not so much into an intensity of response, but rather into a continual oscillation between
intensity of involvement and contemplative detachment #Quote by Ian Gregor
Literary Criticism quotes by David Denby
#190. Just because a book is a classic doesn't mean it has anything to do with real life. Homer's ILIAD is taught at Columbia precisely because most Columbia professors have never seen combat. Daily life on the Columbia Campus involves no bloodshed, no sacrifice, and no possibility of recognition. Indeed, for most college students daily life is less like Homer's ILIAD and more like THE LAST PICTURE SHOW by Larry McMurtry. But who wants to read a book set in Texas? #Quote by David Denby
Literary Criticism quotes by Janet Malcolm
#191. Life, of course, never gets anyone's entire attention. Death always remains interesting, pulls us, draws us. As sleep is necessary to our physiology, so depression seems necessary to our psychic economy. In some secret way, Thanatos nourishes Eros as well as opposes it. The two principles work in covert concert; though in most of us Eros dominates, in none of us is Thanatos completely subdued. However-and this is the paradox of suicide-to take one's life is to behave in a more active, assertive, "erotic" way than to helplessly watch as one's life is taken away from one by inevitable mortality. Suicide thus engages with both the death-hating and the death-loving parts of us: on some level, perhaps, we may envy the suicide even as we pity him. It has frequently been asked whether the poetry of Plath would have so aroused the attention of the world if Plath had not killed herself. I would agree with those who say no. The death-ridden poems move us and electrify us because of our knowledge of what happened. Alvarez has observed that the late poems read as if they were written posthumously, but they do so only because a death actually took place. "When I am talking about the weather / I know what I am talking about," Kurt Schwitters writes in a Dada poem (which I have quoted in its entirety). When Plath is talking about the death wish, she knows what she is talking about. In 1966, Anne Sexton, who committed suicide eleven years after Plath, wrote a poem entitled "Wanting to Die," #Quote by Janet Malcolm
Literary Criticism quotes by Richard J. Borden
#192. Most intellectual training focuses on analytical skills. Whether in literary criticism or scientific investigation, the academic mind is best at taking things apart. The complementary arts of integration are far less well developed. This problem is at the core of human ecology. As with any interdisciplinary pursuit, it is the bridging across disparate ways of knowing that is the constant challenge. #Quote by Richard J. Borden
Literary Criticism quotes by Northrop Frye
#193. We have to look at the figures of speech a writer uses, his images and symbols, to realize that underneath all the complexity of human life that uneasy stare at an alien nature is still haunting us, and the problem of surmounting it still with us. Above all, we have to look at the total design of a writer's work, the title he gives to it, and the his main theme, which means his point in writing it, to understand that literature is still doing the same job that mythology did earlier, but filling in its huge cloudy shapes with sharper lights and deeper shadows. [p.32] #Quote by Northrop Frye
Literary Criticism quotes by Ronald Carter
#194. Revolution was the great nightmare of eighteenth-century British society, and when first the American Revolution of 1776, then the French Revolution of 1789 overturned the accepted order, the United Kingdom exercised all its power so that revolution would not damage its own hardwon security and growing prosperity. Eighteenth-century writing is full of pride in England as the land of liberty (far ahead of France, the great rival, in political maturity), and saw a corresponding growth in national self-confidence accompanying the expansion of empire. #Quote by Ronald Carter
Literary Criticism quotes by Frank Kermode
#195. Bohr is really doing what the Stoic allegorists did to close the gap between their world and Homer's, or what St. Augustine did when he explained, against the evidence, the concord of the canonical scriptures. The dissonances as well as the harmonies have to be made concordant by means of some ultimate complementarity. Later biblical scholarship has sought different explanations, and more sophisticated concords; but the motive is the same, however the methods may differ. An epoch, as Einstein remarked, is the instruments of its research. Stoic physics, biblical typology, Copenhagen quantum theory, are all different, but all use concord-fictions and assert complementarities.

