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n Journal of Literary Studies - "A Patient Etherised" : modernism and the legitimation of poetry

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Abstract

This article examines the social and cultural function of the criticism of T.S. Eliot and Ezra Pound. To read the criticism of these Modernist poets is to examine the ways in which their poetry is inserted into a specific historical context and to view how poetic discourse interacts with the outside world in a manner that raises questions regarding the supposedly autotelic status of poetry. Criticism becomes for these poets a medium whereby they can speak to their reading public, and influence the reception of their work. This emphasis on the social function of criticism had an impact on the institutionalisation of this discipline as a professional pursuit. As is argued here, criticism also offered the Modernist poet the opportunity to construct narratives of legitimation for poetry inside a frequently hostile public context. For Pound and Eliot, the arguments raised in their criticism regarding ideas such as professionalism, culture, and the relationship between poetry and science were not simply interpretative statements regarding poetry, but were arguments designed to ensure the value and legitimacy of poetry in a period where these ideals were being questioned.

Hierdie artikel ondersoek die sosiale en kulturele rol van T.S. Eliot en Ezra Pound se literêre kritiek. Om hulle kritiek te lees is om die dialoog wat ontstaan tussen hul digkuns en die historiese konteks daarvan te ontleed, en om waar te neem hoe hierdie interaksie vrae laat ontstaan aangaande die sogenaamde outonome status van die gedig. Literêre kritiek is vir hierdie digters 'n wyse om hulle gehoor toe te spreek en die resepsie van hul werk te beïnvloed. Hierdie klem op die publieke rol van kritiek het tot gevolg gehad dat die dissipline 'n professionele en institusionele gedaante aangeneem het. Hier word ook geargumenteer dat literêre kritiek vir die digter die geleentheid bied om narratiewe aangaande die legitimiteit van digkuns te konstrueer binne gereeld vyandige kontekste. Pound en Eliot se argumente aangaande sulke verskynsels soos professionalisme, kultuur, en die verhouding tussen die wetenskappe en die digkuns is dan nie net analitiese opmerkings nie, maar ook argumente aangaande die waarde en legitimiteit van digkuns binne 'n historiese periode waarin hierdie ideale bevraagteken word.

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/content/litstud/20/3_4/EJC62379
2004-12-01
2016-12-08
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