Ephemera Critica
by John Churton Collins (9780217208581)

Ephemera Critica
John Churton Collins
Release Date: 10 December 0140
Format: Paperback
Pages: 86
ISBN: 9780217208581
ISBN-10: 0217208584

Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: ENGLISH LITERATURE AT THE UNIVERSITIES I. LANGUAGE VERSUS LITERATURE AT OXFORD TO say that the anarchy which has resulted from confusing the distinction between the study and interpretation of Literature as the expression of art and genius, and its study and interpretation as a mere monument of language, has had a most disastrous effect on education generally, would be to state very imperfectly the truth of the case. It has led to inadequate and even false conceptions of what constitutes Literature. It has led to all that is of essential importance in literary study being ignored, and all that is of secondary or accidental interest being preposterously magnified; to the substitution of grammatical and verbal commentary for the relation of a literary masterpiece to history, to philosophy, to aesthetics; to the mechanical inculcation of all that can be imparted, as it has been acquired, by cramming, for the intelligent application of principles to expression. It has led to the severance of our Literature from all that constitutes its vitality and virtue as an active power, and from all that renders its development and peculiarities intelligible as a subject of historical study. In a word, it has led to a total misconception of the ends at which literary instruction should aim, as well as of its most appropriate instruments and methods. All this is illustrated nowhere more strikingly than I in the publications of the two great University Presses. It would be easy to point to editions of English classics, and to works on English Literature, bearing the imprimatur of Oxford and Cambridge, in which all that is worst in the opposite extremes of pedantry and dilettantism finds ludicrous expression. And in thus speaking we are saying nothing more than is notorious, nothing ...

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