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New Historicism and Cultural Materialism: A Reader
by Kiernan Ryan
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0340663073, Hardcover)New Historicism and Cultural Materialism have become two of the most powerful and appealing movements in modern criticism. Their conquest of Renaissance studies has escalated into global colonialisation of English and American literary history. A wealth of innovative work has emerged on everything from the "Canterbury Tales" to the "Cantos", bringing intense theoretical controversy in its wake. This reader pulls the diversity and polemical vigour of this new critical constellation into focus for the first time. The introduction identifies the distinctive concerns of both approaches, unpacks their theoretical assumptions and clarifies their chief points of convergence and antagonism. It offers a sympathetic but sceptical perspective on Cultural Materialism and New Historicism, highlighting their blindspots as well as applauding their insights, and searching out the points where they seem poised to move beyond the limits of their own methodologies. The selection itself unfolds in three stages. The first group of essays locates the intellectual sources of both movements in figures such as Foucault, Geertz, Althusser, Williams and Derrida. The second mounts a theoretical debate between prominent exponents and opponents of both kinds of criticism, including Stephen Greenblatt, Catherine Belsey, Alan Sinfield and Majorie Levinson. The final group carries the debate forward through a wide range of critical readings, which illustrate the practical impact of New Historicism and Cultural Materialism, on the novels, plays and poems of authors from Aeschylus to Ezra Pound. The Reader concludes with a bibliography of criticism which has applied these approaches to medieval literature, Shakespeare and the Renaissance, 18th century studies, the Romantic period, 19th century literature, early 20th century writing and the American literary tradition.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:58 -0400)
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