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Taylor & Francis
American Literary Criticism since the 1930s / Edition 2

American Literary Criticism since the 1930s / Edition 2

by Vincent B. Leitch


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American Literary Criticism since the 1930s / Edition 2

American Literary Criticism since The 1930s fully updates Vincent B. Leitch's classic book, American literary Criticism from the 30s to the 80s, following the development of the American academy right up to the present day.

Updated throughout and with a brand new chapter, this second edition:

Provides a critical history of American Literary Theory and Practice, discussing the impact of major schools and movements

Examines the social and cultural background to literary research, theories and practices.

Provides profiles of major figures and influential texts, outlining the connections among theorists

Presents a new chapters on developments since the 1980s, including discussions of feminist, queer, postcolonial and ethnic criticism.

Comprehensive and engaging, this book offers a crucial overview of the development of literary studies in American Universities, and a springboard to further research for all those interested in the development and study of Literature.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780415778183
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 09/24/2009
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 432
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

Preface VIII

1 Marxist criticism in the 1930s 1

The Great Depression 1

Socialism and Communism in America 2

Marxist philosophy and aesthetics 5

A pioneer American Marxist project 7

An exemplary Marxist career 9

The Frankfurt School in America during the 1930s 15

Cultural politics: " New Criticism" versus Marxism 17

2 The "New Criticism" 21

The emergence and growth of the new Critical School 21

The fundamentals of a formalist poetics 23

Formalist protocols and "close reading" 24

Pedagogical missions 31

Inside and outside New Criticism: an exemplary case 35

New Critical Formalism defended in latter days 39

East European and American New Critical formalism 45

3 The Chicago School 52

Pedagogical foundations and the rise of theory 52

Neo-Aristotelian poetics 55

Critical method 58

The pluralist line 62

On the marks and influence of the Chicago School 66

4 The New York Intellectuals 70

The formation of the School 70

Marxist politics and beyond 72

The enterprise of cultural criticism 74

Psychoanalytical supplement 79

The focus on modern literature 85

Theories of American literature 89

On the institutionalization of criticism and literature 94

5 Myth criticism 100

Perspectives on myth in the modern era 100

Varieties of mythopoetics 104

Of divination, desecration, and wonder 111

Systematics of myth criticism 118

Myth criticism and the institution of literary studies 124

6 Phenomenological and existential criticism 128

Early Cold War times: from the Atomic to the Space Age 128

Continental philosophy in America 130

Phenomenological criticism Geneva style 133

Phenomenological criticism pluralized 137

Fromexistential phenomenology to Christian existentialism 143

Utopian existential criticism 147

Continental philosophy in America: the first and second waves 152

7 Hermeneutics 157

The Vietnam era 157

Heidegger's hermeneutical revolution 161

Hermeneutics new and old 162

Destructive hermeneutics 169

Hermeneutics after deconstrution 175

8 Reader-response criticism 181

The era of the reader 181

Reading: from phenomenology to poststructuralism 183

Psychoanalysis of readers 188

The subject of pedagogy 191

Reading as resistance: feminism and Marxism 194

German reception theory in America 198

The changing university 201

9 Literary structuralism and semiotics 203

Progenitors and progenies 203

Linguistics and semiotics of poetic discourse 207

Narratology: from syntax to rhetoric to discourse 211

The conventions and codes of reading 215

The discipline of semiotics 220

10 Deconstrutive criticism 228

The emergence and formation of deconstructive criticism 228

Theories of language after structuralism 230

Beyond phenomenology 236

Double reading, misreading, misprision 241

Psychoanalysis, post structuralism, deconstruction 246

Deconstruction, feminism, politics: the social text 253

Interpellating deconstructive criticism 257

11 Feminist criticism 262

Feminist criticism and the women's movement 262

The focus on women's literature 265

Critical method, literary theory, politics 269

French psychoanalytical theory: L'Écriture féminine 273

The institution of women's studies 277

12 Black aesthetics 283

The black liberation movement during the Cold War era 283

The Black Aesthetic 285

Critical practices and theory 292

Black feminist criticism 298

Ethnic studies in the university 305

13 Cultural criticism from the 1960s to the 1980s 312

Legacies of the new left and the Movement 312

Assaulting the institution of literary studies 316

European Neo-Marxism and dialectical theory 323

The politics of " theory" 326

Left deconstructionist critism 333

Post-Marxist cultural criticism 336

Cultural studies in the academy 341

The fragmentation of leftist criticism 345

14 American criticism since 1987 347

The case of Paul de Man 347

Returns to history: new historicisms and postcolonial theory 348

Globalization, the University Excellence, and postmodern culture 350

Minority identity poetics: ethnic studies and queer theory 351

Cultural wars, PC, and public intellectuals 359

Resistance to hegemony: cultural studies 362

The disorganization of theory 366

Notes 371

Index 399

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