Between Positivism and T.S. Eliot: Imagism and T.E. Hulme by Flemming Olsen

By Flemming Olsen

A number of critics were intrigued by means of the space among overdue Victorian poetry and the extra 'modern' poetry of the Twenties. This booklet makes an attempt to become familiar with the watershed by means of analysing one tuition of poetry and feedback written within the first decade of the twentieth century till the tip of the 1st global conflict. To many readers and critics, T.E. Hulme and the Imagists signify little greater than a footnote. yet they're greater than mere stepping-stones within the transition. in addition to being experimenting poets, so much of them are acute critics of paintings and literature, and so they made the poetic photograph the point of interest in their cognizance. they're hostile not just to the monopoly of technological know-how, which claimed with the intention to make a decision what fact and truth 'really' are, but additionally to the predictability and insipidity of a lot of the poetry of the overdue Tennyson and his successors. in the back of the discussions and experiments lay the good query what's truth? What are its features? How will we describe it? do we ever get to an knowing of it? Hulme and the Imagists need to be taken heavily due to their untiring efforts, and since they contributed to bringing concerning the reorientation that came about in the poetical and important traditions.

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Thus, no sources are given, and we are not informed about the years of the different quotations. Deherne has arranged them in categories (politics, morals, religion, philosophy), but whether that categorization is Deherne’s invention or made by Comte himself remains obscure. The collection lives up to its title: it is emphatically a list of maxims, presented axiomatically and without any exemplification. Comte regards all facts and events as parts of a constant set of relations, “each one being the invariable consequent of some antecedent condition or combination of conditions”32.

Hulme Comte says that the ordinary citizen need not go into abstruse detail: he should only study the planets that are visible to the naked eye, and “the motions and mutual actions of sun, earth and moon are sufficient”55. As Mill puts it: “He would pare down the dimensions of all the sciences as narrowly as possible”56, and he is worried “lest people should reason, and seek to know, more than enough”57. Comte’s attitude was not that of a fanatic with a one-track mind who looked down on ordinary people.

However, it was not only that their attempts to render things intelligible landed scientists in pedantry and talk, it was also that many of their efforts were exaggerated or yielded insufficient results. Like metaphysics and religion, science has des inconvénients as well as des avantages, and, if pursued to unnecessary lengths, results tend to become harmful38. If science is raised to the level of being a goal instead of being a tool, it becomes morally dangerous39. Spencer sings the same song: “Knowledge of the lowest kind is un-unified knowledge.

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