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Theory's Empire: An Anthology of Dissent

by Daphne Patai, Will H. Corral (Editor)

Other authors: M. H. Abrams (Contributor), Kwame Anthony Appiah (Contributor), Mark Bauerlein (Contributor), Paul Boghossian (Contributor), Wayne C. Booth (Contributor)45 more, Jean Bricmont (Contributor), David Bromwich (Contributor), Noam Chomsky (Contributor), Frederick Crews (Contributor), Valentine Cunningham (Contributor), Vincent Descombes (Contributor), Morris Dickstein (Contributor), Denis Donoghue (Contributor), William Dowling (Contributor), Nancy Easterlin (Contributor), John Martin Ellis (Contributor), Richard Freadman (Contributor), Harold Fromm (Contributor), Todd Gitlin (Contributor), Graham Good (Contributor), Eugene Goodheart (Contributor), Susan Haack (Contributor), Geoffrey Galt Harpham (Contributor), Wendell V. Harris (Contributor), Russell Jacoby (Contributor), Nilo Kauppi (Contributor), Frank Kermode (Contributor), Peter Lamarque (Contributor), Richard Levin (Contributor), Paisley Livingston (Contributor), Elaine Marks (Contributor), J. G. Merquior (Contributor), Seumas Miller (Contributor), D. G. Myers (Contributor), Thomas Nagel (Contributor), Meera Nanda (Contributor), Erin O'Connor (Contributor), Clara Clairborne Park (Contributor), Marjorie Perloff (Contributor), Stephen Adam Schwartz (Contributor), John R. Searle (Contributor), Lee Siegel (Contributor), Alan Sokal (Contributor), Alan Spitzer (Contributor), Haugom Olsen Stein (Contributor), Raymond Tallis (Contributor), Tzvetan Todorov (Contributor), Brian Vickers (Contributor), Jeffrey Wallen (Contributor), René Wellek (Contributor)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
861232,949 (3.86)2
Not too long ago, literary theorists were writing about the death of the novel and the death of the author; today many are talking about the death of Theory. Theory, as the many theoretical ism's (among them postcolonialism, postmodernism, and New Historicism) are now known, once seemed so exciting but has become ossified and insular. This iconoclastic collection is an excellent companion to current anthologies of literary theory, which have embraced an uncritical stance toward Theory and its practitioners. Written by nearly fifty prominent scholars, the essays in Theory's Empire question the ideas, catchphrases, and excesses that have let Theory congeal into a predictable orthodoxy. More than just a critique, however, this collection provides readers with effective tools to redeem the study of literature, restore reason to our intellectual life, and redefine the role and place of Theory in the academy.… (more)

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» See also 2 mentions

There seem to be two kinds of literary criticism, the kind found in Western university departments that is concerned with "deconstructing" literary texts through a race/ gender/ post-imperialist/ queer lens, and the other kind on book review websites such as Amazon, dealing with popular titles like, "The Hunger Games", "Twilight", Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" or "Pride and Prejudice".

The first kind specially selects books that lend themselves to race/ gender/ post-imperialist/ queer analysis and the second kind selects books that deal with love, morality, good and evil, heroism, cowardice, duty and mostly male/ female relationships.

There is no doubt about which type of reading the public prefers, but as this excellent book makes clear Western university literature departments are really engaged in a cult like political project rather than anything resembling genuine literary criticism.

The various authors show the totalitarian nature of the race/ gender/ post-imperialist/ queer (RGIQ) project which functions in a similar way to other totalitarian projects such as Islamic Fundamentalism or Marxism in taking for granted their monopoly on the truth and ruthlessly suppressing dissent.

The reader can also see the roots of the RGIQ project in the Frankfurt School with its explicit aim of destroying the foundations of Western society. Probably most of the reviewers of Amazon's top 25 books are not aware ot the Frankfurt School but leftist university academics will be quite familiar with Adorno, Marcuse and their other heroes from the 1960's.

A necessary and worthwhile book explaining what is really going on within the RGIQ Political Correctness movement, and yes, literary criticism is just another agitprop tool to further their aims. ( )
  Miro | Jul 22, 2012 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Daphne Pataiprimary authorall editionscalculated
Corral, Will H.Editormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Abrams, M. H.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Appiah, Kwame AnthonyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bauerlein, MarkContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Boghossian, PaulContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Booth, Wayne C.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bricmont, JeanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bromwich, DavidContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Chomsky, NoamContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Crews, FrederickContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cunningham, ValentineContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Descombes, VincentContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dickstein, MorrisContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Donoghue, DenisContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dowling, WilliamContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Easterlin, NancyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ellis, John MartinContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Freadman, RichardContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fromm, HaroldContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gitlin, ToddContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Good, GrahamContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Goodheart, EugeneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Haack, SusanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Harpham, Geoffrey GaltContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Harris, Wendell V.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jacoby, RussellContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kauppi, NiloContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kermode, FrankContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lamarque, PeterContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Levin, RichardContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Livingston, PaisleyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Marks, ElaineContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Merquior, J. G.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Miller, SeumasContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Myers, D. G.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Nagel, ThomasContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Nanda, MeeraContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
O'Connor, ErinContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Park, Clara ClairborneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Perloff, MarjorieContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Schwartz, Stephen AdamContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Searle, John R.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Siegel, LeeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sokal, AlanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Spitzer, AlanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Stein, Haugom OlsenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tallis, RaymondContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Todorov, TzvetanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Vickers, BrianContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wallen, JeffreyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wellek, RenéContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Not too long ago, literary theorists were writing about the death of the novel and the death of the author; today many are talking about the death of Theory. Theory, as the many theoretical ism's (among them postcolonialism, postmodernism, and New Historicism) are now known, once seemed so exciting but has become ossified and insular. This iconoclastic collection is an excellent companion to current anthologies of literary theory, which have embraced an uncritical stance toward Theory and its practitioners. Written by nearly fifty prominent scholars, the essays in Theory's Empire question the ideas, catchphrases, and excesses that have let Theory congeal into a predictable orthodoxy. More than just a critique, however, this collection provides readers with effective tools to redeem the study of literature, restore reason to our intellectual life, and redefine the role and place of Theory in the academy.

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