Download e-book for kindle: The critic in the modern world : public criticism from by James Ley

By James Ley

ISBN-10: 1623563739

ISBN-13: 9781623563738

ISBN-10: 1623569311

ISBN-13: 9781623569310

The Critic within the glossy World explores the paintings of six influential literary critics―Samuel Johnson, William Hazlitt, Matthew Arnold, T.S. Eliot, Lionel Trilling and James Wood―each of whom occupies a unique historic second. It considers how those consultant critics have developed their public personae, the types of arguments they've got used, and their center rules and philosophies.

Spanning 300 years of cultural history, The Critic within the sleek global considers a few of the ways that literary critics have situated themselves on the subject of the fashionable culture of descriptive feedback. In supplying a lucid account of every critic's vital ideas and philosophies, it considers the function of the literary critic as a public determine, examining him as an individual who's pressured to handle the broader problems with individualism and the social implications of the democratising, secularising, liberalising forces of modernity.

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The three disgraced poets appear so ritually in Hazlitt’s writings that they become almost talismanic figures, symbols of the wider political betrayal that so deeply affected him. They become examples of the fatal weakness of human nature. Hazlitt is a complex, paradoxical character. 19 In person he was dark and brooding, intense and philosophical. His hair was thick and lustrous black. His enemies in the Tory press described him as ‘pimpled’, but his complexion was in fact pale and clear. He had a reputation, fuelled by his pugnacious journalism, for being quarrelsome, but he was, oddly enough for such a combative writer, rather shy.

The values Hazlitt cherishes are not created, strictly speaking; they are revealed. They are extrapolated from the recognition of the shared reality of our being, which needs only to be acknowledged for their essential truth to be grasped. He understands the political choice between monarchism and republicanism not simply as a choice between two systems of government, whose relative merits might be weighed against each other in a spirit of pragmatism: it is a stark choice between a system that acknowledges the fundamental truth of human equality and one that oppresses that truth.

This drove Hazlitt to an anguished fit of jealousy that he documented, in a manner unflattering to himself, in Liber Amoris. The book quickly became notorious, thanks largely to Hazlitt’s political enemies, who seized upon the work as evidence of his depraved nature. 17 But the defining disappointment of Hazlitt’s life was political. Like so many of his generation, he was inspired by the ideals of the French Revolution. He never wavered from his commitment to republicanism. But he lived through a period of grinding reaction as the monarchies of Europe banded together to crush the egalitarian spirit of the Revolution, confronting and defeating republican France in the Napoleonic Wars.

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The critic in the modern world : public criticism from Samuel Johnson to James Wood by James Ley


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