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In History, Literature, Critical Theory, Dominick LaCapra continues his exploration of the complex relations between history and literature, here considering history as both process and representation. A trio of chapters at the center of the volume concern the ways in which history and literature (particularly the novel) impact and question each other. In one of the chapters LaCapra revisits Gustave Flaubert, pairing him with Joseph Conrad. Other chapters pair J. M. Coetzee and W. G. Sebald, Jonathan Littell’s novel The Kindly Ones and Saul Friedländer’s two-volume, prizewinning history Nazi Germany and the Jews. A recurrent motif of the book is the role of the sacred, its problematic status in sacrifice, its virulent manifestation in social and political violence (notably the Nazi genocide), its role or transformations in literature and art, and its multivalent expressions in "postsecular" hopes, anxieties, and quests. LaCapra concludes the volume with an essay on the place of violence in the thought of Slavoj Žižek. In LaCapra’s view Žižek’s provocative thought "at times has uncanny echoes of earlier reflections on, or apologies for, political and seemingly regenerative, even sacralized violence."
"LaCapra offers an intriguing collection of essays to support both his enthusiasm for intellectual history... and his concern about the 'excesses' he finds in techniques and practices of the new social history. Admitting that the essays are...
Analyzes novels by Stendhal, Dostoevsky, Eliot, Flaubert, Mann, Woolf, and Gadolis in terms of their historical context
Highly informative essays on developments in literary criticism and theory during the twentieth century.
This volume assembles the work of leading international scholars in a comprehensive history of Russian literary theory and criticism from 1917 to the post-Soviet age. By examining the dynamics of literary criticism and theory in three arenas—political, intellectual, and institutional—the authors capture the progression and structure of Russian literary criticism and its changing function and discourse. For the first time anywhere, this collection analyzes all of the important theorists and major critical movements during a tumultuous ideological period in Russian history, including developments in émigré literary theory and criticism. Winner of the 2012 Efim Etkind Prize for the best book on Russian culture, awarded by the European University at St. Petersburg, Russia.
This 1999 volume is the standard work of reference on early modern literary criticism in Europe.
This comprehensive 1997 account of eighteenth-century literary criticism is now available in paperback.
Discusses the problems of text and context in studying the philosophical writings of Wittgenstein, Ricoeur, Sartre, Jameson, Marx, and Bakhtin
In Soundings in Critical Theory, Dominick LaCapra continues his attempt to fashion a historiography that is at once critical and self-critical—a project he initiated in Rethinking Intellectual History: Texts, Contexts, Language (1983); and History and Criticism (1985), both available from Cornell University Press. This new collection of essays offers a provocative assessment of the nature of historical understanding and the role of critical theory in historical understanding; of the practice of historical writing as a dialogic exchange both with the past and among professional historians and critics; and of the problem of how to read texts and documents in relation to processes of contextual understanding. A central concern of the volume is the interaction between Marxism, psychoanalysis, and postmodernism, and all of the essays demonstrate the complex ways in which this trio of critical theories continues to affect how historians frame their task. LaCapra first provides a general appraisal of the problems and possibilities of criticism as a genre that questions its own limits, and examines the roles of Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Jean-François Lyotard, and Mikhail Bakhtin in the development of contemporary criticism. Subsequent chapters address such issues as the implications of psychoanalysis for the writing of history, the debate between Robert Darnton and Roger Chartier concerning the status of the symbolic dimension in history, and the problem of how best to read and make use of Marx's work. LaCapra concludes by exploring the larger project of forging viable links between history and critical theory and by evaluating the contributions of deconstruction and the new historicism to this project. Contemporary cultural and intellectual historians, literary theorists and critics, philosophers, and social scientists will welcome this book.
The history of British political thought has been one of the most fertile fields of Anglo-American historical writing in the last half-century. David Armitage brings together an interdisciplinary and international team of authors to consider the impact of this scholarship on the study of early modern British history, English literature, and political theory. Leading historians survey the impact of the history of political thought on the 'new' histories of Britain and Ireland; eminent literary scholars offer novel critical methods attentive to literary form, genre, and language; and distinguished political theorists treat the relationship of history and theory in studies of rights and privacy. The outstanding examples of critical practice collected here will encourage the emergence of fresh research on the historical, critical, and theoretical study of the English-speaking world in the period around 1500–1800. This volume celebrates the contribution of the Folger Institute to British studies over many years.
