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Eliot to Derrida

The Poverty of Interpretation

Authors: Harwood, John, Forlenza, Rosario

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  • ISBN 978-1-349-23977-1
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About this book

'...a book which should be read by all students contemplating enrolment for a university course in modern English or European literary studies.' - Roy Harris, Times Higher Education Supplement Eliot to Derrida is a sardonic portrait of the cult of the specialist interpreter, from I.A. Richards and the Cambridge School to Jacques Derrida and his disciples. This lucid, iconoclastic study shows how, and why, so much of the academic response to a rich variety of literary experiment has been straitjacketed by the vast industries which have grown up around `modernism' and `postmodernism'. For anyone disenchanted with the extravagant claims - and leaden prose - of literary theorists, this will be an exhilarating book.

About the authors

Eliot to Derrida is a sardonic portrait of the cult of the specialist interpreter, from I. A. Richards and the Cambridge School to Jacques Derrida and his disciples. This lucid, iconoclastic study shows how, and why, so much of the academic response to a rich variety of literary experiment has been straitjacketed by the vast industries which have grown up around 'modernism' and 'postmodernism'. Tracing the reception of T. S. Eliot's poems - notably The Waste Land - from the earliest reviews to the post-war era of mass-produced interpretations, it shows how the insights of Eliot's first readers were lost in a fog of reverent explication. Just as 'Mr. Eliot' was co-opted by Richards, Leavis and the New Critics to serve as their patron saint, so Derrida - perhaps the last person Eliot would have chosen as his successor - became the principal guru of the new theoretical dispensation. And just as the quest for the One True Meaning collapsed under the weight of its inherent contradictions, so the quest for the One True Theory was destined to end in factional brawling between rival personality cults. For anyone disenchanted with the extravagant claims - and leaden prose - of literary theorists, this will be an exhilarating book.

Table of contents (8 chapters)

Table of contents (8 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook £63.99
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-349-23977-1
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover £79.99
price for United Kingdom (gross)
Softcover £81.00
price for United Kingdom (gross)
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Eliot to Derrida
Book Subtitle
The Poverty of Interpretation
Authors
Copyright
1995
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan UK
Copyright Holder
John Harwood
eBook ISBN
978-1-349-23977-1
DOI
10.1007/978-1-349-23977-1
Hardcover ISBN
978-0-312-12558-5
Softcover ISBN
978-0-333-64180-4
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
VIII, 244
Topics