No 6 - 1976
Philosophy and Literary Criticism
WRITING SOME forty years ago, T.S. Eliot declared that there are ‘two theoretical limits of criticism: at one of which we attempt to answer the question “what is poetry?” and at the other “is this a good poem?”’ (1) Although he emphasized that both questions were important, it is clear which one he regarded as essential: ‘The rudiment of criticism is the ability to select a good poem and reject a bad poem’ (2), and again (of l. A. Richards), ‘You may be dissatisfied with his philosophical conclusions but still believe (as I do) in his discriminating taste in poetry. But if on the other hand you had no faith in the critic’s ability to tell a good poem from a bad one, you would put little reliance on the validity of his theories.’ (3) There is no doubt that Eliot, like his friend Pound, regarded such an emphasis as essential at the time. Both were very much afraid that the actual reading of poetry with a critical awareness of what was good and what bad was in danger of being lost amidst a welter of criticism which looked to poetry for moral elevation and guidance or for stimulation of refined feelings. For them, on the other hand, good poetry could purify mind and language, and there could be no substitute for the actual reading of it with the awareness that it was good.
This movement was very much part of its time, for as Eliot and Pound were directing attention back to the poems themselves, philosophers in England and America were rapidly abandoning all claims to be wise men whose duty was to speculate on ‘the nature of human existence’, and were concentrating on a much less ambitious analysis of current linguistic and conceptual usage. The consequences for academic philosophy and literary criticism were very great indeed; it seems to be a natural tendency of the academic world to desire work which has specific aims and can produce specific and testable results, and the new ideas fitted in with these requirements perfectly. As far as the literary critics were, and still are concerned, the question ‘what is poetry?’ is an entirely secondary question which can be asked not by them but by the aestheticians who maintain a tenuous foothold in university philosophy departments. Even the question ‘is this a good poem?’ need not trouble them overmuch; there is, after all, a fairly generally agreed canon of great works, and when revaluation becomes
necessary there are equally generally agreed criteria — is the work carefully organized, are its themes well-developed, does it show some originality, and so on? The fundamental activity of literary criticism is taken to be the close reading of works of literature; any other approach to the work must take second place.
It cannot be denied that a great deal has been gained from this approach. No critic worth his salt can nowadays deduce moral principles from a work without at least having read it very carefully, with an eye to all its moral ambiguities and even a-moral intentions while the detailed analysis of literary works has become, in effect, an exact science. Philosophy has been banished to the very periphery of literary criticism, where it makes occasional appearances not as an analytical tool, but as a body of work which may have influenced this writer or that, and to which a writer may have contributed through his literary output. As far as the critic is concerned, however, it is clear what a literary work is, and the techniques of analysing that work are developed and controlled by his own discipline, so he can see little use for philosophy, and since philosophy no longer concerns itself with the sort of speculations in which artists involve themselves, it too is quite happy to leave the critic to get on with his job. I must admit that this seems to me to be a great pity. Not being an academic philosopher, I have a rather old-fashioned conception of philosophy as a discipline which does not so much analyse the concepts we already have as develop new concepts in order to enable us to increase our knowledge. And since I regard literature as also developing new modes of knowledge and awareness, it seems to me quite likely that the two disciplines at least have a great deal to give to each other, and may even be indispensable to each other.
