Read e-book online A Future for Criticism PDF

By Catherine Belsey

ISBN-10: 1405169567

ISBN-13: 9781405169561

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

  • Offers a quick, vigorous, and obtainable account of a brand new path for serious perform, from one in every of Britain's so much well known literary theorists and critics
  • Proposes a brand new course for destiny feedback, extra open to reflecting at the pleasures of fiction
  • Written in a transparent, jargon-free kind, and illustrated all through with a variety of examples

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2 No harm in offering people what they want, of course, as long as it doesn’t pretend to be something different. indd 38 11/26/2010 7:07:59 AM Biography difficult task of textual, historical, and linguistic interpretation. Narrative stands in for analysis; following the story of a life takes the place of reading the work. Biography has a peculiar standing in contemporary Western societies. Its status as ‘truth’ gives life writing an authority not ascribed to mere fiction. While novels and plays are still popularly regarded as frivolous, escapist, and altogether too enjoyable, unless they have the additional merit of being impenetrable or archaic, biography is widely regarded in mainstream culture as serious, informative, and instructive.

1 Middle English was by no means difficult enough to offset the recreational character of a curriculum that was sure to attract contempt for English as a soft option. Ethics, then, would come to the rescue. 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.

Civilization, he perceived, was a place of discontents. Why was this? Was it because society required human beings to control their sexual drive in order to live in harmony together, so that the advantages of social life could be secured only by sacrificing a degree of pleasure? Not entirely, he concluded: the repression of sexual pleasure was only part of the story. Instead, the most serious threat to social life was aggressivity, and it followed that this was the imperative that most needed restraint.

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A Future for Criticism by Catherine Belsey

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