27 votes
Accepted

Why did literary critic Harold Bloom say something that didn't correspond to reality regarding Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone?

A different column by Bloom ("Can 35 Million Book Buyers Be Wrong? Yes." in the Wall Street Journal, 11 July 2000) has a variant of the claim: Her prose style, heavy on cliche, makes no ...
alexg's user avatar
  • 1,814
11 votes
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Poet from the 50s / 60s who said being a poet was like standing out in a storm trying to be hit by lightning

You seem to be thinking of this quote by Randall Jarrell: A good poet is someone who manages, in a lifetime of standing out in thunderstorms, to be struck by lightning five or six times; a dozen or ...
Mithical's user avatar
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7 votes

Why are William Mcgonagall's poems considered so terrible?

The question asks for “scholarly citations and evaluations of why scholars consider him to be so bad” but there is very little to cite. Anyone who reads and appreciates poetry can tell that McGonagall’...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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7 votes

What is the distinction between "literary fiction" vs. "popular fiction"?

This is a core question for literature enthusiasts and I am glad you asked it. Certainly there are no objective criteria to differentiate 'literary fiction' from 'popular fiction.' Since much of ...
English Student's user avatar
7 votes

According to Twain, what literary offenses did Fenimore Cooper not commit?

In "Fenimore Cooper’s Further Literary Offenses" (pp. 299-300), Twain singles out a passage of The Deerslayer, chapter XXX. It concerns this page and the following. The passage begins with &...
henryflower's user avatar
  • 1,036
6 votes

What is the distinction between "literary fiction" vs. "popular fiction"?

At least according to science fiction grandmaster Samuel Delany, well-known for "literary" books in popular genres, the distinction is largely one of anticipated audience. Popular fiction is ...
Chris Sunami's user avatar
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6 votes
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Academic who abandoned literary criticism and started writing novels?

After some more searching, I found that the academic and author I was looking for is Frank Lentricchia. In literary theory and criticism he wrote, among other ones, the following books: After the ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
  • 44.6k
6 votes
Accepted

Meaning of "not to say this is a bad kind of poetry" etc. in Wordsworth's Preface to the "Lyrical Ballads"

Perhaps changing which words are bolded and italicizing other words will help: The proper method of treating trivial and simple verses to which Dr. Johnson's stanza would be a fair parallelism is not ...
verbose's user avatar
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5 votes
Accepted

What does it mean to "unmoor criticism"?

The article mentioned in the original version of the question is not "Boule de Suif" (which is a novella) but the article "Les Soirées de Médan" that Maupassant published in the newspaper Le Gaulois ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
  • 44.6k
4 votes

Is there a term for the boundaries of expectation as established by a story's narration?

The boundaries of expectation set by a story's narration fall under the general heading of point of view. In itself, point of view is a simple concept: what is the relationship of the narrator to the ...
verbose's user avatar
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4 votes

Did Yvor Winters describe Emerson's reputation in America as that of a sacred cow?

Yvor Winters's book In Defense of Reason (1947, combining critical essays from three earlier books) contains very strong criticism of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Early in the book, he criticises Romanticism ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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4 votes
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Approaching Beowulf scholarship - how to begin?

I have written up this guide in a way that should also be helpful for researching other work and authors from English literature, but the resources found are specific to Beowulf. The general approach ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
  • 44.6k
4 votes

How do people learn to analyze literature?

In this answer I’m going to explain how people generate literary analysis, and how to come up with original analysis. It’s not as difficult as it looks! How to analyze texts The process looks ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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4 votes

How do people learn to analyze literature?

If you're an undergraduate, I think you may be setting the bar too high. Undergraduate programmes are there to help you learn the skills you will need if you were to take the subject forward into ...
Matt Thrower's user avatar
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4 votes

What was the first instance of the use of a Closed Time loop as a plot device in a published piece of American science fiction?

Here is a possible answer to your title question, copied from my answer to the scifi.stackexchange question What was the first 'time loop' story featuring the bootstrap paradox?. Unfortunately, I'm ...
user14111's user avatar
  • 3,042
3 votes
Accepted

Are there collections of pre-20th-century Shakespeare criticism, esp. focusing on individual plays?

