I.A. RICHARDS: Essays in His Honor by Reuben -- Ed. Brower

I.A. RICHARDS: Essays in His Honor

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We are so in Ivor Richards' debt for initiating in literary criticism a ""systematic exposition of psychology,"" for delineating the scientific and emotive uses of language, and for extending the ""imaginative experience"" from decade to decade, even to the present decade of structuralism, that a collection of ""essays in his honor"" is sure to be a cause for rejoicing. In a strictly scholarly sense, all the contributions are worthwhile. Many, though, are duplicative both in substance and style, so that the reader, at times, wanders in a daze, never certain where a new thought begins and an old thought leaves off. A few, alas, are simply boring -- or trivial. Professors are sedate animals, but, like monkeys, they do enjoy hearing themselves chatter. Geoffrey Hartmen interestingly investigates psychoesthetics, and Kathleen Coburn draws an apt parallel between Coleridge and Richards: ""The slant of the mind is similar in the two men, with enough craggy differences to give Richards the tussle he loves with a mountain, the search for toeholds physical or intellectual. Like Coleridge he knows, in the elements as in a poem, the pleasure of the sense of difficulty overcome."" Richards' self-reflections in conversation with Reuben Brower -- memories of Wittgenstein and Moore and Ogden -- are charming. But the most useful article is not an essay at all. It is ""A Bibliography of the Books, Articles, and Reviews of I.A. Richards"" -- a concise resume.

Pub Date: Nov. 8th, 1973
Publisher: Oxford