By John Sutherland
This "little history” takes on a really huge topic: the wonderful span of literature from Greek fable to photograph novels, from The Epic of Gilgamesh to Harry Potter. John Sutherland is ideally suited to the duty. He has researched, taught, and written on nearly each sector of literature, and his infectious ardour for books and examining has outlined his personal existence. Now he publications younger readers and the grown-ups of their lives on an enjoyable trip "through the wardrobe” to a better wisdom of the way literature from internationally can shipping us and aid us to make experience of what it capacity to be human.
Sutherland introduces nice classics in his personal impossible to resist approach, enlivening his choices with humor in addition to studying: Beowulf, Shakespeare, Don Quixote, the Romantics, Dickens, Moby Dick, The Waste Land, Woolf, 1984, and dozens of others. He provides to those a less-expected, own number of authors and works, together with literature frequently thought of good less than "serious attention"—from the impolite jests of Anglo-Saxon runes to The Da Vinci Code. With masterful digressions into a number of themes—censorship, narrative tips, self-publishing, style, creativity, and madness—Sutherland demonstrates the complete intensity and intrigue of examining. For more youthful readers, he bargains a formal creation to literature, promising to curiosity up to train. For more matured readers, he grants simply an identical.
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Additional info for A Little History of Literature
Walter Pater’s own views are largely derivative from the tradition, and from Arnold especially, but some moments of his work need to be considered to focus the specific development of the tradition. Structurally, the art for art’s sake theories still represent a resistance to the utilitarianism of the social realm, but the cost of confining aspirations to the realm of culture is the fetish of form as an end in itself, which, paradoxically, feeds back to reinforce the capitalist specialization in the division of labor.
He himself will seek the solution in questions of mental organization. If science will not satisfy the demand for a cognitively credible world picture, nor can philosophy or religion do so any longer. Scientific criteria, notes Richards, are in total occupation of the realm of cognitive knowledge. ‘And, with that, all the varied “ answers” which have for ages been regarded as the keys of wisdom are, for many minds, in danger of dissolving together. ’52At the same time—and this is the other side of this problem for Richards—our minds must be organized, and ‘we do not and, at present, cannot order our emotions and attitudes by true statements alone.
Their value-based notions of total social revitalization receded as the values they represented came to be expressed in terms independent of the ongoing daily advance of the society. The cultural opposition they presented took the form increasingly of a value alternative or surrogate experience outside the dominant social practices rather than the critical edge of transformations within the frame of progress; more a means of evaluation than a means of orientation for social leverage. Of course, the basic contours of this problematic of contraction are not biographical or psychological.
A Little History of Literature by John Sutherland