If we are to establish a link between philosophy and literary criticism, then it seems likely that we shall have to question at some point the literary critic’s assumption that he knows what a work of art is and therefore how to analyse it. A poem, for instance, is a very complicated thing, not because it is necessarily an example of complex literary skills, but because it exists on many levels of reality: on the basic level, it is no more than ink on paper, or vibrations of the air; it is a collection of letters of the alphabet; it is a grouping of words which exists independently of its reader and writer; and it is an experience, perhaps different for everyone who reads it. Clearly, the literary critic cannot concern himself with all these modes of existence; the vibration of the air is, after all, of little concern to him. However, in choosing one approach to the poem, he must necessarily exclude the others, and what happens if he chooses one which excludes something essential about the poem? Given the emphasis of Pound and Eliot, it was inevitable which one literary criticism would choose; it must look at the poem itself as an example of purity and craftsmanship in the use of the language. The experience of the reader in reading the poem is taken for granted; instead, the poem must be regarded as a machine which the critic takes to bits to see how it works. It is not for nothing that Pound demands that poetry be examined in the same way as the biologist examines his specimens, (4) and compares the poet to a motorcar mechanic (5). Of course, as Pound foresaw, the results of such an approach can be scientifically exact, and techniques of analysis can be developed for the critic by the critic which require no justification in anyone else’s terms. Hence, poetry can be analysed for its rhyme, rhythm, metre, imagery, syntax, vocabulary, for its relation to other literary works, to other works of art, to historical events, to sociological developments, to the history of ideas — the list is seemingly endless, but it all depends on seeing the poem as an artefact existing independently in the world, and therefore possessing qualities which can be studied.
No one, of course, could deny that a poem does exist in this way or that such a study can be extremely valuable. But we must ask if that is all there is to say about a poem. Is there not something wrong when the ‘meaning’ of a poem becomes reduced to its ‘theme’, and is regarded as simply another attribute? Even if we do not wish to see in poetry an explanation of the world, should we not feel some disquiet that the significance of the poem which is of so much importance to us as readers is treated so lightly by us as critics? In this distinction between readers and critics, we have, I believe, the key to our next step forward. The literary critic, for all that he concentrates on the poem itself, looks at it in a way that the sensitive reader never does. He sees it as an object in the world existing independently, whereas for the reader it is always an experience, not a ‘sensation’ or ‘emotional upheaval’, but something whose primary existence is in his own consciousness, and which in some way alters that consciousness as it enters it. Now literary criticism is simply not equipped to deal with this mode of existence of the poem; it can analyse the qualities of the poem which are likely to affect consciousness, but it cannot analyse consciousness itself. Consequently, whenever a poem is actually read, as Pound and Eliot insisted it should be, it disappears from the field of vision of literary criticism and becomes inaccessible to all but the most crude psychologizing.
Clearly, some form of literary inquiry is necessary which is capable of studying the poem not as object, but as experience. There has, of course, been such a form of literary criticism in the past. As T.S. Eliot points out, the whole of Symons’s criticism is based on a technique of giving his ‘impressions’ of a work, but, as Eliot also points out, such impressionism is not very interesting when everyone is quite capable of forming his own impressions (6). The reason for the failure of this ‘impressionism’ is quite simply that a poem, or any other work of art, is not merely a series of impressions; it does not simply create a more or less minor disturbance in the emotions and perceptions, and then pass away for ever. We want to say when we have read even the simplest and least pretentious of poems that we know something which we did not know before. That knowledge may very well not be knowledge of a new set of facts, or a new interpretation of the old facts; there are after all many poems — Donne’s ‘Holy Sonnets’, Milton’s ‘Ode on the Morning of Christ’s Nativity’ and any number of medieval lyrics, for instance — which quite deliberately rely on facts and a scheme of knowledge which had been developed and accepted hundreds of years before they were written. We might grant that they contribute nothing to our knowledge about the world, but we would still claim that they do contribute to our knowing, that somehow they create a state of awareness in us in which it becomes possible to know the old things in a new way. The important point is that we resist all attempts to classify this state as a ‘merely’ emotional one; it is a state in which the emotional and the cognitive seem to be one and the same thing.
This is hardly the place to conduct a full-scale study of this state, or even to make more than tentative statements on it, but it does seem that we must know a little more about it if we are to understand how it can be approached by literary criticism. Let us, therefore, look at an analysis of it by the American poet, Hart
Its (the poem’s) evocation will not be toward decoration or amusement, but rather toward a state of consciousness, an ‘innocence’ (Blake) or absolute beauty. In this condition there may be discoverable under new forms certain spiritual illuminations, shining with a morality essentialized from experience directly, and not from previous precepts or preconceptions. It is as though the poem gave the reader as he left it a single, new word, never before spoken and impossible to actually enunciate, but self-evident as an active principle in the reader’s consciousness henceforward.
