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    • 1 LITERARY ESSAY (b)Narrative Essays A narrative essay deals with a narration of some event, or THE ART OF ESSAY WRITING series of events. The narrative it relates should be treatedAs a form of literature the essay includes compositions of as a subject for thought and comment, and so the essaya varied character: Bacon, Addison, Lamb, Macaulay, Mat- should be more or less reflective. It may deal with historicalthew Arnold, for instance, all wrote “essays” though their facts or legends, biographies, incidents, journey or voyage,compositions that go by that name seem to have few fea- a story etc.tures in common. But for examination purposes the term (c)Descriptive Essays“essay” has a definite meaning. It is applied to a composi- It deals with a description of some place or thing such astion in which the writer states his knowledge of, and gives animals, plants, minerals, towns, countries, aspects andhis opinion about, a certain topic. The essay, as thus un- phenomena in Nature etc.derstood, may contain narrative or descriptive elements. (d)Expository EssaysBut it will also include comments and criticisms represent- An expository essay consists of an exposition or explana-ing the writer’s own point of view. The essay thus becomes tion of some subject such as institutions, industries, occu-a test, not merely of knowledge, but of thought and imagi- pations, scientific and literary topics. Sometimes the topicnation of an examinee. set is a statement—Often a quotation or proverb—which isTHE FOUR STAGES IN ESSAY WRITING to be explained and illustrated.It is most important that essays should be written strictly (e)Essays Involving Discussionaccording to method. There are four stages to be gone Essay subjects frequently require the writer to discuss athrough: certain problem and to present a logical statement of his(a) Think about the subject, and set down on paper all the point of view, for example Co-education, The Influencefacts or ideas which occur to you. The title of the essay of Sea-power on History, The Finest Occupation in Life,must be read carefully so that the precise scope of the Should All Censorship Be Abolished? etc.subject and the point of view from which it is to be treated THE OPENING PARAGRAPH OF AN ESSAYmay be grasped. It is most important to devise a good opening paragraph for(b)Arrange these facts according to topics, and so con- an essay. It may be said that writing an interesting intro-struct an outline for the composition. When the facts have duction is half the battle won. When once you have struckbeen arranged, it will be found that they group themselves out a sound and perhaps an original idea for your first sen-under certain heads. Suppose there are five topics. Each of tence, the remaining sections of the essay follow naturally.these topics will now form the subject of a paragraph, and On the other hand, few essays recover from a lame andthe essay will contain five paragraphs in all. It must be seen halting opening. It is, therefore, worthwhile to spend con-that a due proportion of space is allotted to each aspect of siderable thought on the introductory paragraph. The open-the subject. ing should not be unduly abrupt; it should introduce the(c)Write the essay. In writing the essay, one must pay reader to a perfectly definite idea bearing on the theme.attention, of course, to grammar, punctuation and style. In THE CONCLUDING PARAGRAPHthe matter of style the following points should be particu- As with the opening paragraph, so with the concluding para-larly noted: graph examinees often experience difficulty. It is important1.Clarity is the first essential. Therefore words must be to give an essay a graceful conclusion, and not to bring thechosen accurately. Words, phrases, and clauses must be reader to an abrupt halt. In some essays the concludingplaced in the right order. All pronouns must be clear in their paragraph presents no difficulty. In an argumentative com-reference. position, for instance, the summing-up and the statement2. Slangs must be avoided. of the writer’s own opinion will naturally come at the end.3.The first person should not be used in any essay in Sometimes it is possible to conclude with a generalisationwhich the subject can be treated impersonally, that is to suggested by the subject. Again, a quotation from somesay, such expressions as “I think”, “in my opinion” should distinguished person may fitly round off an essay.not be used. To qualify a statement it is always possible to It is best to avoid beginning the concluding paragraph withuse impersonal expressions such as “it is generally agreed stereotyped phrases like the following:that”, “it is probably a fact that” In conclusion, we may say...(d)Revise what you have written. It is most important that Summing up, we see that the advantages greatlyeverything that is written should be thoroughly revised. In overweigh the disadvantages...this way the student will detect a number of errors which Finally, looking at the matter from both points ofcan be easily corrected, but which, if allowed to remain, view, we may conclude that...would detract considerably from the value of his work. COMMON MISTAKES TO BE AVOIDED1.The paragraphs must not be numbered.2.Headings must not be inserted in the body of the essay.3.Single sentence paragraphs should be avoided. In gen-eral, each paragraph should consist of several sentences.TYPES OF ESSAYS(a) Reflective EssaysA reflective essay consists of reflections or thoughts onsome topic, which is generally of an abstract nature, suchas Music, Romance, Proverbs, Cant, Personal Influ-ence etc. - IInd Floor, Paliwal Market, Gumanpura KOTA (-0744 - 2392059 & 3090500
    • 2 THE NATURE OF LITERATURE science will have no “emotion” or the language of literatureLiterature grows out of life, reacts upon life, and is fed by will have no “thought.” No literature can exist without thoughtlife. Yet to define literature is an extremely difficult task. but the predominant characteristic is “emotion.” Similarly,The scope of literature is so vast that it is impossible to the predominant characteristic in scientific language isreduce it to a formula. Generally we can say that every- “thought.” That is why scientific language is precise or de-thing in print is literature. But this would be a very vague notative.description of literature. Literary study is related with the The language of literature is often vague and full of ambigu-history of civilization but then such a study would not be ities. It is full of antecedents and other connections. There-exactly literary; it may be more historical and less literary. fore the language is connotative. In connotative languageThen we can take up another distinction. The study of ev- the writer does not merely express what he says; he wantserything that is historical will naturally out crowd the liter- to influence the attitude of the reader and persuade him. Inary values and the emphasis will be on values other than the literary language the sound symbolism of the word isliterary. The work of art in which information content is pre- stressed and all kinds of devices and patterns of sound aredominant is mainly historical and not literary. And the work used.of art in which the emotion content is predominant is mainly In scientific language the distinction may be made in a dif-literary and not historical or cultural. But even this distinc- ferent way. The sound pattern will be less important in ation is not water-tight. We can not say that a work of litera- novel than in a lyric. It means that the expressive elementture in which emotion is predominant does not contain will be less important in a novel than in a lyric. The poeticalthought, because every work of literature does contain element will play a large part in a novel or a satirical poem.thought. The only difference