A work of art that contains theories is like an object on which the price tag has been left.- Alexander Pope, born on this date in 1688
And yet Pope himself these days reads very much like a didactic, ideology-driven poet. Another example of unconscious projection onto others what one knows to be true about oneself? Or maybe he aspired to be more than he knew he was. . . .It is a valid point, though, and it describes a lot of what's wrong with poetry (and fiction) nowadays: it's way too theory-driven, a lot of the time. I love the price-tag analogy, though. That's (ahem) priceless!
Pope or Proust? The internet can't decide. It doesn't sound like Pope...
The OED's earliest source for the term "price tag" is from 1880.
Maria Paganini-Ambord quotes this sentence in her Reading Proust: in search of the wolf-fish:http://tinyurl.com/3ol8avlShe cites Remembrance of things past (Moncrieff/Kilmartin translation):http://http://tinyurl.com/3epxgeeHere's the sentence from the Moncrieff translation:"A book in which there are theories is like an article from which the price mark has not been removed."http://tinyurl.com/4yykapp