The Sacred Wood - Deepstash

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Introduction

The criticism proper betrays such poverty of ideas and such atrophy of sensibility that men who ought to preserve their critical ability for the improvement of their own creative work are tempted into criticism.

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When...

  • When there is so much to be known,
  • When there are so many fields of knowledge in which the same words are used with different meanings,
  • When every one knows a little about a great many things.

It becomes increasingly difficult for anyone to know whether he knows what he is talking about or not.

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The writer of present essay (1920/1950) once committed himself to the statement that, "The poetic critic is criticizing poetry in order to create poetry."

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Gusto

The two latter have gusto, but gusto is no equivalent for taste; it depends too much upon the appetite and the digestion of the feeder.

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Ideas and Pseudo-Ideas

A man of ideas needs ideas, or pseudo-ideas, to fight against.

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Tradition

In English writing we seldom speak of tradition, though we occasionally apply its name in deploring its absence. We can not refer to "the tradition" or to "a tradition". At most, wee employ the adjective in saying that the poetry of so-and-so is "traditional" or even "too traditional". Seldom, perhaps, does the word appear except in a phrase of censure. 

If otherwise, it is vaguely approbative, with the implication, as to the work approved, of some pleasing archaelogical reconstruction.

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The Poetry, Not the Poet

Honest criticism and sensitive appreciation is directed not upon the poet but upon the poetry.

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Poetic Drama

From the point of view of literature, the drama is only among several poetic forms. The epic, the ballad, the chanson de geste, the forms of Provence and of Tuscany, all found their perfection by serving particular societies.

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The Elizabethan Age

The Elizabethan Age in England was able to absorb a great quantity of new thoughts and new images, almost dispensing with tradition, because it had this great form of its own which imposed itself on everything that came to it.

Consequently, the blank verse of their pays accomplished a subtlety and consciousness.

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The Work of Art

Qua work of art, the work of art can not be interpreted. There is nothing to interpret. We can only criticize it according to standards, in comparison to other works of art; and for "interpretation" the chief task is the presentation of relevant historical facts which the reader is not assumed to know.

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Objective Correlative

The only way of expressing emotion in the form of art is by finding an "objective correlative". In other words, a set of objects, a situation, a chain of events which shall be the formula of that particular emotion. Such that when external facts, which must terminate in sensory experience, are given, the emotion is immediately evoked.

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Argue and Persuade vs. State

English criticism is inclined to argue or persuade rather than to state. Instead of forcing the subject to expose himself, these critics have left in their work an undissolved residuum of their own good taste, which, however impeccable, is something that requires our faith.

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Education

It is important that the artist should be highly educated in his own art; but his education is one that is hindered rather than helped by the ordinary processes of society which constitute education for the ordinary man.

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Philosopher

Without doubt, the effort of the philosopher proper, the man who is trying to deal with ideas themselves, and the effort of the poet, who may be trying to realize ideas, can not be carried on at the same time.

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CURATED BY

irza_fi

interested in psychology, philosophy, and literary📚 | INTP-T & nyctophile | welcome to Irza Fidah's place of safe haven~! hope you enjoy my curations and stashes^^.

CURATOR'S NOTE

Mr. Eliot's criticism.

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