R(onald) S(almon) Crane Bert O. States - Essay

Bert O. States

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[The Idea of the Humanities] is perhaps the best argument in support of dogmatism (I would prefer another word) as a natural force in humanistic pursuits. Take, for instance, [Crane's] case against its most virulent form—"dialectical criticism," or any criticism which sets up a "more or less elaborate pattern of logically contrary terms unified by a single principle of classification," such things as poetic versus logical discourse, the symbolic versus the realistic, the ironical versus the simple, and so on. It needn't even be an antithesis; any a priori premise will do because literature is "ambiguous" and will support even the most absurd hypothesis…. What this kind of criticism ignores, says Crane, is...

(The entire section is 1328 words.)