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LEC 1 1.9 - Ransom and Ontology.docx

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Andrew Du Bois

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- New criticism – 1920s; Involved with form - Anything you can apply to the poem from the essay Ransom - He defines his more complicated term in the first sentence; if you’re using a specialized term you may want to define it (ex. Ontology as the reality of its being) - He is getting to the essentials - Subject matter o Content would be something like subject matter; later he will bring up tropes, ex, but that would be form o This is how he distinguishes between many poetry - Distinguishing of things and ideas; that critics in general are concentrating on subject matter - Poetry with sound, narrative with plot; we find sounds in prose and lyric poetry with plot - The whole essay is structured in a dialectical structure o Start out with a thesis, have antithesis, out of these two things you find a synthesis o Three part structure; how thesis and antithesis come together, or synthesis - Structure of essay o Part 1, part 2 and part 3 o Physical poetry; concerned with things  Contemporary with Ransom with he is writing this essay; in the 20s; Puritan o Ptolemaic poetry; ideas  Victorian poetry o Metaphysical poetry; synthesis; things and ideas  Predates the others before o Chronologically set up - See later with Frye a dispute of criticism - There’s description (analysis; no exact synonyms) and something called evaluation o Look at the object and describe it; what is it, what is the nature of it  Maybe by sonnet, etc. or genre  Chronological  Say what the thing is, not evaluating it yet; two approaches are different  We can say it’s a sonnet, but we don’t say if it’s a good sonnet  Describe the thing, and then evaluate the thing  Some critics think its not important, for example Frye thought it was more important to describe  9/10 times the way that we describe things says a type of critique  Evaluation; is it good for what, for whom; make more profound distinctions  May be beautiful for a certain person or place, it may not be beautiful  Refining our categories of evaluation and description - What is it that he has against what he calls ideas o Aren’t ideas something that is a positive term when it comes to evaluating o Idea is derivative and contained o the thing precedes the idea; become an abstraction o people who are obsessed with ideas o contingencies are different; something that we common sensibly know o fictitiousness; not precisely reality; literature as equipment for living o fictitious nature of poetry; safe field for moments of beauty and flexible ideas o contemplate reality o For Ransom, art is not some ? thing; comes down on signs - Tenor of language “innocence… itself” o Uses the term humility o How we deal with people o Know a person beyond a category; you see more aspects and contingencies o Respect object, person in all of their particularities - At the end when he describes metaphysical things, he's concerned with what takes away from things o Art that melts thing and idea, he thinks that is successful art o Thing and idea be united - Highly polished objects Ezra Pound- In a Station of the Metro The apparition of the faces in the crowd; Petals on a wet, black bough. - Imagist poem; do you have any idea of how an imagist works here; self
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