Fish's book is quite convincing and insanely logical. It _convinces_ anyone who agrees with it.
Incidentally, the major Romantics were probably far more knowledgeable in classics, political history, epistemology, Italian literature than either Arnold or Eliot. The latter two are sadly lacking in data.
From: T. S. Eliot Discussion forum. [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Ken Armstrong
Sent: Monday, December 22, 2014 4:16 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Eliot's Note on Rymer and cogency (?)
On 12/22/2014 2:38 PM, Carrol Cox wrote:
> "Cogency" is Eliot's word; I spke of "refutation" and/or "confirmation." The history of criticism hardly reveals a single (non-trivial) proposition that others equally "cogent" have not disagreed with. In other words, "cogency" is NOT, in literary criticism, the equivalent of "confirmation." Eliot's Introduction to The Sacred Wood is cogent enough -- but it is unconvincing and probably few literary scholars today would agree with it.
You can understand, then, why early in his career Eliot despaired of literary critics (not quite the same thing as scholars) and at one point suggested that only creative artists should be critics. "Cogent"
by the way means "convincing" and "logical." The fact that literary criticism can be conceived as a rambling mess of illogical and unconvincing opposing opinions doesn't make Eliot's intro to the Sacred Wood similarly illogical or unconvincing; it depends in part on whose ears the argument falls. But cogency, I think, is a little more substantive, and a little more rare, than you give it credit for. If I were a literary critic, I wouldn't want to leave home without it.