Death of the Critic

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Overview

The critic has long been a reviled figure, at best the mere handmaiden of the "creative" arts, at worst a parasite upon them. For Brendan Behan, critics are like eunuchs in a harem. They know how it is done. They have seen it done every day.

But they are unable to do it themselves. In an age of book clubs, celebrity endorsements and bloggers, what role is there now for the professional critic as an arbiter of artistic value? Are literature and the arts merely a question of personal taste? Is one opinion "as good as another"? Rónán McDonald's The Death of the Critic seeks to defend the role of the public critic. He argues against recent claims that all artistic value is simply relative and subjective. This forceful, accessible and eloquent book considers why high profile, public critics such as William E mpson, F.R. Leavis or Lionel Trilling, become much rarer in the later twentieth century. Alert to the cultural and academic climate of both the UK and the USA, this controversial and timely intervention will engage scholars, students, critics and anyone concerned with the role of literary and artistic culture in the public sphere.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826492807
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Publication date: 5/19/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Ronan McDonald is Senior Lecturerat the University of Reading, UK. His interests include the history of twentieth-century literary criticism, especially its intersections with ideas of 'value'. His recent publications include Tragedy and Irish Literature: Synge, O'Casey, Beckett (2002),The Cambridge Introduction to Samuel Beckett (2006), and aspecial issue of the Yearbook of English Studies (2005) on 'Irish Writing since 1950'.

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Table of Contents

Preface

1. The Value of Criticism

2. The Foundations of Critical Value

3. Science and Sensibility

4. Cultural Studies: The Rise of the Machines

Works Cited and Further Reading

Index

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