Download A Future for Criticism by Catherine Belsey PDF

By Catherine Belsey

A destiny for Criticism considers why fiction offers rather a lot excitement, and the forget of this factor in contemporary criticism. 

  • Offers a quick, full of life, and available account of a brand new course for serious perform, from one among Britain's so much popular literary theorists and critics
  • Proposes a brand new direction for destiny feedback, extra open to reflecting at the pleasures of fiction
  • Written in a transparent, jargon-free type, and illustrated all through with a number of examples

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Extra info for A Future for Criticism

Example text

The title page of this work gives a good indication of its general thrust: the book would deliver, it promised, an ‘invective against poets, pipers, players, jesters, and such like caterpillars of the commonwealth’. But Gosson was by no means the only opponent of fiction: even Plato himself had excluded poets from his Republic. While it concedes the inadequacies of much contemporary writing, Sidney’s Defence deftly turns the arguments of these antagonists back on themselves. He counters Plato with Neoplatonism, while claiming the philosopher himself as a poet on the grounds that the dialogues are works of imagination.

Popular biographies of Shakespeare have often been bestsellers. For academic readers in the New Critical period, meanwhile, there were one or two cautious investigations, including Samuel Schoenbaum’s classic Documentary Life in 1975, while the wilder speculations of A. L. Rowse were already available in William Shakespeare, A Biography (1963) and Shakespeare the Man (1973). indd 44 11/26/2010 7:07:59 AM Biography foregrounds the ‘shadowy’ character of the paths it claims to tread from the life to the literature.

We punish ourselves with feelings of shame when we fail to reach the high standards conscience demands. But aggression is not appeased by one good deed or a single act of renunciation. On the contrary, the drive is indestructible and it always wants more. Guilt demands ever greater virtue, higher levels of self-sacrifice. We might suppose that general obedience to the moral law would produce a society and individuals at peace with themselves and each other, but Freud thinks otherwise. Far from generating the contentment of a job well done, in the psychoanalytic account a heightened ethical sense diminishes self-confidence and, with it, self-reliance.

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