By C. S. Lewis

Why will we learn literature and the way can we pass judgement on it? C. S. Lewis's classic An test in Criticism springs from the conviction that literature exists for the enjoyment of the reader and that books may be judged through the type of analyzing they invite. He argues that "good reading," like ethical motion or spiritual adventure, comprises give up to the paintings in hand and a technique of coming into totally into the evaluations of others: "in analyzing nice literature I turn into 1000 males and but stay myself."

Crucial to his thought of judging literature is a dedication to pushing aside expectancies and values extraneous to the paintings, so as to method it with an open brain. Amid the advanced welter of present severe theories, C. S. Lewis's knowledge is valuably down-to-earth, fresh and stimulating within the questions it increases concerning the adventure of studying.

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Sample text

Aber es gibt, wenn von der Kunst die Rede ist, auch immer wieder jemand, der zugegen ist und . . nicht richtig hinhört. Genauer: jemand, der hört und lauscht und schaut . . und dann nicht weiß, wovon die Rede war. —, und zugleich auch Atem, das heißt Richtung und Schicksal. Das ist, Sie wissen es längst, sie kommt ja, die so oft und kaum von ungefähr so oft Zitierte, mit jedem neuen Jahr zu Ihnen—das ist Lucile. But when the talk concerns art, there’s always someone who is present and . . not really listening.

The passengers are there, in full force, Danton, Camille, the others. ” And here, where everything comes to its end, in longlasting moments as Camille—no, not him, not really him but a co-traveler—. ” The first paragraph of this section refers to the last scene but two of The Death of Danton, in which Danton, Camille, and their friends mount the scaffold. Each of the condemned goes to his death striking a pose; Celan singles out for irony the words of Fabre, “I am dying twice over,” a statement which can only be made where the solitude and “onceonli- 30 Part I ness” of death is being denied in the conversion of last things into public spectacle.

Do you know what I was saying? LUCILE No, truly not. 54 After this exchange, Danton reenters and tells Camille that the Committee on Public Safety has decided to arrest him. ” Lucile is still listening, and has no difficulty following the thread of this discussion. After Danton leaves she urges Camille to take the only step they can think of, that of going to Robespierre. After Camille leaves a song about parting comes into her head, and she realizes this is not a good sign. 55 Thus we see that again Celan has adapted this scene to the meaning he wishes to convey.

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