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METHODS AND AIMS
IN THE STUDY OF

LITERATURE

A SERIES OF EXTRACTS AND

ILLUSTRATIONS

ARRANGED AND ADAPTED

BY

LANE COOPER

PROFESSOR OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE

IN CORNELL UNIVERSITY

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COPYRIGHT, 1915, BY LANE COOPER

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

215.10

The Athenæum Press
GINN AND COMPANY PRO-
PRIETORS · BOSTON · U.S.A.

PN51
C 65

PREFACE

For this volume I have adopted the title of a privately issued pamphlet, Methods and Aims in the Study of Literature, which I have found useful to various classes in English, but in particular to one in the theory of poetry. The pamphlet consisted of a few selections, beginning with what is now fourth in the second section, and primarily drawn from Coleridge and Wordsworth, with additional illustrations from Milton, Dante, and Plato; virtually all these extracts are here included in the second, third, and sixth sections. The smaller collection was designed to free the student of poetry, at the outset, from common errors as to the nature of genius errors that interfere with his understanding of the poets themselves, and with his appreciation of whatever formal treatise (the Poetics of Aristotle, say, or the Ars Poetica of Horace) he happens first to take up. I hope that the larger collection will render a more positive service, if only by way of suggesting that the Platonic conception of the artistic regulation of impulse still retains its validity.

With systematic works on method my volume obviously enters into no competition.

If evidence in the poets themselves respecting their habits of study and production ought in some measure to guide us in studying and reproducing their thoughts and emotions, it must be said that such evidence, though there

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