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Conditions for criticism [electronic resource] : authority, knowledge, and literature in the late nineteenth century /
Ian Small.
imprint
Oxford [England] : Clarendon Press ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1991.
description
x, 155 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
ISBN
0198122411
format(s)
Book
More Details
author
imprint
Oxford [England] : Clarendon Press ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1991.
isbn
0198122411
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
catalogue key
8566143
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [142]-150) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1991-12:
Small's thesis "that literary critical discourse cannot be properly understood as a phenomenon unrelated to the rest of the contemporary intellectual culture [of the late 19th century] which produced it" is developed in chapters focusing on economics, historiography, sociology, aesthetics, psychology, and biology, all of which underwent major changes as professionalism and specialization in the universities grew and as individual authority (based on the prestige of the writer) declined. The outcome, Small contends, had a major impact on literary and art criticism as systematic, empirical research influenced by new methodologies of other disciplines became dominant. Socially useful knowledge was now associated with such institutionalized disciplines. In his Studies in the History of the Renaissance (1873) and other works, Walter Pater ignored historical scholarship to focus on the aesthetics of subjective impressionism, in opposition to increasing academic authority; Oscar Wilde, like Pater, was condemned by academic critics, who indicted Aestheticism for its insistence on private aesthetic judgment and its resistance to a culturally determined morality. This all-too-brief study should stimulate cultural historians to explore further implications of the crisis that afflicted the Victorians and, Small suggests, ourselves as well. For graduate students and faculty.-K. Beckson, Brooklyn College, CUNY
Reviews
Review Quotes
'a significant contribution to the discussion of late Victorian criticism and culture ... short but important book'Peter Faulkner, University of Exeter, MLR, 88.3, 1993
'Conditions for Criticism is a refreshing and enlightening work of literary and intellectual history which sets at least two of the leading Aesthetes in their proper context and thus advances considerably our understanding of their writings, in an argument conducted with compelling lucidity.'Chris Baldick, Goldsmiths' College, London, Review of English Studies, Vol. 44, No. 176, Nov '93
'Conditions for Criticism is a refreshing and welcome book in that it provides a substantial historical context for late nineteenth-century critical writing.'Sheila M. Smith, University of Nottingham, British Journal of Aesthetics, Vol. 32, 4/92
'excellent scholarly survey of changes in late nineteenth-century ideology'Kenneth Millard, Merton College, Oxford, Notes and Queries, September 1992
'scholarly and authoritative'Philip Cox, The Higher
"Should stimulate cultural historians to explore further implications of the crisis that afflicted the Victorians and, Small suggests, ourselves as well."--Choice "A book students of late Victorian literature will be glad to have."--English Literature in Transition
"Should stimulate cultural historians to explore further implications of the crisis that afflicted the Victorians and, Small suggests, ourselves as well."-- Choice "A book students of late Victorian literature will be glad to have."-- English Literature in Transition
'Small provides a study that is both scholarly and authoritative.'Times Higher Education Supplement
'scholarly and authoritative'Philip Cox, The Higher'Small provides a study that is both scholarly and authoritative.'Times Higher Education Supplement'Conditions for Criticism is a refreshing and welcome book in that it provides a substantial historical context for late nineteenth-century critical writing.'Sheila M. Smith, University of Nottingham, British Journal of Aesthetics, Vol. 32, 4/92'excellent scholarly survey of changes in late nineteenth-century ideology'Kenneth Millard, Merton College, Oxford, Notes and Queries, September 1992'a significant contribution to the discussion of late Victorian criticism and culture ... short but important book'Peter Faulkner, University of Exeter, MLR, 88.3, 1993'Conditions for Criticism is a refreshing and enlightening work of literary and intellectual history which sets at least two of the leading Aesthetes in their proper context and thus advances considerably our understanding of their writings, in an argument conducted with compelling lucidity.'Chris Baldick, Goldsmiths' College, London, Review of English Studies, Vol. 44, No. 176, Nov '93
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, December 1991
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Summaries
Long Description
Conditions for Criticism studies changes in the practice of literary criticism in the nineteenth century and locates those changes within wider movements in British intellectual culture. The growth of knowledge and its subsequent institutionalization in universities produced new forms of intellectual authority. This book examines these processes in a wide variety of disciplines, including economics, historiography, sociology, psychology, and philosophical aesthetics, and explores their impact upon literary criticism. Its thesis is that the work of late nineteenth-century writers such as Walter Pater and Oscar Wilde can be best understood in terms of their engagement with, and reaction to, these general intellectual changes, a view which in its turn reveals the seriousness of their work.
Long Description
This book studies changes in the practice of literary criticism in nineteenth-century Britain and locates those changes within wider movements in intellectual culture. The growth of knowledge and its subsequent institutionalization in universities produced new forms of intellectual authority. Small examines these processes in a wide variety of disciplines, including economics, historiography, sociology, psychology, and philosophical aesthetics, and explores their impact upon literary criticism.
Main Description
Conditions for Criticism studies changes in the practice of literary criticism in the nineteenth century and locates those changes within wider movements in British intellectual culture. The growth of knowledge and its subsequent institutionalization in universities produced new forms ofintellectual authority. This book examines these processes in a wide variety of disciplines, including economics, historiography, sociology, psychology, and philosophical aesthetics, and explores their impact upon literary criticism. Its thesis is that the work of late nineteenth-century writerssuch as Walter Pater and Oscar Wilde can be best understood in terms of their engagement with, and reaction to, these general intellectual changes, a view which in its turn reveals the seriousness of their work.

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