In this collection, Marshall Brown has gathered essays by twenty leading literary scholars and critics to appraise the current state of literary history. Representing a range of disciplinary specialties and approaches, these essays illustrate and debate the issues that confront scholars working on the literary past and its relation to the present.
Concerned with both the theory and practice of literary history, these provocative and sometimes combative pieces examine the writing of literary history, the nature of our interest in tradition, and the ways that literary works act in history. Among the numerous issues discussed are the uses of evidence, anachronism, the dialectic of texts and contexts, particularism and the resistance to reductive understanding, the construction of identities, memory, and the endurance of the past. New historicism, nationalism, and gender studies appear in relation to more traditional issues such as textual editing, taste, and literary pedagogy. Combining new and old perspectives, The Uses of Literary History
provides a broad view of the field.
Contributors. Charles Altieri, Jonathan Arac, R. Howard Bloch, Richard Dellamora, Paul H. Fry, Geoffrey Hartman, Denis Hollier, Donna Landry, Lawrence Lipking, Jerome J. McGann, Walter Benn Michaels, Rukmini Bhaya Nair, Virgil Nemoianu, Annabel Patterson, David Perkins, Marjorie Perloff, Meredith Anne Skura, Doris Sommer, Peter Stallybrass, Susan Stewart