Such fictions meet a need. They seem to do what Bacon said poetry could: 'give some show of satisfaction to the mind, wherein the nature of things doth seem to deny it.' Literary fictions ( Bacon's 'poetry') do likewise. One consequence is that they change, for the same reason that patristic allegory is not the same thing, though it may be essentially the same kind of thing, as the physicists' Principle of Complementarity. The show of satisfaction will only serve when there seems to be a degree of real compliance with reality as we, from time to time, imagine it. Thus we might imagine a constant value for the irreconcileable observations of the reason and the imagination, the one immersed in chronos, the other in kairos; but the proportions vary indeterminably. Or, when we find 'what will suffic #Quote by Frank Kermode
Literary Criticism quotes by George Steiner
#196. Literary criticism has about it neither rigour nor proof. Where it is honest, it is passionate, private experience seeking to persuade. #Quote by George Steiner
Literary Criticism quotes by Jewel Spears Brooker
#197. The intellectual context in which Eliot began work on the "long poem" that was to become The Waste Land has much to tell us about formal aspects of his poem. Certainly it reveals something of the problem any artist would have had in finding a perspective on the twentieth century. Emphasis on context, however, should not be taken as an assertion of specific influence. It should not be assumed that Eliot was consciously trying to adjust his presentation of reality to conform with the presentations in science or in the visual arts or even that he was greatly influenced by any specific scientific theory or any aesthetic manifesto. Without a doubt, he was aware of what was happening in science, in philosophy, and in the other arts. And without a doubt, he created structures in art which show his sensitivity to his age and which are formally analogous to structures created by other artists. He arrived, however, not by following anyone but by trying to find his own way. He spent most of the decade before writing The Waste Land as a close student of philosophy, comparative religion, and Buddhism, and his understanding of these subjects is part of the basic context of his art. #Quote by Jewel Spears Brooker
Literary Criticism quotes by John E. Stoll
#198. He was more aware than is usually admitted of the Freudian implications in the novel, and the note of ambiguity could have insinuated itself at least as a partial effort to conceal the radical thesis and the problem of form. Since this is exactly what happens in Lady Chatterley's Lover, the hypothesis is not without possibilities. #Quote by John E. Stoll
Literary Criticism quotes by Russell A. Peck
#199. Gower is the first English writer to use "history" as an English word. He regularly rhymes the term with "memory," for to his way of thinking history and memory are correlative. That is, without history, there can be no memory; and without memory, there can be no history. But the point of historical knowledge is not to enable people to live in the past, or even to understand the past in the way we would expect a modern historian to proceed; rather, it is to enable people to live more vitally in the present. #Quote by Russell A. Peck
Literary Criticism quotes by C.S. Lewis
#200. Periods' are largely an invention of the historians. The poets
themselves are not conscious of living in any period and refuse to conform to the scheme. #Quote by C.S. Lewis
Literary Criticism quotes by Boria Sax
#201. Monsters' can help us by giving a tangible form to our secret fears. It is less widely appreciated today that 'wonders' such as the unicorn legitimize our hopes. But all imaginary animals, to some degree all animals, are ultimately both monsters and wonders, which assist us by deflecting and absorbing our uncertainties . It is hard to tell 'imaginary animals' from symbolic, exemplary, heraldic, stylized, poetic, literary, or stereotypical ones. What is reality? Until we answer that question with confidence, a sharp differentiation between real animals and imaginary ones will remain elusive. There is some yeti in every ape, and a bit of Pegasus in every horse. Men and women are not only part angel and part demon, as the old cliché goes; they are also part centaur, part werewolf, part mandrake, and part sphinx. #Quote by Boria Sax
Literary Criticism quotes by Harold H. Bloomfield
#202. The irony of love is that it guarantees some degree of anger, fear and criticism. #Quote by Harold H. Bloomfield
Literary Criticism quotes by C.S. Lewis
#203. But the greatest cause of verbicide is the fact that most people are obviously far more anxious to express their approval and disapproval of things than to describe them. Hence the tendency of words to become less descriptive and more evaluative; then become evaluative, while still retaining some hint of the sort of goodness or badness implied; and to end up by being purely evaluative
useless synonyms for good or for bad. #Quote by C.S. Lewis
Literary Criticism quotes by Lafcadio Hearn
#204. For this reason, to study English literature without some general knowledge of the relation of the Bible to that literature would be to leave one's literary education very incomplete. #Quote by Lafcadio Hearn
Literary Criticism quotes by Wilford W. Andersen
#205. Dissonance cannot be corrected by criticism. #Quote by Wilford W. Andersen
Literary Criticism quotes by Alan Loy McGinnis
#206. The bigger your job, the more negative evaluations you must hand out. And the more criticism you must be willing to absorb. #Quote by Alan Loy McGinnis
Literary Criticism quotes by Frank Moore Colby
#207. One learns little more about a man from the feats of his literary memory than from the feats of his alimentary canal. #Quote by Frank Moore Colby
