By Catherine Belsey
A destiny for Criticism considers why fiction supplies loads excitement, and the forget of this factor in contemporary criticism.
- Offers a quick, full of life, and available account of a brand new path for severe perform, from certainly one of Britain's such a lot favourite literary theorists and critics
- Proposes a brand new direction for destiny feedback, extra open to reflecting at the pleasures of fiction
- Written in a transparent, jargon-free sort, and illustrated all through with quite a few examples
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Extra info for A Future for Criticism
In a word, it has been obvious to generations of critics that pleasure constitutes the lure which incites us to read the text or to join the audience. If it is equally obvious to current academic critics, the evidence is remarkably far to seek. In asking critics to give a serious account of the workings of pleasure, however, I do not go about to create any new world or custom. On the contrary. If we have obligations, and all professions do, that is surely one of the primary directions in which they lie.
Critical biography offers its own form of enjoyment but this is not to be mistaken for the pleasure of the text. Nor, in my view, does it help us read better. For one thing, life is not always the source of fiction. In 2006 Stef Penney won the Costa Prize for The Tenderness of Wolves, A Future for Criticism Catherine Belsey © 2011 Catherine Belsey. indd 37 11/26/2010 7:07:59 AM Biography a novel that depicted the Canadian north with peculiar vividness. Although her account of the extreme cold that faces the tracking party in the snowy wastes comes across as particularly true-to-life, it was written altogether without reference to personal experience.
1 Why are we so reluctant to acknowledge this? An empiricist culture longs to find the source of the text in the life of the author, supplanting intertextuality with experience. In the same way, individualism seeks explanations of events in personality, negating the influence of culture and society in the construction of individuals themselves. And both empiricism and individualism treat language as the instrument of thought, not the condition of its existence, equating meaning with a prior intention.
A Future for Criticism by Catherine Belsey