The Cocktail Party

eliot's view on function of criticism

what is criticism?

parts of criticism

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Eliot’s views on criticism derive from his views on art and tradition as given above. He defines criticism as, “the commentation and exposition of works of art by means of written words’“. Criticism can never be an autotelic activity, because criticism is always about something. Art, as critics like Matthew Arnold point out, may have some other ends, e.g., moral, religious, cultural, but art need not be aware of these ends, rather it performs its function better by being indifferent to such ends. But criticism always has one and only one definite end, and that end is, “elucidation of works of art and the correction of taste.” In his essay The Frontiers of Criticism, he further explains the aim of criticism as, “the promotion of understanding and enjoyment of literature.”