is that the thought content in Even here there are a number of variations. For example,such works is subordinate to the emotional content. Con- there are philosophical poems which are almost equivalentversely a history of civilization has mainly thought content to the scientific use of language. Yet literary language isbut it does not mean that it cannot have emotional appeal. found far more deeply in the structure of language and itOnly, the emotional appeal is subordinate. stresses the awareness and has the expressive side whichThen we can say that we should include only great books scientific language wants to minimize.of literature in the category of literature. This will not be It is difficult to trace exactly the difference between every-correct because great books are judged by aesthetic stan- day language and literary language. In everyday languagedards and we cannot exclude the books with less aes- we often use the language of commerce, the language ofthetic values. The study of isolated great books may be religion and the slang of students. Everyday language hasgood enough for beginners who should read atleast good its expressive function though it varies from ordinarybooks, if not great books. If we limit imaginative literature colourless statements to passionate pleas. Thus everydayonly to great books, we shall forget the continuity of literary language is full of irrationalities and contextual changes. Ittradition and developments of literary genres. The aesthetic sometimes has the preciseness of scientific descriptionpoint of view may be found even in books of history or phi- and has awareness of signs which appear in sound sym-losophy when that historian or philosopher uses style and bolism and puns. No doubt, everyday language wants toorganization of material at his disposal in an imaginative achieve results and influence actions but it would be wrongway. For example, Gibbon’s History of the Decline and Fall to limit everyday language to mere communication.of the Roman Empire has a number of literary qualities. It The main difference between the every day and literary lan-has been accepted by a number of critics as pure literature guage is quantitative. In subjective poetry there is person-and a great work of art, although it is a book of history. But ality of the author which is far more important than the per-in the history of literature such a writer will be mentioned in sons in every day situations. Poetry will use paradoxesa superfluous way. and ambiguity etc. Thus poetic language organizes andOne other objection to such classification of literature is tightens the resources of every day language. In highly de-that this imaginative literature is limited only to written lit- veloped literature, the language is so polished by the use oferature and it ignores oral literature like legends, folk tales, generations that the poet uses the established conventionsetc., which have literary values. and the language poeticizes for him.Literary style gives literature its distinctive stamp. Litera- Imagination and fictionality are the distinguishing traits ofture is the expression of written words. The best way to literature. In works like Plato’s “Republic” there is thoughtsolve the question ‘What is literature?’ is to notice the way as well as imagination. The conception of literature is de-in which literature uses the language. “Literature is the per- scriptive and when we talk of fictionality as a criterion ofsonal use or exercise of language.” The history of civiliza- literature, we have to include even the worst novels simplytion uses the language because language is the raw mate- because they are fictional.rial out of which literature is composed. When the language One misunderstanding must be cleared. Imaginative litera-is emotionally charged, it gives literature. When the lan- ture need not use images. Poetic language is full of imag-guage is concentrating or giving information or thought, it ery but we have a number of good poems in which imagesgives history and that is the scientific use of language. do not exist; therefore imagery should not be confused withLiterature is distinct from all other arts. It has no medium of image making. One school of critics says that all art isits own. Many mixed forms of literature exist; therefore it is pure visibility but a lot of great literature does not evokefairly easy to distinguish between the language of literature sensual images. Great novelists have created immortaland the language of science. The main contrast is between characters but we know only their states of mind, not theirthought and emotion. The language of science is domi- visual images, and so a novelist suggests a physical traitnated by thought and the language of literature is domi- and creates a great character. But that does not mean thatnated by emotion but it does not mean that the language of we have to visualize every metaphor in poetry. The psycho- - IInd Floor, Paliwal Market, Gumanpura KOTA (-0744 - 2392059 & 3090500
    • 3logical question should not be confused with the analysis contemporary theory says that the use and seriousness ofof the poet’s metaphysical devices. Metaphor is latent in poetry lies in its capacity to convey knowledge. Poetry is amuch of our every day language. Poetry makes us aware of form of knowledge. Aristotle had said that poetry is morethe metaphysical character of language. philosophical than history. History relates things which haveSo the distinction between literature and non-literature is happened; poetry, such as might happen. In poetry we getconfined to organization, personal expression, explanation the general as well as the particular. Othellois not aboutof the medium, lack of practical purpose and fictionality. jealousy but is about Othello’s jealousy.And we use for these distinctions terms like “unity in vari- Literature stresses the type as well as the individual or theety”, “disinterested contemplation”, “aesthetic distance”, generality as well as the particularity. Literature is more“invention”, “imagination”, “creation.” Each one displays one general than biography and more particular than sociology.aspect of the literary work. One fundamental fact emerges This idea of particularity or individuality changes from agethat a literary work is not a simple object but rather a highly to age. Characters in literature combine the type with thecomplex organization with multiple meanings; it stresses individual. We recognize the type in the character books ofthe aspect of unity in variety. The idea of identity of content the 17th century but the type also can be individual likeand form in literature encourages the illusion that the analysis Hamlet, the lover, the scholar, the fencer, etc. The charac-of any element of art, technique, etc., absolves us from ter types can be flat characters whereas round characterviewing the work of art as a whole. are characters which developed in different stages of life. THE FUNCTION OF LITERATURE The novelist can teach you more about human nature thanWhenever any instrument or a piece is replaced by a later the psychologist. We can see this in Shakespeare, Ibseninstrument or a piece, the utility, the function of the earlier and others. They reveal the introspective life of the charac-piece becomes obsolete. This has not happened in the case ter. We might say that the great novels are source booksof literature even though more than 2000 years have passed. for psychologists because they show generalized types.The conception and function of literature have remained the Max Eastman, a minor poet, says that in the age of sci-same through all the centuries. The history of aesthetics ence a literary mind cannot lay claim to the discovery ofcan be summed up so far as the function of literature is truth, because it is an unspecialized immature mind. Truthconcerned, in