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Catherine Belsey's A Future for Criticism PDF

By Catherine Belsey

ISBN-10: 1405169567

ISBN-13: 9781405169561

A destiny for Criticism considers why fiction provides lots excitement, and the forget of this factor in contemporary criticism. 

  • Offers a short, energetic, and obtainable account of a brand new path for severe perform, from one in all Britain's so much trendy literary theorists and critics
  • Proposes a brand new direction for destiny feedback, extra open to reflecting at the pleasures of fiction
  • Written in a transparent, jargon-free kind, and illustrated all through with quite a few examples

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Example text

It was no accident that F. R. Leavis appeared soon after this, a product of Cambridge as well as its scourge. The new discipline deflected attention from its guilty secret by solemn moralizing or by forms of historicism that were equally heavily ideologically inflected. So pervasive was the ‘civilizing’ mission of criticism at this time that we currently ascribe the expansion of English across the educational curriculum to the desire for a compliant populace. One ostensible project of the teaching agenda was to persuade students to ‘enjoy’ Shakespeare, Milton, and Wordsworth, but in practice this stern imperative was supported by morality, not pleasure.

Criticism on the defensive One major obstacle to the critical analysis of pleasure is piety, the conviction that criticism is, or ought to be, virtuous. The origins and guarantees of this ought are not always obvious: God? Nature? Reason? Law? Law, supremely, as its own origin and guarantee. At an academic conference on the humanities in general, held in 2009, I was surprised to find myself reluctant to attend the sessions on literature. This was, after all, my own discipline: I should be interested in its latest discoveries; at the very least, surely, it deserved my support.

17 Neither position, each in its own way equally moralistic, does justice to the altogether less comfortable practice of deconstruction. But which of them is worse? On the one hand, Derrida is reluctant, he admits, to give ammunition to ‘the officials of anti-deconstruction’ by conceding its irresponsibility. indd 31 11/26/2010 7:06:32 AM Piety Deconstruction cannot expect to begin from the assumption that the best names for seriousness are ethics, morality, responsibility, politics, or agency.

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A Future for Criticism by Catherine Belsey

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