René Wellek A. R. Louch - Essay

A. R. Louch

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Literature, you might think, is to be enjoyed, and criticism concerned with the quality and criteria of that enjoyment. Wellek's critics will have none of that. Their perspective is totally different. For them books, pictures, compositions, like the phenomena of biological speciation or the refraction of light, are objects to subsume under theory. It is not surprising that a critic with such a motive will sooner or later attack literature. After all, the exciting business is theorizing, mere imaginative writing is only the matter on which critics build. Does one remember a particular light beam, or does one celebrate Planck, Einstein, Rutherford? So, who should remember poets and novelists? But alas, critics discover...

(The entire section is 1998 words.)