Horace’s words, “dulce” and “utile” or “sweet- in literature is the same as truth outside literature. The imagi-ness” and “usefulness.” Each objective separately would native writer misunderstands himself if he thinks that hisgive us a misconception of the function of a poet. The view main object is knowledge. His real function is to make usthat poetry is pleasure is put against the view that poetry is perceive what we see and imagine what we already know.instruction. The view that poetry should be propaganda is Poetry is artistic insight. It makes us see what was thereanswered by the view that poetry is pure sound and emo- all the time, but we had not seen it. It wants us to under-tion. These opposing arguments defined the basic function stand values or aesthetic qualities. One can understandof art as discussed in art versus play. The function of litera- why the aestheticians refuse to accept truth as a poetry ofture with regard to “dulce” or “sweetness” or “pleasure” or art. One can attribute the supreme value to art. Imaginative“play” or “spontaneous amusement” or “purposelessness” literature is a fiction, an imitation of life as Plato has put it;describes the function of art to do justice to the “dulce”. So the opposite of fiction is not truth but fact, and fact is strangerthe Horatian formula of “dulce” and “utile” is good enough than the probability with which literature deals. In art some-as a helpful start remembering that precision in the use of thing may be truer than other things. That truth is literature.critical terms is a very recent thing. The usefulness of art Truth is the province of systematic thinkers and artists aredoes not necessarily lie on the enforcement of such a moral not thinkers. The whole controversy centres round the wordslesson that Homer found in the writing of the Iliad. The word ‘Knowledge,’ ‘Truth’ and ‘Wisdom.’ If all truth is concep-useful is equivalent to “not a waste of time”, “not a form of tual, then the arts cannot be forms of truth. If all truth ispassing time”, “something deserving serious attention.” limited to what can be verified, then also arts cannot beCan we use this sort of double standard for all types of forms of truth. So there are truths and truths. There areliterature? There are books which can be called great litera- various ways of knowing. Sciences use the discursiveture and there are books which fall into the category of modes and arts use the presentational mode. So presenta-good literature or sub-literature. Can this literature be called tional truth takes care of religious myths as well as poetry.useful or instructive or amusing? But one fact emerges that After that way, it is beautiful and true. A poem is equal toeven this type of literature has its appropriate readers and it poetry and it possesses the equivalence of truth. Literatureis sweet as well as useful when a work of literature is a is the presentational method of describing truth. So truth ofsuccessful work. The two functions of literature should not art or literature in a flash gives us the view of truth which isonly co-exist but also coalesce. The pleasure and utility more real and more vivid than the truth of science.should be blended like a chemical compound. The plea- Some critics declare that the artist is the persuasive pur-sure of literature is the highest type of pleasure because it veyor of truth. The term propaganda is not correctly usedis pleasure in a higher type of activity and the utility or here. The artist tries to convert the reader to his particularseriousness becomes aesthetic seriousness. point of view because he wants to evoke in the heart ofHas literature one function or more functions? Eliot speaks readers, the same responses that he has felt for himself; inabout the variety of poetry and various functions that poetry that sense we can say that some art is propaganda but notcan do at different times. Nothing can be a substitute for great art or good art can possibly be propaganda.poetry. Literature can help us about travel in foreign lands According to Montgomery Belgian, the literary artist is anor about history but the basic question is: Is there a use irresponsible propagandist. The purpose of the artist is towhich literature can do better than any other art? The unique convert the readers to his particular point of view by subtlyvalue of literature is basic to any theory of literature. One appealing to the emotions of the reader. The responsible - IInd Floor, Paliwal Market, Gumanpura KOTA (-0744 - 2392059 & 3090500
    • 4artist does not want to confuse the emotion and thinking, ment in a play as a valid document for use in the biographi-experience and sincerity. The propaganda motive of the art- cal study. A writer need not be in a tragic mood to write aist must stay as much in the background as is possible. tragedy nor should he be in a comic mood to write a com-Then there is the question of Catharsis. Catharsis is the edy. Similarly, we cannot say that a particular character ofword first used by Aristotle with reference to the function of his play gives the personal views of Shakespeare. So thetragedy. Similarly the function of literature is to relieve the relation between the private life and the work of an author isreader from the pressure of emotions. At the end of the not a simple relation. Some supporters of biographicalaesthetic experience the reader is left with “Calm of mind.” method will argue that in our age plenty of biographical evi-But then, does literature relieve us of the emotions or incite dence is available regarding poets. Many have left autobio-them? Plato is of the opinion that literature nourishes and graphical statements also; in such a case we can easilywaters our emotions. Are the emotions not wrongly dis- check the biographical approach by referring to the workscharged when they are wasted on poetic fiction? Again, of an author in this respect. The romantic poets were veryshould all art be cathartic? vocal yet in poems like “The Prelude” by Wordsworth weThe question concerning the function of literature has been feel that we cannot take every statement at its face value.discussed from the days of Plato down to the modern times. Poets are of two types: subjective and objective poets. ThoseSuch questions are asked by people who take a utilitarian like Keats and Hemingway are subjective and the oppositeview of arts. They are looking for special values in art; when type of a poet may not want to draw a self-portrait so as tochallenged in this way, Poets have to make a reasoned express himself.reply. They stress the use of art rather than the delight of But even with the subjective poets the distinction betweenart but from the days of romantic poets, the poet has given the statement of an autobiographical nature and the use ofone standard answer for the function of poetry. A. C. Brad- the statement for a motif in a work of art cannot be with-ley calls it “poetry for poetry’s sake.” So using the word, we drawn. A work of art is quite different from a diary or a letter.say poetry has many possible functions but its prime and Therefore it would be perversion of the biographical methodchief function is fidelity to its own nature. Literature, there- to use the intimate or casual documents of an author’s lifefore has a number of functions to fulfil. for the central study or to interpret the poems in the light of LITERATURE AND BIOGRAPHY such documents. For example, Brandes criticizes MacbethThe work of art and the author are intimately interconnected; because it is not very much related to the personality ofhence the explanation in terms of the personality and the Shakespeare. In some works there are elements which canlife of the writer has been an old, established method. Biog- be identified as biographical. But we have to remember thatraphy can be judged in the context of the light it throws on these