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ENGL 1F95 Lecture Notes - Martianus Capella, Dialectic, F. R. Leavis

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Neta Gordon

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Literature: Forms, Themes and Approaches
Form and Genre will be discuss almost every class
What is the study of literature?
- 5th century medieval writer, Martianus Capella wrote allegory, De nuptiis Philologiae et
- seven pillars of learning
- grammar
- dialectic
- rhetoric
- geometry
- arithmetic
- astronomy
- musical harmony
Allegory is one story where you look behind it to find the real meaning or story
- Mercury represents the pursuit of knowledge or profitable learning (represents by gold)
- Philologiae represents love of words
-De nuptiis Philologiae et Mercurii is the marriage of profitable learning and the love of
Grammar is the mechanics of the structure of writing.
Dialectic is the mechanics of thought, of logic.
Rhetoric is the mechanics of communication, the art of persuasion.
What is the study of English Literature?
- “The Rise of English” - Terry Eagleton
- formal study of English literature began (not in the universities), in the
Mechanicsʼ Institutes as “the poor manʼs Classics.”
- 1930ʼs critic, F.R. Leavis begun the study of English literature as a serious, university
- “Reading good literature made one a worthy member of a worthy society.”
- In 1950ʼs and 1960ʼs practitioners of a form of literary criticism, called New Criticism,
sought to focus solely on the literary work itself, especially its formal properties.
- what they mean, how they relate, why it is written, what it means?
September 12th 2011
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