Friday, December 13, 2013

Literary Criticism in the Contemporary Intellectual Milieu

All of which is to say that literary studies cannot effectively enter into dialogue with the newer psychologies by simply by adopting them as tools in the way that it has previously adopted psychoanalysis, Marxism, cultural anthropology, and so forth. Why can’t it do this? Because the newer psychologies don’t have concepts directly applicable to literary issues. Psychoanalysis and Marxism did.

Rather, literary studies must rethink its own problems in terms that are commensurate with these newer psychologies but not otherwise beholden to them. This condition is at once minimal and moderately rigorous.


  1. Your 3Quarks essay on 12-16 is the most intelligent and useful read since Snow wrote about the gulf between science and the humanities! Thank you. The usual arguments and wailing about the importance of the humanities have been tiresome to this retired geezer with interest both in science and the arts.

    1. Thanks. I find them tired as well. There's a lot of work to do, so let's stop the squabbling and get on with it.

    2. "Commensurate" is the issue. How does that get defined operationally? Currently I feel that many explanations in our culture make little sense, or, likely, multiple senses. Any reading suggestions on this subject?

    3. Hmmmm...That's a bit open-ended. Just what subject are you thinking of? Explanations of just what?