Rationalist Criticism of Greek Tragedy: The Nature, History, and Influence of a Critical Revolution

Front Cover
Lexington Books, 2005 - Literary Criticism - 155 pages
0 Reviews
Literary critical revolutions-radical shifts in interpretation and evaluation of literary works and their authors-are among the most interesting of cultural phenomena. In order to gain greater understanding of the mechanisms of all critical revolutions, Rationalist Criticism in Greek Tragedy examines the late nineteenth-century 'rehabilitation' of Euripides. Some of the factors which contributed to the Euripidean revolution are well known, but one which is not-one which has been generally forgotten, when it has not actually been denied-is the role of Rationalist Criticism. Rationalist Criticism, founded and dominated by infamous Cambridge University Classicist and English scholar A. W. Verrall, was generally deprecated by mainstream classicists when it first appeared, and those who happen to come upon it today tend to treat it dismissively-a tendency the great classicist Eduard Fraenkel thought 'should be strongly resisted.' The influence of Rationalist Criticism-inside and outside of classical studies-has been much greater than has been generally supposed. James E. Ford makes the case for the larger significance of what Verrall and the Rationalist Critics were doing within the history not just of Euripidean criticism but of literary studies generally. Ford reads the rationalists on their own terms, drawing on the disciplines of the history of scholarship and the history and theory of literary criticism making this study unique. It should appeal to anyone interested in intellectual history, especially instances of significant intellectual changes (a la Kuhnian revolutions), and, especially, changes in the interpretation and evaluation of authors and their works. The work should be of specific interest to classicists, academic historians, and critical theorists.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Introduction to Rationalist Criticism
1
The Influence of Rationalist Criticism
11
Rationalist Criticism and CloseReading
20
Survey of Acknowledged Rationalist Critics
51
Unacknowledged Rationalists and the Problem of Definition
65
Circumstantial Causes of Rationalist Criticism
85
Academic and Critical Background of Rationalist Criticism
95
Conclusion The Essence of Rationalist Criticism
115
Notes
125
Works Cited
129
Subjects
141
Names
149
About the Author
155
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2005)

James E. Ford is an English professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Bibliographic information