Critical Pasts: Writing Criticism, Writing History

Critical Pasts: Writing Criticism, Writing History

by Philip Smallwood (Editor)


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While much valuable work has been done recently on the history of literature, Smallwood (English, U. of Central England, UK) believes that the history of literary criticism remains comparatively ill- defined and under-explored. He presents these ten essays as an example of the way different areas of specialist literary study can approach the problem of the critical past, "against a background of analysis broadly derived from such theorists of temporality as Heidegger, Gadamer, and Hans Robert Jauss." Among the topics are explored are the possibilities of a social history of critical practices, the implications of "New Historicism" for the study of criticism, the 20th century "historicization" of Alexander Pope's Essay on Criticism, and the way Samuel Johnson's conceptions of literary history in Lives of the Poets were modified and resisted by those challenging his authority and influence. Distributed in the US by Associated University Presses. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780838755952
Publisher: Bucknell University Press
Publication date: 10/28/2004
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Philip Smallwood is Professor of English at the University of Central England in Birmingham, and the author, most recently, of Reconstructing Criticism: Pope's "Essay on Criticism" and the Logic of Definition (Bucknell University Press, 2003) and Johnson's Critical Presence: Image, History, Judgment (Ashgate Publishing, 2004).

Table of Contents

Introduction: Problems and Paradoxes in the History of Criticism1
Literary History, Critical History, and the Question of "Medieval" Theory13
Abandoning Theory: Towards a Social History of Critical Practices37
On (Not) Writing Literary and Critical History: Dryden's Preface to Fables, Ancient and Modern51
To "Value Still the True": Pope's Essay on Criticism and the Problem of the Historical Mode75
Johnson's Lives and the Genealogy of Late Eighteenth-Century Literary History95
History and the New Historicism: Symbol and Allegory as Poetics of Criticism115
"With Love and Wonder": Empson, Donne, and Milton145
Truth, Aesthetics, History171
The End of Criticism: Literary Criticism, Economics, and Management Discourse187

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