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Poetry for Poetry's Sake

An Inaugural Lecture Delivered on June 5, 1901

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Author: A.C. Bailey
Published: 1901
Language: English
Wordcount: 9,903 / 35 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 57.7
LoC Category: PN
Downloads: 607
Added to site: 2008.01.16 19723
Genre: Essays

ist' is here perfectly right. Nor is he insisting on something unimportant. He is contending against our tendency to take the work of art as a mere copy or reminder of something already in our heads, or at the best as a suggestion of some idea as little removed as possible from the familiar. The sightseer who promenades a picture-gallery, remarking that this portrait is so like his cousin, or that landscape the very image of his birthplace, or who, after satisfying himself that one picture is about Elijah, passes on rejoicing to discover the subject, and nothing but the subject, of the next--what is he but an extreme example of this tendency? Well, but the very same tendency vitiates much of our criticism, much criticism of Shakespeare, for example, which, with all its cleverness and partial truth, still shows that the critic never passed from his own mind into Shakespeare's; and it may still be traced even in so fine a critic as Coleridge, as when he dwarfs the sublime struggle of Hamlet into the image of hi



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