William K. Wimsatt, Jr., and Cleanth Brooks (essay date 1957)
SOURCE: Wimsatt, William K. Jr. and Cleanth Brooks. “Poetic Diction: Wordsworth and Coleridge.” In Literary Criticism: A Short History, pp. 339-62. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1957.
[In the following excerpt, Wimsatt and Brooks provide an historical account of Wordsworth and Coleridge's critique of the poetic diction of earlier writers.]
At a later point in this narrative (chapter 29) we shall have occasion to consider the question how far a close verbal analysis of poetry may fall short of doing justice to the more massive structural features of such works as novels, epics, dramas. Literary criticism of the mid-20th century in America has been raising that question...
(The entire section is 8494 words.)