Marxism has had an enormous impact on literary and cultural studies, and all those interested in the field need to be aware of its achievements. This collection presents the very best of recent Marxist literary criticism in one single volume. An international group of contributors provide an introduction to the development, current trends and evolution of the subject. They include such notable Marxist critics as Tony Bennett, Terry Eagleton, Edward W. Said, Raymond Williams and Fredric Jameson. A diverse range of subjects are analysed such as James Bond, Brecht, Jane Austen and the modern hist.
OUR understanding of any significant movement in human affairs can hardly be said to even approach completeness until the evidence from literature is in. Because writers of fiction and poetry tend to grope for meanings rather than superimpose them — Yeats called this process the "public dream" —literary criticism can bring to the surface what otherwise might lie buried in the culture's subconscious. And this is perhaps even more true for the history of the Negro in American literature than for other cultural phenomena — the Westering Movement or the Industrial Revolution, for example — since so much of that history has been an unconscious, or at least half-conscious, masking of issues that have been contorted by fear, guilt, and rage.
Revisits the importance of four books published in the late 1970s that sought to reappraise women authors & their literary output: (1) Patricia Spack's (1975) The Female Imagination; (2) Ellen Moers's (1976) Literary Women; (3) Elaine Showalter's (1977) A Literature of Their Own; & (4) Sandra Gilbert & Susan Gubar's (1979) The Madwoman in the Attic. The impetus for these critical works is located in early feminist books that also addressed literary subjects: Mary Ellman's (1968) Thinking about Women & Kate Millett's (1970) Sexual Politics. The impact of all these works on establishing women's literature as a valid literary & cultural enterprise is discussed. K. Hyatt Stewart
Literature was never central to Brownson's interests; indeed at times it was something he tolerated somewhat impatiently.* He wrote about it regularly, however, and during his career filled over a thousand closely packed octavo pages on the subject. He could even use the cant of the journalist reviewer with professional facility. Of a novel called Thorneberry Abbey, for instance, he says, "It has one or two literary faults … efforts at fine writing, and wearisome descriptions of natural scenery, which … only interrupt the narrative." With variations in the details, this kind of formal gesture is repeated almost every time he reviews a novel. Moreover, the passage on Thorneberry Abbey appears towards the very end of a long review, introduced by the following candid admission: "But we have forgotten the little book before us." What precedes the remark is not primarily a literary discussion but rather a warning to Catholics against the dangers of unwary compromises with Protestantism. What follows the remark is literary in a perfunctory and conventional way and is quickly dropped in favor of more polemic discussion. Although this procedure is not true of every piece of criticism by Brownson, something like it happens often enough to make it characteristic. When he was accused of such irrelevance later in life, he defended himself vigorously: "The book introduced is regarded as little more than an occasion or a text for an original discussion of some questions which the author wishes to treat.… Books are worthy of no great consideration for their own sake, and literature itself is never respectable as an end, and is valuable only as a means to an end." In spite of this method, however, Brownson raised important critical questions and left a substantial amount of literary material.