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  1. 1. - IIndFloor,PaliwalMarket,GumanpuraKOTA (-0744-2392059&3090500 1 LITERARY ESSAY THE ART OF ESSAY WRITING As a form of literature the essay includes compositions of a varied character: Bacon, Addison, Lamb, Macaulay, Mat- thew Arnold, for instance, all wrote “essays” though their compositions that go by that name seem to have few fea- tures in common. But for examination purposes the term “essay” has a definite meaning. It is applied to a composi- tion in which the writer states his knowledge of, and gives his opinion about, a certain topic. The essay, as thus un- derstood, may contain narrative or descriptive elements. But it will also include comments and criticisms represent- ing the writer’s own point of view. The essay thus becomes a test, not merely of knowledge, but of thought and imagi- nation of an examinee. THE FOUR STAGES IN ESSAY WRITING It is most important that essays should be written strictly according to method. There are four stages to be gone through: (a) Think about the subject, and set down on paper all the facts or ideas which occur to you. The title of the essay must be read carefully so that the precise scope of the subject and the point of view from which it is to be treated may be grasped. (b)Arrange these facts according to topics, and so con- struct an outline for the composition. When the facts have been arranged, it will be found that they group themselves under certain heads. Suppose there are five topics. Each of these topics will now form the subject of a paragraph, and the essay will contain five paragraphs in all. It must be seen that a due proportion of space is allotted to each aspect of the subject. (c)Write the essay. In writing the essay, one must pay attention, of course, to grammar, punctuation and style. In the matter of style the following points should be particu- larly noted: 1.Clarity is the first essential. Therefore words must be chosen accurately. Words, phrases, and clauses must be placed in the right order. All pronouns must be clear in their reference. 2. Slangsmust be avoided. 3.The first person should not be used in any essay in which the subject can be treated impersonally, that is to say, such expressions as “I think”, “in my opinion” should not be used. To qualify a statement it is always possible to use impersonal expressions such as “it is generally agreed that”, “it is probably a fact that” (d)Revisewhat you have written. It is most important that everything that is written should be thoroughly revised. In this way the student will detect a number of errors which can be easily corrected, but which, if allowed to remain, would detract considerably from the value of his work. COMMON MISTAKES TO BE AVOIDED 1.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 Essays A reflective essay consists of reflections or thoughts on some topic, which is generally of an abstract nature, such as Music, Romance, Proverbs, Cant, Personal Influ- ence etc. (b)Narrative Essays A narrative essay deals with a narration of some event, or series of events. The narrative it relates should be treated as a subject for thought and comment, and so the essay should be more or less reflective. It may deal with historical facts or legends, biographies, incidents, journey or voyage, a story etc. (c)Descriptive Essays It deals with a description of some place or thing such as animals, plants, minerals, towns, countries, aspects and phenomena in Nature etc. (d)ExpositoryEssays An expository essay consists of an exposition or explana- tion of some subject such as institutions, industries, occu- pations, scientific and literary topics. Sometimes the topic set is a statement—Often a quotation or proverb—which is to be explained and illustrated. (e)Essays Involving Discussion Essay subjects frequently require the writer to discuss a certain problem and to present a logical statement of his point of view, for example Co-education, The Influence of Sea-power on History, The Finest Occupation in Life, Should All Censorship Be Abolished? etc. THE OPENING PARAGRAPH OF AN ESSAY It is most important to devise a good opening paragraph for an essay. It may be said that writing an interesting intro- duction is half the battle won. When once you have struck out a sound and perhaps an original idea for your first sen- tence, the remaining sections of the essay follow naturally. On the other hand, few essays recover from a lame and halting opening. It is, therefore, worthwhile to spend con- siderable thought on the introductory paragraph. The open- ing should not be unduly abrupt; it should introduce the reader to a perfectly definite idea bearing on the theme. THE CONCLUDING PARAGRAPH As with the opening paragraph, so with the concluding para- graph examinees often experience difficulty. It is important to give an essay a graceful conclusion, and not to bring the reader to an abrupt halt. In some essays the concluding paragraph presents no difficulty. In an argumentative com- position, for instance, the summing-up and the statement of the writer’s own opinion will naturally come at the end. Sometimes it is possible to conclude with a generalisation suggested by the subject. Again, a quotation from some distinguished person may fitly round off an essay. It is best to avoid beginning the concluding paragraph with stereotyped phrases like the following: In conclusion, we may say... Summing up, we see that the advantages greatly overweigh the disadvantages... Finally, looking at the matter from both points of view, we may conclude that...
  2. 2. - IIndFloor,PaliwalMarket,GumanpuraKOTA (-0744-2392059&3090500 2 THE NATURE OF LITERATURE Literature grows out of life, reacts upon life, and is fed by life. Yet to define literature is an extremely difficult task. The scope of literature is so vast that it is impossible to reduce it to a formula. Generally we can say that every- thing in print is literature. But this would be a very vague description of literature. Literary study is related with the history of civilization but then such a study would not be exactly literary; it may be more historical and less literary. Then we can take up another distinction. The study of ev- erything that is historical will naturally out crowd the liter- ary values and the emphasis will be on values other than literary. The work of art in which information content is pre- dominant is mainly historical and not literary. And the work of art in which the emotion content is predominant is mainly literary and not historical or cultural. But even this distinc- tion is not water-tight. We can not say that a work of litera- ture in which emotion is predominant does not contain thought, because every work of literature does contain thought. The only difference is that the thought content in such works is subordinate to the emotional content. Con- versely a history of civilization has mainly thought content but it does not mean that it cannot have emotional appeal. Only, the emotional appeal is subordinate. Then we can say that we should include only great books of literature in the category of literature. This will not be correct because great books are judged by aesthetic stan- dards and we cannot exclude the books with less aes- thetic values. The study of isolated great books may be good enough for beginners who should read atleast good books, if not great books. If we limit imaginative literature only to great books, we shall forget the continuity of literary tradition and developments of literary genres. The aesthetic point of view may be found even in books of history or phi- losophy when that historian or philosopher uses style and organization of material at his disposal in an imaginative way. For example, Gibbon’s History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire has a number of literary qualities. It has been accepted by a number of critics as pure literature and a great work of art, although it is a book of history. But in the history of literature such a writer will be mentioned in a superfluous way. One other objection to such classification of literature is that this imaginative literature is limited only to written lit- erature and it ignores oral literature like legends, folk tales, etc., which have literary values. Literary style gives literature its distinctive stamp. Litera- ture is the expression of written words. The best way to solve the question ‘What is literature?’ is to notice the way in which literature uses the language. “Literature is the per- sonal use or exercise of language.” The history of civiliza- tion uses the language because language is the raw mate- rial out of which literature is composed. When the language is emotionally charged, it gives literature. When the lan- guage is concentrating or giving information or thought, it gives history and that is the scientific use of language. Literature is distinct from all other arts. It has no medium of its own. Many mixed forms of literature exist; therefore it is fairly easy to distinguish between the language of literature and the language of science. The main contrast is between thought and emotion. The language of science is domi- nated by thought and the language of literature is domi- nated by emotion but it does not mean that the language of science will have no “emotion” or the language of literature will have no “thought.” No literature can exist without thought but the predominant characteristic is “emotion.” Similarly, the predominant characteristic in scientific language is “thought.” That is why scientific language is precise or de- notative. The language of literature is often vague and full of ambigu- ities. It is full of antecedents and other connections. There- fore the language is connotative. In connotative language the writer does not merely express what he says; he wants to influence the attitude of the reader and persuade him. In the literary language the sound symbolism of the word is stressed and all kinds of devices and patterns of sound are used. In scientific language the distinction may be made in a dif- ferent way. The sound pattern will be less important in a novel than in a lyric. It means that the expressive element will be less important in a novel than in a lyric. The poetical element will play a large part in a novel or a satirical poem. Even here there are a number of variations. For example, there are philosophical poems which are almost equivalent to the scientific use of language. Yet literary language is found far more deeply in the structure of language and it stresses the awareness and has the expressive side which scientific language wants to minimize. It is difficult to trace exactly the difference between every- day language and literary language. In everyday language we often use the language of commerce, the language of religion and the slang of students. Everyday language has its expressive function though it varies from ordinary colourless statements to passionate pleas. Thus everyday language is full of irrationalities and contextual changes. It sometimes has the preciseness of scientific description and has awareness of signs which appear in sound sym- bolism and puns. No doubt, everyday language wants to achieve results and influence actions but it would be wrong to limit everyday language to mere communication. The main difference between the every day and literary lan- guage is quantitative. In subjective poetry there is person- ality of the author which is far more important than the per- sons in every day situations. Poetry will use paradoxes and ambiguity etc. Thus poetic language organizes and tightens the resources of every day language. In highly de- veloped literature, the language is so polished by the use of generations that the poet uses the established conventions and the language poeticizes for him. Imagination and fictionality are the distinguishing traits of literature. In works like Plato’s “Republic” there is thought as well as imagination. The conception of literature is de- scriptive and when we talk of fictionality as a criterion of literature, we have to include even the worst novels simply because they are fictional. One misunderstanding must be cleared. Imaginative litera- ture need not use images. Poetic language is full of imag- ery but we have a number of good poems in which images do not exist; therefore imagery should not be confused with image making. One school of critics says that all art is pure visibility but a lot of great literature does not evoke sensual images. Great novelists have created immortal characters but we know only their states of mind, not their visual images, and so a novelist suggests a physical trait and creates a great character. But that does not mean that we have to visualize every metaphor in poetry. The psycho-
  3. 3. - IIndFloor,PaliwalMarket,GumanpuraKOTA (-0744-2392059&3090500 3 logical question should not be confused with the analysis of the poet’s metaphysical devices. Metaphor is latent in much of our every day language. Poetry makes us aware of the metaphysical character of language. So the distinction between literature and non-literature is confined to organization, personal expression, explanation of the medium, lack of practical purpose and fictionality. And we use for these distinctions terms like “unity in vari- ety”, “disinterested contemplation”, “aesthetic distance”, “invention”, “imagination”, “creation.” Each one displays one aspect of the literary work. One fundamental fact emerges that a literary work is not a simple object but rather a highly complex organization with multiple meanings; it stresses the aspect of unity in variety. The idea of identity of content and form in literature encourages the illusion that the analysis of any element of art, technique, etc., absolves us from viewing the work of art as a whole. THE FUNCTION OF LITERATURE Whenever any instrument or a piece is replaced by a later instrument or a piece, the utility, the function of the earlier piece becomes obsolete. This has not happened in the case of literature even though more than 2000 years have passed. The conception and function of literature have remained the same through all the centuries. The history of aesthetics can be summed up so far as the function of literature is concerned, in Horace’s words, “dulce” and “utile” or “sweet- ness” and “usefulness.” Each objective separately would give us a misconception of the function of a poet. The view that poetry is pleasure is put against the view that poetry is instruction. The view that poetry should be propaganda is answered by the view that poetry is pure sound and emo- tion. These opposing arguments defined the basic function of art as discussed in art versus play. The function of litera- ture with regard to “dulce” or “sweetness” or “pleasure” or “play” or “spontaneous amusement” or “purposelessness” describes the function of art to do justice to the “dulce”. So the Horatian formula of “dulce” and “utile” is good enough as a helpful start remembering that precision in the use of critical terms is a very recent thing. The usefulness of art does not necessarily lie on the enforcement of such a moral lesson that Homer found in the writing of the Iliad. The word useful is equivalent to “not a waste of time”, “not a form of passing time”, “something deserving serious attention.” Can we use this sort of double standard for all types of literature? There are books which can be called great litera- ture and there are books which fall into the category of good literature or sub-literature. Can this literature be called useful or instructive or amusing? But one fact emerges that even this type of literature has its appropriate readers and it is sweet as well as useful when a work of literature is a successful work. The two functions of literature should not only co-exist but also coalesce. The pleasure and utility should be blended like a chemical compound. The plea- sure of literature is the highest type of pleasure because it is pleasure in a higher type of activity and the utility or seriousness becomes aesthetic seriousness. Has literature one function or more functions? Eliot speaks about the variety of poetry and various functions that poetry can do at different times. Nothing can be a substitute for poetry. Literature can help us about travel in foreign lands or about history but the basic question is: Is there a use which literature can do better than any other art? The unique value of literature is basic to any theory of literature. One contemporary theory says that the use and seriousness of poetry lies in its capacity to convey knowledge. Poetry is a form of knowledge. Aristotle had said that poetry is more philosophical than history. History relates things which have happened; poetry, such as might happen. In poetry we get the general as well as the particular. Othellois not about jealousy but is about Othello’s jealousy. Literature stresses the type as well as the individual or the generality as well as the particularity. Literature is more general than biography and more particular than sociology. This idea of particularity or individuality changes