Texts Analyzing Literature as Argument- From Philip Sidney to Henry James

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Golban offers an interdisciplinary perspective involving literary theory, criticism, and literary history which will be useful to scholars and students. The main concern of the book is the British critical discourse which originates in the Renaissance and continues its developmental process until the rise of the formal approach to literature in the twentieth century.
Some of these author critics, like Sidney and Dryden, develop critical ideas based on a respectable classical tradition; others, like Coleridge and Ruskin, were more original and innovative in their critical theories. Among them, there were those who used or materialized their own artistic or literary theories in their literary texts, such as Wordsworth reifying his theory of the origin of poetry, or Pater exemplifying the principles of aestheticism. For some, criticism was a means of defending the aesthetic value of literature; for others, criticism represented the instrument to be used in an attempt to found a new genre, or even introduce into the contemporary culture and to validate a whole new literary movement, such as for Wordsworth and Coleridge.


“Before one embarks on more particular and advanced approaches, the book promises to supply the starting point for some more independent work in the field and I can see a study of this kind and design being necessary on many a student and scholar’s bookshelf.”
Prof. Hasan Boynukara,
Namik Kemal University

Table of Contents

Foreword by Hasan Boynukara
Introduction: Approaching Literature and Approaching Criticism
Renaissance Criticism: The Defense of Poesie
Restoration Criticism: Of Dramatic Poesie, An Essay
Neoclassical Criticism:An Essay on Man
The Rise of the Novel: Preface to Joseph Andrews
Romantic Criticism: Preface to Lyrical Ballads, Biographia Literaria, A Defence of Poetry
Victorian Criticis:The Study of Poetry, Modern Painters, Studies in the History of the Renaissance, The Art of Fiction
Conclusion. The Practitioners Speak Theory: British Writer-Critics and the Movement of Literary Criticism
References and Furher Reading

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