اتجاهان في التقييم الأدبي / Two Traditions of Literary Evaluation



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هيرش, إ. د.; Hirsch, E. D.; رزق, نصر حامد; Rizq, Nasr

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Research Article

Publication Title

Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics

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[Although modern philosophy prefers a theory of value which makes the value of an object change with its external relations to one which holds value to be an intrinsic property of the object, the current in modern literary criticism has run the other way, favoring the notion of an intrinsic «literary value». The Classical view found the value of literature in its effects on readers: in Horace's phrase, it should please and instruct. But in the 18th century faith in an unchanging human nature led to a crisis in the idea of a universal standard of judgment and value. Kant's solution was to move the judgment of literature into a purely disinterested aesthetic realm. Literary value became synonymous with intrinsi aesthetic value, and this was conceived of as a matter of formal structure. A. C. Bradley and the New Critics who followed him then had to smuggle their ethical concerns into their criticism by arguing that (ethical) content is inseparable from (aesthetic) form. This manoever was practically useful but conceptually flawed, as we can see by the fact that film and television critics often find works to be artistically successful but socially and morally reprehensible. The idea of intrinsic «literary value», which informs virtually all 20th century criticism, should be discarded in favor of a theory that openly admits the ethical value of literature, and the historical relativity of ethical judgments.]

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