from age to age. Characters in literature combine the type with the individual. We recognize the type in the character books of the 17th century but the type also can be individual like Hamlet, the lover, the scholar, the fencer, etc. The charac- ter types can be flat characters whereas round character are characters which developed in different stages of life. The novelist can teach you more about human nature than the psychologist. We can see this in Shakespeare, Ibsen and others. They reveal the introspective life of the charac- ter. We might say that the great novels are source books for psychologists because they show generalized types. Max Eastman, a minor poet, says that in the age of sci- ence a literary mind cannot lay claim to the discovery of truth, because it is an unspecialized immature mind. Truth in literature is the same as truth outside literature. The imagi- native writer misunderstands himself if he thinks that his main object is knowledge. His real function is to make us perceive what we see and imagine what we already know. Poetry is artistic insight. It makes us see what was there all the time, but we had not seen it. It wants us to under- stand values or aesthetic qualities. One can understand why the aestheticians refuse to accept truth as a poetry of art. One can attribute the supreme value to art. Imaginative literature is a fiction, an imitation of life as Plato has put it; the opposite of fiction is not truth but fact, and fact is stranger than the probability with which literature deals. In art some- thing may be truer than other things. That truth is literature. Truth is the province of systematic thinkers and artists are not thinkers. The whole controversy centres round the words ‘Knowledge,’ ‘Truth’ and ‘Wisdom.’ If all truth is concep- tual, then the arts cannot be forms of truth. If all truth is limited to what can be verified, then also arts cannot be forms of truth. So there are truths and truths. There are various ways of knowing. Sciences use the discursive modes and arts use the presentational mode. So presenta- tional truth takes care of religious myths as well as poetry. After that way, it is beautiful and true. A poem is equal to poetry and it possesses the equivalence of truth. Literature is the presentational method of describing truth. So truth of art or literature in a flash gives us the view of truth which is more real and more vivid than the truth of science. Some critics declare that the artist is the persuasive pur- veyor of truth. The term propaganda is not correctly used here. The artist tries to convert the reader to his particular point of view because he wants to evoke in the heart of readers, the same responses that he has felt for himself; in that sense we can say that some art is propaganda but not great art or good art can possibly be propaganda. According to Montgomery Belgian, the literary artist is an irresponsible propagandist. The purpose of the artist is to convert the readers to his particular point of view by subtly appealing to the emotions of the reader. The responsible
  4. 4. - IIndFloor,PaliwalMarket,GumanpuraKOTA (-0744-2392059&3090500 4 artist does not want to confuse the emotion and thinking, experience and sincerity. The propaganda motive of the art- ist must stay as much in the background as is possible. Then there is the question of Catharsis. Catharsis is the word first used by Aristotle with reference to the function of tragedy. Similarly the function of literature is to relieve the reader from the pressure of emotions. At the end of the aesthetic experience the reader is left with “Calm of mind.” But then, does literature relieve us of the emotions or incite them? Plato is of the opinion that literature nourishes and waters our emotions. Are the emotions not wrongly dis- charged when they are wasted on poetic fiction? Again, should all art be cathartic? The question concerning the function of literature has been discussed from the days of Plato down to the modern times. Such questions are asked by people who take a utilitarian view of arts. They are looking for special values in art; when challenged in this way, Poets have to make a reasoned reply. They stress the use of art rather than the delight of art but from the days of romantic poets, the poet has given one standard answer for the function of poetry. A. C. Brad- ley calls it “poetry for poetry’s sake.” So using the word, we say poetry has many possible functions but its prime and chief function is fidelity to its own nature. Literature, there- fore has a number of functions to fulfil. LITERATURE AND BIOGRAPHY The work of art and the author are intimately interconnected; hence the explanation in terms of the personality and the life of the writer has been an old, established method. Biog- raphy can be judged in the context of the light it throws on the production of poetry; that is why the study of the author and his mental and intellectual development has its own interest. Biography explains and illuminates the actual prod- uct of poetry. The interest of biography gets reflected in the personality of the author and is also reflected in the book and biography. Biography is a material for the psychology of artistic creation. Biography can be considered chronologically and logically; that becomes a sort of historical survey and can apply to anybody including an author From the point of view of the biographer the poet is a man whose mental development can be reconstructed with reference to standards of the society and the author’s works as events happen in the life of a man. So publications are published in the life of an author. If we accept this view the biographer is purely a historian of literary events basing his conclusions upon documents, letters, statements, etc., about an author. This in its turn depends upon the chronological presentation and discreet selection of events. How far can a biographer be justified in using the evidence of works in the construction of a biography. How far can a biographer use the results of a literary biography in under- standing the works themselves. Normally poets are highly subjective people and therefore abundant evidence can be found in their works or a biography. Early literature did not possess documentary evidence on which a writer can draw. We have only public documents like birth and death certificates etc. We can know about the finances of Shakespeare but we have absolutely noth- ing excepting doubtful anecdotes regarding the author’s life. This has resulted in an expense of a vast amount of schol- arship. Therefore a good biography of Shakespeare is a very difficult problem to handle. We cannot use a state- ment in a play as a valid document for use in the biographi- cal study. A writer need not be in a tragic mood to write a tragedy nor should he be in a comic mood to write a com- edy. Similarly, we cannot say that a particular character of his play gives the personal views of Shakespeare. So the relation between the private life and the work of an author is not a simple relation. Some supporters of biographical method will argue that in our age plenty of biographical evi- dence is available regarding poets. Many have left autobio- graphical statements also; in such a case we can easily check the biographical approach by referring to the works of an author in this respect. The romantic poets were very vocal yet in poems like “The Prelude” by Wordsworth we feel that we cannot take every statement at its face value. Poets are of two types: subjective and objective poets. Those like Keats and Hemingway are subjective and the opposite type of a poet may not want to draw a self-portrait so as to express himself. But even with the subjective poets the distinction between the statement of an autobiographical nature and the use of the statement for a motif in a work of art cannot be with- drawn. A work of art is quite different from a diary or a letter. Therefore it would be perversion of the biographical method to use the intimate or casual documents of an author’s life for the central study or to interpret the poems in the light of such documents. For example, Brandes criticizes Macbeth because it is not very much related to the personality of Shakespeare. In some works there are elements which can be identified as biographical. But we have to remember that these incidents are so transformed under the imagination of the poet that they lose all their specifical personal mean- ing. The professedly autobiographical “Prelude” differs from Wordsworth’s actual life during that particular specific