As to technical considerations: the motivation of the poem must be derived from the implicit emotional dynamics of the materials used, and the terms of expression employed are often selected less for their logical (literal) significance than for their associational meanings. Via this and their metaphorical interrelationships, the entire construction of the poem is raised on the organic principle of a ‘logic of metaphor’, which antedates our so-called pure logic, and which is the genetic basis of all speech, hence consciousness and thought-extension. (7)
The first thing to notice is that Crane, despite the fact that he was a great admirer of both Pound and Eliot, does not share their view of the poem as principally an artefact whose great value is to use the language as accurately as possible. The principal mode of a poem’s existence for Crane is as a ‘state of consciousness’, and this state is one in which the habits of thought ingrained in the mind are removed, so that a direct relation between consciousness and its object becomes possible. Hence, consciousness is illuminated directly from experience. It would appear that this state can be created because the concepts which are normally accepted by the mind are replaced by a new form of thought which has its own ‘concept’ (the word is, of course, inappropriate), which Crane calls a ‘word’. This word is in no way to be compared with the words of everyday language, for unlike them it is impossible to enunciate, i.e. it is presumably untranslatable into everyday language. The reason is that it is a word drawn from a speech which antedates our everyday speech, and forms its basis. Consequently, although the poem does indeed yield knowledge — knowledge of the word — that knowledge is not of the sort which can be articulated in the same language as knowledge of the world.
Underlying this passage is the idea of the movement of consciousness under the influence of the poem to a more immediate contact with what we can call reality. We can imagine that we start with an everyday state of awareness, governed by concepts and preconceptions which are necessarily abstractions from experience, helping us to manage that experience, but also keeping us removed from it. Then we read the poem, and find that the language in which we articulate our conceptual view of the world is being used differently, and is carrying us beyond our normal mode of thought. Instead of following a logical sequence of thought, we are following the associational meanings of words and finding that consciousness begins to combine and abstract from the world in new ways. When this process is complete, we stand face to face with ‘reality’, however we care to define that term, no longer abstracted from it, but ordering it in accordance with laws which are more fundamental than those of everyday thought and speech. We have been brought to the very centre of reality from the periphery on which we normally dwell. There is, of course, a great deal that can be said about this state, but what is of interest to us here is that if it is possible to move from the periphery to the centre by means of the poem, might it not be equally possible to move back to the periphery, reversing, as it were, the poem we have read? If so, what would be the nature of such reversal?
Clearly, any attempt at analysing the poem into its various parts — diction, symbolism, imagery and so on, no matter how useful in other contexts, will of necessity fail to grasp the poem’s function as a single ‘word’. The study of the poem’s themes will be of no more help, since the word is the poem as a whole and not any single part or attribute of it. Indeed, no study of the poem as poem can be effective, for the poem has ceased to become an artefact, and has become a word; it is the word which must be studied, and this word exists only in the interaction between poem and consciousness. The reversal of the experience of the word is, accordingly, not to be equated with an unravelling of the poem’s constituents, but rather of an illumination granted the reader through the poem. Clearly, the nature of this experience will be very closely related to the constituent elements of the poem, but it is not necessary that this experience of the word should be discussed in the terminology of the poem. The critic is not seeking to show how the word is built up from the poem and the poem from various images and symbols, but rather to translate the word out of the language of the poem and into a language which is more accessible to everyday consciousness. In a sense, it is misleading to talk of reversing the poem; criticism of the kind I have in mind is a continuation of the poem through different forms of consciousness. The aim is not simply to retrace the steps by which consciousness has arrived at its meeting with reality, but to express in more conceptual terms what was revealed at that meeting — and those terms may very well not be provided by the poem itself.
