The Humanistic Heritage: Critical Theories of the English Novel From James To Hillis Miller

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Daniel R. Schwarz defines the theory and method of Anglo-American novel criticism in terms of principles he calls humanistic formalism. Because Anglo-American criticism has tended to sacrifice theory for method and philosophic inquiry for close analyses of the text, the theoretical assumptions o fits novel criticism have been neglected. Yet, based on a coherent but heterogeneous aesthetic, it has produced a body of impressive analyses of the English novel. The author shows that, beginning with James and Lubbock, ...

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More About This Book

Overview

Daniel R. Schwarz defines the theory and method of Anglo-American novel criticism in terms of principles he calls humanistic formalism. Because Anglo-American criticism has tended to sacrifice theory for method and philosophic inquiry for close analyses of the text, the theoretical assumptions o fits novel criticism have been neglected. Yet, based on a coherent but heterogeneous aesthetic, it has produced a body of impressive analyses of the English novel. The author shows that, beginning with James and Lubbock, critics as diverse as Forster, Leavis, Watt, Van Ghent, Kettle, and Kermode share common assumptions.

Schwarz defines the common humanistic assumption of this criticism, and one might define his perspective as that of a progressive traditionalist. While the book is a spirited defense of Anglo-American criticism, Schwarz seeks to contribute to a dialogue between Anglo-American humanistic criticism and the ideas proposed by structuralism, Marxism, and deconstruction.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780812212181
  • Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/1986
  • Pages: 296

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