incidents are so transformed under the imaginationthe production of poetry; that is why the study of the author of the poet that they lose all their specifical personal mean-and his mental and intellectual development has its own ing. The professedly autobiographical “Prelude” differs frominterest. Biography explains and illuminates the actual prod- Wordsworth’s actual life during that particular specific pe-uct of poetry. The interest of biography gets reflected in the riod.personality of the author and is also reflected in the book Even when a work of art contains biographical elements,and biography. Biography is a material for the psychology these elements become so much transformed and inte-of artistic creation. grated that they lose all their specific meaning. This weBiography can be considered chronologically and logically; can see in Wordsworth’s “Prelude” in which the actual lifethat becomes a sort of historical survey and can apply to and the incidents used in the book look so very different.anybody including an author From the point of view of the The view that all art is self-expression can be proved false.biographer the poet is a man whose mental development Even when the work of art represents author’s life it cannotcan be reconstructed with reference to standards of the be a mere copy. The biographical approach obscures thesociety and the author’s works as events happen in the life proper understanding of a literary process because it triesof a man. So publications are published in the life of an to substitute the cycle of an individual. It also ignores theauthor. If we accept this view the biographer is purely a psychological facts. This is because the work of art mayhistorian of literary events basing his conclusions upon be a dream or a mask behind which the real person is hid-documents, letters, statements, etc., about an author. This ing. Again experiences are not seen with a view to their usein its turn depends upon the chronological presentation and in literature. Therefore we must not take seriously some ofdiscreet selection of events. the lives of authors in which the author takes every state-How far can a biographer be justified in using the evidence ment in the poem or a novel as literal truth. This is the typeof works in the construction of a biography. How far can a of argument which has led people to say that Emily Brontebiographer use the results of a literary biography in under- must have experienced the passion of “Heathcliff’ or thatstanding the works themselves. Normally poets are highly because Shakespeare knows so much about a woman’ssubjective people and therefore abundant evidence can be heart, he must have been a woman.found in their works or a biography. This does not mean that personality can be ruled out inEarly literature did not possess documentary evidence on literature. We know that behind the works of Dante or Tolstoywhich a writer can draw. We have only public documents there is a person behind the work. Different writings of thelike birth and death certificates etc. We can know about same author would have a family resemblance; for examplethe finances of Shakespeare but we have absolutely noth- in works of Milton there is a quality which we call “Miltonic”ing excepting doubtful anecdotes regarding the author’s life. but this quality can be deduced from the works of the au-This has resulted in an expense of a vast amount of schol- thor and not from the life of the author.arship. Therefore a good biography of Shakespeare is a The poet’s work can be a mask or conventionalization ofvery difficult problem to handle. We cannot use a state- his own experience. This can be useful only if it is used - IInd Floor, Paliwal Market, Gumanpura KOTA (-0744 - 2392059 & 3090500
    • 5carefully. It may explain allusions to works in an author’s in their writing. Some do not.work. The biographical frame-work will help us to under- Subjective or objective writers are not necessarily singlestand the gradual maturing and possible decline of an types; there are romantic poets who are lyric poets andauthor’s work. Biography also gives us data for literary his- there are narrative poets who are dramatic and epic poets.tory such as the poet’s reading, his travels, etc. In other words, the poets are subjective writers and theSo it is dangerous to ascribe critical importance to biogra- novelists are objective writers or the poets can be calledphy because no biographical data can change critical evalu- ‘possessed’ and the novelists can be called ‘makers.’ Theation. If we try to judge literature in terms of biographical professionally trained bards are the poets of the Renais-truth, literary sincerity would be thoroughly false. There is sance. And the makers of the neo-classical period layno relation between sincerity and value of art: for example, emphasis on the mechanical side of the work of creation.Byron’s “Fare Thee Well” is neither a better poem nor a But in the case of great writers like Shakespeare orworse poem because it dramatizes the poet’s relations with Dostoyevsky, we find both elements of the maker and thehis wife. The poem stands on its own merit. possessed in the same writer. LITERATURE AND PSYCHOLOGY Apollo and Dionysus are two art-gods of the Greeks. TheyAmong the Greeks the superior power possessed by a poet represent the art of sculpture and the art of music or dreamwas explained by the theory that the poet was inspired or and specially this corresponds to the classical maker andpossessed by some god or spirit- And that is how he got the romantic possessed.the superior power of writing. Imagination has been divided by a French psychologist intoThere was a belief that some writers possessed extra sharp two parts: ‘plastic’ (shape giving) and ‘different’ (symbolic).senses because of certain physical handicaps. It was a A symbolic poet is a writer of romantic tales who is entirelybelief that God compensated such men by giving them an subjective. Dante’s visual imagination has the same es-advantage in other senses. Milton was blind, Pope was a sential quality of Milton’s ‘auditory imagination.’hunchback, and Byron had a club foot. God compensated Psychologists have divided writers into three divisionsfor their defect by giving them some extra sensitive power (1) ‘type sympathique’ (spontaneous)to their senses. But this belief has no scientific or rational (2) ‘type demoniaque anarchic’ (demon-like anarchic)base. The idea of being possessed is explained in different (3) ‘type demoniaque equilibre’ (demon-like equilibrium).ways by saying that the writer is a neurotic but if the writer This suggests sympathetic and anarchy which ends in theis a neurotic how his writing can be intelligible to other tensions being brought into equilibrium. There are examplespeople. of Dante, Shakespeare, Dickens and others. The creativeFreud says that the writer is not quite steady. And the writer process covers all stages of a work of art from the literaryis a neurotic who, by his creative works, keeps himself origin to revisions.from a crack-up. The artist converts a reality into a fantasy There is the distinction between the mental structure of ain his mind and then reconverts the fantasy into a work of poem and the composition of a poem. According to Croce,art. So the poet is a day-dreamer who publishes his fanta- an object of art creates a vivid impression on the mind ofsies. The artist’s contemplative results are alternations in the artist. Once the impression is created, the work of ar-the outer world by readers of novelists. While the day- tistic creation stops. When a writer tries to put his impres-dreamer forms his fantasies in his mind, the actual writer sion on paper he is expressing his impressions and that isgives a local habitation and a name to the fantasies. Most expressionism.of the writers do not want to be cured of their neurosis