pe- riod. Even when a work of art contains biographical elements, these elements become so much transformed and inte- grated that they lose all their specific meaning. This we can see in Wordsworth’s “Prelude” in which the actual life and the incidents used in the book look so very different. The view that all art is self-expression can be proved false. Even when the work of art represents author’s life it cannot be a mere copy. The biographical approach obscures the proper understanding of a literary process because it tries to substitute the cycle of an individual. It also ignores the psychological facts. This is because the work of art may be a dream or a mask behind which the real person is hid- ing. Again experiences are not seen with a view to their use in literature. Therefore we must not take seriously some of the lives of authors in which the author takes every state- ment in the poem or a novel as literal truth. This is the type of argument which has led people to say that Emily Bronte must have experienced the passion of “Heathcliff’ or that because Shakespeare knows so much about a woman’s heart, he must have been a woman. This does not mean that personality can be ruled out in literature. We know that behind the works of Dante or Tolstoy there is a person behind the work. Different writings of the same author would have a family resemblance; for example in works of Milton there is a quality which we call “Miltonic” but this quality can be deduced from the works of the au- thor and not from the life of the author. The poet’s work can be a mask or conventionalization of his own experience. This can be useful only if it is used
  5. 5. - IIndFloor,PaliwalMarket,GumanpuraKOTA (-0744-2392059&3090500 5 carefully. It may explain allusions to works in an author’s work. The biographical frame-work will help us to under- stand the gradual maturing and possible decline of an author’s work. Biography also gives us data for literary his- tory such as the poet’s reading, his travels, etc. So it is dangerous to ascribe critical importance to biogra- phy because no biographical data can change critical evalu- ation. If we try to judge literature in terms of biographical truth, literary sincerity would be thoroughly false. There is no relation between sincerity and value of art: for example, Byron’s “Fare Thee Well” is neither a better poem nor a worse poem because it dramatizes the poet’s relations with his wife. The poem stands on its own merit. LITERATURE AND PSYCHOLOGY Among the Greeks the superior power possessed by a poet was explained by the theory that the poet was inspired or possessed by some god or spirit- And that is how he got the superior power of writing. There was a belief that some writers possessed extra sharp senses because of certain physical handicaps. It was a belief that God compensated such men by giving them an advantage in other senses. Milton was blind, Pope was a hunchback, and Byron had a club foot. God compensated for their defect by giving them some extra sensitive power to their senses. But this belief has no scientific or rational base. The idea of being possessed is explained in different ways by saying that the writer is a neurotic but if the writer is a neurotic how his writing can be intelligible to other people. Freud says that the writer is not quite steady. And the writer is a neurotic who, by his creative works, keeps himself from a crack-up. The artist converts a reality into a fantasy in his mind and then reconverts the fantasy into a work of art. So the poet is a day-dreamer who publishes his fanta- sies. The artist’s contemplative results are alternations in the outer world by readers of novelists. While the day- dreamer forms his fantasies in his mind, the actual writer gives a local habitation and a name to the fantasies. Most of the writers do not want to be cured of their neurosis be- cause if they are cured, they fear, they will lose their power of writing. As Auden says, the artist should be as neurotic as possible. Is neurosis another name for imagination? As a child tells a romantic story so an artist converts the world of reality into a fantasy of hopes and fears. Some novelists like Dickens say that their characters speak to them and sometimes take control of the action of the stories. The artist thus retains the archaic trait of the race. He feels and sees his thoughts. Another gift assigned to the writer is synaesthesia or the capacity of combining sensory perceptions. A writer may see colour as well as the smell of an object. In fact, syna- esthesia is a literary technique. According to T. S. Eliot, a poet has in his subconscious mind the race history and also the memory of his childhood. The artist is thus more primitive as well as more civilized than his contemporary. The pre-logical mentality persists in civilized men but it becomes available to us only through a poet. In other words, beneath the individual lies the collective unconscious, the blocked off memory of our racial past. The extrovert and introvert are two types of writers who are sub-divided on the basis of thinking, feeling, intuition and sensation. All writ- ers are not necessarily introvert. Some writers reveal type in their writing. Some do not. Subjective or objective writers are not necessarily single types; there are romantic poets who are lyric poets and there are narrative poets who are dramatic and epic poets. In other words, the poets are subjective writers and the novelists are objective writers or the poets can be called ‘possessed’ and the novelists can be called ‘makers.’ The professionally trained bards are the poets of the Renais- sance. And the makers of the neo-classical period lay emphasis on the mechanical side of the work of creation. But in the case of great writers like Shakespeare or Dostoyevsky, we find both elements of the maker and the possessed in the same writer. Apollo and Dionysus are two art-gods of the Greeks. They represent the art of sculpture and the art of music or dream and specially this corresponds to the classical maker and the romantic possessed. Imagination has been divided by a French psychologist into two parts: ‘plastic’ (shape giving) and ‘different’ (symbolic). A symbolic poet is a writer of romantic tales who is entirely subjective. Dante’s visual imagination has the same es- sential quality of Milton’s ‘auditory imagination.’ Psychologists have divided writers into three divisions (1) ‘type sympathique’ (spontaneous) (2) ‘type demoniaque anarchic’ (demon-like anarchic) (3) ‘type demoniaque equilibre’ (demon-like equilibrium). This suggests sympathetic and anarchy which ends in the tensions being brought into equilibrium. There are examples of Dante, Shakespeare, Dickens and others. The creative process covers all stages of a work of art from the literary origin to revisions. There is the distinction between the mental structure of a poem and the composition of a poem. According to Croce, an object of art creates a vivid impression on the mind of the artist. Once the impression is created, the work of ar- tistic creation stops. When a writer tries to put his impres- sion on paper he is expressing his impressions and that is expressionism. Can impression be induced? Can the writer become pos- sessed or go into a trance with the help of objects other than imagination? For example, Coleridge wrote ‘Kubla Khan’ under the influence of opium. De Quincey was an opium eater but there is no true evidence that drugs help in creative work. Others use ritualistic devices to induce the spirit of possession. ‘Mentors’ or ‘religious’ formality was used for the same purpose. Schiller could write after put- ting rotten apples in his work desk. Balzac wrote dressed in the robes of a monk. Some people prefer night time for writing. Dr. Johnson believed that a man can write at any time if he is determined to write. Does the method of writing have any effect upon any liter- ary style? Does it matter whether you write with pen or you use a typewriter? Actually speaking no such claim can be scientifically proved. We have only individual cases of writ- ers who prefer one thing to another; they cannot be used for general rules. On the creative side, not much has been found profitable to literary theory. Some authors write analytically about their art; psychologists try to find the common factor in original- ity, invention, philosophical and aesthetic creation. The pro- cess of creation will depend upon relative parts played by the conscious and the unconscious mind. Romantic and expressionistic periods depend upon the unconscious........
