Critical Pasts

Philip Smallwood (Ed.)

Writing Criticism, Writing History

212 pages
ISBN 9781611482171
LC 2004011309

This volume assembles new thinking on the theory, practice, and cultural value of the history of literary criticism. Focusing on a theme that has attracted relatively little developed theoretical commentary hitherto, the authors of these essays draw on specialist areas of critical history - and different kinds of problems - to illustrate the paradoxes that attend any attempt to write the history of critical writing. Commentary begins with medieval literary theory, explores the social dimension of restoration criticism, the relations between poetry and criticism, and a test case in eighteenth-century criticism's reception aesthetics. Other essays consider relations between eighteenth-century critical and literary history, between romanticism and New Historicism, and the various ways in which present and past criticism is interrelated. In an introduction to the volume, the editor calls for a clearer confrontation with the representational issues of critical history by those who write about the critical past. Contributors include: Gavin Budge, Gary Day, Robert Eaglestone, April London, Tom Mason, Stephen Penn, Adam Rounce, Philip Smallwood, Zeynep Tenger, and Paul Trolaner.

About the editor:

Philip Smallwood is Professor of English at the University of Central England in Birmingham, and the author, most recently, of Reconstructing Criticism: Pope's "Essay on Criticism" and the Logic of Definition (Bucknell University Press, 2003) and Johnson's Critical Presence: Image, History, Judgment (Ashgate Publishing, 2004).



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