Joost Burgers | Tropes in Distention: Cleanth Brooks and the Rise of “Paradox” in Postwar America

19.1 Diversen

Abstract

In this article Burgers addresses the rather curious institutionalization of the American literary critical movement the New Criticism. The curiosity being that the New Critics developed the meat and bones of their critical doctrine before the Second World War, but only received wide-spread attention after the war. Of course, taking into account other factors, what he argues here is that the New Criticism gained such currency because its context of reception changed. The key terms of their critical doctrine, paradox, irony, etc., seemed too narrow and exclusive terms for poetry before the war, but were seen as a general description of life after the war. Thus it is because the New Criticisms critical language shared what Burgers calls a tropological propinquity (really just a fancy way of saying a family resemblance between different key terms or phrases) with the larger discursive patterns in the US after the war that it gained such currency.

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June 14th, 2014

Jürgen Pieters | The Powers of Fiction and the Conversation with the Dead

19.1 Diversen

Abstract
This paper deals with the topic of the conversation with the dead, taken as a shorthand for the practice of literary history. In previous publications, Pieters tried to outline a number of important issues that can be subsumed under this topic, all of them revolving around the idea that literary texts are supreme sources of what is called the historical experience. In this paper, he addresses the question which textual mechanism (if any) procures this specific and special literary-historical experience.

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June 14th, 2014