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it took me long to read this one.

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it took me long to read this one.  [#permalink] New post 31 Aug 2004, 19:31
it took me long to read this one.
---------------------------------------------------
Many readers assume that, as a neoclassical literary critic, Samuel Johnson would normally prefer the abstract, the formal, and the regulated to the concrete, the natural, and the spontaneous in a work of literature. Yet any close reading of Johnson's criticism shows that Johnson is not blind to the importance of the immediate, vivid, specific detail in literature; rather, he would underscore the need for the 'telling' rather than the merely 'accidental' detail.

In other ways, too, Johnson's critical method has much in common with that of the Romantics, with whom Johnson and, indeed, the entire neoclassical tradition, are generally supposed to be in conflict. Johnson was well aware, for example, of the sterility of literary criticism that is legalistic or pedantic, as was the case with the worst products of the neoclassical school. His famous argument against the slavish following of the 'three unities' of classical drama is a good example, as is his defense of the supposedly illegitimate 'tragicomic' mode of Shakespeare's latest plays. Note, in particular, the basis of that defense: 'That this is a practice contrary to the rules of criticism,' Johnson wrote, 'will be readily allowed; but there is always an appeal from criticism to nature.

The sentiment thus expressed could easily be endorsed by any of the Romantics; the empiricism it exemplifies is a vital quality of Johnson's criticism, as is the willingness to jettison 'laws' of criticism when to do so makes possible a more direct appeal to the emotions of the reader. Addison's Cato, highly praised in Johnson's day for its 'correctness,' is dam!ned with faint praise by Johnson: 'Cato affords a splendid exhibition of artificial and fictitious manners, and delivers just and noble sentiments, in diction easy, elevated, and harmonious, but its hopes and fears communicate no vibration to the heart. Wordsworth could hardly demur.

Even on the question of poetic diction, which, according to the usual interpretation of Wordsworth's 1800 Preface to the 'Lyrical Ballads', was the central area of conflict between Romantic and Augustan, Johnson's views are surprisingly 'modern.' In his 'Life of Dryden', he defends the use of a special diction for poetry, it is true; but his reasons are all important. For Johnson, poetic diction should serve the ends of direct emotional impact and ease of comprehension, not those of false profundity or grandiosity- 'Words too familiar,' he wrote, or too remote, defeat the purpose of a poet. From those sounds that we hear on small or on coarse occasions, we do not easily receive strong impressions, or delightful images; and words to which we are nearly strangers, whenever they occur, draw that attention on themselves which they should transmit to things. If the poetic diction of the neoclassical poets, at its worst, erects needless barriers between reader and meaning, that envisioned by Johnson would do just the opposite: it would put the reader in closer contact with the 'things' that are the poem's subject.

1.According to the passage, Johnson's views concerning the use of a special diction in the writing of poetry were:
A) 'modern' in their rejection of a clear-cut division between the diction of poetry and that of prose
B) 'neoclassical' in their emphasis on the use of language with a direct emotional appeal for the reader
C) 'Romantic' in their defense of the idea that a special diction for poetry could be stylistically effective
D) 'modern' in their underlying concern for the impact of the literary work on the sensibility of the reader
E) 'neoclassical' in their emphasis on ease of comprehension as a literary virtue

2.Which one of the following statements best summarizes the main point of the passage?
A) Although many of Johnson's critical opinions resemble those of the neoclassical critics, his basic concerns are closer to those of the Romantics.
B) The usual classification of Johnson as a member of the neoclassical school of criticism is based on an inaccurate evaluation of his ideals.
C) The Romantic critics were mistaken in their belief that the critical ideas they formulated represented a departure from those propounded by Johnson.
D) Although many of Johnson's critical opinions resemble those of the Romantic critics, his basic concerns are closer to those of the neoclassical critics.
E) Johnson's literary criticism represents an attempt to unify the best elements of both the neoclassical and the Romantic schools of criticism.

3.The passage implies that the neoclassical critics generally condemned:
A) Shakespeare's use of the 'tragicomic' literary mode
B) the slavish following of the 'three unities' in drama
C) attempts to judge literary merit on the basis of 'correctness'
D) artificiality and abstraction in literary works
E) the use of a special diction in the writing of poetry

4.According to the passage, Johnson's opinion of Addison's Cato was:
A) roundly condemnatory
B) somewhat self-contradictory
C) ultimately negative
D) effusively adulatory
E) uncharacteristically bold
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Re: RC - one more for the trouble seekers :) [#permalink] New post 31 Aug 2004, 23:51
I took 11 minutes to complete the whole stuff. 3-4 minutes were spent on the passage and the rest on queries.

My answers are :

1- D
2-A
3-A
4-C

Do let me know the OAs..

dj wrote:
it took me long to read this one.
---------------------------------------------------
Many readers assume that, as a neoclassical literary critic, Samuel Johnson would normally prefer the abstract, the formal, and the regulated to the concrete, the natural, and the spontaneous in a work of literature. Yet any close reading of Johnson's criticism shows that Johnson is not blind to the importance of the immediate, vivid, specific detail in literature; rather, he would underscore the need for the 'telling' rather than the merely 'accidental' detail.