  6. 6. - IIndFloor,PaliwalMarket,GumanpuraKOTA (-0744-2392059&3090500 6 IMPORTANT MODAL QS. - ANS. OPTIONAL QUESTIONS ON CRITICISM How does Aristotle defines tragedy ? In his Poetics Aristotle defines tragedy as "the imitation of an action that is serious and also, as having magnitude, complete in itself; in language with pleasurable accessories, each kind brought in separately...in the parts of the work; in a dramatic not in a narrative form; with incidents arousing pity and fear, where with to accomplish its catharsis of such emotions." What does Aristotle say about imitation in poetry ? Aristotle in his Poetics says that differs in terms of form, content and manner of imitation. In terms of the kinds of mimitation they offer Aristotle differentiates between the three main kinds of poetry known to the ancient Greeks - epic, dramatic poetry and lyric poetry. It was also on the basios of imitatin that he distinguished comedy from tragedy : "the aim of comedy is to represent men as worse, that of tragedy as better, than in actual life." What does Aristotle mean by 'catharsis' ? Aristotle uses the term 'catharsis in the famous definition of tragedy in his Poetics. 'Catharsis' may be translated as 'purification', 'correction', refinement', sublimation, etc. By 'Catharsis', Aristotle seems to be simplicity suggesting that tragedy helps to keep pity and fear in their due proportions by allowing for a find of ritual purgation of these emotions. According to Humphrey House. Aristotle says that 'catharsis' "directs our pity an fear towards worthy objects." What doe Aristotle say about the constituent elements of a tragedy ? In Poetics Aristotle enumerates the elements that consti- tute the form of a typical tragedy : Plot, character, thuought, diction, spectacle and song. Of these, he asserts, "Plot is the most important...since tragedy is a representation not of men but of action and life...there could be no tragedy without action but there could be one without character." What is the Aristotelian principle of organic unity in literature ? While taking about tragedy in Poetics Aristotle mentions that the action of a tragic plot musthave a begining, a middle and an end; all parts of the action must be equally essential to the whole, so that it would not be possible to remove a part without damaging the whole; all parts must be property ordered with an appreciable conherence. These percepts add up to what is usually known as the principle of organic unity in literature as Aristotle compares tragedy to a living creature. How does Aristotle contrast poetry and history ? While considering the kinds of truth poets tell, Aristotle in his Poetics writes that "the difference is that one [a histori- cal writes about what has actually happened, while the other [a poet] deals with what might happen. Hence poetry is morephilosophical and deserves more serious attention than history for while poetry concerns itself with universal truths, history considers only particular facts." How does Aristotle distinguish simple and complex plots? In the Poetics Aristotle defines simple plot as being one in which change of foturne takes place without Reversal' or 'Perpeteia', and a complex plot as one in which the change of fortune is accompanied by a Reversal or by a Recognition or Discovery or both 'Peripetela' and 'Anagnorisis', i.e. 'change from ignorance to knowledge'. What, according to Aristotle, should be the qualities of a dramatic character ? Poetics Aristotle speaks of the four points to aim at in the treatment of dramatic characters : they should be good, ie,not depraved or odious but capable of arousing pity and sympathy; appropriate, ie., true to type, king kngly an woman womanly; true to life, a normal person or of an intermediate sort; and consistent from begining to end. What does Aristotle mean by 'hamartia' ? According to Aristotle, a tragic hero is one who falls from high state or fame not through vice or depravity but by some great 'hamartia'. Etymologically 'hamartia' means the 'miss- ing' of a mark with bow and arrow, an unskilful but not nor- mally culpable act'- or 'an error of judgement', an intellectual error little concerned with the normal character of the man. Oedipus is an excellent example of such a tragic protago- nist. On what grounds does Sidney consider poetry supe- rior to philosophy ? Sidney in his An Apology for Poetry says that dealing with abstract rules and precepts, the philosopher is hard of ut- terance and misty to be conceived. But the poet takes up the abstract rules and universal truths of philosophy and illustrates them by vivid and concrete examples which are intelligivle to everybody and so Sidney says, "the poet is indeed the right popular philosopher." Why according to Sidney, is poetry superior to history ? Sidney says that history is so tied should be, to particular truths and not to general reason, that it cannot draw nec- essary consequences and therefore is a less fruitful doctrine than poetry, which deals with universal considerations : What is fit to be said or done. Thus poetry transcents Nature without contradicting her. Poetry deals with 'what ought to be' not 'what it is' and so is superior to history. How does Sidney criticize contemporary drama ? Sidney in his An Apology for Poetry points out that most contemporary dramas are "neither right tragedies nor right comedies". He is against the mixing of tragic and comic material in one single play (as he says, 'mingling kings and clowns'). Another absurdity that he points out is the neglect of the Unities of Time and Place. According to him, it is impossible to suppose the stagenow a garden, now a bat- tlefield, and to see a whole life story in a short-span of two hours. On what ground does Dryden defend the English tragicomedy ? Dryden, in the person of Neander, attempts to vindicate the English practice of writing tragicomedies in his Essay on Dramatic Poesy. According to him, the mixing of tragic and comic elements brings variety in the play, and so imitate life more closely. Dryden says that in tragiccomedies, comedy heightens the pathos of tragedy by contrast, and thus is simply more entertaining. What arguments are given in favour of rhymed verse in Essay on Dramatic Poesie ? Dryden in his Essay on Dramatic Poesie defends the use of rhyme in serious plays saying that "in serious plays rhyme is more natural and more effectual than blank verse." He also says that 'heroic rhyme is nearest nature, as being the noblest kind of modern verse". Blank verse is too low for even a poem, and so much more for tragedy.
