Much literary study has been vague and unsatisfactory. Little real knowledge is gained from it because of indefiniteness.
F. V. N. Painter, a professor of modern languages in Roanoke College, aimed to obviate this difficulty in his work, "Elementary Guide to Literary Criticism."
His class work has taught him the practical needs of a student and how to make the study of literature a positive delight.
The book is divided into three parts:
First, "Fundamental Principles," treating of "Nature and Office of Criticism," "The Author and His Work," and "Some Aesthetic Principles."
The second part considers "Rhetorical Elements" — " Words, Sentences, Paragraphs," " Figures of Speech." " Style."
The third Part gives us "Kinds of Literature" — "Nature and Structure of Poetry," "Kinds of Poetry," "Epic and Dramatic Poetry," "Nature and Forms of Prose," "Essays and Oratory." "Nature and Classification of Fiction."
The text of each chapter is followed by a list of review questions and illustrative quotations from the best authors.