By Frank Lentricchia
Lentricchia's serious purpose is in facts in his sustained assault at the roughly hidden formalist premises inherited from the hot severe fathers. Even within the identify of old realization, he contends, modern theorists have usually reduce literature off from social and temporal approaches. through so doing he believes that they have got disadvantaged literature of its proper values and became the educating of either literature and thought right into a rarefied task. All alongside the way in which, with the aid of such various thinkers as Saussure, Barthes, Foucault, Derrida, and Bloom, Lentricchia shows a technique in which destiny serious theorists could face up to the mandarin attitudes in their fathers.
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Extra resources for After the New Criticism
57 It is literature alone which provides us with the vision of the goals of civilization, a vision of the work which must be done if we are finally to be freed from our environment. In Schiller the statement of that vision tends to be utopian; in Frye we find the ideal of the classless society often articulated as the true goal of "liberal education," by which he means literary education, an ideal descended from Schiller. Once the dated philosophical jargon of German idealism is cleared out of Schiller's theory, what we find is the contention dear to aesthetic idealists that the ability to experience the aesthetic state is coincidental with our achievement of human being.
Has been solidly established .... "66 The worlds of satire and irony are centripetal constructions, not imitations-his system demands that he argue that point. " So despite all of his scientific claims, Frye's cyclic arrangement of the mythoi, and his endless enumerations of phases and subphases, are thoroughly hierarchical and judgmental in character. The real desideratum in Northrop Frye's world is freedom, the shedding of all constraints, and the pecking order of the modes is structured according to the fullness of freedom each mode is thought to image forth.
A number of contradictions aside, the move is spiritually coherent from his neo-Kantian view of freedom (and its celebration of the creative mind) toward his prefiguring of the recent rhetorical interpretation of Nietzsche (and its celebration of nonmimetic figuration). For what is celebrated in both instances is a fantastical, utopian alternative to the perception of a degraded social existence: a human discoursing free of all contingency, independent of all external forces, a discoursing empowered by unconditioned human desire.