Literary Criticism quotes by Daniel C. Dennett
#208. Some philosophical research projects - or problematics, to speak with the more literary types - are rather like working out the truths of chess. A set of mutually agreed-upon rules are presupposed - and seldom discussed - and the implications of those rules are worked out, articulated, debated, refined. So far, so good. Chess is a deep and important human artifact, about which much of value has been written. But some philosophical research projects are more like working out the truths of chmess. Chmess is just like chess except that the king can move two squares in any direction, not one. I just invented it. … There are just as many a priori truths of chmess as there are of chess (an infinity), and they are just as hard to discover. And that means that if people actually did get involved in investigating the truths of chmess, they would make mistakes, which would need to be corrected, and this opens up a whole new field of a priori investigation, the higher-order truths of chmess … Now none of this is child's play. In fact, one might be able to demonstrate considerable brilliance in the group activity of working out the higher-order truths of chmess. Here is where psychologist Donald Hebb's dictum comes in handy: If it isn't worth doing, it isn't worth doing well. #Quote by Daniel C. Dennett
Literary Criticism quotes by Gilbert K. Chesterton
#209. Either criticism is no good at all (a very defensible position) or else criticism means saying about an author the very things that would have made him jump out of his boots. #Quote by Gilbert K. Chesterton
Literary Criticism quotes by Alana Massey
#210. Sylvia was an early literary manifestation of a young woman who takes endless selfies and posts them with vicious captions calling herself fat and ugly. She is at once her own documentarian and the reflexive voice that says she is unworthy of documentation. She sends her image into the world to be seen, discussed, and devoured, proclaiming that the ordinariness or ugliness of her existence does not remove her right to have it. #Quote by Alana Massey
Literary Criticism quotes by Amy Tan
#211. I read a book a day when I was a kid. My family was not literary; we did not have any books in the house. #Quote by Amy Tan
Literary Criticism quotes by Orrin Woodward
#212. Learn to use the criticism as fuel and you will never run out of energy. #Quote by Orrin Woodward
Literary Criticism quotes by Max Beerbohm
#213. She did not look like an orphan, said the wife of the Oriel don, subsequently, on the way home. The criticism was a just one ... Tall and lissom, she was sheathed from the bosom downwards in flamingo silk, and she was liberally festooned with emeralds. Her dark hair was not even strained back from her forehead and behind her ears, as an orphan's should be. Parted somewhere at the side, it fell in an avalanche of curls upon one eyebrow. From her right ear drooped heavily a black pearl, from her left a pink; and their difference gave an odd, bewildering witchery to the little face between. #Quote by Max Beerbohm
Literary Criticism quotes by Dallin H. Oaks
#214. It's wrong to criticize leaders of the church, even if the criticism is true. #Quote by Dallin H. Oaks
Literary Criticism quotes by Criss Jami
#215. I find it a challenge to cooperate in a society where it's considered moral to critique a résumé yet immoral to critique morality. #Quote by Criss Jami
Literary Criticism quotes by Siri Hustvedt
#216. Ego, id, and superego are terms familiar to all, but for many years, Freud's psychoanalytic theory has thrived in English departments around the country as a tool for interpreting literary texts but has rarely, if ever, been discussed in science departments. #Quote by Siri Hustvedt
Literary Criticism quotes by F.C. Malby
#217. The others moved in like a wake of vultures, ready to devour their prey. she had seen it on television once. 'Scavengers,' Tatinek called them. They swoop in and feed off the carcasses of animals that are too weak to escape - lots of them on battlefields. This looked the same, only the victim wasn't there, just his writing, his typewriter, and bits of dark paper. #Quote by F.C. Malby
Literary Criticism quotes by Audre Lorde
#218. Black writers, of whatever quality, who step outside the pale of what black writers are supposed to write about, or who black writers are supposed to be, are condemned to silences in black literary circles that are as total and as destructive as any imposed by racism. #Quote by Audre Lorde
Literary Criticism quotes by Stewart Udall
#219. The national parklands have a major role in providing superlative opportunities for outdoor recreation, but they have other people serving values. They can provide an experience in conservation education for the young people of the country; they can enrich our literary and artistic consciousness; they can help create social values; contribute to our civic consciousness; remind us of our debt to the land of our fathers. #Quote by Stewart Udall
Literary Criticism quotes by Brenda Sutton Rose
#220. The wind whirls and whistles and strip pink blooms from the mimosas, scatters twigs, broken limbs, pine needles and pine cones across our yard, and robs the pecan trees of a thousand leaves. The storm eventually dies, but the bruised trees continue to weep into the night, still shimmering with dewy leaves when the sun comes up the next morning. #Quote by Brenda Sutton Rose
Literary Criticism quotes by Jodi Picoult
#221. Read a ton. Take a workshop course so you learn to give and get criticism. #Quote by Jodi Picoult
Literary Criticism quotes by Henry James
#222. The practice of "reviewing" ... in general has nothing in common with the art of criticism. #Quote by Henry James
