As I noted in the Preface, the argument conducted in this book has both a positive and a negative aspect, which are nevertheless logically related to one another. On the one hand, I have put forward, and in the last four chapters have attempted to defend against certain anticipated objections, a general theory about literature, using fiction as a test case. On the other hand, I have set out to refute a series of what I take to be theoretical and methodological misconceptions inimical to the understanding of literature, again drawing largely upon fiction and fiction criticism for examples. The two processes are logically related in that the misconceptions I hope to have exposed are identical with, or closely derived from, the theoretical positions, and associated attitudes and prejudices, which I have considered as presenting the most powerful objections to my own main thesis. Defending the general theory has entailed repudiating the misconceptions; and conversely, repudiating the misconceptions (many of which I felt to be such long before the inception of this book) has entailed formulating and expounding the positive thesis which asserts what they deny or ignore.
KeywordsAffective Tension Critical Practice Positive Thesis Emotional Temperateness Ghost Story
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Notes and References
- 7.On chronological, legal and sociological accuracy, see e.g. C. P. Sanger, The Structure of ‘Wuthering Heights’ (Hogarth Press, 1926);Google Scholar
- T. Winnifrith, The Brontës and their Background (Macmillan, 1973); and the appendices to the Clarendon edition of Wuthering Heights, ed. H. Marsden and I. Jack (Oxford, 1976). On psychological insight, see especially J. H. Hagan, ‘The Control of Sympathy in Wuthering Heights’, Nineteenth Century Fiction, 21, 4 (March 1967).Google Scholar
- 10.Outstanding examples are: A. Kettle, An Introduction to the English Novel (Hutchinson, 1951) pp. 139–155; Q. D. Leavis, ‘A Fresh Approach to Wuthering Heights’, Lectures in America (with F. R. Leavis) (Chatto & Windus, 1969);Google Scholar
- T. Winnifrith, The Brontës and their Background (Macmillan, 1973); andGoogle Scholar
- T. Eagleton, Myths of Power (Macmillan, 1976), chapter 6.Google Scholar