By Catherine Belsey
A destiny for Criticism considers why fiction provides quite a bit excitement, and the overlook of this factor in contemporary criticism.
- Offers a short, full of life, and available account of a brand new course for severe perform, from one in all Britain's so much trendy literary theorists and critics
- Proposes a brand new course for destiny feedback, extra open to reflecting at the pleasures of fiction
- Written in a transparent, jargon-free kind, and illustrated all through with quite a few examples
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Extra resources for A Future for Criticism
14 What is surprising here is not so much the reading of Shakespeare’s play (Freud serenely allows that the text offers it no support) as the psychoanalytic alignment of piety with faint-heartedness. Far from encouraging a heroic dedication to virtue against all odds, the sense of guilt, Freud indicates, reduces the power of independent action. As long as Hamlet defers to the moral law, he fails to take a stand. Conscience makes cowards; it keeps us in line; obedience to law generates quiescence and conformity.
The dearth of information about the playwright’s private life, views, preferences, religious affiliation, impels any biographer towards conjecture, but Greenblatt specializes in the conditional form: ‘if ’, ‘perhaps’, ‘maybe’. 14 Sometimes, the disclaimer allows the biographer to tell a particularly good tale. There is no evidence that Shakespeare ever went to Lancashire, Greenblatt disarmingly acknowledges. 15 This permits Will in the World to give us an account of Shakespeare’s character, especially his good sense in recoiling from fanaticism, as demonstrated in the plays; it also allows the book to include the sensational story of the brilliant, influential Campion hanged, drawn, and quartered for treason.
Possibly, self-denial reaches deeper into the Western psyche. Late in his career, Sigmund Freud reflected on the cultural commitment to renunciation. Civilization, he perceived, was a place of discontents. Why was this? Was it because society required human beings to control their sexual drive in order to live in harmony together, so that the advantages of social life could be secured only by sacrificing a degree of pleasure? Not entirely, he concluded: the repression of sexual pleasure was only part of the story.
A Future for Criticism by Catherine Belsey