chapter  5
5 Pages

A Scientific Approach to Criticism 1925

WithConrad Aiken

Mr Richards, in his Principles of Literary Criticism, if he does not entirely fulfil this hope, at any rate makes an extraordinarily interesting beginning. Mr Richards retreats from the purely social-psychological view of art because he dislikes the implication that value in art must always be simply an equation between artist and audience. Many of the principles employed in The Meaning of Meaning he is able to apply with excellent effect in his search for a scientific approach to criticism. On the function of rhythm, on the distinction between symbolic and emotive statement, in his destructive analyses of the many divergent views of art which have been held in the past, in his analysis of the mode of thought and its relation to language and art. Criticism would find as interesting and valuable a place for Ella Wheeler Wilcox as for Henry James at the same time noting their remarkable differences.