Btb-front
Beyond the Blurb: On Critics and Criticism. Published by Cow Eye Press

COLLECTED ESSAYS ON LITERATURE AND CRITICISM:

EFN2

EXPERIMENTAL FICTION NOW


  • A survey of current writers whose work might be called "experimental." Includes a prefatory discussion defining terms, as well as essays on David Foster Wallace, George Saunders, Gary Lutz, Ben Marcus, Mark Danielewski, John Keene, Shelley Jackson, Steve Tomasula, more than a dozen others.
  • Free Pdf
  • Kindle Version
Iww

INNOVATIVE WOMEN WRITERS


  • "I offer here no overarching theory about the nature or direction of innovative writing by women writers, although as I do note in several of the essays in the first section, there is a recognizable affinity among numerous current writers for what I am here calling 'fabulation.'" Includes essays on Rikki Ducornet, Aimee Bender, Noy Holland, Helen DeWitt, Eimear McBride, more than a dozen others.
  • Free Pdf
  • Kindle/Paperback Version
APF (2)

AMERICAN POSTMODERN FICTION


  • "Although the term has come to identify a general attitude toward traditional intellectual assumptions or, more specifically, discernibly related practices in philosophy, the social sciences, and all of the arts, "postmodern" was originally a critical label attached to an emergent group of American fiction writers perceived to be challenging established literary convention."
  • Free Pdf
  • Kindle/Paperback Version
Realisms

REALISMS

BSS

BETWEEN SILLINESS AND SATIRE:BLACK HUMOR FICTION


  • In the early to mid 1960s, an iconoclastic mode of American fiction that came to be called "black humor" presaged the larger movement succeeding it that eventually came to be known as postmodernism. This volume looks at the essential features of black humor fiction, with essays on all the major black humorists: Joseph Heller, Kurt Vonnegut, Bruce Jay Friedman, Terry Southern, and more.
  • Free Pdf
  • Kindle Version
My Post (6)

MANY WINDOWS: ON EXPERIMENTAL FICTION


  • Is a work of experimental fiction really an experiment? What was metafiction? Experimental fiction and tradition. New Romancers. Poetic structures. Fiction as performance. Varieties of experimental fiction.
  • Kindle Ebook
  • Free Pdf
Angle

A WIDER ANGLE: AMERICAN FICTION AT THE PERIPHERY


  • Beyond the major publishers’ seasonal lists to out-of-the-way presses and lesser-known writers.
  • Kindle Ebook
  • Free Pdf

« Dizzy | Main | Business Decisions »

12/29/2005

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

susan

While I admit a certain crossover of disciplines--history being taught via Epic of Gilgamesh and Candide, for example--I, as an older student, was upset by the political overtones in almost every college course except those mathematical. There is a problem however in teaching a specific period of literature without acknowledging the forces of politics and society that drove the times and affected the vast majority of the writings. But isn't the focusing on political or cultural atmosphere of a piece of work a particular critical theory, like New Historicism or some such thing, and should be viewed just as one of many approaches?

Dan Green

"There is a problem however in teaching a specific period of literature without acknowledging the forces of politics and society"

This would be "historical literacy," not "political literacy" of the sort those on this panel are talking about. Historical literacy is a good thing to have, and in some cases certainly enhances one's understanding of literary texts, but I would still argue that this sort of literacy is not absolutely required for literary study to be worthwhile. "Acknowledging" historical forces is not the same thing as making those forces the primary object of interest. Texts that can only be understood or appreciated historically no longer have strictly "literary" value at all.

susan

I'm certainly all for literary appreciation for its own sake alone, and agree that it need not have political, historical, cultural, feminist, philosophical, etc. aspects investigated to be worthwhile study. I believe that all these theories of analysis enhance, as you say, the understanding, and could/should be taught as the variety of ways of looking at literature. History is strongly influenced by political environment, and I take it as an integral part of its progress. And of course, not all literature is influenced by politics, nor an author's intent to make a statement, thank God.

R A Rubin

Wasn't Ellison a rather conservative fellow compared to the Black Power rabble rousers. I think they considered him a Uncle Tom. Chambers was a conservative after a fling with running a communist cell. Anyhow, they are of the same stripe, Conservative in their maturity, so there was no Left-Right argument there.

Waterfall

Amen, amen, amen. I dropped out of grad school 10 years ago and never got my long-dreamed-of Ph.D. because I was so fed up with the politicization of everything in English Studies. For a long time, I thought I was alone in my resistance to it because so many other grad students just seemed to accept it in order to have respect and jobs. It was profoundly disappointing to me, someone who loved literature and wanted to study it for its own sake, to find that literary studies had been taken hostage by a bunch of angry people who were more interested in (mostly far-left) politics than in literature. They seemed to view literature as merely a convenient tool for political argument, and not as valid thing in itself.

Trent Walters

Dan,

You'll be happy to note that I think Salman Rushdie agrees--at least, that's my surmising from reading Shalimar the Clown. There's a great passage in there about how hair and chicken broth is political.

Trent

Jonathan Mayhew

Salma Hayek! That's what we need more of. Less Foucault and more Hayek.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Postmodern Confusions

AODPurdy

THE ART OF DISTURBANCE: THE NOVELS OF JAMES PURDY

Litsphere

THE LITERARY SPHERE: TAKING CRITICISM ONLINE


  • "In this volume I have included most of my substantial posts on the blog as medium, as well as literary culture online in general. . .They are presented in chronological order, from 2004 to 2019. I have chosen this arrangement because it shows the development of my thinking about online literary criticism and because it may perhaps be interesting for readers to survey the issues that arose as literary blogging itself developed. "
  • Kindle Ebook
  • Free Pdf
Tiol

THE IDEA OF LITERATURE


  • What do we talk about when we talk about literature? This volume explores that question by, first of all, looking "inside the text" at the dynamics of reading and the tangible effects of writing. It then moves "outside the text" to consider the relevance of social context and culture to perceptions of literature, as well as the assumption it is the writer's job to "say something" of political or moral value in addition to (even as a substitute for) creating literary art.
  • Kindle/Paperback Version
  • Free pdf
My Post (5)

LITERARY AESTHETICS

Lituni

LITERATURE IN THE UNIVERSITY


  • Inventing Literature. Performing Literature. Reading Literature. Theorizing Literature. Historicizing Litera- ture. Relinquishing Literature. Reclaiming Literature?
  • Kindle Ebook
  • Free Pdf
LR

LET'S REVIEW: BOOK REVIEWING AS LITERARY CRITICISM


  • A collection of essays considering the current state of general-interest book reviewing. Topics include: negative vs. positive reviewing, gatekeeping, writers reviewing writers, and criticism in cyberspace, among others.
  • Free Pdf
  • Kindle Version