"Shakespeare After All" is, in many ways, a return to the times when the critic's primary function was as an enthusiast, to open up the glories of the written work for the reader. It is free of cultural studies jargon, a work more in the vein of A. C. Bradley, Mark Van Doren, Auden or T. S. Eliot than of Roland Barthes or Jacques Derrida.More and more it seems the figures that clung most tightly to the apron-strings of literary theory are stepping away from them, or at least from the now-dominant modes of examining literature. One wonders if the counterfeiters are now begging forgiveness. But why?, one stoops to consider. This blog's answer, however tentative and qualified? It's not just the New Boredom, as some have called it, the fatigue with the same-ole-same-ole models and paradigms that have privileged theory over literature. No, more and more, this blog suspects a darker result, that the super-elevation of theory-- and the academy that did the hoisting-- had all but rendered literature irrelevant, and so removed itself from interested creative reality. In short, they'd put the cart before the horse and sat there until the horse collapsed from exhaustion. I'm not ready to say the tide is turning, he says jumping from one metaphor to another, but it seems that slowly there's a sea change in the making, even if this blog's been washed up on shore for a while and waiting for it to happen. There may still yet be a text in this class after all. Alas, I won't hold my breath; the rank and file now have too much invested in the current modes of thinking and writing "about literature" to abandon them so easily. But one can at least hope the waters are shifting. Or at least I can. Who'd have thought being "old-fashioned" in one's approach might turn out to be one of the benchmarks of one's academic value?
11 January 2005
The most interesting thing about this article from today's NYT is this paragraph, which should suggest to some of you what's really happening at the outer edges of the academy:
- ► 2007 (209)
- ► 2006 (178)
- It's The Stuff Of Song
- The Great Escape
- Notes Toward Supreme Personal Fictions
- Some Random Time-Killing Observations
- "Mommy Has Dirty Chest Bumps..."
- The Doctor's Absence
- Requiescat In Pace
- Tom on Arnold, or Doctor Kinko Strikes Again...
- Stop The Music!
- So, Is This Hypotaxis Or Parataxis?
- "And, By The Way, Your Kid Is Fat."
- Poetic Justice
- Caught In The Course Hairs
- They Got Bamboozled!
- And The Bad Headline Of The Day Goes To...
- The Chuting Gallery, or I've Grown Accustome...
- Watch Out For The Staples
- Johnny Come Lately
- From The Sublime To The Ridiculous, Vol. 273,429
- I'll Have What He's Having
- Looking For Ahhhhh-nold?
- The Shot Before The Race
- The Last Hurrah
- Lo and Behold!
- Oedipus Had It Easy
- Moaning Becomes Elektra
- GOT MLK?
- Like Rose-Buds Fill'd With Snow
- On Rocinante Once More
- "No Ma'am"
- In Our End Is Our Beginning?
- Some Tissues Of Elevated But Abstract Verbiage
- Cry Me A Fraser
- The Wolff And The Rabat
- To Know A Veil
- On The Rood Again
- The Kwicker Picker-Upper
- ~~The Bomb's Made For Lovin' And You Can Shoot It ...
- Another Reason To Smirk When The Word "Virgin" Is ...
- Deconstructing Harry
- This Great And Intelligent People
- Do No Charm
- "We Are Contemporizing It...."
- The Boxer Rebellion
- Rhetoric Butler
- Google Fails Me.... **sniff**
- The Howdy Dowdy Show
- Barrying The Lede
- Sometimes You Feel Like A Nut
- Situation Hopeless But Atleast Not Serious
- Pimpin' Barbara Bush
- Springtime For Harry, or Eine Kleine Berührun...
- Stanley And The String Theory
- Ross Dross
- A Rare Quasi-Poetic Doodle
- Ten Long Years With The Weight Of Ten Long Winters...
- The Horror, The Horror
- These Kids Today
- She's More Flexible Than You Think
- Another Disappointment For The Ladies
- Timing Is Everything Part 6,786,542
- "A Cute, Cuddly Uterus Doll"
- Paradigms Lost?
- Strictly Ballroom
- How To Make Doctor J Do His Frankenstein Impressio...
- Pitty, Isn't It?
- O Captain, My Faaaaaabulous Captain!
- Karma Bums
- The Old Man From The Sea
- A Poundish Cure?
- Tuckered Out
- The Sisters of Literacy
- Cheeky, Very Cheeky
- Rag Mama Rag
- The Don Of Time
- Dreadful Apathy
- The Diamonds And The Shit
- ▼ January (77)
- ► 2004 (1435)