After the New Criticism

After the New Criticism

by Frank Lentricchia

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After the New Criticism by Frank Lentricchia

This work is the first history and evaluation of contemporary American critical theory within its European philosophical contexts. In the first part, Frank Lentricchia analyzes the impact on our critical thought of Frye, Stevens, Kermode, Sartre, Poulet, Heidegger, Sussure, Barthes, Lévi-Strauss, Derrida, and Foucault, among other, less central figures. In a second part, Lentricchia turns to four exemplary theorists on the American scene—Murray Krieger, E. D. Hirsch, Jr., Paul de Man, and Harold Bloom—and an analysis of their careers within the lineage established in part one.

Lentricchia's critical intention is in evidence in his sustained attack on the more or less hidden formalist premises inherited from the New Critical fathers. Even in the name of historical consciousness, he contends, contemporary theorists have often cut literature off from social and temporal processes. By so doing he believes that they have deprived literature of its relevant values and turned the teaching of both literature and theory into a rarefied activity. All along the way, with the help of such diverse thinkers as Saussure, Barthes, Foucault, Derrida, and Bloom, Lentricchia indicates a strategy by which future critical theorists may resist the mandarin attitudes of their fathers.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780226471983
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 07/28/1981
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 398
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Frank Lentricchia is professor of English at the University of California, Irvine.

Table of Contents

I. A Critical Thematics - 1957-77
1. The Place of Northrop Frye's Anatomy of Criticism
2. Versions of Existentialism
3. Versions of Phenomenology
4. Uncovering History and the Reader: Structuralism
5. History or the Abyss: Poststructuralism
II. The American Scene - Four Exemplary Careers
6. Murray Krieger's Last Romanticism
7. E. D. Hirsch: The Hermeneutics of Innocence
8. Paul de Man: The Rhetoric of Authority
9. Harold Bloom: The Spirit of Revenge

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