The Uses of Literary History

The Uses of Literary History

Book Pages: 328 Illustrations: 4 illustrations Published: January 1996

Subjects
Literature and Literary Studies > Literary Theory

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

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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Marshall Brown is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Washington.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Preface / Marshall Brown vii

Literary History

A Trout in the Milk / Lawrence Lipking 1

Literary History: Some Roads Not (Yet) Taken / VirgilN Nemoianu 13

What is the History of Literature? / Jonathan Arac 23

The Once and Future Middle Ages / R. Howard Bloch 35

Literature, Meaning, and the Discontinuity of act / Jerome J. McGann 45

Empiricism Once More / Marjorie Perloff 51

Some Prospects for Literary History / David Perkins 63

Literature in History

Public Memory and its Discontents / Geoffrey H. hartman 73

Understanding the Living and Talking to the Dead: The Historicity of Psychoanalysis / Meredith Anne Skura 93

Figures of the Feminine: An Amazonian Revolution in Feminist Literary History? / Donna Landry 107

Editing as Cultural Formation: The Sexing of Shakespeare's Sonnet / Peter Stallybrass 129

Textual Politics/Sexual Politics / Richard Dellamora 143

The Pedigree of the White Stallion: Postcoloniality and Literary History / Rukmini Bhaya Nair 159

The Victims of New Historicism / Walter Benn Michaels 187

Literature as History

Preface to a Lyric History / Susan Stewart 199

Can We Be Historical Ever? Some Hopes for a Dialectical Model of Historical Self-Consciousness / Charles Altieri 219

On Literature Considered as a Dead Language / Denis Hollier 233

More Speech on Free Speech / Annabel Patterson 243

Textual Conquests: On Readerly Competence and "Minority" Literature / Doris Sommer 255

The Hum of Literature: Ostension in Language / Paul H. Fry 269

Contributors 289

Index 293
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Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-1714-2 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-1704-3
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