Organic Unity in Ancient and Later Poetics: The Philosophical Foundations of Literary Criticism

Organic Unity in Ancient and Later Poetics: The Philosophical Foundations of Literary Criticism

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There is a tendency in some contemporary critics, according to G. N. Giordano Orsini, to start every question from scratch, as if it had never been thought of before. This fos­ters the illusion that the critic’s views on that question are entirely novel and original. Since, as Mr. Orsini goes on to point out, the same attitude may be taken at the same time by other critics of differing or opposite views, the result is the babel that easily can be imagined.

 

Orsini writes from a point of view which is about the exact opposite of that. He believes that knowledge of the history of ideas is the lifeblood of any critical concep­tion that aims at saying something that is also new.

 

Detailed notes as well as a selected bibli­ography serve as guideposts to further inquiry beyond the scope of this introduction to the philosophy of literary criticism. Readers will find this penetrating essay by one of the great contemporary scholars both scintillating and thought provoking.

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