Btb3
Beyond the Blurb: On Critics and Criticism. Published by Cow Eye Press

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12/26/2006

Comments

Litlove

It always seems to me, Dan, that you fight very hard against the notion of literature as containing a 'message' that might exert an effectiveness on or in the world. Well, it might or it might not; that's down to a text's reception, which is erratic and unpredictable. I agree it's not a way to define the literary with any kind of consistency. However, not that I know a great deal about ecocriticism, but I imagine it must occupy the same kind of place as feminist and race criticism occupied in the eighties, and it's undeniable that feminism in particular had a large and well-documented impact not just on culture and politics, but on literature as well. The feminist critics in France in the 1970s and 80s provoked the practice of writing known as ecriture feminine which performed exactly that kind of creation of 'challenging verbal forms' that you describe so well. It's generally credited with reinvigorating both contemporary literature and literary theory in France. So what I think I'm suggesting here, is that forms of political criticism can promote cultural change. They can't direct it or control the consequences, but they can sometimes (unreliably but powerfully) set a ball in motion.

Dan Green

"forms of political criticism can promote cultural change. They can't direct it or control the consequences, but they can sometimes (unreliably but powerfully) set a ball in motion."

As you say, perhaps they can and perhaps they can't. To attempt "cultural change" through the criticism of literature, however, seems to me an awfully roundabout and oblique way of going about it.

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The Art of Disturbance--Available as Pdf and Kindle Ebook
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