A literary analysis of his criterion for poetry by warren
The simplest way of solving the question is by distinguishing the particular use made of language in literature.
Perhaps we are in a position now to characterize the special practice of literary criticism. The former is used for reference and the latter is for the expression of emotions and attitudes.
What is literature for
So he develops his sense of the whole, the anticipation of the finished poem, as he works with the parts, and moves from one part to another. There are indeed pitfalls all around. In characterizing the work of literature as "a little world complete," what Warren postulates is not a doctrine of autonomy but the property of coherence. And it does not merely state and express what it says; it also wants to influence the attitude of the reader, persuade him, and ultimately change him. For the most part, Robert Penn Warren has been left out of recent histories of American criticism. It conceives of interpretation merely as a sort of classification system in which different pieces of a text are grouped together on the basis of having something in common. The analysis of urging and exhorting can no longer be properly linguistic. Literature does contain thought, while emotional language is by no means confined to literature: witness a lovers' conversation or an ordinary quarrel. New Criticism began as a movement replacing the biocritical and historical methods that dominated English studies in the 19th and early 20th centuries. In plain fact, it is possible to distinguish professions—say, medicine and dentistry—which are not sharply distinguishable in regard to the kind of activities performed by each. In different periods of history the realm of the aesthetic function seems to expand or to contract: the personal letter, at times, was an art form, as was the sermon, while today, in agreement with the contemporary tendency against the confusion of genres, there appears a narrowing of the aesthetic function, a marked stress on purity of art, a reaction against pan-aestheticism and its claims as voiced by the aesthetics of the late nineteenth century.
The statements in a novel, in a poem, or in a drama are not literally true; they are not logical propositions. The critic is concerned not with legislation but with logic. It is distinctive in modifying experience for the sake of interpretation and judgment; it is never merely content with what it encounters in experience, but always rearranges it.
Influenced by T.
Nature and literature
A poem is an experience, not a discussion of an experience. In this respect, the German term Wortkunst and the Russian slovesnost have the advantage over their English equivalent. For example, literature may inspire the other art forms, or vice versa. No doubt, everyday language wants most frequently to achieve results, to influence actions and attitudes. The first stanza of the poem, Warren says, is "chiseled"; the lines are balanced in structure and rhythm; there is the tight "formal control" of "alliteration, repetition, and assonance"; the entire stanza appears almost to be "built up, as it were, of units which are firmly defined and sharply separated, phrase by phrase, line by line" NSE Bertens, Hans. Wellek and Warren limit their definition of literature to pieces of "imaginative literature", which can gain artistic merit from their coherence and complexity. It is also a unique and unmistakable mode of thought and speech. All kinds of techniques have been invented to draw attention to it, such as metre, alliteration, and patterns of sound. They note that literary scholarship should not only examine what makes a work or author unique, but also its general characteristics that allow it to be compared to other works. Works which are true to certain psychological theories, meanwhile, are not necessarily better. He is made only of the sentences describing him or put into his mouth by the author.
And the history of criticism in its present form is just this history of doctrines and movements, and little more. Classification as an should be distinguished from evaluation.
From this view, criticism is seen to display the marks of professionalization: its function has become increasingly specialized and narrow, and it has come to seem increasingly foreign to outsiders; its practitioners share a common education; they have created bodies of specialized knowledge; and they preside over classes of the unknowledgeable.
And yet when Hollander relents into lucidity, how instructive he can be—his learning prodigious, his technical analysis trenchant. They reject a more specific understanding of social realities in literature.
Poetry, MacLeish is saying, should speak metaphorically, substituting evocative images for the description of emotions, or historical details, or vague ideas. Doubtless nobody should be forbidden to enter any area he likes, and doubtless there is much to be said in favour of cultivating the history of civilization in the broadest terms.
Everyday language is full of the irrationalities and contextual changes of historical language, though there ate moments when it aims at almost the precision of scientific description.
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