The Quality of Literature
Linguistic studies in literary evaluation
Evaluation is central to literary studies and has led to an impressive list of publications on the status and history of the canon. Yet it is remarkable how little attention has been given to the role of textual properties in evaluative processes. Most of the chapters in <i> The Quality of Literature </i>redress this issue by dealing with texts or genres ranging from classical antiquity, via Renaissance to twentieth century. They provide a rich textual and historical panorama of how critical debate over literary quality has influenced our modes of thinking and feeling about literature, and how they continue to shape the current literary landscape. Four theoretical chapters reflect on the general state of literary evaluation while the introduction weaves the different threads together aiming at further conceptual clarification. This book thus contributes to a deeper understanding of the problems that are at the heart of past and present debates over literary quality.