T.S. Eliot As Critic
Lindemann, Elizabeth Ann
Because there is a persistent, nagging feeling that there is something in literature which transcends literature. That the words on the page are not "where it's at" in literature, that what is essential in verbal communication is finally non-verbal-that is, that the highest function of literature cannot be accounted for in literary terms. But man can hardly accept this paradox. "The human mind will not easily or for long put up with the indefinite, the imprecise, and the shapeless. All men crave forms and standards. We take delight in recognition." Criticism, as Eliot said, is indeed not something to be defended, but something to be accepted as inevitable.
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