How and why did the academic style of writing, with its emphasis on criticism and correctness, develop? Seth Lerer suggests that the answer lies in medieval and Renaissance philology and, more specifically, in mistakes. For Lerer, erring is not simply being wrong, but being errant, and this book illuminates the wanderings of exiles, émigrés, dissenters, and the socially estranged as they helped form the modern university disciplines of philology and rhetoric, literary criticism and literary theory.
Examining figures from Thomas More to Stephen Greenblatt, from George Hickes to Seamus Heaney, from George Eliot to Paul de Man, Error and the Academic Self argues that this critical abstraction from
society and retreat into ivory towers allowed estranged groups or individuals to gain both a sense of private worth and the public legitimacy of a professional identity.
|Publisher:||Columbia University Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
Seth Lerer is Avalon Foundation Professor in the Humanities and professor of English and comparative literature at Stanford University. He is the author of six previous books, including Chaucer and His Readers.