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litcritfinal - Shawn Pennington History o Literary...

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Shawn Pennington History o Literary Criticism 04-14-08 Throughout the semester we have read many poems and learned the views of many different literary critics. Over this period of time I have grown fond of a few of the views of these critics, as I seem to feel the same way, view and judge literature in the same way as some of them. In this paper I plan on discussing the views I hold and how they are reflected in the views of several of the critics, of which I would discuss as well. From the very beginning of the critics, such as Plato and Aristotle I felt that a few of their ideas and views seemed to be very similar to mine. When I read literature and seemingly determine whether literature is well written in my eyes, I use certain criteria in doing so. One of the first criteria I use is that of whether or not the literature can create some connection in my eyes or mind with life. If the literature is written well enough and seems to be imitating life, than it becomes that much more real in my eyes. This in turn can create many other outcomes as well. Aristotle was one of the first to say literature is an imitation of life, if you can create literature that paints such a vivid picture that it almost seems alive, than you have accomplished this imitation. The imagery isn’t just where the imitation lies, the story and characters also play a part in the imitation of life. If in your text you have aspects or characters that just seem unreal or impossible, the imitation doesn’t come through as clear. So you see for me to really appreciate literature, I must feel as if it’s possible or close to real life. Don’t get me wrong I do appreciate my
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fiction and or far out there stories, but when it comes to poetry and other literature, I am drawn to those that can imitate life in the utmost realistic way. Earlier I mentioned imagery; this is also something I look for when determining how I feel about a text or literature. If a text has such imagery that a picture is seemingly painted before my eyes or in my mind, I tend to be more favorable and like the literature. This can be done by using single words or a combination of literary devices. Horace was called such abilities, “Ut Pictura Poesis,” or poetry is like a picture. Or as he also said, “good poetry should have a purple patch,” something that is very noticeable. This special something may resonate in the mind of the reader; it may stick around for a long time and is able to be drawn upon later down the line. This brings me to my next criteria, which deals with the imagination. If the literature allows the reader the opportunity to use ones imagination, I feel the literature stands above the rest. This may or may not have a lot to do with the closeness the text is to real life, or how well the author imitated it. A lot of
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