ISBN-10:
1405169575
ISBN-13:
9781405169578
Pub. Date:
03/01/2011
Publisher:
Wiley
A Future for Criticism / Edition 1

A Future for Criticism / Edition 1

by Catherine Belsey

Hardcover

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781405169578
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 03/01/2011
Series: Wiley-Blackwell Manifestos Series , #44
Pages: 160
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Catherine Belsey is a research professor in English atSwansea University, UK. Her principal publications includeShakespeare in Theory and Practice (2008), WhyShakespeare? (2007), Critical Practice (1980, 2002),Poststructuralism: A Very Short Introduction (2002) andDesire: Love Stories in Western Culture (1994).

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Table of Contents

Preface xi

1 Pleasure: Have we neglected it? 1

Fiction for pleasure 1

The case of tragedy 3

The English curriculum 6

Cries of joy 7

‘Aesthetic’ pleasure 9

The Pleasure of the Text 12

Modernist unpleasure 14

Gaiety 15

2 Piety: Haven’t we overdone it? 18

Criticism on the defensive 18

Classic defences 22

The advent of theory 24

Law 28

The superego 29

Neurosis 30

Complacency 31

Culture and Anarchy 32

Artefacts and pleasure 33

Critical writing 34

3 Biography: Friend or foe? 37

Life and art 37

Biography in theory 39

What the authors say 42

New Historicism 43

Shakespeare’s life 44

Fact or fiction? 46

Shakespeare’s memory 47

Romance 51

The death of the reader 52

4 Realism: Do we overrate it? 54

A disputed value 54

The default genre 55

Imitation 57

Insight 60

Totalization 62

Suspicion 63

Objections 64

The radical view 66

Recuperation 68

A counter-example 70

5 Culture: What do we mean by it? 72

Cultural criticism 72

Twin perils 75

Culture as meanings 76

Meanwhile, in Paris … 80

Anthropology 80

Another culture 83

Perils circumvented 85

Work to do 88

6 History: Do we do it justice? 90

Official usage 90

Cultural difference 91

History and criticism 93

Customary knowledge 94

Dissonance 97

An example 99

The old historicism 101

Criticism as cultural history 103

The uses of criticism 103

Critical skills 105

7 Desire: A force to reckon with 107

Pleasure revisited 107

Orpheus 108

Loss 109

The desire of the protagonist 111

Stand-ins 113

The desire of the reader 114

The desire of the text 116

Substitution 118

Pacification 119

Defiance 120

Breaking the rules 123

And so … 126

Criticism 126

Notes 128

Index 140

What People are Saying About This

"A pleasure to read from start to finish. This book will touch even sedated nerves, and bring energy and cheer to anyone who cares about reading, and about thinking about reading or anything else."
Michael Wood, Princeton University

"This is a hugely appealing book. It is at once glitteringly clear and intellectually adventurous, and the whole thing hums with a sociable impulse of delight."
Steven Connor, Birkbeck College, London

"A terrific book–incisive and challenging, accessible and lucid. It should make a stir."
Coppélia Kahn, Brown University

"Belsey is uniquely qualified both to reexamine the problems confronting a post-humanist cultural criticism and to reformulate the intellectual and political responsibilities they entail. This book does not disappoint expectations. It is a highly readable, utterly compelling polemic, and I cannot recommend it enough."
Matthew Beaumont, University College, London

From the Publisher

"A pleasure to read from start to finish. This book will touch evensedated nerves, and bring energy and cheer to anyone who caresabout reading, and about thinking about reading or anythingelse."
Michael Wood, Princeton University

"This is a hugely appealing book. It is at once glitteringlyclear and intellectually adventurous, and the whole thing hums witha sociable impulse of delight."
Steven Connor, Birkbeck College, London

"A terrific book–incisive and challenging, accessible andlucid. It should make a stir."
Coppélia Kahn, Brown University

"Belsey is uniquely qualified both to reexamine the problemsconfronting a post-humanist cultural criticism and to reformulatethe intellectual and political responsibilities they entail. Thisbook does not disappoint expectations. It is a highly readable,utterly compelling polemic, and I cannot recommend itenough."
Matthew Beaumont, University College, London

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