In other ways, too, Johnson's critical method has much in common with that of the Romantics, with whom Johnson and, indeed, the entire neoclassical tradition, are generally supposed to be in conflict. Johnson was well aware, for example, of the sterility of literary criticism that is legalistic or pedantic, as was the case with the worst products of the neoclassical school. His famous argument against the slavish following of the 'three unities' of classical drama is a good example, as is his defense of the supposedly illegitimate 'tragicomic' mode of Shakespeare's latest plays. Note, in particular, the basis of that defense: 'That this is a practice contrary to the rules of criticism,' Johnson wrote, 'will be readily allowed; but there is always an appeal from criticism to nature.

The sentiment thus expressed could easily be endorsed by any of the Romantics; the empiricism it exemplifies is a vital quality of Johnson's criticism, as is the willingness to jettison 'laws' of criticism when to do so makes possible a more direct appeal to the emotions of the reader. Addison's Cato, highly praised in Johnson's day for its 'correctness,' is dam!ned with faint praise by Johnson: 'Cato affords a splendid exhibition of artificial and fictitious manners, and delivers just and noble sentiments, in diction easy, elevated, and harmonious, but its hopes and fears communicate no vibration to the heart. Wordsworth could hardly demur.

Even on the question of poetic diction, which, according to the usual interpretation of Wordsworth's 1800 Preface to the 'Lyrical Ballads', was the central area of conflict between Romantic and Augustan, Johnson's views are surprisingly 'modern.' In his 'Life of Dryden', he defends the use of a special diction for poetry, it is true; but his reasons are all important. For Johnson, poetic diction should serve the ends of direct emotional impact and ease of comprehension, not those of false profundity or grandiosity- 'Words too familiar,' he wrote, or too remote, defeat the purpose of a poet. From those sounds that we hear on small or on coarse occasions, we do not easily receive strong impressions, or delightful images; and words to which we are nearly strangers, whenever they occur, draw that attention on themselves which they should transmit to things. If the poetic diction of the neoclassical poets, at its worst, erects needless barriers between reader and meaning, that envisioned by Johnson would do just the opposite: it would put the reader in closer contact with the 'things' that are the poem's subject.

1.According to the passage, Johnson's views concerning the use of a special diction in the writing of poetry were:
A) 'modern' in their rejection of a clear-cut division between the diction of poetry and that of prose
B) 'neoclassical' in their emphasis on the use of language with a direct emotional appeal for the reader
C) 'Romantic' in their defense of the idea that a special diction for poetry could be stylistically effective
D) 'modern' in their underlying concern for the impact of the literary work on the sensibility of the reader
E) 'neoclassical' in their emphasis on ease of comprehension as a literary virtue

2.Which one of the following statements best summarizes the main point of the passage?
A) Although many of Johnson's critical opinions resemble those of the neoclassical critics, his basic concerns are closer to those of the Romantics.
B) The usual classification of Johnson as a member of the neoclassical school of criticism is based on an inaccurate evaluation of his ideals.
C) The Romantic critics were mistaken in their belief that the critical ideas they formulated represented a departure from those propounded by Johnson.
D) Although many of Johnson's critical opinions resemble those of the Romantic critics, his basic concerns are closer to those of the neoclassical critics.
E) Johnson's literary criticism represents an attempt to unify the best elements of both the neoclassical and the Romantic schools of criticism.

3.The passage implies that the neoclassical critics generally condemned:
A) Shakespeare's use of the 'tragicomic' literary mode
B) the slavish following of the 'three unities' in drama
C) attempts to judge literary merit on the basis of 'correctness'
D) artificiality and abstraction in literary works
E) the use of a special diction in the writing of poetry

4.According to the passage, Johnson's opinion of Addison's Cato was:
A) roundly condemnatory
B) somewhat self-contradictory
C) ultimately negative
D) effusively adulatory
E) uncharacteristically bold

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Thnx & Rgds,
Chandra

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 [#permalink] New post 01 Sep 2004, 10:22
I got DAAC as well. took me about 10 minute to do.
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 [#permalink] New post 01 Sep 2004, 22:28
11 mins. I got DABC.

The passage has too many comma's. The author will get a 0.5 in AWA if he continues to write like this. :lol:
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 [#permalink] New post 01 Sep 2004, 23:39
I would go with DEBC..


I chose E for the second one because we are told that Johson is basically not one of the "Romantics" kind though he shares some ideas.
at the same time he is also not completely of neclassical type as he has some exceptions.
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 [#permalink] New post 10 Sep 2004, 07:57
excuse me for not publishing the answers earlier.

OAs:
D
A
A
C
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 [#permalink] New post 15 Apr 2005, 22:00
this was a real tough one. how people managed to get this right? what is the approach to handle such RCs.? can anyone pls help.
i am so frustrated with RCs.
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 [#permalink] New post 15 Apr 2005, 22:51
I completely agree. I don't understand how anyone can get even a single one correct on a RC like this (atleast I didn't :lol: )

RC Gurus:- Please post the approach to attack this!
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 [#permalink] New post 16 Apr 2005, 05:10
Ok, there is someone on the same sinking boat... :).
Some people say tha RC is something which takes years of pratice to master. if that is the case my GMAT dreams are doomed.
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  [#permalink] 16 Apr 2005, 05:10
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