An Experiment in Criticism
Why do we read literature and how do we judge it? C. S. Lewis's classic An Experiment in Criticism springs from the conviction that literature exists for the joy of the reader and that books should be judged by the kind of reading they invite. He argues that "good reading," like moral action or religious experience, involves surrender to the work in hand and a process of entering fully into the opinions of others: "in reading great literature I become a thousand men and yet remain myself." Crucial to his notion of judging literature is a commitment to laying aside expectations and values extraneous to the work, in order to approach it with an open mind. Amid the complex welter of current critical theories, C. S. Lewis's wisdom is valuably down-to-earth, refreshing and stimulating in the questions it raises about the experience of reading.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - antao - LibraryThing
Literary experience heals the wound, without undermining the privilege, of individuality. There are mass emotions which heal the wound; but they destroy the privilege. In them our separate selves are ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - homeschoolmimzi - LibraryThing
I like the premise of this book. I like the idea that Lewis proposes here, that literature should not be measured by how it's written but how it's read. But I also thought his " experiment" idea could ... Read full review
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