chapter  19
11 Pages

Review of Practical Criticism 1930

WithJames Burnham

Mr I. A. Richards has stated in his introduction the aims he had before him in writing Practical Criticism: The measure of his success in achieving these three aims is not uniform, and it would be wise to investigate certain possibilities of disagreement. The section of Practical Criticism which has excited most opposition is the chapter on Doctrine in Poetry. Practical Criticism joins Mr Richards' other analyses of the wider problems of language and meaning problems whose importance and whose urgency it is safe to say cannot be over-estimated. Mr Richards's distinction between intellectual belief and emotional belief is not a distinction between two kinds of belief. In the sixteenth century, however, emotional meanings and consequently possibilities of emotional belief became attached and were communicated by the word in close union with sense meaning and intellectual belief. The chapter on Poetic Form is in many ways the most unconvincing of the book.