  7. 7. - IIndFloor,PaliwalMarket,GumanpuraKOTA (-0744-2392059&3090500 7 hat according to Dryden is the chief function of poetry? Dryden emphasizes delight rather than instruction as the chief end of poetry. According to Dryden, "delight is the chief, if not the only, end of poesy; instruction can be admitted but in the second place, for poesy only instructs as it delights". It is true that to imitate well is a poet's work; but to affect the soul, and excite the passions, and above all, to move admiration, a bare imitation will not serve. What does Dryden say, about heroic poetry in Essay on Dramatic Poesic ? Dryden regards the heroic poetry or epic "the greatest work of human nature". He considers Epic superior to Tragedy because, according to him, its action is more extensive, its heroes more perfect and its style more lofty and ornate. Due to the limited area the tragedy has to leave out many tings and thus fails to make that deep impression which is made by epic. What view does Dryden put forward on satire in his A Discourse Concerning the Origin and Progress of Satire ? Dryden ragards satire as 'a species of heroic poetry' that should treat of one main theme with one particular moral. The function is to caution the reader 'against some one particular vice or folly'. Rejecting the burlesque 8 syllabled verse of Butler's Hudibras, Dryden champions the 10- syllabled verse or heroic couplet as the ideal verse from for writing satires. What does Pope say about the poet and 'Nature' in his An Essay on Criticism ? The key term in Pope's Essay is 'Nature', not as the Ro- mantics were to understand it, wild and mysterious, but something reflecting deep order, moderation and universal laws; it placed due limits on men's taste and writing, dictating that they should avoid excesses of enthusiasm and freakish originality. Pope suggests that the critics should study the rules of classical thinkers because these rules are none than 'Nature methodized' ? What are Pope's views on criticism in An Essay on Criticism ? According to Pope, an aurhor can only be a good critic. He warns the critic against judging by parts rather than by the whole. He is against those critics who consider only the diction, style or verse apart from the sense. He also condemns judgments based on popular notions and without a proper understanding of the work itself. He further condemns extreme fastidiousness in criticism: "As all looks yellow to the Jaundic'd eye." What according to Pope, is required of the language of poetry in An Essay on Criticism ? Regarding the language of poetry, Pope in An Essay on Criticism writes that the words selected should be neither too old nor too new: "In words, as fashions, the same rule will hold / Alike fantastic, if too new or ole," and that the expression should be according to the snese. For the beauty of an idea or image depends on its context, and it will not be effective if we take it alone outside its context. What does Pope say on versification in his Essay ? Pope thinks that the poet should not rely on such devides as equal syllables, open vowels, expletives, too much use of monosyllables and needless Alexandrine. The correct verse, according to him, is that which is in keeping with the thought and it should vary to suit the different ideas expressed. If one follows Pope's formula he is sure to get ease in writing: "True ease in writing comes from Art, not chance." What are the scheme and purpose of Pope's Essay on Man ? The first epistle of Pope's Essay on Man is concerned with the nature of man and his place in the universe; the second with man as an individual; the third with man in society; and the fourth with man and the pursuit of happiness. The purpose is to demonstrate, the essential rightness of the world as ordered by God: man's inability to realizedered by God; man's inability to realize this is the fault of limited perception. How does Dr. Johnson defend tragicomedy ? Dr. Johnson regards the tragicomedy as more representative of actual life and a better source of instruction; "That the mingled drama may convey all theinstruction of tragedy and comedy cannot be denied". Dr. Johnson puts forward a lib- erating defence of Shakespeare's 'mixed' style of drama which does not impair the emotional effect because he thinks, "all pleasure consist in variety". How does Dr. Johnson defend the violation of unities by Shakespeare ? Dr. Johnson believes that "the unities of Time and Place...are always to be sacrificed to the nobler beauties of variety and instruction." He says, "the truth is that the spectators are always in their senses and know...the stage is only a stage and that the players are only players." So there is no need of the unity of Place. According to Dr. Johnson, "Time is... most obsequious to the imagination". and so the unity of Time isnot essential for drama. Thus he defends the violation of unities by Shakespeare. What are Dr. Johnson's views on the Metaphysical po- ets and their poetry ? In his Life of Cowley Dr. Johnson writes."The metaphysicals were men of learning and to show their learning was their whole endeavour." Metaphysical poetry is "great labour di- rected by great abilities" and metaphysical poets are wits rather than poets because they neither limitate nature nor life. It has "more propriety though less copiousness of sen- timent" and is only "useful to those who know their value." Why does Dr. Johnson advocage that the poet should collect only good things for his poetry ? In his Preface to Shakespeare, Dr. Johnson writes : "The end of writing is to instruct : the end of poetry is to instruct by pleasing...Poetry pleases by exhibiting an idea more graceful to the mind than things themselves afford". it is for this reason that he suggests that the poet should select only beautiful and good things and reject all that is ugly or bad. WhatdefectsofShakespearedoesDr.Johnsonpointout? According to Dr. Johnson Shakespeare "sacrifices virtue to convenience and is so much more careful to please than to instruct, that he seems to write without anh moral purpose". Further he dinds faults with the plots and ending in Shake- spearean plays, with the comic scenes and the narratives in tragedies. Dr. Johnson is so put off by Shakespeare's puns and word-plays that he says : "A quibble was to him the fatal Cleopatra for which he lost the world, and was content to lose it."..........
  8. 8. - IIndFloor,PaliwalMarket,GumanpuraKOTA (-0744-2392059&3090500 8 IMPORTANT POINTS ENGLISH LITERATURE AT A GLANCE MAIN PERIODS OF ENGLISH LITERATURE C. 450-C. 1066 Old English (or Anglo- Saxon) Period C. 1066-C.1500 Middle English Period C. 1500-1660 The Renaissance 1558-1603 Elizabbethan Age 1603-1625 Jacobean Age 1625-1649 Caroline Age 1649-1660 Commonwealth and Protectorate Period C. 1660-C. 1800 Neo-classical Period 1660-1700 The Restoration Age C. 1700-C.1745 The Augustan Age or The Age of Pope C. 1745-C. 1798 Age of Sensibility or The Age of Johnson C. 1798-C. 1832 Period of the Romantic Revival 1832-1901 Victorian Age 1901-1918 Edwardian Age 1918-1939 Modern Age 1939- The Present Age TABLE OF THE SOVEREIGNS SINCE THE CONQUEST [1066] I. THE NORMAN KINGS 1. William I [1066-87] 2. William II [1087-1100] . 