be- Can impression be induced? Can the writer become pos-cause if they are cured, they fear, they will lose their power sessed or go into a trance with the help of objects otherof writing. As Auden says, the artist should be as neurotic than imagination? For example, Coleridge wrote ‘Kublaas possible. Khan’ under the influence of opium. De Quincey was anIs neurosis another name for imagination? As a child tells a opium eater but there is no true evidence that drugs help inromantic story so an artist converts the world of reality into creative work. Others use ritualistic devices to induce thea fantasy of hopes and fears. Some novelists like Dickens spirit of possession. ‘Mentors’ or ‘religious’ formality wassay that their characters speak to them and sometimes used for the same purpose. Schiller could write after put-take control of the action of the stories. The artist thus ting rotten apples in his work desk. Balzac wrote dressedretains the archaic trait of the race. He feels and sees his in the robes of a monk. Some people prefer night time forthoughts. writing. Dr. Johnson believed that a man can write at anyAnother gift assigned to the writer is synaesthesia or the time if he is determined to write.capacity of combining sensory perceptions. A writer may Does the method of writing have any effect upon any liter-see colour as well as the smell of an object. In fact, syna- ary style? Does it matter whether you write with pen or youesthesia is a literary technique. According to T. S. Eliot, a use a typewriter? Actually speaking no such claim can bepoet has in his subconscious mind the race history and scientifically proved. We have only individual cases of writ-also the memory of his childhood. The artist is thus more ers who prefer one thing to another; they cannot be usedprimitive as well as more civilized than his contemporary. for general rules.The pre-logical mentality persists in civilized men but it On the creative side, not much has been found profitable tobecomes available to us only through a poet. In other words, literary theory. Some authors write analytically about theirbeneath the individual lies the collective unconscious, the art; psychologists try to find the common factor in original-blocked off memory of our racial past. The extrovert and ity, invention, philosophical and aesthetic creation. The pro-introvert are two types of writers who are sub-divided on the cess of creation will depend upon relative parts played bybasis of thinking, feeling, intuition and sensation. All writ- the conscious and the unconscious mind. Romantic anders are not necessarily introvert. Some writers reveal type expressionistic periods depend upon the unconscious........ - IInd Floor, Paliwal Market, Gumanpura KOTA (-0744 - 2392059 & 3090500
    • 6 IMPORTANT MODAL QS. - ANS. change from ignorance to knowledge. What, according to Aristotle, should be the qualities OPTIONAL QUESTIONS ON CRITICISM of a dramatic character ?How does Aristotle defines tragedy ? Poetics Aristotle speaks of the four points to aim at in theIn his Poetics Aristotle defines tragedy as "the imitation of treatment of dramatic characters : they should be good,an action that is serious and also, as having magnitude, ie,not depraved or odious but capable of arousing pity andcomplete in itself; in language with pleasurable accessories, sympathy; appropriate, ie., true to type, king kngly aneach kind brought in separately...in the parts of the work; in woman womanly; true to life, a normal person or of ana dramatic not in a narrative form; with incidents arousing intermediate sort; and consistent from begining to end.pity and fear, where with to accomplish its catharsis of such What does Aristotle mean by hamartia ?emotions." According to Aristotle, a tragic hero is one who falls fromWhat does Aristotle say about imitation in poetry ? high state or fame not through vice or depravity but by someAristotle in his Poetics says that differs in terms of form, great hamartia. Etymologically hamartia means the miss-content and manner of imitation. In terms of the kinds of ing of a mark with bow and arrow, an unskilful but not nor-mimitation they offer Aristotle differentiates between the three mally culpable act- or an error of judgement, an intellectualmain kinds of poetry known to the ancient Greeks - epic, error little concerned with the normal character of the man.dramatic poetry and lyric poetry. It was also on the basios Oedipus is an excellent example of such a tragic protago-of imitatin that he distinguished comedy from tragedy : "the nist.aim of comedy is to represent men as worse, that of tragedy On what grounds does Sidney consider poetry supe-as better, than in actual life." rior to philosophy ?What does Aristotle mean by catharsis ? Sidney in his An Apology for Poetry says that dealing withAristotle uses the term catharsis in the famous definition of abstract rules and precepts, the philosopher is hard of ut-tragedy in his Poetics. Catharsis may be translated as terance and misty to be conceived. But the poet takes uppurification, correction, refinement, sublimation, etc. By the abstract rules and universal truths of philosophy andCatharsis, Aristotle seems to be simplicity suggesting that illustrates them by vivid and concrete examples which aretragedy helps to keep pity and fear in their due proportions intelligivle to everybody and so Sidney says, "the poet isby allowing for a find of ritual purgation of these emotions. indeed the right popular philosopher."According to Humphrey House. Aristotle says that catharsis Why according to Sidney, is poetry superior to"directs our pity an fear towards worthy objects." history ?What doe Aristotle say about the constituent elements Sidney says that history is so tied should be, to particularof a tragedy ? truths and not to general reason, that it cannot draw nec-In Poetics Aristotle enumerates the elements that consti- essary consequences and therefore is a less fruitful doctrinetute the form of a typical tragedy : Plot, character, thuought, than poetry, which deals with universal considerations : Whatdiction, spectacle and song. Of these, he asserts, "Plot is is fit to be said or done. Thus poetry transcents Naturethe most important...since tragedy is a representation not without contradicting her. Poetry deals with what ought toof men but of action and life...there could be no tragedy be not what it is and so is superior to history.without action but there could be one without character." How does Sidney criticize contemporary drama ?What is the Aristotelian principle of organic unity in Sidney in his An Apology for Poetry points out that mostliterature ? contemporary dramas are "neither right tragedies nor rightWhile taking about tragedy in Poetics Aristotle mentions comedies". He is against the mixing of tragic and comicthat the action of a tragic plot musthave a begining, a middle material in one single play (as he says, mingling kings andand an end; all parts of the action must be equally essential clowns). Another absurdity that he points out is the neglectto the whole, so that it would not be possible to remove a of the Unities of Time and Place. According to him, it ispart without damaging the whole; all parts must be property impossible to suppose the stagenow a garden, now a bat-ordered with an appreciable conherence. These percepts tlefield, and to see a whole life story in a short-span of twoadd up to what is usually known as the principle of organic hours.unity in literature as Aristotle compares tragedy to a living On what ground does Dryden defend the Englishcreature. tragicomedy ?How does Aristotle contrast poetry and history ? Dryden, in the person of Neander, attempts to vindicate theWhile considering the kinds of truth poets tell, Aristotle in English practice of writing tragicomedies in his Essay onhis Poetics writes that "the difference