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Matthew Arnold

High Culture and Popular Music

The high-culture tradition is essentially a conservative one. It encompasses a defence of a narrowly defined high or elite ‘culture’, in the classic sense of Arnold’s ‘the best that has been thought and said’ (Arnold, Culture and Anarchy, 1869). This… Read More ›

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The Literary Criticism of Matthew Arnold

Matthew Arnold (1822-1888), English poet, literary critic, and essayist, perceived reformative tendencies accompanying the burgeoning development of industrial society in nineteenth-century England that threatened the wavering hegemonic apparatus of secular and ecclesiastical order, and hindered the appreciation and expression of… Read More ›

Moral formalism: F. R. Leavis

F. R. Leavis became the major single target for the new critical theory of the 1970s. Both Raymond Williams in Politics and Letters (1979) and Terry Eagleton in Literary Theory: An Introduction (1983) bear witness to his enormous, ubiquitous influence in English Studies from the 1930s… Read More ›

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