Three general questions concerning literature have been addressed by the writers considered in this thesis: What constitutes a work of literary art? What ought to be valued by Latter-day Saints in a literary work? How should criticism be conducted by Latter-day Saints? To the first question, five basic answers have been proposed: significant form, uplifting thought content clothed in decorative form, typological symbol, ikon (as the word is used by C S lewis in An Experiment in Criticism), and capacity for helping the reader achieve a kind of "negative capability." These definitions also tend to be statements of value, and thus answer the second question, with the proviso that works must ultimately be tested against the theological standard of the gospel of Jesus Christ. As to the third question, virtually all of the writers agree that all critical judgments must be informed and confirmed by the Holy Spirit; otherwise, critical method, like critical value, is closely related to definition of literature.
College and Department
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Douglas, Colin B., "A Survey of Mormon Literary Criticism" (1978). Theses and Dissertations. 4648.
Criticism, Literature, Mormon authors, History, criticism