Collections that reprint criticism normally don't focus on pre-twentieth-century criticism; in modern collections, 20th-century criticism typically dominates. One of the best series that reprint ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
  • 44.6k
3 votes

Poet who asserted that poets lack personality and collect objects to give them one

tl;dr I'm willing to bet that at some time in the mid-90s, you stumbled across a couple of essays (or excerpts therefrom) by that old possum, Thomas Stearns Eliot. Deets This seems like a conflation ...
verbose's user avatar
  • 27.6k
3 votes

What is the distinction between "literary fiction" vs. "popular fiction"?

In this thread I see a lot of references to phrases such as "human experience" and "the human condition". I think it's worth stepping back and asking whose experiences we are talking about. I believe, ...
Questioning Literature's user avatar
3 votes
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What is meant by "pensée indétérminée" in the Geneva School?

In the foreword ("Avant-propos") to La pensée indeterminée I. De la Renaissance au romantisme, the Belgian critic Georges Poulet describes the goal of his three-volume work (emphasis mine): ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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3 votes

Does 'literary fiction' neccessarily have to be reality-based, or can it have fantastical themes/elements?

Central to your question is: what is the definition of "literary fiction". The general definition is: fiction that has literary merit. What that means is that it will hold up under re-...
Peter Shor's user avatar
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3 votes

Did Yvor Winters describe Emerson's reputation in America as that of a sacred cow?

According to Hyatt Howe Wagoner's book, Emerson as Poet, ... the crucial fact about Emerson for Winters is that, as he says quite truly, “Emerson was the most influential preacher to appear in ...
Peter Shor's user avatar
  • 12.5k
2 votes

What is the myth-making school of Shakespeare criticism?

"The myth-making school" does not indicate a specific group of Shakespearean scholars. Rather, Inga-Stina Ewbanks is referring to those critics who view literature in general, or The Winter'...
verbose's user avatar
  • 27.6k
2 votes

What does it mean to "unmoor criticism"?

The original French of this fragment can also be found on Gutenberg and goes as follows: Il se chargea d'écrire l'article du Gaulois et d'accord avec ses amis, il le rédigea dans les termes que l'...
Jos's user avatar
  • 1,063
2 votes

The Unity of Action in Shakespeare's "The Tempest"

TL;DR: The Tempest does not respect Aristotle’s unity of action, but to discover this you need to read Aristotle, and even literary critics sometimes neglect primary sources. Aristotle The unity of ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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2 votes
Accepted

Keats' views on beauty

The question asks, ‘Was Keats ever criticized for standardizing generic beauty?’ and the answer is ‘yes—indeed, he was criticized along these lines by his own fiancée, Fanny Brawne!’ The evidence for ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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2 votes

Did 'A Doll's House' spark controversy over its dismissal of social classes?

There is no evidence that A Doll's House dismisses social classes. The focus of the play is squarely on the middle class characters. The working class figures, such as the porter who brings in the ...
verbose's user avatar
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2 votes
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Albert Thibaudet and the Geneva School?

The simple answer is that he wasn't. Wikipedia's own article on the Geneva School makes no mention of him, and neither did most sources I consulted. The reason this error is present seems to be that ...
auden's user avatar
  • 4,742
2 votes

What does "layering of roles" mean in this sentence?

One of the main themes of Pirandello's works is certainly the fragmentation of the Ego, see Uno, nessuno, cento mila, Il fu Mattia Pascal, etc. This fragmentation is metaphorized with the concept of ...
Père Madeleine's user avatar
2 votes

What is the distinction between "literary fiction" vs. "popular fiction"?

"Literary Fiction" is a genre, like any other, with distinct emphasis (style, emotional impact, emphasis on the human condition.) It's worth noting that before the modern literary movement of the ...
DukeZhou's user avatar
  • 4,188
2 votes

Are there collections of pre-20th-century Shakespeare criticism, esp. focusing on individual plays?

While I'm not sure what you mean by "comprehensive primary source readers for criticism of Shakespeare," to answer your primary question: One collection of pre-20th century Shakespeare ...
Denkof Zwemmen's user avatar

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