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Literature & Criticism


 

Directions for Criticism
Structuralism and Its Alternatives
Edited by Murray Krieger and L. S. Dembo


Articles from the Summer, 1976, issue of
Contemporary Literature

This collection of essays in and on recent critical theory and its backgrounds attempts to clarify what is probably one of the most complex situations in the history of literary criticism. The classifier of methodologies can look back only with nostalgia at the simplicity of his problems with the limited warfare among New Critics, biographical and historical scholars, neo-humanists, neo-Aristotelians, and old-style Freudians and Marxists. Much more confusing these days are the challenges not only to critical method but to the very assumption that there is an object or language for criticism. The baffling array of structuralisms, post structuralisms, and phenomenologies, as well as the still-lingering versions of older positions now modified to confront these revolutionary alternatives, largely continental, calls for whatever light can be shed by knowing and intelligent observer-participants.

The contributors to this volume, which appeared originally as the Summer 1976 issue of Contemporary Literature, have varying commitments and interests, but all are distinguished commentators on and makers of theory. These authors also formed the Board of Senior Fellows of the first session of the School of Theory and Criticism at the University of California, Irvine, where the journal edition was much discussed and debated.

When this book was published, Murray Krieger was University Professor of English at the University of California, at both Irvine and Los Angeles and Co-Director of the School of Criticism and Theory at Irvine. Among his books are The New Apologists for Poetry, The Play and Place of Criticism, and Theory of Criticism: A Tradition and Its System.

When this book was published, L. S. Dembo, was Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and Editor of Contemporary Literature, and had written three books on modern American poetry and had edited or co-edited four collections of articles published by the University of Wisconsin Press: Nabokov: The Man and His Work (1967), Criticism: Speculative and Analytical Essays (1968), The Contemporary Writer: Interviews with Sixteen Novelists and Poets (1972), with Cyrena N. Pondrom, and Doris Lessing: Critical Studies (1974), with Annis Pratt.

To schedule an interview with the author or to request a review copy of the book, contact our publicity manager, phone: (608) 263-0734, email: publicity@uwpress.wisc.edu.

 

 

Brown cover with red and brown text

December 1977

LC: 77-077443 PN
182 pp.  5 1/4 x 8 1/2


The 1977 cloth edition of this title is out of print but the paperback is available.

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Paper $14.95 s
ISBN 978-0-299-07394-7
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