Wayne C(layson) Booth Monroe C. Beardsley - Essay

Monroe C. Beardsley

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[In the past], vigorous debates about what criticism is and ought to have been conducted under the rules of sporting competition: each combatant plays to win and the victors believe they deserve their laurels. What is noteworthy about the present scene is not only the unprecedented multiplicity and strangeness of criticisms but the resultant resignation: that is, the widespread conviction that somehow we must come to amicable terms with all of them and find some intelligible way of acknowledging that they are all victors, in their fashion. Hence the problem posed for [Critical Understanding: The Powers and Limits of Pluralism]; and, admirably, it faces up to, comes to close grips with, this problem more...

(The entire section is 1564 words.)