What, then, will this language be? Obviously, however carefully it is designed, it will be no substitute for the poem; it will necessarily lead consciousness away from its position of centrality. On the other hand, it must not allow itself to become totally divorced from the word, but must seek to form a bridge between the ‘basis of all speech’ and everyday speech. Just as the poem destroyed all concepts in order to reveal reality, so this language must create concepts adequate to the apprehension of reality. So far as I am aware, the only tool which we have at our disposal, and which is anything like capable of serving this function is philosophy, by which I mean not analytical linguistic philosophy, but rather the creative philosophy which seeks to express ‘reality’ in terms which are accessible to our limited minds.
Unfortunately, it is all too easy for someone to come along and suggest a new form of criticism based on a new form of philosophy, but the question must inevitably be asked, do such philosophy and such criticism really exist? I believe that the answer is yes. There is certainly creative philosophy in the shape of the German philosopher Martin Heidegger’s work. As Heidegger says: ‘Philosophy is one of the few autonomous creative possibilities and at times necessities of man’s historical being-there.’ (8) In fact, Heidegger’s conception of philosophy is very similar to Crane’s view of the function of poetry. What we have, with deliberate vagueness, simply called ‘reality’ is termed by Heidegger ‘Being’, the ‘isness’ of what is, and just as Crane sees poetry as an approach to and confrontation with reality, so Heidegger sees philosophy as ‘releasement toward things and openness to the mystery’ (9) of Being. Similarly, just as poetry demands and creates an extra-ordinary state of consciousness, so philosophy is ‘an extra-ordinary inquiry into the extra-ordinary’. (10) The asking of philosophical questions is not merely an intellectual pursuit in which the questioner is as uninvolved in his questioning as if he were asking how a machine worked. Indeed, ‘To state the interrogative sentence, even in a tone of questioning, is not yet to question. To repeat the interrogative sentence several times in succession does not necessarily breathe life into the questioning; on the contrary, saying the sentence over may well dull the questioning.’ (11) Instead, philosophical questioning demands a ‘willing to know’, a ‘resolve’, a ‘letting-be’ of what is, and the ability to ‘stand in the truth’. (12) The attainment of this questioning attitude demands a transformation of consciousness similar to that brought about by the poem, and this transformation consists of a ‘leap’ (13) out of the everyday world and towards Being: ‘When in our thinking we open our minds to (the philosophical question), we first of all cease to dwell in any of the familiar realms. We set aside everything that is on the order of the day. Our question goes beyond the familiar and the things that have their place in everyday life.’ (14) As a result, we abandon the ‘calculative thinking’ with which we manage the world from day to day, and become capable of ‘meditative thinking’ (15) through which we come face to face with Being.
Perhaps most significant from our point of view is the fact that the inquiry into Being through meditative thought leads inevitably to a creative use of language. Indeed, Heidegger quite explicitly rejects the use of everyday language and the linguistic philosophy which is based on the analysis of that language as tools in the search for Being:
. . . we easily see that as long as we dwell on the word, form and its meaning we have not yet come to the ‘thing’, to the point as it were of our question about being. If we expect to apprehend the essence of the thing, here of being, by mere discussions of the word and its meaning, we shall obviously be making a mistake. We are hardly likely to fall into such an error, for it would be like trying to investigate the phenomena of motion in the ether, in matter, to determine the atomic processes, by grammatical studies of the words ‘atom’ and ‘ether’ rather than by the necessary physical experiments. (16)
Just as Crane claims that the ‘word’ of poetry belongs to a totally different language from that of everyday speech, so Heidegger claims that questions about Being also fall beyond the realm of ordinary language: ‘In each of its inflections the word “being” bears an essentially different relation to being itself from that of all other nouns and verbs of the language to the essent (i.e. thing that exists) that is expressed in them.’ (17) Because the analyses of existing language is futile, it follows that the philosopher must be creative with language. We saw how Crane believed that the poet takes everyday language and the everyday world which it expresses and ‘distorts’ it so that it reveals not a world of things, but the ‘reality’, the Being which underlies that world. In the same way, Heidegger maintains that the philosopher uses language not to name things in the world, but as a sort of bridge between the things of the world and their Being, so that the thing is neither a pure object for ‘calculative thinking’ nor an undifferentiated part of ‘isness’:
The word, the name, restores the emerging essent from the immediate, overpowering surge to its being and maintains it in this openness, delimitation, and permanence. Naming does not come afterward, providing an already manifest essent with a designation and a hallmark known as a word; it is the other way around: originally an act of violence that discloses being, the word sinks from this height to become a mere sign, and this sign proceeds to thrust itself before the essent. (18)
It is an example of this form of language which Heidegger presents us with in his ‘Conversation on a Country Path’, (19) in which three men discuss the nature of Being, gradually freeing their minds of all the ‘concepts and preconceptions’ of everyday language, until they attain the state of meditative thinking and, almost unconsciously, words come to them which express perfectly aspects of Being. It is the very picture of a poet at work, creating not simply a re-arrangement of familiar words, but a whole new language.