3. Henry I [1100-35] 4. Stephen [1135-54] II. PLANTAGENET KINGS 5. Henry II of Anjou [1154-89] 6. Richard I [1189-99] 7. John [1199-1216] 8. Henry III [1219-54] 9. Edward I [1272-1307] 10. Edward II [1307-27] 11. Edward III [1327-77] 12. Richard 11[1377-99] III. THE HOUSE OF LANCASTER 13. Henry IV [1399-1413] 14. Henry V [1413-22] 15. Henry VI [1422-61] IV. THE HOUSE OF YORK 16. Edward IV [1461-83] 17. Edward V [1483] 18. Richard III [1483-85] V. THE TUDOR EYNASTY 19. Henry VII [1461- 1509] 20. Henry VIII [1509-47] 21. Edward VI [1547-53] 22. Mary [1553-58] 23. Elizabeth I[1558-1603] VI. THE STUART DYNASTY 24. James I [1603-25] [Commonwealth [1689-1702]; Protectorate (1653-60)] 25. Charles I (1625-49) 26. Charles II (1660-85 27. James II (1685-88) 28. William and Mary (1689-1702) 29. Anne (1702-14) VII. THE HOUSE OF HANOVER 30. George I (1714-27) 31. Geroge II (1727-60) 32. George III (1760-1820) 33. Geroge IV (1727-60) 34. William IV (1831-37) 35. Victoria (1837-1901) 36. Edward VII (1901-10) 37. George V (1910-36) 38. Edward VIII (1936) 39. George VI (1936-52) 40. Elizabeth II (1952-) ENGLISH LITERATURE AT A GLANCE THE AGE OF CHAUCER (1340-1400) POETRY Geoffrey Chaucer (1340-1400) The Romaunt of the Rose (1360-65?); The Book of the Duchesse (1369); The Parlement of Foules; Troilus and Criseyde (1379-83); The House of Fame (1383-84); The legend of Good Women (1385-86); The Canterbury Tales (1386 onward). William Langland (1330-1386) The Vision of william Concerning Piers the Plowman (1362 90). John Gover (?1330-84) Speculum Meditantis(1378?), Vox Clamantis(1382), Confessio Amantis(1390) John Barbour (1320-95) Bruce(1375). PROSE Sir John Mandeville (died 1372) Mandeville’s Travels (1356). John Wycliffe (1320-84) Wycliffe’s Bible (1380). Sir Thomats Malory (died 1471) Le Morte D’ Arthur (1469). FROM CHAUCER TO ‘TOTTLE’S MISCELLANY’ (1400-1557) POETRY Geoffrey Chaucer(1340-1400) The Tale of Melibeus, The Parson’s Tale. James I (1394-1437) The King’s Quair (1423-1424). Sir David Lyndsay (1458-1555) The Dreme(1528), The History of Squyer Meldrum(1549), The Testment and Compleynt of the Papyngo,(1530), Satyre of the Thire Estaitis(1540). Robert Henryson(1430-1506) Lament for the Makaris (1508), The Testament of cresseid (1593), Orpheus and Eurydice; Robene and Makyne; Garmond Qf Gude Ladies. William Dunbar(?1456-?1513) The Goldyn Targe (1503), The Dance of the Sevin Deidlie Synnis (1503-1508), Tua Mariit Women and the Wedo (1508), Lament for the Makaris (1508). Gawin Douglas(?1474-1552) The Palice of Honour (1501),published (1533),King Hart (first printed 1786). John Skelton(?1460-1529) Garlande of laurell (printed 1523),Dirge on Edward Iv, The Bowge of Court(1499). John Lydgate(1370-1451) ‘Iroy Book (1412-1420), The Falls of Princes(1430-1438), The Temple of Glass; The Story of Thebes(1420), London Lickpenny. Thomas Occleve(1368?-1450?) The Regement of Princes (1411-12), La Male Regle (1406); The Complaint of Our Lady, Occleve’s Complaint. Stephen Hawes (?1474-1530) The Passtyme of Pleasure (1509), The Example of Virtue (1512), The Conversion of Swerers; A Joyfull Medytacyon. Alexander Barclay (?1475-1552) Ship of Fools (1509), Certayne Ecloges (1515). PROSE Reginald Pecock (?1390-?1461) The Repressor of over-much Blaming of the Clergy (1455), The Book of Faith (1456). Willism Caxton (?1422-91)
  9. 9. - IIndFloor,PaliwalMarket,GumanpuraKOTA (-0744-2392059&3090500 9 Recuyell of the Historie of Troye(1471), (?1422-91) Game and Playe of the the chesse (1475), The Dictes and Sayengis of the Philosphers (1477). John Fisher (1459-1535) Tracts and sermons; The Ways to Perfect Religion. Hugh Latimer (?1485-1555) Sermons (1562). Sir Thomas More (1478-1535) Utopia (1516); The Lyfe of John Picus (1510), The Historie of Richard III (1543). Sir Thomas Elyot (?1478-1535) The Boke named the Governour (1531), The Doctrine of Princes (1534) John Capgrave (1393-1464) The Chronicle of English History extending to A. D. 1417. Sir John Fortescue (?1394-?1476) On the Govenance of England, A Delcaration upon Certain Wrytinges (1471-73). DRAMA John Heywood (?1494-?1580) The Four p’s (?1545), Play of the Wether (1533), A Play of Love (1433). Thomas Norton (1532-84) and T. Sackville (1536-1608) Gorboduc (1561). Thomas Preston (1536-1608) A Lamentable Tragedy mixed full of Mirth Containing the life of Cambyses, King of Percia (1569). WIlliam Stevenson Gammer Gurton’s Needle (1562). Nicholas Udall (1505-56) Ralph Roister Doister (written 1553, published 1567) THE ELIZABETHAN AGE (1558-1603) THE JACOBEAN AGE (1603-1625) THE AGE OF SHAKESPEARE (1558- 1625) POETRY George Gascoigne (?1525-77) Jocasta Jocasta (1566), Supposes (1566). Edmund Spenser (1552-99) The Shepherds Calendar (1579), Mother Hubberd’s Tale (1591), The Ruins of Rome (1591), Amoretti (1595); Epithalamion; Colin Clout Comes Home Again (1595), Four Hymns (1596), Prothalamion (1596), The Faerie Queene (Book I-III, 1589, IV, 1596). John Donne (1573-1631) Satires (1590-1601), The Songs and Sonnets (1590-1601), TheElegies(1590-1601),OftheProgressoftheSoule(1601) Holy Sonnets (1617). Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503-42) In Tottel’s Miscellany (1557), Included in Songs and Sonnetts (1557) ed.Tottel. Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey (1517-47) Certain Bokes of Virgiles Aeneis turned into English Meter (1557)his poems; in Tottle’s Miscellany (1557). Thomas Sackville (1536-1608) The Induction (1563), The Complayment of Henry, Duke of Buckingham, (1563). George Gascoigne (1534-77) 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 Heroicall Epistles (1597), The Baron’s Wars (1603), Polyolbion (1622), . Nymphida (1627). Thomas Campion (1567-1620) A Book of Ayreas (1601), Songs of Mourning (1613), Two Books of Ayres (1612). Phineas Fletcher (11582-1650) The Purple Island, of The Isle of Man (1633). Giles Fletcher (11588-1623) Chirst’s Victorie and Triumph (1610). Samuel Daniel (1562-1619) Delia (1592), The Complaynt of Rosamond (1592), The Civil Wars (1595). William Shakespeare (1564-1616) The Rape of Lucrece (1594), Venus and Adonis (1593). A Collection of Sonnets, (1609), The Passionate Pilgrim (1599). DRAMA George Peele (1558-98) The Araygnement of Paris (1584), The Famous Chronicle of King Edward the first (1593), The Old Wives’ Tale (159194). The Love of King David and Fair Bathsabe (1599). Robert Greene (1558-92) Alphonsus, King of Aragon (1587), Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay (1589), Orlando Furioso (1591), The Scottish Historie of James of Fourth (1592). Thomas Nashe (1567-1611) Summer’s Last Will and Testament (1592). John Lyly (11554-1606) Alexander and Campasye (1584); Endymission (1591), Midas (1592), The Woman in the Moon (1597) Thomas Lodge (1558-1625) Henry VI (1591-92), The Woundes of Cicil War, Rosalynde, Euphues Golden Legcie (A Romance) (1590), Scillaes Metamorphosis (1589). Thomas Kyd (1558-94) The Spanish Tragedy (1585), Cornelia (1593), Soliman and Perseda (1588), First Part of Jernimo (1592). Christopher Marlowe (1564-93) Tamberlaine the Great (1587), The Second Part of Tamberlaine the Great (1588), Edward II (1591), The Jew of Malta (1589, Docator Faustus (1592), The Tragedy of Dido, Qween of Carthage (1593). The Massacre of Paris (1593). William Shakespeare (1564-1616) 1. Henry VI (1591-92) 2. Henry VI (1591-92), 3. Henry VI (1591-92), Richard III (1593), The Comedy of Errors (1593), Titus Andronicus (1594), The Taming of The Shrew (1594), Love’s Labour’s Lost (1594), Romeo and Juliet (1594), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1595), The Two Gentlemen of Verona (1595), King John (1595), Richard II (1596) The Merchant of Venice (1596), Henry IV (1598),Much Ado About Nothing(1598), Henry V (1599), Julius Caesar (1599),The Merry Wives of Winsor (1600), As you Like It (1600), Hamlet (1601), Twelfth Night (1601), Troilus and Cressida (1602), All’s Well that Ends well (1602), Measure for Measure (1604), Othello (1604), Macbeth (1605), King Lear (1605), Antony and Cleopatra (1606), Coriolanus Timon of Athens (1607), Pericles (1608), Cymbeline (1609), The Winter’sTale (1610), The Tempest (1611), Henry VIII (in part) (1613)...........
