Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Literature and literary critics

Scott McLemee uses the occasion of Saul Bellow’s death to reflect on the difference between those who are formed by literature--who, as Bellow put it, "are shaped from within by these books and these writers"--and those who merely regard "texts" as grist for their hypertheoretical mills. Guess who comes out looking better? Read the whole thing.

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I read your link Dr Knippenberg, and all I can say is that kind of thinking can only lead to the belief that the dead are not a benighted race of idiots lacking our insights on sex and language. Next thing you know, you have to acknowledge a universal human nature. Good and evil follow, of course, and then - Oh Dammit! - we have to actually read the classics instead of just hyping up the sexy bits and imposing campy Marxism on the rest. Were we to actually read literature, we might discover that some works are better than others. Individually or taken togeter, these, sir, would be UNACCEPTABLE developments in American English departments. "Internalize great things" indeed, as though some dead nitwit like Matthew Arnold could teach the great Judith Butler anything. Why, the very suggestion wold be to valorize a hermeneutic of textual fascism!

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