I cannot pretend, of course, that this is anything like an adequate description of Heidegger’s philosophy, and I make no pretence of having shown the connections between the various aspects of his thought. However, what should be clear is that we have here a philosophy which is working along the same lines as the poetry defined by Hart Crane, in attempting to form a bridge of language between some central reality — called, by Heidegger, Being — and the world of everyday objects, language and thought. At the very least, we might expect the one form of thought to illuminate the other. However, if poetry and philosophy were exactly the same, we could expect no more than this. Instead of each continuing the other’s task, they would both be performing the same task, and one could not be analysed in terms of the other. Heidegger is certainly aware of the great similarities between poetry and philosophy, declaring that ‘only poetry stands in the same order as philosophy and its thinking’, but also insisting that ‘poetry and thought are not the same thing’ (20). Unfortunately. Heidegger seems unwilling to elaborate on his distinction, and I have been able to locate only one passage where he gives us some further hints:
Obedient to the voice of Being, thought seeks the Word through which the truth of Being may be expressed. Only when the language of historical man is born of the Word does it ring true. But if it does ring true, then the testimony of the soundless voice of hidden springs lures it ever on. The thought of Being guards the Word and fulfils its function in such guardianship, namely care for the use of language. Out of long-guarded speechlessness and the careful clarification of the field thus cleared, comes the utterance of the thinker. Of like origin is the naming of the poet. But since like is only like insofar as difference allows, and since poetry and thinking are most purely alike in their care of the word, the two things are at the same time at opposite poles in their essence. The thinker utters Being. The poet names what is holy. (21)
In part, this merely confirms what we have said before: poetry and philosophy are alike in that they preserve language as the approach to Being and path from Being; the function of both is to ‘name’ what passes into the world of things from Being. The difference between them must, unfortunately, be something of a puzzle. In a sense, of course, both philosopher and poet name Being in that both relate the objects of the world to Being. However, Heidegger insists that the realm of the poet is not Being itself, but the holy, and he is not the sort of thinker to make such a distinction idly. The general tendency of Heidegger’s thought is to regard Being in a religious sense, as the ground of all existence, and, therefore, presumably the source of holiness. Normally, we regard as holy that which is connected with the divine, so that holiness is contained within divinity, but does not contain it. Hence, we might regard a church as a holy place because it had a special connection with the divine, because the divine was more apparent there than anywhere else in the world. In the same way, Heidegger appears to regard the holy as that in which Being makes itself most manifest. The point is, of course, that it is only a manifestation of the divine in the world which can meaningfully be called holy; it is quite superfluous to describe the divine itself as holy. Hence, Heidegger’s distinction between poetry and philosophy would appear to rest on the idea that philosophy is a direct naming of Being, while poetry is a naming of those things in the world through which Being becomes manifest.
