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An Experiment in Criticism
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An Experiment in Criticism

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  1,471 Ratings  ·  208 Reviews
C.S. Lewis's classic 'Experiment in Criticism' springs from the conviction that literature exists for the joy of the reader and that books should be judged by the kind of reading they invite. He argues that 'good reading', like moral action or religious experience, involves surrender to the work in hand and a process of entering fully into the opinions of others.
Paperback, 143 pages
Published January 1st 1961 by Cambridge University Press
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Naísia Quoting a review by user Readandpoder:

"Lewis's proposal is that we judge books by the way people read them. Focus on what constitutes good reading,…more
Quoting a review by user Readandpoder:

"Lewis's proposal is that we judge books by the way people read them. Focus on what constitutes good reading, rather than the elements of a good book". (less)
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Teresa Proença
"Um verdadeiro amante da literatura devia ser de certo modo como um examinador honesto, preparado para dar a nota mais alta a uma exposição completa, apropriada e bem documentada de ideias das quais não compartilha ou que inclusive abomina."

Senhor Lewis, não lhe dou a nota mais alta porque, ou não sou uma verdadeira amante da literatura, ou não sou uma examinadora honesta. No entanto, foi um grande prazer conhecê-lo.
Gosto muito da sua conclusão sobre os anseios do ser humano em ir além de si pr
Samir Rawas Sarayji
This is partially a review and partially a reflection. I expect on my second reading to expand on the review part of it, but for now, it has inspired me to put some personal thoughts together regarding how I read.

In C.S. Lewis’ book An Experiment in Criticism, I found a thread of thought that was both engaging and insightful where he proposed a thought experiment involving literary criticism.

Lewis suggests that books should be judged by how they are read rather than how they are written, and tha
Apr 21, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another good example as to why it's a shame C.S. Lewis has been largely abandoned to the realm of religious studies--I can't imagine many non-religious literary critics would bother touching this now. In a lot of ways this is a proto-text for Reader Response theory, with Lewis exploring why making a distinction between what is "good" literature and what is "bad" literature is less important than analyzing the person reading it (which he breaks into the "literary" and "unliterary"). Of course the ...more
Brenden Link
Jan 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Donna Link
Recommended to Brenden by: T. David Gordon
If you haven't read anything on literary criticism, this little book by C.S. Lewis will open your mind to a whole new world -- the world of the text, and it well-read.

Lewis suggests that rather than judging the quality of books by their mere nature and/or content, one should judge them by the nature in which they are read. For example, some people read books only once to gratify some curiosity or lust, only to abandon the books forever afterwards. Contrarily, those who truly love their books wi
"But in reading great literature I become a thousand men and yet remain myself"
C.S. Lewis, 'An Experiment in Criticism', (p.141)

"Those of us who have been true readers all our life seldom fully realise the enormous extension of our being which we owe to authors. We realise it best when we talk with an unliterary friend. He may be full of goodness and good sense but he inhabits a tiny world. In it, we should be suffocated. The man who is contented to be only himself, and therefore less a self, i
Oct 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yup. I liked it. Like most of Lewis' books, he says more in 140 pages than most do in 300. But I suppose he also looks deeply into little to produce much. When most are raking leaves and combing grass, Lewis is 20 feet deep and analyzing roots.
Douglas Wilson
Mar 08, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literary-study
Great. And finished yet another time in November of 2017.
Susan Budd
Sep 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I could listen to Professor Lewis talk about books for hours.
Aug 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
There are elements of this book that I really enjoyed, but there were also a great many parts in which I felt like a freshman in a doctoral level class.

I can't say that I fully grasp all aspects of his argument. The parts that I did understand, however, where interesting. I definitely need to revisit this.
May 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How do you, or should you, read a book? Often we criticize books by saying some are good and some are bad. So if you are someone who likes a "bad" book, the rest of us can condescendingly look down on you (such as those of you who like Twilight). Lewis argues that this is wrong, that we should think more about how one reads. His criticisms often hit close to home. He argues that many read when they are bored or just to pass the time. Such persons read to get to the event, to get the gist of the ...more
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

CLIVE STAPLES LEWIS (1898–1963) was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably one of the most influential writers of his day. He was a Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at Oxford University until 1954. He was unanimously elected to the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature
More about C.S. Lewis...
“In great literature, I become a thousand different men but still remain myself.” 154 likes
“The man who is contented to be only himself, and therefore less a self, is in prison. My own eyes are not enough for me, I will see through those of others. Reality, even seen through the eyes of many, is not enough. I will see what others have invented. Even the eyes of all humanity are not enough. I regret that the brutes connot write books. Very gladly would I learn what face things present to a mouse or a bee; more gladly still would I perceive the olfactory world charged with all the information and emotion it carries for a dog. Literary experience heals the wound, without undermining the privilege, of individuality... in reading great literature I become a thousand men and yet remain myself. Like the night sky in the Greek poem, I see with a myriad of eyes, but it is still I who see. Here, as in worship, in love, in moral action, and in knowing, I transcend myself; and am never more myself than when I do.” 55 likes
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