Dryden's Classical Theory of Literature

Dryden's Classical Theory of Literature

by Edward Pechter


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Professor Pechter's book attempts to describe the consistent structure, of both style and method, within which Dryden examines, orders and evaluates literary experience. This mode permits Dryden to recognise the real differences between French and English drama, Virgilian and Ovidian style, judgement and fancy (to take some of the more familiar from among Dryden's typical conjunctive pairs), without either merging their differences into some grand synthesis or transforming them into mutually exclusive antitheses. Dryden's is above all a comprehensive theory of literature which aims at responding to a broad range of various literary styles, genres, faculties and effects. Dryden's balance is classical, the poise of the golden mean, and Professor Pechter endeavours to give fresh life to 'classical' as an epithet often previously applied to Dryden. Ranging among writers in ancient Greece and Rome and among Dryden's contemporaries in England and France, the author outlines a rich literary tradition within which Dryden's criticism is more easily appreciated and better understood.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521136549
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 02/25/2010
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 236
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Preface; Introduction; Part I. Structure: 1. The structure of Dryden's theory; 2. The argument of Dryden's 'essay'; 3. Classicism and Dryden; Part II. Context: 4. Corneille and the question of cultural influence; 5. Dryden, old and new; 6. Theory and practice; Conclusion: Dryden's variety and classicism; List of abbreviations; Notes; Index.

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