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An Experiment in Criticism (Canto Classics) Paperback – 26 Mar 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 152 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; Reissue edition (26 Mar. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1107604729
  • ISBN-13: 978-1107604728
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 0.9 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 414,983 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Book Description

Amid the complex welter of current critical theories, C. S. Lewis's wisdom is valuably down-to-earth, refreshing and stimulating in the questions it raises about the experience of reading.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By ABShaef VINE VOICE on 27 Jan. 2015
Format: Paperback
I simply love this book and I am happy to say that it proves Lewis's point about rereading good books quite well. Where 10+ years ago I found it difficult to understand in parts with some flashes of brilliance, upon reading it again I found it utterly brilliant and insightful through and through.

The questions he asks, "What do we mean when we say a book is good or bad?" "How do we judge between literature of quality and mere drivel?" And how he answers them by looking at the different ways people read books sheds helpful light on the way we think and talk about books. I could rave and rave about this book, but I won't. I'll just leave it at that and say, if you have an interest in books, and if you're reading this I'll assume you do, do yourself a favor and pick this one up. It's wonderful.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having just read the McGrath Biography of C.S. Lewis, I thought I should acquaint/re-acquaint myself with his writing, and am glad I did.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 8 reviews
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Educational and thought provoking 19 Dec. 2012
By JLG - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This small book offers much to consider as Mr. Lewis muses on reading and readers. I found a great list of other books to read within its pages as well.
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Why is this not in the critical canon? Someone should have forced this on me in Comp 101 20 April 2013
By Jennifer Grey - Published on
Format: Paperback
It is a true pity that George Orwell and C.S. Lewis never happened to get drunk at the same bar and enter into a violent, gin-fueled debate over literary criticism, because that might have changed the course of the development of literature in the 20th century. Or perhaps it would only have made the bartender rich selling tickets to the show. Sadly, we'll never know.

Lewis' radical proposition here is that it is as much the reader as the text which determines whether a book is "good" or "bad" literature, and the 140-odd pages he devotes to that theory provide (aside from fascinating reading) a wonderful defense of both popular literature and genre fiction. His conviction that to truly experience literature we must surrender ourselves to it won't be a hard sell to anyone who reads a lot of poetry, but I can only imagine how his views on the uselessness of evaluative criticism went over with book reviewers of the day.

Thoughtful, provocative, and sure to be one in the eye to almost any university's literature program.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Outstanding! 17 Feb. 2013
By Joshua D. Yoder - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Again, Lewis is in a class by himself. This book is outstanding, offering a critical, yet humble examination of literature and an equally insightful examination of the readers of literature. A valuable work for anyone interested in understanding literature, or themselves, better.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Thought Provoking and Insightful 6 July 2013
By Jack C. Castillo - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For me, this essay opened a new way of looking at why I read and the kind of reader I am. I do believe that reading is becoming a lost art what with the evolution of online media, television, the way we work, etc. Since reading this essay I have started to get a lot more out of what I read and also more selective of what I read. I love the modern novel and how it has evolved, it serves up another dimension to my life that film, TV or the internet just can't provide.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Two Stars 2 Feb. 2015
By Mad4books - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I didn't like the writing and found it boring to read although I loved the subject.
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