Such a description of poetry would certainly fit the body of poems of which Heidegger is thinking in particular — the work of Hölderlin, which is explicitly concerned with revealing the divine significance of the features of the German landscape. More than that, however, it accords with Crane’s description of poetry, in which the language and objects of the world are used in such a way as to reveal ‘reality’, the source of all thought and speech. Indeed, Crane states quite explicitly that he does not wish merely to present an impressionistic picture of the surface of the world, but to ‘go through the combined materials of the poem, using our “real” world somewhat as a spring-board’ in order to reach ‘truth’ and the ‘“absolute”’. (22) If, then, Heidegger’s distinction is valid, we have the basis of a relationship between poetry and philosophy wherein philosophy can be used as a form of literary criticism. In the first place, the poet takes the ‘real’ world and our everyday consciousness, and transforms them through his art in such a way that they reveal Being. He presents us with the world-as-Being. Then the philosopher takes over, focusing his attention not on the holiness of the world, but on Being as it has been revealed by the poem. His question is not, ‘how does the world manifest Being?’, but ‘what is Being when it has been manifested?’ In a sense, he merely reverses the poet’s process in acting as a bridge from Being back into the world of objects and concepts, but in reversing, he does not simply undo what the poet has done; he extends it into a different realm. His function, in other words, is not simply to re-create out of the poem the original world which the poem transformed, but to translate the Being which has been revealed out of the language of image and symbol, which is ultimately derived from the holiness of the world, and into the language of concepts, which ultimately becomes the language of abstraction.
If we wish to see an example of this sort of philosophical criticism in action, we need look no further than Heidegger’s essays on Hölderlin. In ‘Remembrance of the Poet’, (23) for instance, the nature of the ‘dialogue’ between poet and philosopher is made quite clear. The essay begins with a printing of Hölderlin’s ‘Homecoming’. It is, after all, essential that Being should be revealed through the poem before the philosopher can begin his work. The poem deals with the poet’s return to the German fatherland from the Alps, and is, in a sense, nature poetry, for it is concerned with revealing in the landscape the work and nature of the divine. Hence, it is a classic example of poetry as the naming of the holy. Perhaps the conventional approach to such a poem would be to analyse and classify its imagery, work out the meaning of its symbols, and study the inter-relationships of its themes. This, however, cannot be Heidegger’s approach; for him the poem is not an artefact, but a name for the holy, and hence for Being. His task, therefore, is to analyse the essence of Being as named by the poem. Hence, he does not discuss the use of the image of home and homecoming, but immediately undertakes to discover what the ‘innermost essence of home’ might be, and discovers that essence not in terms of other images used in the poem, but in ‘the destiny of a Providence, or as we now call it: History’ (24). Similarly, the poem uses the images of joy and ‘the Joyous’, and far from seeking a clearer definition of these terms from the poem alone, he undertakes a definition of the essence of the joyous as such, i.e. not merely as an image in the poem, but as a metaphysical reality. So the essay continues. Its underlying assumption is that a poem is not an artefact with an ‘objective’ existence which simply needs to be analysed in its own terms, but that it is a naming through the world of a metaphysical reality which the reader can apprehend by reading the poem, and that the reader’s task is then to re-name this reality not through image and symbol, but through concepts.
If, however, the comments of a modern German existentialist philosopher on a Romantic German poet seem a little too out of the way to affect current English critical practice, we can readily find examples of this technique under our very noses. How else, for instance, would one classify such works as D.H. Lawrence’s Study of Thomas Hardy, or W.B. Yeats’s A Vision? It is true that the Lawrence may suffer from certain major flaws, but it is most certainly an attempt at formulating literary criticism through philosophy. Even more interesting is A Vision, a work which has consistently defied categorization. There is no doubt that it can meaningfully be called a work of philosophy, albeit a philosophy which owes more to Plotinus and Blake than to Russell and Ayer. However, Yeats also insisted that it bore a direct relation to poetry. In the introduction to the work, Yeats emphasizes that it is not so much a purely philosophical work as a system of ‘“metaphors for poetry”’, (25) and that his division of history into periods and development of a system of cycles are to be seen as ‘stylistic arrangements of experience comparable to the cubes in the drawing of Wyndham Lewis and to the ovoids in the sculpture of Brancusi’. (26) Whatever else such statements tell us, they indicate that this philosophical work has the closest possible connection with Yeats’s poetry. In fact, A Vision conducts an analysis of the nature of what Yeats conceives as ‘reality’; in so doing, that reality is ‘named’ in the language of a system of spheres and cycles; and when Yeats writes poetry, the images and metaphors he draws from the world reveal, or are made to reveal this same reality and this same system. A Vision, in other words, names for Yeats’s ‘philosophical’ consciousness what the poems name for his ‘poetic’ consciousness. As such, A Vision is a book of philosophical criticism on Yeats’s poems, in the same way as Heidegger’s essays are criticisms of Hölderlin’s poetry.
