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January 30, 1955
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v2.1 Reference

The Verbal Icon

Studies in the Meaning of Poetry

The sixteen essays in this volume form a series of related focuses upon various levels and areas of literary criticism. W.K. Wimsatt's assumption is that practice and theory of both the past and the present are integrally related-that there is a continuity in the materials of criticism-that a person who studies poetry today has a critical concern, not merely a historical interest, in what Aristotle or Plato said about poetry. He regards the great perennial problems of criticism as arising not by the whim of a tolerantly pluralist choice, but from the nature of language and reality.

With profound learning and insight, Wimsatt treats almost the whole range of literary criticism. The first group of essays deals with fallacies he believes are involved in prevalent approaches to the literary object. The next two groups face the responsibilities of the critic who defends literature as a form of knowledge; they treat various problems of structure and style. The last group undertakes to examine the relation of literature to other arts, the relation of evaluative criticism to historical studies, and the relation of literature not only to morals, but more broadly to the whole complex of the Christian religious tradition.

About the Author

W. K. Wimsatt (1907-1975) was associate professor of English at Yale University.


"This is criticism in terms of value and of structure. . . . Consistent and impressive."—New Republic

"One of the major works of criticism in English."—Modern Language Review

University Press of Kentucky

9780813101118 : the-verbal-icon-wimsatt
Paperback / softback
320 Pages
$35.00 USD

Other Titles by W.K. Wimsatt

Hateful Contraries

W.K. Wimsatt
Aug 2014 - University Press of Kentucky
$40.00 USD - Paperback / softback

Other Titles in LITERARY CRITICISM / Poetry

The Colosseum Critical Introduction to Dana Gioia

Matthew Brennan, William Brennan
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The Long Embrace

edited by Christopher Buckley
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Seamus Heaney and the End of Catholic Ireland

Kieran Quinlan
Apr 2020 - The Catholic University of America Press
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