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ERIC Number: ED024680
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1966-Nov
Pages: 7
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
The Uses of Biography in Criticism.
Meixner, John A.
College English, v28 n2 p108-13 November 1966
In the reaction against biographical and historical criticism, critics have dogmatically emphasized pure textual explication and have thus distorted or restricted responses to literature and art. To correct this improper emphasis, teachers, in addition to stressing the integrity of the art work, should treat individual creations as "different worlds, or structures of experience," which the students can enter. Similarly, the critic, in writing a comprehensive study of an author, and usually in examining single works, must refer to details of biography in order to elucidate a work and "respond to it in its totality." While the critic's attention should continue to rest primarily on the work itself, biographical information should be used in introductory, supportive, or parenthetical positions to help the reader see the unique quality of a particular writer. (JS)
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