In this book, first published in 1989, twenty-give eminent critics and theorists write about different aspects of literary theory. These essays represent leading research in psychoanalytic criticism, new historicism, Continental theory, feminism, Afro-American studies, philosophy, cybernetics, aesthetics, and other theoretical inflections. The result is a collective statement on the course that lies ahead for criticism in the humanities, and will be of interest to students of literary theory.
Table of Contents
Introduction Ralph Cohen; 1. From the Scene of the Unconscious to the Scene of History Hélène Cixous 2. "Figuring the Nature of the Times Deceased": Literary Theory and Historical Writing Hayden White 3. Historical Worlds, Literary History Brian Stock 4. Perceptive Equilibrium: Literary Theory and Ethical Theory Martha Nussbaum 5. The State of the Art of Criticism Geoffrey H. Hartman 6. The Function of Literary Theory at the Present Time J. Hillis Miller 7. Historia Calamitatum et Fortunarum Mearum or: A Paradigm Shift in Literary Study Hans Robert Jauss 8. Woolf’s Room, Our Project: The Building of Feminist Criticism Catherine R. Stimpson 9. The Mirror and the Vamp: Reflections on Feminist Criticism Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar 10. Literary Genres and Textual Genericity Jean-Marie Schaeffer 11. The Sense of an Answer: Ambiguities of Interpretation in Clinical and Applied Psychoanalysis Roy Schafer 12. Towards a Literary Anthropology Wolfgang Iser 13. The Future of Theory: Saving the Reader Christopher Butler 14. The Future of Theory in the Teaching of Literature Gerald Graff 15. Paul de Man’s Contribution to Literary Criticism and Theory Jonathan Culler 16. The Future of an Illusion Rosalind Krauss 17. The Future of Genre Theory: Functions and Constructional Types Alastair Fowler 18. Mystory: The Law of Idiom in Applied Grammatology Gregory L. Ulmer 19. Authority, (White) Power, and the (Black) Critic; or, it’s all Greek to Me Henry Louis Gates, Jr. 20. A Criticism of Our Own: Autonomy and Assimilation in Afro-American and Feminist Literary Theory Elaine Showalter 21. Beautiful Science and the Future of Criticism Arthur C. Danto 22. Computers, Literary Theory, and Theory of Meaning Gregory G. Colomb and Mark Turner; Notes