Professors Wellek and Warren have produced in this important and valuable book a systematic and complete working out of a literary theory which includes all the techniques of scholarship and criticism. According to their announced aim, the authors endeavor to escape the extremes of either an impressionistic âsecond creationâ of a work of literature, or a scholarly accumulation of facts âaboutâ it, by setting up a system which permits a poem or prose work to be seen in both its particular and its general aspects. And in this attempt, even though some readers may be left with a slight dissatisfaction, the authors have achieved a remarkable degree of success. The book is divided into five sections of varying length: Definitions and Distinctions ; Preliminary Operations ; The Extrinsic Approach, through the relations of literature to : society, biography, psychology, ideas, and the other arts; The Intrinsic Study of Literature, which forms the longest part; and The Academic Situation, which attempts to suggest better methods of graduate college training in literature. All this is expounded by means of a careful and complex analysis and supported by prodigious learning, for the authors quote not only from Western European but also
Modern Language Quarterly: A Journal of Literary History – Duke University Press
Published: Jan 1, 1951
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