Thursday, July 2, 2015

An Experiment in Criticism, part two

"The first demand any work of art makes upon us is surrender.  Look.  Listen.  Receive.  Get yourself out of the way.  (There is no good asking first whether the work before you deserves such a surrender, for until you have surrendered you cannot possibly find out.)"  (An Experiment in Criticism, 19)

In the first entry in this little series on CS Lewis's An Experiment in Criticism, I explained Lewis's distinction between the few and the many.  Or, rather, I explained it as far as he got with it in his first couple of chapters.  The difficulty of drawing the distinction clearly, you recall, necessitated some examples.  Lewis proposes to further explain by examining the use of pictures and music.  I am mainly interested in his discussion of pictures, for what I take to be obvious reasons.