is that one [a histori- Dramatic Poesy. According to him, the mixing of tragic andcal writes about what has actually happened, while the other comic elements brings variety in the play, and so imitate[a poet] deals with what might happen. Hence poetry is life more closely. Dryden says that in tragiccomedies,morephilosophical and deserves more serious attention than comedy heightens the pathos of tragedy by contrast, andhistory for while poetry concerns itself with universal truths, thus is simply more entertaining.history considers only particular facts." What arguments are given in favour of rhymed verseHow does Aristotle distinguish simple and complex in Essay on Dramatic Poesie ?plots? Dryden in his Essay on Dramatic Poesie defends the useIn the Poetics Aristotle defines simple plot as being one in of rhyme in serious plays saying that "in serious playswhich change of foturne takes place without Reversal or rhyme is more natural and more effectual than blank verse."Perpeteia, and a complex plot as one in which the change He also says that heroic rhyme is nearest nature, as beingof fortune is accompanied by a Reversal or by a Recognition the noblest kind of modern verse". Blank verse is too lowor Discovery or both Peripetela and Anagnorisis, i.e. for even a poem, and so much more for tragedy. - IInd Floor, Paliwal Market, Gumanpura KOTA (-0744 - 2392059 & 3090500
    • 7hat according to Dryden is the chief function of expressed. If one follows Popes formula he is sure to getpoetry? ease in writing: "True ease in writing comes from Art, notDryden emphasizes delight rather than instruction as the chance."chief end of poetry. According to Dryden, "delight is the What are the scheme and purpose of Popes Essay onchief, if not the only, end of poesy; instruction can be Man ?admitted but in the second place, for poesy only instructs The first epistle of Popes Essay on Man is concerned withas it delights". It is true that to imitate well is a poets work; the nature of man and his place in the universe; the secondbut to affect the soul, and excite the passions, and above with man as an individual; the third with man in society;all, to move admiration, a bare imitation will not serve. and the fourth with man and the pursuit of happiness. TheWhat does Dryden say, about heroic poetry in Essay purpose is to demonstrate, the essential rightness of theon Dramatic Poesic ? world as ordered by God: mans inability to realizedered byDryden regards the heroic poetry or epic "the greatest work God; mans inability to realize this is the fault of limitedof human nature". He considers Epic superior to Tragedy perception.because, according to him, its action is more extensive, its How does Dr. Johnson defend tragicomedy ?heroes more perfect and its style more lofty and ornate. Dr. Johnson regards the tragicomedy as more representativeDue to the limited area the tragedy has to leave out many of actual life and a better source of instruction; "That thetings and thus fails to make that deep impression which is mingled drama may convey all theinstruction of tragedy andmade by epic. comedy cannot be denied". Dr. Johnson puts forward a lib-What view does Dryden put forward on satire in his A erating defence of Shakespeares mixed style of dramaDiscourse Concerning the Origin and Progress of which does not impair the emotional effect because heSatire ? thinks, "all pleasure consist in variety".Dryden ragards satire as a species of heroic poetry that How does Dr. Johnson defend the violation of unitiesshould treat of one main theme with one particular moral. by Shakespeare ?The function is to caution the reader against some one Dr. Johnson believes that "the unities of Time and Place...areparticular vice or folly. Rejecting the burlesque 8 syllabled always to be sacrificed to the nobler beauties of variety andverse of Butlers Hudibras, Dryden champions the 10- instruction." He says, "the truth is that the spectators aresyllabled verse or heroic couplet as the ideal verse from for always in their senses and know...the stage is only a stagewriting satires. and that the players are only players." So there is no needWhat does Pope say about the poet and Nature in of the unity of Place. According to Dr. Johnson, "Time is...his An Essay on Criticism ? most obsequious to the imagination". and so the unity ofThe key term in Popes Essay is Nature, not as the Ro- Time isnot essential for drama. Thus he defends the violationmantics were to understand it, wild and mysterious, but of unities by Shakespeare.something reflecting deep order, moderation and universal What are Dr. Johnsons views on the Metaphysical po-laws; it placed due limits on mens taste and writing, dictating ets and their poetry ?that they should avoid excesses of enthusiasm and freakish In his Life of Cowley Dr. Johnson writes."The metaphysicalsoriginality. Pope suggests that the critics should study the were men of learning and to show their learning was theirrules of classical thinkers because these rules are none whole endeavour." Metaphysical poetry is "great labour di-than Nature methodized ? rected by great abilities" and metaphysical poets are witsWhat are Popes views on criticism in An Essay on rather than poets because they neither limitate nature norCriticism ? life. It has "more propriety though less copiousness of sen-According to Pope, an aurhor can only be a good critic. He timent" and is only "useful to those who know their value."warns the critic against judging by parts rather than by the Why does Dr. Johnson advocage that the poet shouldwhole. He is against those critics who consider only the collect only good things for his poetry ?diction, style or verse apart from the sense. He also In his Preface to Shakespeare, Dr. Johnson writes : "Thecondemns judgments based on popular notions and without end of writing is to instruct : the end of poetry is to instructa proper understanding of the work itself. He further by pleasing...Poetry pleases by exhibiting an idea morecondemns extreme fastidiousness in criticism: "As all looks graceful to the mind than things themselves afford". it is foryellow to the Jaundicd eye." this reason that he suggests that the poet should selectWhat according to Pope, is required of the language only beautiful and good things and reject all that is ugly orof poetry in An Essay on Criticism ? bad.Regarding the language of poetry, Pope in An Essay on What defects of Shakespeare does Dr. Johnson point out ?Criticism writes that the words selected should be neither According to Dr. Johnson Shakespeare "sacrifices virtue totoo old nor too new: "In words, as fashions, the same rule convenience and is so much more careful to please than towill hold / Alike fantastic, if too new or ole," and that the instruct, that he seems to write without anh moral purpose".expression should be according to the snese. For the beauty Further he dinds faults with the plots and ending in Shake-of an idea or image depends on its context, and it will not spearean plays, with the comic scenes and the narrativesbe effective if we take it alone outside its context. in tragedies. Dr. Johnson is so put off by ShakespearesWhat does Pope say on versification in his Essay ? puns and word-plays that he says : "A quibble was to himPope thinks that the poet should not rely on such devides the fatal Cleopatra for which he lost the world, and wasas equal syllables, open vowels, expletives, too much use content to lose it."..........of monosyllables and needless Alexandrine. The correctverse, according to him, is that which is in keeping with thethought and it should vary to suit the different ideas - IInd Floor, Paliwal Market, Gumanpura KOTA (-0744 - 2392059 & 3090500
