Literary Radicalism in America

Literary Radicalism in America

Left-wing literary people talk more these days about criticism than about fiction or poetry or plays. The statement sounds too flat to be true, and it is fair to ask what “left-wing” signifies in the context. I am using it simply and I hope accurately to mean: people who in a better time would be doing political work. The criticism I have in mind is addressed to readers familiar with the current theoretical debates. It uses a political vocabulary (“undermining,” “totalizing,” “reification,” “rupture,” “bad faith”) yet it has no implications for practical politics. The aim is not to interpret texts but to The New Criterion

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