The Quality of Literature
Linguistic studies in literary evaluation
Willie van Peer | Ludwig Maximilian University
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 The Quality of Literature 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.
[Linguistic Approaches to Literature, 4] 2008. ix, 243 pp.
Publishing status: Available
© John Benjamins Publishing Company
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments | p. vii
Foreword | p. ix
IntroductionWillie van Peer | pp. 1–14
Part I. Textual and generic comparisons
1. Canon formation: Ideology or aesthetic quality?Willie van Peer | pp. 17–29
2. Why Hugh Maccoll is not, and will never be, part of any literary canonStein Haugom Olson | pp. 31–51
3. Popular / canonical: The case of The Secret AgentJan Gorak | pp. 53–69
4. Literary evaluation and poetic form: Poetic form and creative tensionTom Barney | pp. 71–81
5. Poetic value: Political valueLaurence Lerner | pp. 83–94
6. "Too soon transplanted": Coleridge and the forms of dislocationDavid S. Miall | pp. 95–116
7. Evaluation and stylistic analysisMick Short and Elena Semino | pp. 117–137
8. The value of JuvenalWalter Nash | pp. 139–156
Part II. Theoretical reflections
9. Some correlates of literary eminenceColin Martindale | pp. 159–167
10. Macbeth through the computer: Literary evaluation and pedagogical implicationsSonia Zyngier | pp. 169–190
11. How scientific can literary evaluation be? Arguments and experimentsHarald Fricke | pp. 191–207
12. Philosophical perspectives on literary valuePaisley Livingston | pp. 209–221
13. The qualities of literatures: A concept of literary evaluation in pluralistic societiesRenate von Heydebrand and Simone Winko | pp. 223–239
Author index | pp. 241–242
Subject index | p. 243
“While there is growing interest in the psychology of beauty and aesthetics applied to visual art forms, literature is often given the short end of the stick. Psych and the Literary Muses is an example of beautiful writing in itself, with research results sprinkled about. How can the written word stir our souls, awaken our senses, and stimulate our thoughts? What properties of the text can have such an affect on the reader? By looking at the Psychology of literature from the vantage point of the text, Lindauer offers fresh and deep insight into the experience of reading, balancing work being done by psychology of creative writing researchers on the psychological quirks of the writer. Lindauer’s broad knowledge base of literature shines through in his writing and only adds to the respectability of his ideas. By connecting the text to such diverse topics as person perception, creativity, learning, and even aging, Lindauer opens up avenues for research that scholars across a variety of fields may not have even known existed. At the same time, he creates bridges across those avenues in a way that scholars, readers, writers, and almost anyone with a healthy (or even unhealthy) dose of interest in the psychology of literature can relate and appreciate.”
Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman, Co-Editor of The Psychology of Creative Writing
“This is a book that could potentially become on the cutting edge of literary study. I have been impressed, over the years, with Prof. Lindauer's attempts to integrate the study of imaginative literature and contemporary psychology. This book looks like a solid contribution to the developing paradigm of literary study and empirical psychology.”
John V. Knapp (editor of Style), Northern Illinois University
“This is an excellent volume, of an academic and intellectual standard that should be attractive to any university press in the English-speaking world… The book is likely to be highly controversial precisely because it goes against the grain of Anglophone literary study of the past quarter-century. This controversy is precisely what is needed in the field and has been needed for many years.”
Prof. Donald Freeman
Cited by 8 other publications
Colombetti, Giovanna, Achim Stephan, John-Dylan Haynes, Christoph Huth, Alexander Bergs, Peter Schneck, Jan Slaby, Jens Kuhn, Tobias Skuban-Eiseler, Wolfgang Huff, Sarah Rudorf, Bernd Weber, Saskia K. Nagel, Imke Biermann, Wendy Wilutzky & Sven Walter
Hanauer, David I.
2015. Beauty judgements of non-professional poetry. Scientific Study of Literature 5:2 ► pp. 183 ff.
Koolen, Corina & Andreas van Cranenburgh
Lauwers, Jeroen, Tom Deneire & David Eelbode
2015. The question of literary quality. Scientific Study of Literature 5:1 ► pp. 3 ff.
Towns, Stuart G. & Richard Watson Todd
2019. Beyond proficiency. English Text Construction 12:2 ► pp. 265 ff.
2010. Book reviews: New Beginnings in Literary Studies, by Jan Auracher and Willie van Peer (eds), 2008. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, pp. xvi + 451. ISBN (10) 1 84718 594 0, ISBN (13) 9781 84718 594 5. Language and Literature: International Journal of Stylistics 19:3 ► pp. 319 ff.
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 7 june 2023. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.
Literature & Literary Studies
Main BIC Subject
DSA: Literary theory
Main BISAC Subject
LIT000000: LITERARY CRITICISM / General
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number: 2007047268 | Marc record