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Devotions to the Text

Overview

In an era when many scholars and critics can't seem to see the forest of literature for the trees of theory, objective readings of texts are few and far between. In Devotions to the Text, Steven Carter seeks to counter this trend by demonstrating that Samuel Johnson's admonition to "empty your mind of cant" is still sage advice for today's readers, both private and professional. Devotions to the Text constitutes a bold act of rebellion against those who would transform texts into mirrors that reflect only their ...

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Overview

In an era when many scholars and critics can't seem to see the forest of literature for the trees of theory, objective readings of texts are few and far between. In Devotions to the Text, Steven Carter seeks to counter this trend by demonstrating that Samuel Johnson's admonition to "empty your mind of cant" is still sage advice for today's readers, both private and professional. Devotions to the Text constitutes a bold act of rebellion against those who would transform texts into mirrors that reflect only their own ideas and/or ideologies.

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Editorial Reviews

Bridges
In his many years in the classroom and as one of our most astute literary scholars and cultural critics, Carter has been witness to the shifts in the field of literary studies, yet has remained unwavering in his commitment to close, textual readings and careful analysis. With this book, he hopes that students and scholars will once again recognize the importance of devotion to the text…[and he] clearly demonstrates why formalism remains a relevant and necessary component of critical literary study.
— Therese A. Paetschow, California State University
Bridges - Therese A. Paetschow
In his many years in the classroom and as one of our most astute literary scholars and cultural critics, Carter has been witness to the shifts in the field of literary studies, yet has remained unwavering in his commitment to close, textual readings and careful analysis. With this book, he hopes that students and scholars will once again recognize the importance of devotion to the text…[and he] clearly demonstrates why formalism remains a relevant and necessary component of critical literary study.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761827573
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group Inc
  • Publication date: 2/15/2004
  • Pages: 172
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Steven Carter is the author of five books of literary and cultural criticism, including Bearing Across: Studies in Literature and Science (University Press of America, 2002). In 1989 he was awarded the Schachterle Prize by the National Society for Literature and Science. In 2001 he became the only two-time winner of Italy's coveted Nuove Lettere International Poetry and Literature Prize. A former Senior Fulbright Fellow at two Polish universities, Professor Carter teaches at California State University, Bakersfield.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Foreword by Edwin J. Barton Chapter 2 Acknowledgments Chapter 3 Introduction Chapter 4 From Room to Room: Edgar Allan Poe's "The Pit and the Pendulum" Chapter 5 The Two Tarns: Poe's "The Fall of the House of Usher" and Chapter II of Henry David Thoreau's Walden Chapter 6 The Reader Erect: Poe's "The Premature Burial" Chapter 7 The First Hero of Relativism: Harold Frederic's The Damnation of Theron Ware Chapter 8 "Can't You See One Pace Before You?:" Franz Kafka's The Trial and Charles Baudelaire's Paris Spleen Chapter 9 "You Better Have another Piece:" Ernest Hemingway's "Ten Indians" and William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury Chapter 10 Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Alive: Hemingway's "The Killers" Chapter 11 Interlude: ABC of Thinking Chapter 12 Estragon's Ancient Wound: Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot Chapter 13 "George and Martha: Sad, Sad, Sad:" Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Chapter 14 "Plants Were Like People:" Jerzy Kosinski's Being There Chapter 15 Twice Upon a Mattress: Thomas Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49 Chapter 16 Jack Gladney's Smoking Gun: Don DeLillo's White Noise Chapter 17 Flare to White: Joel and Ethan Coen's Fargo and the Postmodern Turn

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