Having outlined this form of philosophical criticism, it would be a great pity to allow what I have said to be misunderstood. It seems to me that the present state of criticism ignores one mode of being of the literary work which is of supreme importance, its existence as an ‘experience’ rather than an artefact, and I believe that a philosophical approach to the work is capable of correcting this fault. However, I do not wish to give the impression that any other form of inquiry is invalid; one mode of existence does not exclude another, nor does one form of criticism invalidate all others. There is no reason for deprecating current critical practice so long as we remain aware of its limitations, and do not seek to delude ourselves that when we know everything about the poem as artefact we have even begun to read the poem. On the other hand, it would be fatal to try to assimilate philosophical criticism to current techniques. What I have suggested is not a branch of history of ideas, nor does it consist of analysing a poem’s ‘ideas’ in philosophical terminology; it is something entirely sui generis, a meditation through philosophy on the realities which are revealed by a poem. Similarly, it would be a great mistake to dismiss this approach as inexact and subjective. The sort of accuracy and objectivity which is possible with more conventional approaches is so simply because the poem is seen as object. If this is not the mode of existence of the poem under examination, the criteria of accuracy and objectivity simply do not apply — but that is no reason why other, equally demanding criteria should not. For the present, it will be enough if at least we keep our minds open to the possibilities of this approach, and see how it has been used by Heidegger, and even Yeats.
(1) T.S. Eliot, The Use of Poetry and the Use of Criticism: Studies in the Relation of Criticism to Poetry in England, London: Faber, 1964, p. 16. Although I discuss in this article the influence of Pound and Eliot on critical theory. I do not wish to suggest that I am doing anything like justice to their ideas, or that they necessarily foresaw what their influence would result in.
(2) ibid., p.18.
(3) ibid., p.17.
(4) Ezra Pound, ABC of Reading, London: Faber, 1961, p.17.
(5) ibid., pp.30-1.
(6) T.S. Eliot, The Sacred Wood: Essays on Poetry and Criticism, London: Methuen, 1950, p.4.
(7) From ‘General Aims and Theories’, in The Complete Poems and Selected Letters and Prose of Hart Crane, ed. Brom Weber, London: O.U.P., 1968, pp.220-1.
(8) Martin Heidegger, An Introduction to Metaphysics, transl. Ralph Manheim, Garden City, New York: Anchor Books, 1961, p.8.
(9) Martin Heidegger, Discourse on Thinking, transl. John M. Anderson and E. Hans Freud, New York: Harper & Row, Harper Torchbooks, 1969, p.55.
(10) Heidegger, An Introduction to Metaphysics, p. 11.
(11) ibid., p.17.
(13) ibid., p.11.
(14) ibid., p.10.
(15) Heidegger, Discourse on Thinking, p.46.
(16) Heidegger, An Introduction to Metaphysics, p.73.
(17) ibid., p.74.
(18) ibid., p.144.
(19) Heidegger, Discourse on Thinking, pp.58-90.
(20) Heidegger, An Introduction to Metaphysics, p.21.
(21) Martin Heidegger, Existence and Being, intro. Werner Brock, London: Vision Press, 2nd ed., 1956, p.391.
(22) Complete Poems of Hart Crane, p.220.
(23) In Heidegger, Existence and Being, pp.253-90.
(24) ibid., p.264.
(25) W.B. Yeats, A Vision, London: Macmillan, 1937 ed. with corrections 1962, p.8.
(26) ibid., p.25.
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