The literary criticism of William Hazlitt

Fagan, Bonaventure (1972) The literary criticism of William Hazlitt. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

William Hazlitt frankly declared his critical writings to be nothing other than the expression of his feeling for literature. Rejecting the use of some abstract theory to serve as an a priori criterion for literature, Hazlitt posited that truly expressed feeling, if the latter was of sufficient intensity, would supply its own intuitive standard. Hazlitt's expression took the form of description, the main element of which was metaphor. -- The question of whether or not there is a nontheoretical way to determine the reliability of Hazlitt's intuitive expression forms the basis for this thesis. By examining the metaphors throughout the body of critical essays it was found that there are structures, metaphoric in nature, which provide examples of the self-unifying and self-validating power that Hazlitt claimed feeling to have. -- Of the many metaphoric structures, large and small, found in the criticism two are treated in detail. Chapter II delineates the water metaphor which assumes a cyclic pattern while Chapter III is concerned with the smelting metaphor, a more linear type structure. -- Using Hazlitt's call for the expression of feeling as a starting point and illustrating that position's validity, we are able to assert that Hazlitt's criticism is more than a collection of individual essays or books - it is a work of art.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/7296
Item ID: 7296
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves [141]-153.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > English Language and Literature
Date: 1972
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Hazlitt, William, 1778-1830--Criticism and interpretation; Criticism

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