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The Critical Imagination - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Critical Imagination

James Grant


This book is about metaphor, imaginativeness, and criticism of the arts. Since the eighteenth century, many philosophers have argued that appreciating art is rewarding because it involves responding imaginatively to a work. Literary works can be interpreted in many ways; architecture can be seen as stately, meditative, or forbidding; and sensitive descriptions of art are often colourful metaphors: music can ‘shimmer’, prose can be ‘perfumed’, and a painter’s colouring can be ‘effervescent’. Engaging with art, like creating it, seems to offer great scope for imagination. Hume, Kant, Oscar Wilde ... More

Keywords: metaphor, similarity, indispensability, art criticism, literary criticism, creativity, imaginativeness, aims of criticism, appreciation, language of criticism

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2013 Print ISBN-13: 9780199661794
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199661794.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

James Grant, author
Birkbeck College, University of London