Essays in Criticism - Second Series
by Arnold Matthew Arnold (9781408631348)

Essays in Criticism - Second Series
Arnold Matthew Arnold
Release Date: 01 October 2007
Format: Paperback
Pages: 256
Category: Literature & Literary Studies
ISBN: 9781408631348
ISBN-10: 1408631342

ESSAYS IN CRITICISM SECOND SERIES BY MATTHEW ARNOLD - PREFATORY NOTE - THE collection of Essays contained in this volume was made by Mr. Arnold himself, and they are, therefore, in the opinion of a critic, at once competent and severe, worthy to be collected and preserved. Severe is perhaps hardly an epithet ever properly applicable to Mr. Arnold but his judgment was as serene and unbiassed in regard to his own compositions as in regard to those of any author whom from time to time he criticised. But it was further characteristic of him to be content to say one thing at one time and he has been accused, not perhaps entirely without reason, of repeating the same thing in the same words, sometimes almost to the weariness of the reader. This habit, however, had at least the effect of fixing in the mind the phrases, and therefore the thou hts or ideas which the ohrases convev, ed, . and with which for the moment he was concerned. But in order to gather the mind of Mr. Arnold on the whole of any subject, literary, political, or religious, it is often necessary to read more than one paper, because in each paper he frequently deals with one aspect of a subject only, which requires, for sound and complete judgment, to be supplemented or completed by another. It is especially necessary to bear this in mind in reading what has become his last utterance on Shelley. In Shelleys case he is known to have intended to write something more not, indeed, to alter or to qualify what he said, but to say something else which he thought also true, and which needed saying. This is not the lace to attem t a character of Mr. Arnold, even as a critic or an essayist. A preface would expand into a volume if itattempted to indicate even the materials for thought on such subjects, handled by Mr. Arnold, as Poetry, Gray, Keats, Shelley, Byron, Wordsworth to name no others, which are the subjects of some of the Essays here collected. This is the last volume he ever put together, and it contains some of his ripest, best, most interesting writing. Perhaps it is well to add that these few words are contributed at the request of others. Inane munus indeed, but all that a friend can do C. The first Lord Coleridge. CONTENTS Prefatory Note Introduction Life of Matthew Arnold I. The Study of Poetry 11. Milton 111. Thomas Gray IV. John Keats V. Wordsworth VI. Byron VII. Shelley VIII. Count Leo Tolstoi IX. Amiel Notes Essay Questions Questions on the Text INTRODUCTION As Lord Coleridge says in his Preface, the present volume represents a collection of essays chosen by Matthew Arnold shortly before his death, and published soon after he had been laid by the side of his eldest son in Laleham churchyard. No one can tell to what extent he might have revised these last words had he lived. He might have altered and elucidated all sorts of inconsistencies, real or apparent, and corrected some definite mistakes. At this distance of time it does not very much matter. The Essays as they stand, have been challenged and championed, discussed and analysed, until nearly every page is a battlefield of opinion. Just one thing is common to all and knows no date. This is the charm of the man himself...

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