Doing Things with Texts: Essays in Criticism and Literary Theory

Doing Things with Texts: Essays in Criticism and Literary Theory

by M. H. Abrams
     
 

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“One of the most respected literary scholars alive, . . . Abrams stands for understanding and conciliation, calling for a kind of humanism that can embrace the good in all literary theories.” —Washington Post
This volume brings together for the first time influential essays and reviews by one of our most important literary critics. Spanning three… See more details below

Overview

“One of the most respected literary scholars alive, . . . Abrams stands for understanding and conciliation, calling for a kind of humanism that can embrace the good in all literary theories.” —Washington Post
This volume brings together for the first time influential essays and reviews by one of our most important literary critics. Spanning three decades, the essays concern themselves with the most central development themes in recent criticism, from the New Criticism to the much-debated “Newreading” and “New Historicism.” Two other essays discuss the emergence of the remarkably influential modern view that a work in the fine arts is an autonomous object, and another offers an extraordinary overview of the history of criticism from Plato and Aristotle to Jacques Derrida and Paul de Man.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The author, a literary traditionalist, is under whelmed by fashionable deconstructionists like Jacques Derrida or ``Newreaders'' Harold Bloom and Stanley Fish. By treating works of art as self-sufficient objects, these critics often fail to grasp the meanings that a poem, story or novel generates as a human document, Abrams charges. In a group of essays and reviews geared to the serious student or scholar, the Cornell professor emeritus pulls the rugs out from under his opponents by analyzing ``art-for-the-sake-of-art'' criticism from a sociological standpoint, tracing its roots to 18th-century connoisseurship and the codification wd. ok? (not in web 3 or 9)/I think it should be codification/gs of literature. Throughout, Abrams ( The Mirror and the Lamp ) engages in dialogue with Coleridge, Matthew Arnold, Wordsworth, Aristotle, Wittgenstein and Milton. (Nov.)
Library Journal
Fischer pulls together 17 essays published by Abrams over the last 30 years, including the famous ``Types and Orientations of Critical Theories'' and ``The Deconstructive Angel.'' The essays focus primarily on the history of literary criticism and Abrams's response to different critical theories, especially philosophical analysis, structuralism, and, more recently, deconstruction. While Abrams is often at odds with the theories he discusses, his treatment is always balanced and his exposition clear. The collection is valuable not only for its lucid explanations but as a history of recent debates among critical circles.-- T.L. Cooksey, Armstrong State Coll., Savannah, Ga.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393307474
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
10/01/1997
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
448
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.00(d)

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