Literature in Walter Pater's architectural analogy

Název: Literature in Walter Pater's architectural analogy
Autor: Budziak, Anna
Zdrojový dokument: Brno studies in English. 2013, roč. 39, č. 1, s. [183]-198
  • ISSN
    0524-6881 (print)
    1805-0867 (online)
Type: Článek
Licence: Neurčená licence

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In his great essay "Style," Walter Pater proposes principles for writing good literature, to indicate, eventually, how "good" differs from "great." Interpreting "Style" in a broad context of Pater's other writings, this paper explores his imagery of the physicality of language, linguistic "archeology," writing as architecture and as music. It argues that, in his later years, Pater uses the architectural, rather than musical, analogy when speaking about the function of literature. By likening literature to architecture, Pater presents his ideals of frugality in rhetoric and usefulness of literature, the latter constituting a feature of "great" works. While examining the aesthetic and ethical implications of Pater's literature-architecture parallel, this paper seeks to demonstrate that Pater is pragmatic in his emphasis on the functionality of literature. It shows that Pater, though recognized as the mentor to decadent aesthetes, actually promotes art "for humanity" rather than only art "for art's sake."