Friday, May 14, 2010

Reality Anyone?

Roland Greene has now posted the second in a series of posts at ARCADE about the current state and future of literary criticism, A Quantum of the Real. His penultimate paragraph:
I don't believe in the educated general reader. I think that such a label names a purely imaginary figure not grounded in any actual knowledge, interests, or passions. I believe only in real readers, who choose what to read out of their unpredictable inclinations; and I'm convinced that if we expect to write for real readers, we have to start by renegotiating our contract with reality, which means writing again for historians, philosophers, and other humanists. This means writing not attenuated history or philosophy, but a literary criticism that speaks again to culture in the broadest terms. The rest of the humanities tethers us to the only version of the real we can rely on—the realities with which most of them have continued to negotiate, while we have turned inward to talk with ourselves.

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