    • 8 IMPORTANT POINTS Geoffrey Chaucer (1340-1400) The Romaunt of the Rose (1360-65?); The Book of the ENGLISH LITERATURE AT A GLANCE Duchesse (1369); The Parlement of Foules; Troilus and MAIN PERIODS OF ENGLISH LITERATURE Criseyde (1379-83); The House of Fame (1383-84); TheC. 450-C. 1066 Old English (or Anglo- legend of Good Women (1385-86); The Canterbury Tales Saxon) Period (1386 onward).C. 1066-C.1500 Middle English Period William Langland (1330-1386)C. 1500-1660 The Renaissance The Vision of william Concerning Piers the Plowman (13621558-1603 Elizabbethan Age 90).1603-1625 Jacobean Age John Gover (?1330-84)1625-1649 Caroline Age Speculum Meditantis(1378?), Vox Clamantis(1382),1649-1660 Commonwealth and Confessio Amantis(1390) Protectorate Period John Barbour (1320-95)C. 1660-C. 1800 Neo-classical Period Bruce(1375).1660-1700 The Restoration Age PROSEC. 1700-C.1745 The Augustan Age or The Sir John Mandeville (died 1372) Age of Pope Mandeville’s Travels (1356).C. 1745-C. 1798 Age of Sensibility or The John Wycliffe (1320-84) Age of Johnson Wycliffe’s Bible (1380).C. 1798-C. 1832 Period of the Romantic Sir Thomats Malory (died 1471) Revival Le Morte D’ Arthur (1469).1832-1901 Victorian Age FROM CHAUCER TO ‘TOTTLE’S MISCELLANY’1901-1918 Edwardian Age (1400-1557)1918-1939 Modern Age POETRY1939- The Present Age Geoffrey Chaucer(1340-1400)TABLE OF THE SOVEREIGNS SINCE THE CONQUEST The Tale of Melibeus, The Parson’s Tale. [1066] James I (1394-1437)I. THE NORMAN KINGS The King’s Quair (1423-1424).1. William I [1066-87] 2. William II [1087-1100] . Sir David Lyndsay (1458-1555)3. Henry I [1100-35] 4. Stephen [1135-54] The Dreme(1528), The History of Squyer Meldrum(1549),II. PLANTAGENET KINGS The Testment and Compleynt of the Papyngo,(1530), Satyre5. Henry II of Anjou [1154-89] 6. Richard I [1189-99] of the Thire Estaitis(1540).7. John [1199-1216] 8. Henry III [1219-54] Robert Henryson(1430-1506)9. Edward I [1272-1307] 10. Edward II [1307-27] Lament for the Makaris (1508), The Testament of cresseid11. Edward III [1327-77] 12. Richard 11[1377-99] (1593), Orpheus and Eurydice; Robene and Makyne;III. THE HOUSE OF LANCASTER Garmond Qf Gude Ladies.13. Henry IV [1399-1413] 14. Henry V [1413-22] William Dunbar(?1456-?1513)15. Henry VI [1422-61] The Goldyn Targe (1503), The Dance of the Sevin DeidlieIV. THE HOUSE OF YORK Synnis (1503-1508), Tua Mariit Women and the Wedo16. Edward IV [1461-83] 17. Edward V [1483] (1508), Lament for the Makaris (1508).18. Richard III [1483-85] Gawin Douglas(?1474-1552)V. THE TUDOR EYNASTY The Palice of Honour (1501),published (1533),King Hart19. Henry VII [1461- 1509] 20. Henry VIII [1509-47] (first printed 1786).21. Edward VI [1547-53] 22. Mary [1553-58] John Skelton(?1460-1529)23. Elizabeth I[1558-1603] Garlande of laurell (printed 1523),Dirge on Edward Iv, TheVI. THE STUART DYNASTY Bowge of Court(1499).24. James I [1603-25] John Lydgate(1370-1451)[Commonwealth [1689-1702]; Protectorate (1653-60)] ‘Iroy Book (1412-1420), The Falls of Princes(1430-1438),25. Charles I (1625-49) The Temple of Glass; The Story of Thebes(1420), London26. Charles II (1660-85 Lickpenny.27. James II (1685-88) Thomas Occleve(1368?-1450?)28. William and Mary (1689-1702) The Regement of Princes (1411-12), La Male Regle (1406);29. Anne (1702-14) The Complaint of Our Lady, Occleve’s Complaint.VII. THE HOUSE OF HANOVER Stephen Hawes (?1474-1530)30. George I (1714-27) 31. Geroge II (1727-60) The Passtyme of Pleasure (1509), The Example of Virtue32. George III (1760-1820) 33. Geroge IV (1727-60) (1512), The Conversion of Swerers; A Joyfull Medytacyon.34. William IV (1831-37) 35. Victoria (1837-1901) Alexander Barclay (?1475-1552)36. Edward VII (1901-10) 37. George V (1910-36) Ship of Fools (1509), Certayne Ecloges (1515).38. Edward VIII (1936) 39. George VI (1936-52) PROSE40. Elizabeth II (1952-) Reginald Pecock (?1390-?1461) ENGLISH LITERATURE AT A GLANCE The Repressor of over-much Blaming of the Clergy (1455), THE AGE OF CHAUCER (1340-1400) The Book of Faith (1456). POETRY Willism Caxton (?1422-91) - IInd Floor, Paliwal Market, Gumanpura KOTA (-0744 - 2392059 & 3090500
    • 9Recuyell of the Historie of Troye(1471), (?1422-91) Game . Nymphida (1627).and Playe of the the chesse (1475), The Dictes and Thomas Campion (1567-1620)Sayengis of the Philosphers (1477). A Book of Ayreas (1601), Songs of Mourning (1613), TwoJohn Fisher (1459-1535) Books of Ayres (1612).Tracts and sermons; The Ways to Perfect Religion. Phineas Fletcher (11582-1650)Hugh Latimer (?1485-1555) The Purple Island, of The Isle of Man (1633).Sermons (1562). Giles Fletcher (11588-1623)Sir Thomas More (1478-1535) Chirst’s Victorie and Triumph (1610).Utopia (1516); The Lyfe of John Picus (1510), The Historie Samuel Daniel (1562-1619)of Richard III (1543). Delia (1592), The Complaynt of Rosamond (1592), The CivilSir Thomas Elyot (?1478-1535) Wars (1595).The Boke named the Governour (1531), The Doctrine of William Shakespeare (1564-1616)Princes (1534) The Rape of Lucrece (1594), Venus and Adonis (1593). AJohn Capgrave (1393-1464) Collection of Sonnets, (1609), The Passionate PilgrimThe Chronicle of English History extending to A. D. 1417. (1599).Sir John Fortescue (?1394-?1476) DRAMAOn the Govenance of England, A Delcaration upon Certain George Peele (1558-98)Wrytinges (1471-73). The Araygnement of Paris (1584), The Famous Chronicle DRAMA of King Edward the first (1593), The Old Wives’ TaleJohn Heywood (?1494-?1580) (159194). The Love of King David and Fair Bathsabe (1599).The Four p’s (?1545), Play of the Wether (1533), A Play of Robert Greene (1558-92)Love (1433). Alphonsus, King of Aragon (1587), Friar Bacon and FriarThomas Norton (1532-84) and T. Sackville (1536-1608) Bungay (1589), Orlando Furioso (1591), The ScottishGorboduc (1561). Historie of James of Fourth (1592).Thomas Preston (1536-1608) Thomas Nashe (1567-1611)A Lamentable Tragedy mixed full of Mirth Containing the Summer’s Last Will and Testament (1592).life of Cambyses, King of Percia (1569). John Lyly (11554-1606)WIlliam Stevenson Alexander and Campasye (1584); Endymission (1591),Gammer Gurton’s Needle (1562). Midas (1592), The Woman in the Moon (1597)Nicholas Udall (1505-56) Thomas Lodge (1558-1625)Ralph Roister Doister (written 1553, published 1567) Henry VI (1591-92), The Woundes of Cicil War, Rosalynde, THE ELIZABETHAN AGE (1558-1603) THE JACOBEAN Euphues Golden Legcie (A Romance) (1590), Scillaes AGE (1603-1625) THE AGE OF SHAKESPEARE (1558- Metamorphosis (1589). 1625) Thomas Kyd (1558-94)POETRY The Spanish Tragedy (1585), Cornelia (1593), Soliman andGeorge Gascoigne (?1525-77) Perseda (1588), First Part of Jernimo (1592).Jocasta Jocasta (1566), Supposes (1566). Christopher Marlowe (1564-93)Edmund Spenser (1552-99) Tamberlaine the Great (1587), The Second Part ofThe Shepherds Calendar (1579), Mother Hubberd’s Tale Tamberlaine the Great (1588), Edward II (1591), The Jew of(1591), The Ruins of Rome (1591), Amoretti (1595); Malta (1589, Docator Faustus (1592), The Tragedy of Dido,Epithalamion; Colin Clout Comes Home Again (1595), Four Qween of Carthage (1593). The Massacre of Paris (1593).Hymns (1596), Prothalamion (1596), The Faerie Queene William Shakespeare (1564-1616)(Book I-III, 1589, IV, 1596). 1. Henry VI (1591-92) 2. Henry VI (1591-92), 3. Henry VIJohn Donne (1573-1631) (1591-92), Richard III (1593), The Comedy of Errors (1593),Satires (1590-1601), The Songs and Sonnets (1590-1601), Titus Andronicus (1594), The Taming of The Shrew (1594),The Elegies (1590-1601), Of the Progress of the Soule (1601) Love’s Labour’s Lost (1594), Romeo and Juliet (1594), AHoly Sonnets (1617). Midsummer Night’s Dream (1595), The Two Gentlemen ofSir Thomas Wyatt (1503-42) Verona (1595), King John (1595), Richard II (1596) TheIn Tottel’s Miscellany (1557), Included in Songs and Merchant of Venice (1596), Henry IV (1598),Much Ado AboutSonnetts (1557) ed.Tottel. Nothing(1598), Henry V (1599), Julius Caesar (1599),TheHenry Howard, Earl of Surrey (1517-47) Merry Wives of Winsor (1600), As you Like It (1600), HamletCertain Bokes of Virgiles Aeneis turned into English Meter (1601), Twelfth Night (1601), Troilus and Cressida (1602),(1557)his poems; in Tottle’s Miscellany (1557). All’s Well that Ends well (1602), Measure for Measure (1604),Thomas Sackville (1536-1608) Othello (1604), Macbeth (1605), King Lear (1605), AntonyThe Induction (1563), The Complayment of Henry, Duke and Cleopatra (1606), Coriolanus Timon of Athens (1607),of Buckingham, (1563). Pericles (1608), Cymbeline (1609), The Winter’s Tale (1610),George Gascoigne (1534-77) The Tempest (1611), Henry VIII (in part) (1613)...........The Steele Glas, A Satyre (1576)Sir Philip Sidney (1554-86)Astrophel and Stella (1591).Michael Drayton (1563-1631)The Harmonie of the Church (1591), Englnad’s HeroicallEpistles (1597), The Baron’s Wars (1603), Polyolbion (1622), - IInd Floor, Paliwal Market, Gumanpura KOTA (-0744 - 2392059 & 3090500
