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literary criticism
Topic Started: Feb 5 2009, 05:15 PM (2,376 Views)
JeffrytheCat
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oneofmurphysbiscuits
Sep 24 2014, 03:45 AM
What about Braudel, i wonder, and Moretti?
He only cites Braudel once in The Way of the World and doesn't even explicitly mention Annales School historiography, but the essays collected in Signs Taken for Wonders — which immediately precedes The Way of the World — turn to Braudel, Jacques Le Goff, and Lucien Febvre, and Moretti makes clear there his investment in Annales School approaches: "All these configurations suggest that the 'theory of temporal spaces' envisaged by Fernand Braudel for economic history may be just as necessary and promising for literary history: we should try to think of literary epoch not only as segments of time, but as figures in space, too. A geography of symbolic forms: isn't that a quite stimulating prospect?"

nnyhav
 
TLS' Ann Jefferson* thinks it should be shrugged off.
Ugh. All this criticism piling up — maybe I will abstain.
Edited by JeffrytheCat, Feb 16 2015, 04:02 PM.
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Heteronym
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Speaking of Moretti, I just had a look at his 5-volume magnum opus on The Novel; holy fuck, each volume is like 80 euros!

Anyway, anyone going to get this?

Quote:
 
Domini frames his argument by beginning with an essay from 2010, “Against the ‘Impossible to Explain,’” that makes a more general case that literary criticism “just hasn’t been doing its job” in grappling with adventurous fiction, either largely ignoring it or repeating the canard that it is too far removed from readers’ common experience. The latter complaint seems especially objectionable to Domini, who uses the bulk of the essay to look at the work of three writers who exemplify his contention that postmodern fiction does have “a relationship to the rough and tumble in which we live,” that it can be “socially relevant.” While The Sea-God’s Herb does not extend this thesis in an explicit, systematic way, the emphasis in most of Domini’s considerations of fiction manifesting “an unconventional approach” (not all of which could be called, strictly speaking, “postmodern”) is on showing that unconventional does not mean detached from social realities. Introducing and maintaining this focus allows Domini to avoid producing a book that would otherwise be, as he puts in his preface, “a mere miscellany.”

Domini organizes the contents chronologically, beginning with a group of reviews dedicated to what could be called the first generation of American postmodernists such as John Barth, Robert Coover, and Thomas Pynchon (“Early Tide”), then proceeding to their immediate successors such as Stephen Dixon and Gilbert Sorrentino (“Second Tide”) and their more recent inheritors of the postmodern spirit (“Fresh Tide,” “Coming Tide”). There is also a section devoted to non-American writers (“Distant Moons”) as well as a handful of essays on other genres and a concluding analysis of Dante’s Divine Comedy, which Domini believes shares with postmodern fiction the motif of “transformation” and from which the book gets its title (the sea-god’s herb being the agent of such transformation). The organization allows the book to be both a form of theme and variation, illustrating the points made in the introductory essay, and a kind of anatomy of innovative fiction as practiced in the last 40 years.

The early postmodernists are probably still the writers most associated with the term “postmodern” and those most notorious for authoring the kind of “experimental” fiction that proved so difficult for convention-centered literary critics and reviewers to assimilate, leading to charges that their work was inaccessible or contrived or even frivolous . .
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nnyhav
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The New Modesty in Literary Criticism, Jeffrey J. Williams on surface reading and such
may be the next new thing but I wouldn't read too much into it
via parisreviewdaily

add: cited therein (I expect Chron to limit access after a bit)
Best & Marcus: Surface Reading: An Introduction
Bruno Latour: Why has Critique Run out of Steam? (Crit Inq, '03)
Edited by nnyhav, Jan 6 2015, 05:28 PM.
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oneofmurphysbiscuits
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JeffrytheCat
Oct 3 2014, 08:05 PM
oneofmurphysbiscuits
Sep 24 2014, 03:45 AM
What about Braudel, i wonder, and Moretti?
He only cites Braudel once in The Way of the World and doesn't even explicitly mention Annales School historiography, but the essays collected in Signs Taken for Wonders — which immediately precedes They Way of the World — turn to Braudel, Jacques Le Goff, and Lucien Febvre, and Moretti makes clear there his investment in Annales School approaches: "All these configurations suggest that the 'theory of temporal spaces' envisaged by Fernand Braudel for economic history may be just as necessary and promising for literary history: we should try to think of literary epoch not only as segments of time, but as figures in space, too. A geography of symbolic forms: isn't that a quite stimulating prospect?"

[but in saying as much Moretti is only diddling around the thematics after all? :) Yes it is an enticing prospect, which is why i'd always advocate reading Le Goff, Bloch, Dubny first. I suppose it's all but inevitable that Moretti arriving after them will seem unremarkable in comparison, but isn't there anyone better than?

"Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.
Edited by oneofmurphysbiscuits, Jan 6 2015, 05:46 PM.
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nnyhav
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Richard Marshall reviews http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/the-age-of-the-crisis-of-man/ :Thought and Fiction In America 1933-1973, by Mark Greif (w/ attn to Pynchon chapter)
cf http://tabletmag.com/jewish-arts-and-culture/books/188120/mark-greif-adam-kirsch

cited by the displaced Leon Wieseltier in http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/18/books/review/among-the-disrupted.html
(and http://epicureandealmaker.blogspot.com/2015/01/passing-fair.html responds)

to be discussed Wednesday w/ A.O.Scott http://therumpus.net/2015/01/notable-nyc-117-123/
and meanwhile, http://www.themillions.com/2015/01/alive-with-disagreement-and-dissent-on-a-o-scott-politics-and-art.html

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Heteronym
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Anyone knows anything about a guy Leslie Fiedler? Barth mentions his name at least once every ten pages of The Friday Book.
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oneofmurphysbiscuits
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Not read but read his name in passing in film theory volumes and in respect of westerns, machismo, constructs of savagery, stuff like that. I see he's also written on bioethics, which could well be all of a piece with said work on westerns, normalities and indigenous cultures. To me it all seems a bit old hat by now, but will ask my friend film prof (who's as far from being stoopid in her chosen medium of communication as i am from being a steeplejack )
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nnyhav
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https://lareviewofbooks.org/no-crisis/
Quote:
 
... we got in touch with a group of eminent critics and writers from a range of institutional settings, working on various topics. Several of them were tenured professors, some were at other places in academic careers, and a few were not academics at all, but each had written pieces that moved and delighted us. We told them that we wanted to introduce readers beyond the academy to some of the best recent criticism. To that end, we asked each of them to choose a critical text from the last 15 years or so, and to write about why it matters. The idea, we said, is not coolly to describe and evaluate, as in a conventional book review; it is to stand with and think with a critic whose writing you value.

http://lareviewofbooks.org/essay/uses-criticism on Felski a bit thicker than "surface reading" upthread

add: strangely not included in the series: http://lareviewofbooks.org/essay/uthor

more: http://lareviewofbooks.org/review/forms-function
Edited by nnyhav, Mar 25 2015, 12:01 AM.
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Heteronym
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oneofmurphysbiscuits
Jan 21 2015, 04:20 PM
Not read but read his name in passing in film theory volumes and in respect of westerns, machismo, constructs of savagery, stuff like that. I see he's also written on bioethics, which could well be all of a piece with said work on westerns, normalities and indigenous cultures. To me it all seems a bit old hat by now, but will ask my friend film prof (who's as far from being stoopid in her chosen medium of communication as i am from being a steeplejack )
I forget to thank you for writing this :) at any event, Barth is so fond of him I just ordered his NO! in Thunder.
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JeffrytheCat
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re. the quantitative methods upthread, I came across a funny scene in Calvino's If on a winter's night a traveler, where a writer encounters a woman who only reads novels if she has a computer handy. Here's a paragraph:
Quote:
 
She explained to me that a suitably programmed computer can read a novel in a few minutes and record the list of all the words contained in the text, in order of frequency. "That way I can have an already completed reading at hand," Lotaria says, "with an incalculable saving of time. What is the reading of a text, in fact, except the recording of certain thematic recurrences, certain insistences of forms and meanings? An electronic reading supplies me with a list of the frequencies, which I have only to glance at to form an idea of the problems the book suggests to my critical study. Naturally, at the highest frequencies the list records countless articles, pronouns, particles, but I don't pay them any attention. I head straight for the words richest in meaning; they can give me a fairly precise notion of the book.
Edited by JeffrytheCat, Feb 16 2015, 05:59 PM.
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nnyhav
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:teach:
Quote:
 
Rapid Reading: This course will increase reading speed a little each day until the end of the term, by which time the student will be required to read The Brothers Karamazov in fifteen minutes. The method is isolating pronouns from one’s field of vision. Soon the pronouns are eliminated. Gradually the student is encouraged to nap. A frog is dissected. Spring comes. People marry and die. Pinkerton does not return.
–Woody Allen, Getting Even
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nnyhav
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Now what? David Winters: Theorizing Theory

cf http://www.zero-books.net/books/infinite-fictions

add:
http://numerocinqmagazine.com/2015/07/11/and-so-ad-infinitum-review-of-david-winters-infinite-fictions-essays-on-literature-and-theory-jeff-bursey/
Edited by nnyhav, Jul 11 2015, 11:19 AM.
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nnyhav
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Be cool or B-School

