William Empson and the Philosophy of Literary Criticism by Christopher NorrisWilliam Empson and the Philosophy of Literary Criticism by Christopher Norris

William Empson and the Philosophy of Literary Criticism

byChristopher Norris

Hardcover | May 8, 2014

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Following the publication of Seven Types of Ambiguity in 1930 William Empson was quickly recognised as a critic of great originality and unique creative gifts and he has inspired a whole new method and style of approach in literary criticism. But this is the first full-length study of his work and it is an important part of Dr Norris's purpose to account for the gulf that has emerged between Empson's viewpoint and the development of his ideas by others, especially the American New Critics, and for the consequent failure of Empson's later books to generate the informed discussion they demand and deserve. Here particular attention is given to his critical summa, The Structure of Complex Words. To understand Empson's work as a consistent whole, Dr Norris argues, one must relate it to his philosophy of humanistic rationalism. This is to give a new perspective not only to his practical criticism but also to his differences with Eliot and Leavis and to his anti-Christian polemic.
Christopher Norris is Distinguished Research Professor in Philosophy at the University of Cardiff, Wales. He is the author of numerous books on aspects of philosophy, critical theory, and modern intellectual history.
Title:William Empson and the Philosophy of Literary CriticismFormat:HardcoverProduct dimensions:222 pages, 9.52 × 6.42 × 0.75 inShipping dimensions:9.52 × 6.42 × 0.75 inPublished:May 8, 2014Publisher:BloomsburyLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1472509706

ISBN - 13:9781472509703


Table of Contents

Introduction 1 Empson and Present-Day Criticism: a Chapter of Misunderstandings Poet and critic: a change of heart? The rational motive: Empson and the literature of conflict 2 'Beyond Formalism': Pastoral and the 'Subjective Correlative' History and form in Pastoral: the 'timeless prison' of Symbolism 3 Complex Words and the Grammar of Motives Dramatic 'character' and the commonsense ethic 4 Semantics and Historical Method: the Phenomenology of Meaning Structures and meaning: the limits explanation Ordinary language and semantic history Complex Words and the 'renaissance' view of man 5 'Other Minds': the Morality of Knowledge Milton's God and the 'question of intention' Milton, Pastoral and the levels of consciousness Poetry and narrative: the 'plot' dimension The rational bias: some limiting cases in Empson's criticism 6 Literary 'Values' and Modern Humanism: Empson's Work in Perspective Alternative wisdoms: Empson between two cultures Appendix: Complex Words and Recent Semantic Theory Postscript by William Empson Bibliographical Note Notes Index