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  • Preface ix

    Introduction / Andrew DuBois 1

    I. Formalism (Plus)

    Poetry: A Note on Ontology / John Crowe Ransom 43

    Keats’s Sylvan Historian: History Without Footnotes / Cleanth Brooks 61

    Symbolic Action in a Poem by Keats / Kenneth Burke 72

    The Ekphrastic Principle and the Still Movement of Poetry; or Laokoon Revisited / Murray Krieger 88

    Examples of Wallace Stevens / R. P. Blackmur 111

    How to Do Things with Wallace Stevens / Frank Lentricchia 136

    Stevens and Keats’s “To Autumn” / Helen Vendler 156

    “Lycidas”: A Poem Finally Anonymous / Stanley Fish 175

    After Formalism?

    Literary History and Literary Modernity / Paul de Man 197

    Acts of Cultural Criticism / Roland Barthes 216

    Nostalgia for the Present / Fredric Jameson 226

    The Mousetrap / Catherine Gallagher and Stephen Greenblatt 243

    Jane Austen’s Cover Story (And Its Secret Agents) / Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar 272

    Jane Austen and the Masturbating Girl / Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick 301

    Ulysses and the Twentieth Century / Franco Maretti 321

    To Move Without Moving: An Analysis of Creativity and Commerce in Ralph Ellison’s Trueblood Episode / Houston A. Baker Jr. 337

    The World and the Home / Homi K. Bhabhi 366

    Contributors 381

    Acknowledgment of Copyrights 385

    Index 387
  • Andrew DuBois

    John S. Ransom

    Cleanth Brooks

    Kenneth Burke

    Murray Krieger

    R. P. Blackmur

    Frank Lentricchia

    Helen Vendler

    Stanley Fish

    Paul de Man

    Roland Barthes

    Fredric Jameson

    Catherine Gallagher

    Sandra Gilbert

    Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick

    Franco Moretti

    Houston A. Baker

    Homi K. Bhabha

    Stephen J. Greenblatt

    Susan Gubar

  • Close Reading is an extremely valuable instrument of literary pedagogy. It recalls its readers to the ethical responsibilities as well as the aesthetic pleasures which are inextricably intertwined within their individual acts of reading.”—Donald E. Pease, Dartmouth College — N/A

    ”A history, a tool for teaching, a work of learned analysis, this book mediates importantly for a divided discipline, between ’formalists’ and those who do ’cultural studies.’ ’Close reading,’ it shows, necessarily connects all serious criticism, and its argument becomes the basis for a strong pedagogy and for disciplinary rethinking.”—George Levine, Rutgers University — N/A

    ”Debating close reading means doing it. By displaying the inheritance of the greatest New Critics in many of today's greatest critics, this new anthology revives, renews, and advances the cause of literary studies. Andrew DuBois’s long introduction close-reads the close readers with brilliant fidelity, insight, and wit.”—Marshall Brown, University of Washington — N/A

    ”This is an important anthology that challenges the assumption of a radical break between formalism and the criticism that followed it. Andrew DuBois’s fine introductory essay usefully fills out the history of the New Criticism, while forcing a reconsideration of some currently widespread theoretical assumptions. The thoughtfully chosen essays anthologized in Close Reading persuasively demonstrate the continuities between formalist and post-formalist criticism and, at the same time, show students the value of close and critical reading.”—Suzy Anger, University of Maryland, Baltimore County — N/A

    ”This scintillating book shows that the alleged death of close reading at the hands of theory and the turn away from literary works themselves have been greatly exaggerated.” —Gerald Graff, University of Illinois, Chicago — N/A

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  • Description

    An anthology of exemplary readings by some of the twentieth century’s foremost literary critics, Close Reading presents a wide range of responses to the question at the heart of literary criticism: how best to read a text to understand its meaning. The lively introduction and the selected essays provide an overview of close reading from New Criticism through poststructuralism, including works of feminist criticism, postcolonial theory, queer theory, new historicism, and more.

    From a 1938 essay by John Crowe Ransom through the work of contemporary scholars, Close Reading highlights the interplay between critics—the ways they respond to and are influenced by others’ works. To facilitate comparisons of methodology, the collection includes discussions of the same primary texts by scholars using different critical approaches. The essays focus on Hamlet, “Lycidas,” “The Rape of the Lock,” Ulysses, Invisible Man, Beloved, Jane Austen, John Keats, and Wallace Stevens and reveal not only what the contributors are reading, but also how they are reading.

    Frank Lentricchia and Andrew DuBois’s collection is an essential tool for teaching the history and practice of close reading.

    Contributors. Houston A. Baker Jr., Roland Barthes, Homi Bhabha, R. P. Blackmur, Cleanth Brooks, Kenneth Burke, Paul de Man, Andrew DuBois, Stanley Fish, Catherine Gallagher, Sandra Gilbert, Stephen Greenblatt, Susan Gubar, Fredric Jameson, Murray Krieger, Frank Lentricchia, Franco Moretti, John Crowe Ransom, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Helen Vendler

    About The Author(s)

    Frank Lentricchia is Katherine Everett Gilbert Professor of Literature at Duke University and author of numerous books including After the New Criticism, Ariel and the Police, and Modernist Quartet. His novel Lucchesi and The Whale and his collection Introducing Don DeLillo are published by Duke University Press. Andrew DuBois is a doctoral candidate in the Department of English and American Language and Literature at Harvard University.

    Andrew DuBois is a doctoral candidate in the Department of English and American Language and Literature at Harvard University.

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