chapter  21
3 Pages

Technique in Criticism 1930

WithR. P. Blackmur

The documentary parts of Mr I. A. Richards' work, which cannot be rehearsed in brief, amply prove his point. The labour is the greater because he has to use words already horribly vague, full of dead presences, from the flatulence of casual custom. Though Mr Tate reprehends it, nevertheless a sound laboratory technique is an excellent aid to the understanding of poetry and its criticism. They may admit the argument, advanced, for example, by Allen Tate that Mr I. A. Richards is no literary critic in the traditional sense. The other authors do not come from him stuffed with judgement and caricature upon Shakespeare and Dante; but they are better prepared to make their own judgements. The categories of terms and concepts with which he supplements his data have an extraordinary importance to the critic, the plain reader, and the educator.