The Culture of Criticism and the Criticism of Culture

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Oxford University Press, 1987 - 235 стор.
Giles Gunn's important new work is at once a provocative defense of the kind of moral reflection once associated in America with the writings of Lionel Trilling and Edmund Wilson and an acknowledgement that this pragmatic legacy must be reevaluated in the light of challenges posed by structuralist and post-structuralist theory. Including detailed discussions of such thinkers as Kenneth Burke, Clifford Geertz, Mikhail Bakhtin, Richard Rorty, Trilling, and Wilson, Gunn challenges the assumptions of modern criticism with a revised interpretation of pragmatism and its critical legacy. Part critical analysis, part philosophical argument, part literary and cultural history, this work is a carefully delineated vision of what criticism actively engaged in its society can accomplish.

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The culture of criticism and the criticism of culture

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Gunn seeks to reconceive and reconstitute a moral perspective in literary-cultural criticism in the face of the outright "disbelief'' in its possibility and value that prevails. The American tradition ... Читати огляд повністю

Вибрані сторінки


The Moral Imagination in Modern American Criticism
The Challenge of the New New Criticism
and the Moral Imagination
American Studies as Cultural Criticism
Recent Criticism and the Sediments of the Sacred
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Сторінка 99 - Believing, with Max Weber, that man is an animal suspended in webs of significance he himself has spun...
Сторінка 38 - The romantic stands, on the other hand, for the things that, with all the facilities in the world, all the wealth and all the courage and all the wit and all the adventure, we never can directly know ; the things that can reach us only through the beautiful circuit and subterfuge of our thought and our desire...
Сторінка 10 - He who gave our nature to be perfected by our virtue, willed also the necessary means of its perfection. — He willed therefore the state — He willed its connexion with the source and original archetype of all perfection.
Сторінка 56 - The power of judgment rests on a potential agreement with others, and the thinking process which is active in judging something is not, like the thought process of pure reasoning, a dialogue between me and myself, but finds itself always and primarily, even if I am quite alone in making up my mind, in an anticipated communication with others with whom I know I must finally come to some agreement. From this potential agreement judgment derives its specific validity. This means, on the one hand, that...
Сторінка 55 - Taste, if we use the word in its best sense, is the outcome of experience brought cumulatively to bear on the intelligent appreciation of the real worth of likings and enjoyments.
Сторінка 39 - Some paradox of our natures leads us, when once we have made our fellow men the objects of our enlightened interest, to go on to make them the objects of our pity, then of our wisdom, ultimately of our coercion.
Сторінка 66 - In a conversation the participants are not engaged in an inquiry or a debate; there is no 'truth' to be discovered, no proposition to be proved, no conclusion sought. They are not concerned to inform, to persuade, or to refute one another, and therefore the cogency of their utterances does not depend upon their all speaking in the same idiom; they may differ without disagreeing.
Сторінка 85 - ... qualified to retrace for you all the steps that had gone before. You listen for a while, until you decide that you have caught the tenor of the argument; then you put in your oar. Someone answers; you answer him; another comes to your defense; another aligns himself against you, to either the embarrassment or gratification of your opponent, depending upon the quality of your ally's assistance. However, the discussion is interminable. The hour grows late, you must depart. And you do depart, with...
Сторінка 86 - The progress of humane enlightenment can go no further than in picturing people not as vicious but as mistaken. When you add that people are necessarily mistaken, that all people are exposed to situations in which they must act as fools, that every insight contains its own special kind of blindness,* you complete the comic circle, returning again to the lesson of humility that underlies great tragedy.
Сторінка 21 - ... Perhaps we can afford reality only when we are dandies — can only risk final affronts when we are fops — can only render adequate response when we have broken out of the community of understanding into the identity of style. Only then do we see the snowman through a mind of winter, only then see the "nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.

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