Falling into Theory: Conflicting Views on Reading Literature

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Falling into Theory is a brief and inexpensive collection of essays that asks literature students to think about the fundamental questions of literary studies today.

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Overview

Falling into Theory is a brief and inexpensive collection of essays that asks literature students to think about the fundamental questions of literary studies today.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312081225
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/1994
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 297
  • Product dimensions: 5.94 (w) x 9.16 (h) x 0.61 (d)

Meet the Author

DAVID H. RICHTER (Ph.D., University of Chicago) is professor and director of graduate studies in the English Department at Queens College and professor of English at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Richter publishes in the fields of narrative theory and eighteenth-century literature. Recent titles include The Progress of Romance: Literary Historiography and the Gothic Novel (1996), Ideology and Form in Eighteenth-Century Literature (1999), and The Critical Tradition (Bedford/St. Martin's, 1998), and he is currently at work on two criticial books: a cultural history of true crime fiction and an analysis of difficulty in biblical narrative.

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Table of Contents

Foreword v
Preface ix
Introduction: Falling into Theory 1
Part 1 Why We Read: The University, the Humanities, and the Province of Literature 15
What We Have Loved, Others Will Love 31
Disliking Books at an Early Age 41
The Rise of English 49
Introduction to Masks of Conquest 60
The "Banking" Concept of Education 68
Toward a Revolutionary Feminist Pedagogy 79
The New Advocacy and the Old 85
The Function of English at the Present Time 89
Teaching Culture 96
The Demise of Disciplinary Authority 103
A Fortunate Fall? 111
Part 2 What We Read: The Literary Canon and the Curriculum after the Culture Wars 121
Masterpiece Theater: The Politics of Hawthorne's Literary Reputation 137
Contingencies of Value 147
Treason Our Text: Feminist Challenges to the Literary Canon 153
What Is a Minor Literature? 167
Canon-Formation, Literary History, and the Afro-American Tradition: From the Seen to the Told 175
From Epistemology of the Closet 183
The Politics of Knowledge 189
Introduction to A Feeling for Books 199
Telling Our Story about Teaching Literature 211
The Canon as Cultural Capital 218
Elegiac Conclusion 225
Part 3 How We Read: Interpretive Communities and Literary Meaning 235
The Death of the Author 253
Actual Reader and Authorial Reader 258
How to Recognize a Poem When You See One 268
Do We Write the Text We Read? 278
The Female Swerve 290
From Sexual/Textual Politics 295
Dancing through the Minefield: Some Observations on the Theory, Practice, and Politics of a Feminist Literary Criticism 302
Black Matter(s) 310
An Image of Africa 323
The Frontier on Which Heart of Darkness Stands 334
Imperialism and Sexual Difference 340
Who Is Responsible in Ethical Criticism, and for What? 349
The Literary Imagination 356
Wanted Dead or Alive: Browning's Historicism 366
Reclaiming the Aesthetic 378
Aesthetics and the Literal Imagination 391
Appendix 399
Index 405
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