Elementary Guide to Literary Criticism

Elementary Guide to Literary Criticism

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Elementary Guide to Literary Criticism by F. V. N. Painter

Published:

1903

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Elementary Guide to Literary Criticism

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Book Excerpt

is evidently unjust to demand in writers of an uncultivated period the same delicacy of thought, feeling, and expression that is required in the writers of an age of refinement and intelligence. The indecencies in Chaucer and Shakespeare are to be attributed to the grossness of their times.

+14. The Artistic Element.+ There is an artistic element in literature upon which the value of any work largely depends. There is art in the choice and marshaling of words. Furthermore, every department of literature--history, poetry, fiction--has a separate and definite purpose. In the successful realization of this purpose each species or form of literature must wisely choose its means. This conscious and intelligent adaptation of a means to an end is art. Apart from the careful selection and arrangement of words in sentences, the historian chooses the incidents he will relate, the order in which they will appear, the relative prominence they will have, and the symmetry and completeness of his whole work. The nove

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