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

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This is related to an issue I'm dealing with now myself: can literature harm people individually and / or a culture at large? One marvels at the deep cultural effects of a work like Uncle Tom's Cabin, for example. The power is there, the ideas are meaningful, and they last – for better or worse.


1.2 million people die each year in vehicle fatalities; no one has seriously suggested banning automobiles. Why books?

Nigel Beale

As I read Ulin, he is saying what Voltaire said in a phrase: "I disagree strongly with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

If the ideas found in books don't pose danger, then please tell me how 'reconfiguring perceptions of the literary' do...

Dan Green

Ulin is also saying that some books are truly obnoxious, not just disturbing or unorthodox, and that they should be tolerated as well. I agree, but I don't know that calling these sorts of books "dangerous" is appropriate. It grants them and their "ideas" a kind of implicit legitimacy they don't deserve.

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The Art of Disturbance--Available as Pdf and Kindle Ebook
Literary Pragmatism--Available as a Pdf