European Literature in the Nineteenth Century
by Benedetto Croce (9781406704099)

European Literature in the Nineteenth Century
 
Benedetto Croce
Release Date: 15 March 2007
Format: Paperback
Pages: 388
Category: Literature & Literary Studies
ISBN: 9781406704099
ISBN-10: 1406704091



European Literature in the Nineteenth Century BY BENEDETTO CROCE Translated from the Italian with an Introduction by DOUGLAS AINSLIE LONDON CHAPMAN y HALL, LTD. I I HENRIETTA STREET, W. C. 2 1924 PRINTED IN GRBAT BRITAIN BY RICHARD CLAY SONS, LIMITED, BUNCjAY, SUFFOLK. AUTHORS PREFACE I HAD intended to undertake a further examination of the literary production of the nineteenth century, both with the object of making clear certain con clusions implied but not explained by the writers who had supported them, and also of confuting certain prejudices still current, as well as of suggesting certain new views. But my main object has always been the consideration of the poetry, which is what should properly be the task of literary criticism and history, although a good many writers who pretend to be professional critics are too apt to forget this fact. Other studies have, however, stood, and still stand, in the way of this, rendering it impossible for me to bring to an end what I had begun so I am now gathering together the notes which I had pub lished here and there upon some of the poets and men of letters of the nineteenth century, without, however, abandoning the hope of some day com pleting and continuing them, in such a way as to furnish a fairly adequate picture of the poetry of that period. Needless to say that the choice of authors discussed in the present volume has been determined solely by the fact that I chanced to re-read them in that order. It will likewise be unnecessary to remark that my notes have no pretension to being substituted for the many - valuable studies already in existence upon the authors in question, but would rather serve as a link in further development, whileoffering vi Preface here and there some corrections where such are needful. They also do not pretend to exhaust all the subjects discussed, but only to solve certain problems, to fix definitely the true meaning of certain doubtful points, and to suggest a line for the direction of other studies. Such is, indeed, the character of every truly scientific treatise, and this should be clearly understood and practised in literary criticism, which should become truly scientific, abandoning certain habits of individual caprice, of artistic caprice and of false brilliance which it still retains. To me it matters not at all if those who do not understand me declare that, instead of providing a criticism of poetry, I am providing a criticism of criticism, since those who do understand are well aware that criticism of poetry cannot fail to form one whole with the criticism of the criticism of poetry. B. C. NAPLES, March, 1922. INTRODUCTION THIS translation, which in Italian bears the tide of Poetry and Non-Poetry, is, so far as I know, the first attempt to regard European literature of the nineteenth century as a whole, to blend its various qualities, whether expressed technically in verse or prose, as the result of the one eternal beauty-making gift of expression For Croce resolutely refuses to accept any technical distinction between verse and prose, but only between what is not poetry, namely, the practical or logical and the result of the poetic gift. Where the latter is wanting, one or both of the others is present. Most people have heard of Croce now and many have read parts of his numerous writings, either in the originals or in the translations. This volume, which consists rather of notesmade in the course of reading than elaborate studies, such as the Ariosto-Shatyspeare and the Dante, cannot fail to stimulate many readers, for none of the brief Essays contained in it is without reference to the powerful main currents of Croces thought, as contained in the four volumes of the Philosophy of the Spirit, all of them now translated...

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