Doing Things with Texts: Essays in Criticism and Literary Theory

Overview

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 developments 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 ...

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Overview

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 developments 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 to Paul de Man.

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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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393027136
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/28/1989
  • Pages: 1
  • Product dimensions: 6.05 (w) x 9.55 (h) x 1.35 (d)

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