English Language and Literature ETDs

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One of the critical tenets of the twentieth century emphasizes the discreetness of the artist and the work of art. Whatever the artist has to say about his creation, whatever image of the artist may be found in his work, we look upon with interest; but that interest is an irrelevant interest and we recognize it to be so. The autonomy of the work of art is essentially inviolate. Whatever the extent of the artist's involvement in his work, we cannot, in justice to him and in justice to the continuum of artistic creation, credit him with it or discredit him because of it. Such are the contentions of the New Criticism. It is necessary to emphasize this disjunctiveness, however, not because of the position of the New Criticism--a position not universally held--but because the interpretation of Tristram Shandy as a manifestation of the author produces a distortion which nullifies and destroys much of the significance and the accomplishment of the book. It is not merely that, as the New Critics maintain, the attribution of presence of the author is irrelevant; in this very special instance, it is destructive.

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First Committee Member (Chair)

Norton Barr Crowell

Second Committee Member

Dane Farnsworth Smith

Third Committee Member

Ernest Warnock Tedlock Jr



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