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Lecture

ENGL 1F95 Lecture Notes - Terry Eagleton, New Criticism, Dialectic


Department
English
Course Code
ENGL 1F95
Professor
Neta Gordon

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What is the study of literature?
In the 5th century,
medieval writer
Martianus Capella wrote
the allegory,
De nuptiis Philologiae et
Mercurii, in which he
describes the seven pillars
of learning: grammar,
dialectic, rhetoric,
geometry, arithmatic,
astronomy, and musical
harmony.

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What is the study of English Literature?
In his essay, “The Rise of English,” Terry Eagleton
discusses how the formal study of English literature
began, not in the universities, but in the Mechanics’
Institutes as “the poor man’s Classics.
A 1930s critic named F.R. Leavis advocated the study
of English literature as a serious, university subject,
arguing, in a nutshell, that reading good literature
made one a worthy member of a worthy society.
In the 1950s and 1960s, practitioners of a form of
literary criticism, called New Criticism, sought to
focus solely on the literary work itself, especially its
formal properties.

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Things said by students on the bus,
overheard by Professor Gordon:
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