  10. 10. - IIndFloor,PaliwalMarket,GumanpuraKOTA (-0744-2392059&3090500 10 ELECTIVE-III INDIAN WRITING IN ENGLISH AND INDIAN LITERATURE IN ENGLISH TRANSLATION INDIAN WRITING IN ENGLISH FICTION 1. INTRODUCTION Who was the first story teller ? A lonely hunter consoling his fellows on a cold northern evening far from home ? A mother calming a frightened child with takes of god and demigods ? A lover telling his intended of fantastic exploits, designed to foster his courtship ? The reader can multiply the number of possibilities, but we shall never know the answer, for the impulse to tell stories is as old as the devel- opment of speech, older than the invention of writing. It has deep psychological springs we do not fully comprehend, but the need to make up characters, and to place them in worlds that are parallel to our own or are perhaps wildly at variance with it, is part of the history of all peoples, cul- tures, and countries; there is no-known human group that has not told tales. Oral cultures are great sources for students of the theory of fiction. Researchers have established that in those that still exist, the storyteller (or bard) is highly revered for the abil- ity to relate from a memory a number of verse narratives of enormous length, told within the regularities of meter and conventional figures of language that aid the memory, con- taining the stories of characters known to listeners who share in a common folklore and myth. These stories, about, familiar characters in recognizable situations, do not en- gage their audience in the mysteries of an unresolved plot, for the listeners know that story already, have heard it told before, and are often as familiar with its events as they are with events in their own lives. Then why do they listen ? Beyond the story itself, the audience concerns itself with the voice and manner of the taller of the tale; the texture and density of the story's material; the fit of the characters with the audience's expectations about how human beings, gods, demigods, and mythic heroes behave in a world some- thing like their own. For such people- just as for ourselves- fictions have an extraordinary explanatory power, they make clear why, for instance, there are seasons, why there is an underworld for the spirits of dead ancestors, why there is one royal line of descent and not another. We begin this collection of essays on the theory of fiction with a discussion of so-called primitive origins because we believe that the impulse to tell takes and listen to them is akin to the impulse in " literature" cultures to writes stories and read them, and as Claude Levi- Strauses has shown us in the Savage Mind (Lapensee sauvage) the science of primitive peoples is as sophisticated in its own purposes as the science in literate cultures; so too are the fictions. Tribal members in oral cultures may or may not have de- tailed discussions of the nature and forms of their func- tions, but clearly they do make judgements as to the ad- equacy of the telling of stories, and the act of judgement is, after all, an act of criticism. Questions of judgement and interpretation, in fact, inform human discourse everywhere. While we do not claim that the theory of fiction occupies much of the attention of tribal scholars, we do claim that the interpretation of works of literature, and in particulars of fictional creation, is part of the written record of all literate cultures. It has constituted an extremely large and impor- tant part of literature since the times of the ancient He- brews and Greeks, with its beginnings in Midrashic texts and in the writings of Plato and the sophists and, ultimately, in the most important literary critical text of Western antiq- uity, the Poetics of Aristotle. The study of literature and literary theory-by which we mean the use of rhetorical, linguistic, and structural analysis as a means of interpreting texts-has, therefore, a long tradition in Western intellectual history, one employed quite heavily during certain periods and certainly appearing during the current century as a principal form of literate intellectual ac- tivity. In its forms of analysis, literary theory has been defined to a great extent by the kinds of texts to which it has been applied. In the Poetics Aristotle was concerned primarily with discussing the epic poem and the two dominant forms of drama, comedy and tragedy. For the most part, these were the most important forms, along with lyric poetry, written by the ancient Greek authors that Aristotle studied. The fictions about which Aristotle could have written were, there- fore, composed in verse dialogue, not in prose, and the forms were not the prose fictional forms that dominate our time: the novel, the novella, and short story. Historinas of literature have argued at length about which prose fictions might qualify as the first novels. There were certainly prominent examples of lengthy prose fictions in the ancient world with The Golden Ass of Apuleius and Petronius's Satyricon coming conspicuously to mind. But while these are extended narratives in prose, they do not; for most critics, fulfill the criteria for defining a novel for- mally in terms of the development of plot and character. Both tales are products of the early Christian centuries and were followed by more than a millennium in which the long fictional forms consisted mainly of verse epics and ro- mances whose subject matter was the relatively conven- tional material of shared folklore and myth. Indeed, with some exceptions such as the Icelandic sagas and Boccaccio's Decameron, extended prose fictions did not begin to flourish in England and on the European continent until the sixteenth century, in the writings of Nashe and Lyly in England, Rabelais in France, and Cervantes in Spain. Some critics have called Cervantes' Don Quixote, published during the early years of the seventeenth century, the first European novel, and while the adventures of the man of La Mancha have been extraordinarily influential on later forms of prose fiction - Lionel Trilling finds its theme of illusion and reality to be the essence of the novel - Don Quixote did not found a tradition in which those writers who came after him self-consciously thought of themselves as writing "novels." Rather, Cervantes's book summed up and parodied the tra- dition of medieval and Renaissance romance, with all its chivalric and courtly conventions. The self-conscious es- tablishment of a tradition of novel writing did not come about with any lasting force until more than a century later, in an increasingly mercantile and industrial Europe where the middle classes were rapidly rising. The rising literacy that always accompanies trade and technology created an ex- panded reading public hungry for stories of people like them- selves, in prose like that of the newspapers, journals, and scientific treatises that had come to dominate the new tech- nology of print For the middle classes poetry was identified with the aristocracy, except for such didactic verse as they sang in church...........

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