Literary Criticism quotes by A. Scott Berg
#223. Max sent Scottie some literary advice, the same dictum he gave every college student who called on him. He stressed the importance of a liberal arts education but urged her to avoid all courses in writing. "Everyone has to find her own way of writing," he wrote Scottie, "and the source of finding it is largely out of literature. #Quote by A. Scott Berg
Literary Criticism quotes by Michael Moorcock
#224. I think the notion of worldbuilding is a failure of literary sophistication. #Quote by Michael Moorcock
Literary Criticism quotes by B.R. Ambedkar
#225. In 1931, when Ambedkar met Gandhi for the first time, Gandhi questioned him about his sharp criticism of the Congress (which, it was assumed, was tantamount to criticising the struggle for the Homeland). "Gandhiji, I have no Homeland," was Ambedkar's famous reply. "No Untouchable worth the name will be proud of this land."61 #Quote by B.R. Ambedkar
Literary Criticism quotes by Jasper Fforde
#226. The Special Operations Network was instigated to handle policing duties considered either too unusual or too specialized to be tackled by the regular force. There were thirty departments in all, starting at the more mundane Neighborly Disputes (SO-30) and going onto Literary Detectives (SO-27) and Art Crime (SO-24). Anything below SO-20 was restricted information, although it was common knowledge that the ChronoGuard was SO-12 and Antiterrorism SO-9. It is rumored that SO-1 was the department that polices the SpecOps themselves. Quite what the others do is anyone's guess. What is known is that the individual operatives themselves are mostly ex-military or ex-police and slightly unbalanced. 'If you want to be a SpecOp,' the saying goes, 'act kinda weird ... #Quote by Jasper Fforde
Literary Criticism quotes by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
#227. You long for life and try to settle the problems of life by a logical tangle. And how tiresome, how insolent your outbursts are, and at the same time, how scared you are! You talk nonsense and are pleased with it; you say imprudent things and are constantly afraid of them and apologizing for them. You declare that you are afraid of nothing and at the same time try to ingratiate yourself with us. You declare that you are gnashing your teeth and at the same time you try to be witty so as to amuse us. You know that your witticisms are not witty, but you are evidently well satisfied with their literary value. You may perhaps really have suffered, but you have no respect whatsoever for your own suffering. You may be truthful in what you have said but you have no modesty; out of the pettiest vanity you bring your truth to public exposure, to the market place, to ignominity. #Quote by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Literary Criticism quotes by Matthew Pearl
#228. I think respectful conflict is intrinsic to the spirit of literature. It reminds us that literary history is living and evolving and thrives on us being active participants. #Quote by Matthew Pearl
Literary Criticism quotes by Ralph Waldo Emerson
#229. When the literary class betray a destitution of faith, it is not strange that society should be disheartened and sensualized by unbelief. #Quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson
Literary Criticism quotes by Jonathan Swift
#230. We of this age have discovered a shorter, and more prudent method to become scholars and wits, without the fatigue of reading or of thinking. #Quote by Jonathan Swift
Literary Criticism quotes by Rafael Yglesias
#231. It was always the most striking scene, the best work, the most disturbing emotion and unsettling idea that attracts criticism. #Quote by Rafael Yglesias
Literary Criticism quotes by Norman Lock
#232. The raft was seized, with a noise like needles knitting, and we were hemmed in for winter -- river and the old channel's oxbow lake having frozen solid. By now, we guessed we were not two ordinary river must have been the river that was extraordinary: a marvel that protected us by the same mysterious action that had given a common horse wings and changed a woman into a laurel tree. #Quote by Norman Lock
Literary Criticism quotes by NoViolet Bulawayo
#233. In America we saw more food than we had seen in all our lives and we were so happy we rummaged through the dustbins of our souls to retrieve the stained, broken pieces of God. #Quote by NoViolet Bulawayo
Literary Criticism quotes by Gillian Flynn
#234. It seemed to me that there was nothing new to be discovered ever again. Our society was utterly, ruinously derivative (although the word derivative as a criticism is itself derivative). We were the first human beings who would never see anything for the first time. We stare at the wonders of the world, dull-eyed, underwhelmed. Mona Lisa, the Pyramids, the Empire State Building. Jungle animals on attack, ancient icebergs collapsing, volcanoes erupting. I can't recall a single amazing thing I have seen firsthand that I didn't immediately reference to a movie or TV show. #Quote by Gillian Flynn
Literary Criticism quotes by Paul Elie
#235. In American fiction, belief is like that. Belief as upbringing, belief as social fact, belief as a species of American weirdness: our literary fiction has all of these things. All that is missing is the believer. #Quote by Paul Elie
Literary Criticism quotes by Stephen Colbert
#236. I welcome opposing viewpoints, but I should warn you that you'll be facing off against the 2nd-place finisher at the 1981 Charleston County High-School Debate Tournament. And whatever became of that county champ who argued in favor of tractor safety modifications? Last time I checked, she didn't have her own show. #Quote by Stephen Colbert

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