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By Meyer H. Abrams

This hugely acclaimed examine analyzes a number of the tendencies in English feedback throughout the first 4 many years of this century.

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Consequently, theories which agree in assigning to the represented universe the primary control over a legitimate work of art may vary from recommending the most uncompromising realism to the most remote idealism. Each of our other terms, as we shall see, also varies, both in meaning and functioning, according to the critical theory in which it occurs, the method of reasoning which the theorist characteristically uses, and the explicit or implicit 'world-view' of which these theories are an integral part.

Disagree. The fact is that many theories of art cannot readily be compared at all, because they lack a common ground on which to meet and clash. They seem incommensurable because stated in diverse terms, or in identical terms with diverse signification, or because they are an integral part of larger systems of thought which differ in assumptions and procedure. As a result it is hard to find where they agree, where disagree, or even, what the points at issue are. Our first need, then, is to find a frame of reference simple enough to be readily manageable, yet flexible enough so that, without undue violence to any one set of statements about art, it will translate as many sets as possible onto a single plane of discourse.

Changing Metaphors of Mind, 57 IV. THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE EXPRESSIVE THEORY OF POETRY AND ART, 70 • i. Si vis me ftere . . , 71 ii. Longinus and the Longinians, 72 iii. Primitive Language and Primitive Poetry, 78 iv. The Lyric as Poetic Norm, 84 v. Expressive Theory in Germany: Ut Musica Poesis, 88 vi. Wordsworth, Blair, and The Enquirer, 95 vii. Expressive Theory and Expressive Practice, 97 Contents Preface, vii I. INTRODUCTION: ORIENTATION OF CRITICAL THEORIES, 3 i. Some Co-ordinates of Art Criticism, 6 H.

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