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The New Hegemony In Literary Studies : Contradictions In Theory

In a trenchant critique of the full range of theoretical discourses that have come into favor in literary studies since the 1960s, Tony Hilfer demonstrates that none of the practitioners of these forms of criticism subject their own claims to the kind of suspicious scrutiny that they devote to their own objects of study. Assimilating the critiques that have been made of almost all of the major rec...

Series: Rethinking Theory
Paperback: 120 pages
Publisher: Northwestern University Press; 1 edition (February 26, 2003)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0810119536
ISBN-13: 978-0810119536
Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
Amazon Rank: 3941502
Format: PDF Text TXT ebook

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“The New Hegemony in Literary Studies: contradictions in Theory, is Professor Tony Hilfer's analysis of postmodernist epistemology -- of Theory. He is an eminent professor of English interested primarily in addressing his own colleagues. His analysi...”

nt modes of criticism-Marxism, feminism, deconstruction, New Historicism, Foucaultian-Hilfer brings them acutely to bear on his central argument: that these methods systematically fail to live up to their own methodological scruples.The problem Hilfer identifies is one of logical consistency, but also of moral and psychological implications, and it can be found operating across the whole spectrum of literary Theory. It is, however, as this book makes blindingly clear, not immune from scrutiny. With quiet erudition and consistent incisiveness, Hilfer shows how the various methods, while ostensibly at odds, actually fit together, all sharing the same peculiar structure and logic, and all wearing an identical set of ideological blinders. He offers examples of theorists-and assumptions-hard at work on particular texts, and again and again (often letting these theorists refute themselves) pinpoints the blindspots that have become endemic in the practice of Theory.Written with great care and a deep commitment to the value and integrity of literary criticism and theory, this tonic work stands as a corrective to the misuse of theory, and a bracing reminder of how a critical approach works when it is well and judiciously applied.