(NB: "Be groovy or B movie"" remember where that's from? later effort replaced 'or' with 'and' ...)
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nnyhav
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http://chronicle.com/article/When-Critics-Become/235267 -Professors (A.O.Scott, excerpt from Better Living Through Criticism)

add: Sam Sacks thereon: http://www.openlettersmonthly.com/both-sides-now/
Edited by nnyhav, Mar 1 2016, 12:34 AM.
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nnyhav
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Heteronym
Jan 20 2014, 06:15 PM
I think there's a big difference between professional book reviewers and literary critics, even if their purpose and methods intersect on some points. But for me James Woods, when he's reviewing the next recent novel, and chastising it for not being real or truthful enough, is doing very little of what literary critic Mikhail Bakhtin did in The Problems of Dostoevsky's Poetics.
yep and there's more to it than the reviewer-critic divide (the latter not necessarily but often confined to academic which is itself not monolithic) as if these are the only ways of writing about reading and writing

yes there's overlap but there's also a tradition going back prior to any such divide (how far? Samuel Johnson? Addison and Steele?) and perservering through Edmund Wilson to the present, essayed by those who also perpetrate book reviewing (eg Clive James), and intersecting with larger cultural criticism (or public intellectualism, with its own problems) (and not to mention how new art critiques prior art)

the tendency to lump evident in ex-bookslut's rant: http://copper-nickel.org/the-self-hating-book-critic/
via lithub
as with many such, complaints about conceptual failures based upon other conceptual failures (need I elaborate? just frinstance, replication of newspapery functions on the internets ergo defining the whole platform; everything is marketing so marketing is everything; and speaking of careerism, not to mention this as part of her book-tour) which swamp what valid points are to be made, which are promptly derailed by recasting as systemic failures of a there is no alternative world (wilfully ignoring proliferation of small presses and revival of indie bookstores despite lousy economy) (though there's one unchanging aspect, how lucrative writing has always been ...) (reminds me of the atheist despising God for not existing ...)


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Funhouse
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Expert Textpert

James Ley reviews The Limits of Critique by Rita Felski, Better Living Through Criticism: How to Think About Art, Pleasure, Beauty and Truth by A. O. Scott and The Art of Reading by Damon Young at the Sydney Review of Books. I'm currently reading the last of those. Ley is resoundingly unimpressed with it.

Quote:
 
Anyone who has spent some time in a library hanging around in the vicinity of the low 800s will know that, for all their variety and intricacy, methodological arguments about the interpretation of literature invariably organise themselves around a small number of seemingly unavoidable conflicts, which are constantly being reinvented and given different weight by different schools of thought. Critics, observes Felski, are caught between

dichotomies of text versus context, word versus world, internalist versus externalist explanations of works of art. Literary studies seem destined to swing between these two ends of the pendulum, with opposing sides rehashing the same arguments.

This inevitability, I think, explains the odd sense of déjà vu that is generated by many of the ideas and expressed concerns in The Limits of Critique and Better Living Through Criticism. It would also seem to explain the curious intersection of their arguments, even though these two books address completely different audiences and start from more or less antithetical positions.


About The Art of Reading:
Quote:
 
At this point, one is compelled to ask in all seriousness: who is this book for? The imagined audience would seem to be eager yet bizarrely ignorant readers, who are perhaps interested in the ideas of Sartre and Heidegger, yet who somehow might not know about either Moby-Dick or Isaiah Berlin, and who are presumed to be unfamiliar with the purpose of a library.
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kline19
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nnyhav
Apr 5 2016, 12:37 PM
Heteronym
Jan 20 2014, 06:15 PM
I think there's a big difference between professional book reviewers and literary critics, even if their purpose and methods intersect on some points. But for me James Woods, when he's reviewing the next recent novel, and chastising it for not being real or truthful enough, is doing very little of what literary critic Mikhail Bakhtin did in The Problems of Dostoevsky's Poetics.
yep and there's more to it than the reviewer-critic divide (the latter not necessarily but often confined to academic which is itself not monolithic) as if these are the only ways of writing about reading and writing

yes there's overlap but there's also a tradition going back prior to any such divide (how far? Samuel Johnson? Addison and Steele?) and perservering through Edmund Wilson to the present, essayed by those who also perpetrate book reviewing (eg Clive James), and intersecting with larger cultural criticism (or public intellectualism, with its own problems) (and not to mention how new art critiques prior art)

the tendency to lump evident in ex-bookslut's rant: http://copper-nickel.org/the-self-hating-book-critic/
via lithub
as with many such, complaints about conceptual failures based upon other conceptual failures (need I elaborate? just frinstance, replication of newspapery functions on the internets ergo defining the whole platform; everything is marketing so marketing is everything; and speaking of careerism, not to mention this as part of her book-tour) which swamp what valid points are to be made, which are promptly derailed by recasting as systemic failures of a there is no alternative world (wilfully ignoring proliferation of small presses and revival of indie bookstores despite lousy economy) (though there's one unchanging aspect, how lucrative writing has always been ...) (reminds me of the atheist despising God for not existing ...)


great! thanks for pointing out her other article.
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nnyhav
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http://bookcents.blogspot.com/2017/05/hugh-kenner-on-firing-line.html
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nnyhav
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https://nplusonemag.com/issue-29/reviews/tokens-of-ruined-method/ Does literary studies have a future? (it has a past ...)
via aldaily
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