M(eyer) H(oward) Abrams M. H. Abrams - Essay

M. H. Abrams

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Wayne Booth is quite right [see excerpt above]: for all my interest in the methods of literary criticism, I say nothing about method in my two historical books, The Mirror and the Lamp and Natural Supernaturalism. The reason for my silence on this issue is simple: these books were not written with any method in mind. Instead they were conceived, researched, worked out, put together, pulled apart, and put back together, not according to a theory of valid procedures in such under-takings, but by intuition. I relied, that is, on my sense of rightness and wrongness, of doubt and assurance, of deficiencies and superfluities, of what is appropriate and what is inappropriate. (p. 176)


(The entire section is 3341 words.)