Loving Literature: A Cultural History

loving_literature_cover
Loving Literature: A Cultural History. By Deidre Shauna Lynch. University of Chicago Press, 2014. 352p. HB, $40.

A delightful review, by William Giraldi, of  Loving Literature: A Cultural History by Deidre Shauna Lynch in the Virginia Quarterly Review.

Here’s a juicy excerpt: If you’re looking to trace the more recent history of how the English department came to be known as a bastion of muddled thinking, you might begin with those two paladins of post-structuralist theory, Jacques Derrida and Paul de Man. Their deconstructionist shenanigans, their absurd and absurdist skepticism, posited that language doesn’t really mean what it says, that language must always be a puzzle pointing to other puzzles. The real puzzle was how anyone could have erected a theory upon a void, a theory that chose to ignore what lay on the page and focus instead on what wasn’t there. 

 

 

 

 

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