People often forget Mary Garth in George Eliot’s Middlemarch. She is the third heroine of the book, not as idealistic as Dorothea and not as shallow as Rosamond, but wittier and probably smarter than both. Much of the critical work on Middlemarch barely mentions her.
Just to contrast with Christine Brooke-Rose’s criticism. Language can only begin with the void; no fullness, no certainty can ever speak; something essential is lacking in anyone who expresses himself. Negation is tied to language. […]
David Quint, in his estimable book Epic and Empire, argues against the totalizing tendency of much literary theory and criticism of the 20th century. He speaks of poststructuralism and New Historicism but the general argument […]
My ideal for a critic and scholar is one who combines (1) comprehensive knowledge of many individual works across multiple periods and disciplines with (2) a synthetic ability to make non-reductive assessments within and across […]
Hugh Kenner was a very sharp, eccentric critic best known for his work on James Joyce and Ezra Pound (two writers whose critical apparati seem to welcome eccentrics more than most), but he also was […]
G. Wilson Knight was a mid-century critic probably most known for an infamous little essay on Hamlet he wrote in 1930 called “The Embassy of Death” (collected in The Wheel of Fire). The essay […]
This is the funniest vicious review I’ve read in a while, from this week’s TLS. I’m excerpting the best bits, but it’s all of a piece. The nastiest parts are…the quotes. Glen Duncan THE LAST […]