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The Autonomy of Literature
 
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The Autonomy of Literature
 
 
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DescriptionReviewsContentsAuthors

In the aftermath of the theory wars, the imaginative, formal, and moral features of literature have been substantially marginalized, downgraded, and neglected. Yet for many readers such elements will always be central to the experience of reading, just as for writers they are central to the experience of writing. This provocative study argues that literature has an abundant life of its own, and reconsiders that life in the contexts provided by three influential contemporary groups of critics: some North American philosophers; some psychoanalysts; and some theorists of history.


Description

In the aftermath of the theory wars, the imaginative, formal, and moral features of literature have been substantially marginalized, downgraded, and neglected. Yet for many readers such elements will always be central to the experience of reading, just as for writers they are central to the experience of writing. This provocative study argues that literature has an abundant life of its own, and reconsiders that life in the contexts provided by three influential contemporary groups of critics: some North American philosophers; some psychoanalysts; and some theorists of history.


Reviews

'It is ambitious, lucid, readable and takes on any number of big opponents. It's exciting, in a word.'
'a passionate and erudite piece of work, which grapples with issues of great importance.' - Professor John Sutherland


Contents

Acknowledgements
Introduction
Institutionalism and Ideality
'A New Spin on the Old Words': Criticism and Philosophy
'These Shafts Can Conquer Troy, These Shafts Alone': Criticism and Psychoanalysis
'A Province of Truth': Criticism and History
Four Objections
Index


Authors

RICHARD LANSDOWN is a Lecturer in English at James Cook University, Cairns. He is the author of Byron's Historical Dramas (1992), and editor of the Critical Review.