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ERIC Number: ED028158
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1966
Pages: 4
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Fiction and Teaching.
Dworkin, Martin S.
The Journal of Aesthetic Education, v1 n2 p71-4 Autumn 1966
The criticism of fiction involves an evaluation of the popular imagination, and consequently the literary critic functions as a challenger of the conventional spirit and behavior of his times. Imaginative literature covers a large part of man's knowledge, for distinctions between works of imagination and works of reason (poetry versus philosophy) cannot withstand extended analyses of the nature and relationship of "reason" and "imagination." Thus, little doubt exists that fiction in some sense influences the actions of people. But an assertion of the civic responsibilities of literature indicates a need for control and accentuates the problems of censorship and propaganda. Artists, manifesting their own alienation, profess art to be a salvationary mode of living, and therefore advocate principles that may be spiritually corrosive as well as psychologically and sociologically absurd. Criticism functions as the control over such principles and ideas. Through an evaluation of the course of fiction against an intellectual current of American life, such as the developing meaning of Jeffersonian ideas and influences, the literary critic both brings the popular imagination to judgment against its artists in their roles as spokesmen, teachers, and citizens. (LH)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Forward to "Jeffersonianism and the American Novel" by Howard Mumford Jones, in the series "Culture and Communication," Martin S. Dworkin, General Editor, published by Teachers College Press