In The Ethics of Theory, Robert Doran offers the first broad assessment of the ethical challenges of Critical Theory across the humanities and social sciences, calling into question the sharp dichotomy typically drawn between the theoretical and the ethical, the analytical and the prescriptive. In a series of discrete but interrelated interventions, Doran exposes the ethical underpinnings of theoretical discourses that are often perceived as either oblivious to or highly skeptical of any attempt to define ethics or politics. Doran thus discusses a variety of themes related to the problematic status of ethics or the ethico-political in Theory: the persistence of existentialist ethics in structuralist, poststructuralist, and postcolonial writing; the ethical imperative of the return of the subject (self-creation versus social conformism); the intimate relation between the ethico-political and the aesthetic (including the role of literary history in Erich Auerbach and Edward Said); the political implications of a "philosophy of the present†? for Continental thought (including Heidegger's Nazism); the ethical dimension of the debate between history and theory (including Hayden White's idea of the "practical past†? and the question of Holocaust representation); the "ethical turn†? in Foucault, Derrida, and Rorty; the post-1987 "political turn†? in literary and cultural studies (especially as influenced by Said). Drawing from a broad range of Continental philosophers and cultural theorists, including many texts that have only recently become available, Doran charts a new path that recognizes the often complex motivations that underlie the critical impulse, motivations that are not always apparent or avowed.
In recent decades the study of literature in Europe and the Americas has been profoundly influenced by modern critical theory in its various forms, whether Structuralism or Deconstructionism, Hermeneutics, Reader-Response Theory or Rezeptionsasthetik, Semiotics or Narratology, Marxist, feminist, neo-historical, psychoanalytical or other perspectives. Whilst the value and validity of such approaches to literature is still a matter of some dispute, not least among classical scholars, they have had a substantial impact on the study both of classical literatures and of the mentalite of Greece and Rome. In an attempt to clarify issues in the debate, the eleven contributors to this volume were asked to produce a representative collection of essays to illustrate the applicability of some of the new approaches to Greek and Latin authors or literary forms and problems. The scope of the volume was deliberately limited to literary investigation, broadly construed, of Greek and Roman authors. Broader areas of the history and culture of the ancient world impinge in the essays, but are not their central focus. The volume also contains a separate bibliography, offering for the first time a complete bibliography of classical studies which incorporate modern critical theory.
This is an up-to-date introduction to critical theory. It guides the reader through the terminology, gives a selection of the key passages to read, and helps to engage the theory and apply it in practice.
The successful opening volume of The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism is now available for the first time in paperback.
This comprehensive guide to literary theory and criticism includes 39 specially commissioned chapters by an international team of academics. It includes key philosophical and aesthetic origins of literary theory, the foundational movements and thinkers in the first half of the 20th century and more.
The first thorough study to consider the history of the criticism of "Negro-African" literature in French, exploring the complex relationship between how literatures are named and how they are evaluated.
Literary history, the dominant form of literary scholarship throughout the nineteenth century, is currently recapturing the imaginations of a new generation of scholars eager to focus on the context of literature after a half-century or more of "close" readings of isolated texts. This book represents current thinking on some of the theoretical issues and dilemmas in the conception and writing of literary history, expressed by a group of scholars from North America, Europe, and Australia. They consider afresh a broad range of topics: the role of literary history in "new" societies, the problem of finding a starting point for literary history, the problem of literary classification, problems of ideology, of institutional mediation, periodization, and the attack on literary history.
Have you heard the terms structuralism and deconstruction and postmodernism but aren’t really sure what they mean? Have you taken a whole course on literary criticism but are still feeling lost? Here’s the book you need to sort it all out—and enjoy doing so! In Literary Theory For Beginners, Mary Klages takes you into her classroom, cuts through the jargon, and explains the ABCs (and the DEFs as well) in terms you can get your head around. Her breadth of knowledge, her unique skills as a teacher, and the delightful illustrations of Frank Reynoso help us understand why literature matters, how it affects us, and how it reflects history, culture, and diversity. Here are ways of thinking about literature—not just reading it—methods of study and frameworks of interpretation from classical humanism all the way up to psychoanalysis, gender and queer theory, race, postcolonialism, and, yes, postmodernism With wit and wisdom, Klages takes on the two most frequently asked questions about literature and makes it all fun: What does the work MEAN? (What is the deeper, hidden, or symbolic meaning? Did the author intend all these meanings? Are any and all meanings present in the text? Are all meanings equally valid?) What does the work DO? (Why is literature important? What effect does it have on the reader? How can literature be a force for social change?) So sit back, relax, and take it all in!
Exploring the works of a diverse group of 20th century writers including D.H. Lawrence, H.L. Mencken, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Jacques Derrida, this book provides an accessible scholarly introduction to modern literary theory and criticism, placing various modes of criticism in their historical and intellectual contexts.
This Book Examines And Evaluates The Critical Position Of R.S. Crane, The Leader Of The Chicago School Of Formalistic Criticism. Crane And His Colleagues In The University Of Chicago Set A New Trend In Literary Criticism In The Very Heyday Of The New Criticism. His Theory Of Criticism, Popularly Known As Critical Pluralism, Is An Answer To The Inevitable Limitations Of Monistic Criticism Including The New Criticism. Crane Shows Us The Way Toward A Multiple Response To A Literary Text, And Thereby Points Out The Significance Or Utility Of The Diverse Critical Theories. In The Field Of Practical Criticism Also Crane Has Left A Genuine Mark By Emphasizing The Need Of A Formal-Structural Approach To The Literary Texts. The Book Will Be Of Immense Help To The Scholars And Literary Critics.

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