Friday, September 05, 2008

Mukherjee, Pablo. "A Manifesto to Discard Elitism." TIMES HIGHER EDUCATION August 28, 2008.

Felski, Rita. Uses of Literature. Oxford: Blackwell, 2008. If theory "simply is the process of reflecting on the underlying frameworks, principles, and assumptions that shape our act of interpretation," how do we explain the blood-splattered field of the theory wars? Unsurprisingly, Felski finds that it is the structural elitism of the literary critics that has given theory its bad name. We are caught between those who hold a theological view of the uniqueness of literature and those who maintain that literature always unknowingly transmits dominant ideological norms. But both schools agree that it is the critic alone who can interpret the full range of literary meanings by adopting poses of "analytical detachment, critical vigilance, guarded suspicion." Felski wants to find an "ordinary" theory of literature and culture that would replace these hermeneutics of suspicion. . . . Read the rest here:

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