    • 10 ELECTIVE-III and in the writings of Plato and the sophists and, ultimately, INDIAN WRITING IN ENGLISH AND in the most important literary critical text of Western antiq- INDIAN LITERATURE IN ENGLISH TRANSLATION uity, the Poetics of Aristotle. INDIAN WRITING IN ENGLISH FICTION The study of literature and literary theory-by which we mean1. INTRODUCTION the use of rhetorical, linguistic, and structural analysis as aWho was the first story teller ? A lonely hunter consoling means of interpreting texts-has, therefore, a long traditionhis fellows on a cold northern evening far from home ? A in Western intellectual history, one employed quite heavilymother calming a frightened child with takes of god and during certain periods and certainly appearing during thedemigods ? A lover telling his intended of fantastic exploits, current century as a principal form of literate intellectual ac-designed to foster his courtship ? The reader can multiply tivity.the number of possibilities, but we shall never know the In its forms of analysis, literary theory has been defined toanswer, for the impulse to tell stories is as old as the devel- a great extent by the kinds of texts to which it has beenopment of speech, older than the invention of writing. It has applied. In the Poetics Aristotle was concerned primarilydeep psychological springs we do not fully comprehend, with discussing the epic poem and the two dominant forms ofbut the need to make up characters, and to place them in drama, comedy and tragedy. For the most part, these wereworlds that are parallel to our own or are perhaps wildly at the most important forms, along with lyric poetry, writtenvariance with it, is part of the history of all peoples, cul- by the ancient Greek authors that Aristotle studied. Thetures, and countries; there is no-known human group that fictions about which Aristotle could have written were, there-has not told tales. fore, composed in verse dialogue, not in prose, and theOral cultures are great sources for students of the theory of forms were not the prose fictional forms that dominate ourfiction. Researchers have established that in those that still time: the novel, the novella, and short story.exist, the storyteller (or bard) is highly revered for the abil- Historinas of literature have argued at length about whichity to relate from a memory a number of verse narratives of prose fictions might qualify as the first novels. There wereenormous length, told within the regularities of meter and certainly prominent examples of lengthy prose fictions inconventional figures of language that aid the memory, con- the ancient world with The Golden Ass of Apuleius andtaining the stories of characters known to listeners who Petroniuss Satyricon coming conspicuously to mind. Butshare in a common folklore and myth. These stories, about, while these are extended narratives in prose, they do not;familiar characters in recognizable situations, do not en- for most critics, fulfill the criteria for defining a novel for-gage their audience in the mysteries of an unresolved plot, mally in terms of the development of plot and character.for the listeners know that story already, have heard it told Both tales are products of the early Christian centuries andbefore, and are often as familiar with its events as they are were followed by more than a millennium in which the longwith events in their own lives. Then why do they listen ? fictional forms consisted mainly of verse epics and ro-Beyond the story itself, the audience concerns itself with mances whose subject matter was the relatively conven-the voice and manner of the taller of the tale; the texture tional material of shared folklore and myth. Indeed, withand density of the storys material; the fit of the characters some exceptions such as the Icelandic sagas andwith the audiences expectations about how human beings, Boccaccios Decameron, extended prose fictions did notgods, demigods, and mythic heroes behave in a world some- begin to flourish in England and on the European continentthing like their own. For such people- just as for ourselves- until the sixteenth century, in the writings of Nashe andfictions have an extraordinary explanatory power, they make Lyly in England, Rabelais in France, and Cervantes in Spain.clear why, for instance, there are seasons, why there is an Some critics have called Cervantes Don Quixote, publishedunderworld for the spirits of dead ancestors, why there is during the early years of the seventeenth century, the firstone royal line of descent and not another. European novel, and while the adventures of the man of LaWe begin this collection of essays on the theory of fiction Mancha have been extraordinarily influential on later formswith a discussion of so-called primitive origins because we of prose fiction - Lionel Trilling finds its theme of illusion andbelieve that the impulse to tell takes and listen to them is reality to be the essence of the novel - Don Quixote did notakin to the impulse in " literature" cultures to writes stories found a tradition in which those writers who came after himand read them, and as Claude Levi- Strauses has shown self-consciously thought of themselves as writing "novels."us in the Savage Mind (Lapensee sauvage) the science of Rather, Cervantess book summed up and parodied the tra-primitive peoples is as sophisticated in its own purposes dition of medieval and Renaissance romance, with all itsas the science in literate cultures; so too are the fictions. chivalric and courtly conventions. The self-conscious es-Tribal members in oral cultures may or may not have de- tablishment of a tradition of novel writing did not come abouttailed discussions of the nature and forms of their func- with any lasting force until more than a century later, in antions, but clearly they do make judgements as to the ad- increasingly mercantile and industrial Europe where theequacy of the telling of stories, and the act of judgement is, middle classes were rapidly rising. The rising literacy thatafter all, an act of criticism. Questions of judgement and always accompanies trade and technology created an ex-interpretation, in fact, inform human discourse everywhere. panded reading public hungry for stories of people like them-While we do not claim that the theory of fiction occupies selves, in prose like that of the newspapers, journals, andmuch of the attention of tribal scholars, we do claim that scientific treatises that had come to dominate the new tech-the interpretation of works of literature, and in particulars of nology of print For the middle classes poetry was identifiedfictional creation, is part of the written record of all literate with the aristocracy, except for such didactic verse as theycultures. It has constituted an extremely large and impor- sang in church...........tant part of literature since the times of the ancient He-brews and Greeks, with its beginnings in Midrashic texts - IInd Floor, Paliwal Market, Gumanpura KOTA (-0744 - 2392059 & 3090500