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Assigned: William Hazlitt. "On Gusto" (Norton Vol. D, 538-41).


1. How does Hazlitt initially define "gusto in art"? How does he further refine his definition as the essay moves along?

2. What does Hazlitt's essay suggest about the relationship between art and criticism, and about their relative value? Does his treatment of gusto challenge the supremacy of art in relation to critical understanding of it? If so, to what extent?

3. What key examples does Hazlitt offer of the way in which various artists do or don't exhibit "gusto" in their work? Does the lack of gusto necessarily make a poet or artist uninteresting? How does Hazlitt deal with those who, according to him, don't exhibit gusto in their art?

Edition: Greenblatt, Stephen et al, eds. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. 8th ed. Vol. E. New York: Norton, 2006. ISBN Package 2 (Vols. DEF) 0-393-92834-9.