11. Abrams himself was well aware of this risk. In his 1974 essay ‘A Note on Wittgenstein and Literary Criticism’, he reflects on the use of theory – including his own – in understanding literature. Drawing upon the views of Wittgenstein, Abrams warns us against a bias in our thinking, namely ‘the tendency in describing something, and in setting up norms for dealing with it, to replace the complex facts and their variable circumstances by a simplified and invariable picture or model. The use of such picture or model can be servant of understanding, so long as we remain aware that we are using it and for what purpose; but if its presence and its influence on our thinking are hidden, it readily gets out of hand and becomes, in Wittgenstein’s metaphor, a picture that holds us captive.’ M.H. Abrams, ‘A Note on Wittgenstein and Literary Criticism’, ELH 41 (1974), p. 546. Abrams refers to Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations (1953).