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A History of Literary Criticism in the Renaissance
With special reference to the influence of Italy in the
formation and development of modern classicism

written by "Spingarn, Joel Elias, 1875-1939"
... purpose of this academy was to encourage and establish the metrical and musical innovations advocated by Baf and his friends. On the death of Charles IX. the society's existence was menaced; but it was restored, with a -225-broader purpose and function, as the Acadmie du Palais, by Guy du Faur de Pibrac in 1576, under the protection of Henry III., and it continued to nourish until dispersed by the turmoils of the League about 1585. But Baf's innovations were not entirely without fruit. A similar movement, and a not dissimilar society, will be found somewhat later in Elizabethan England. II. Romantic Elements Some of the romantic elements in the critical theory of the Pliade have already been indicated. The new movement started, in Du Bellay's Dfense, with a high conception of the poet's office. It emphasized the necessity, on the part of the poet, of profound and solitary study, of a refined and ascetic life, and of entire separation from vulgar people and pleasures. Du Bellay himself is romantic in that he decides against the traditions de rgles,[405] deeming the good judgment of the poet sufficient in matters of taste; but the reason of this was that there were no rules which he would have been willing to accept. It took more than a century for the French mind to arrive at the conclusion that reason and rules, in matters of art, proceed from one and the same cause. The feeling for nature and for natural beauty is very marked in all the members of the Pliade. Pelletier speaks of war, love, agriculture, and pastoral life as the chief themes of poetry.[406] He warns -226-the poet to observe nature and life itself, and not depend on books alone; and he dwells on the value of descriptions of landscapes, tempests, and sunrises, and similar natural scenes.[407] The feeling for nature is even more intense in Ronsard; and like Pelletier, he urges the poet to describe in verse the rivers, forests, mountains, winds, the s...

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