ABSTRACT

In this chapter I shall try to bring together certain themes which I have discussed in other parts of the book. I shall, in particular, try to show how problems about the place of emotion in literature and criticism are closely connected with problems about the objectivity of value judgements. Some of these connections have, I hope, already emerged. We have seen, for instance, how Murry’s expressionism leads to, and goes with, a dichotomy between thought and emotion which, in its turn, goes with a radical subjectivism. In the chapter on Eliot I argued towards a very similar conclusion which had bearing on the relations between ‘art’ and ‘life’. In examining Winters I traced the connections between the view of the relation between emotion and concept which he holds in common with the others, and his attempt to set up an external, a priori standard – ‘Reason’ – as a means of avoiding the subjectivism which his own premises involve. In Leavis we have a critic who becomes aware of the paradoxes inherent in romantic expressionism, and whose solution is a remarkably interesting synthesis of expressionist and mimetic theories. In his criticism we have the most thoroughgoing attempt to retain, on the one hand, the

on the other, objective criteria for judging the quality of emotion a poem presents.1