nnyhav
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nnyhav
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April 23rd, 2014, 5:31 pm #11

following up on the above ... it's not so much what Barish makes of de Man as what is made of Barish on de Man

http://lareviewofbooks.org/review/decon ... igital-age by Jonathan Freedman
a more interesting turn on deconstructing the digital humanities from a historicist's pov

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/1170 ... h-reviewed by Robert Alter
pretty much what one would expect (and I'm not linking Romano in Chron of Higher Ed for same reason only moreso)
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JeffrytheCat
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JeffrytheCat
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September 20th, 2014, 5:57 am #12

It's a shame Barish's biography has turned out even worse than I'd expected. With the way these things tend to go, either there'll be a better biography in three years' time — or nothing for at least a decade. Still, I know my lurid interest will compel me to read the damn thing.

Otherwise... Has anyone else read Franco Moretti? I'm acquainting myself with a little "theory of the novel" — reading Ian Watt's Rise of the Novel (1957), revisiting Bakhtin, perusing Michael Schmidt's The Novel (2014), etc. — and I decided to tackle Moretti's The Way of the World. Suffice it to say, I am smitten. Moretti's arguments are consistently erudite, careful, and compelling. His handling of history, his defense of genre criticism, his attention to the impulses of middle-class life — all intricately interwoven and wonderfully revealing. Plus Moretti has me eager to read Annales School history; perhaps Lucien Febvre's The Problem of Unbelief in the Sixteenth Century to start?
"a sudden movement of the head like a bird who understands nothing of what we hear, who hears what we do not understand" (Roland Barthes)
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Heteronym
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September 20th, 2014, 10:29 am #13

What do you think of Michael Schmidt's The Novel so far?
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JeffrytheCat
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JeffrytheCat
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September 21st, 2014, 5:31 am #14

I will admit I have only read chapters on the modern and contemporary novelists. With that being said, I think Schmidt has written an informative and compulsively readable book. It reminded me of Edmund Wilson's To the Finland Station in its (more or less chronological) gathering of numerous lives and texts under the auspices of a particular theme; with Wilson, "History" — here, "The Novel." Compared to what I read recently from Steven Moore's The Novel: An Alternative History (and admitting their different aims), I much prefer Schmidt. And considering my frequent commerce of late with the wares of literary criticism, I suppose I appreciate his attention to "artist-practitioners" (i.e. writers of fiction who also happen to write about fiction-writing) instead of the standard critics.
"a sudden movement of the head like a bird who understands nothing of what we hear, who hears what we do not understand" (Roland Barthes)
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JeffrytheCat
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September 21st, 2014, 7:23 am #15

I am noticing now that Moretti has already received some mention around these parts: Hamlet and the region of death. However, based on the reactions in the thread, it appears his recent work doesn't live up to the potential I see in The Way of the World. Actually, in retrospect, the preface to my edition of the text does seem to allude to this movement away from what I currently admire in Moretti's approach and toward the quantitative methods he's using now. But even without the warning, that kind of change of pace wouldn't have wholly surprised me. There are indications as far back as Signs Taken for Wonders (1983) that Moretti isn't actually all that invested in literature:
wrote:a history of rhetorical forms carried through to its logical conclusion will very probably lead to the dismemberment of the aesthetic field. And this dismemberment will no longer take the historicist form of bracketing off the technical peculiarities of works so as to fuse them into a generic 'Spirit of the Age'. Rather, it is precisely from the materiality of their form that criticism will derive the theoretical need to 'unfix' the histories of art and literature, and rewrite them as merely a component of a history of values, of the structure of thought in which these values are organized and of the institutions designed to promote them.
Interestingly, what I've heard about The Bourgeois makes it sound an awful lot like the "history of values" Moretti's talking about here. If that's the case, then I hope he sticks with it and sets aside the quantitative stuff.
"a sudden movement of the head like a bird who understands nothing of what we hear, who hears what we do not understand" (Roland Barthes)
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oneofmurphysbiscuits
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September 21st, 2014, 4:19 pm #16

Hello Jeff,

I was about to draw your attention to the ...Hamlet..region.. and Information Overload threads. From my readings about him here the later works seems dull and problematical, but your enthusiasm for the earlier book is reason enough for me to have a look.
I only think, if that is the name for this vertiginous panic as of hornets smoked out of their nests, once a certain degree of terror has been exceeded
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JeffrytheCat
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September 23rd, 2014, 10:59 pm #17

oneofmurphysbiscuits wrote:Hello Jeff,

I was about to draw your attention to the ...Hamlet..region.. and Information Overload threads. From my readings about him here the later works seems dull and problematical, but your enthusiasm for the earlier book is reason enough for me to have a look.
Indeed! Since I noticed you're reading Philosophy of Right, it should be remarked that Moretti is quite Hegelian in his approach. (He hasn't mentioned it yet, but I suspect "the way of the world" alludes to the section on "Virtue and the way of the world" in Phenomenology of Spirit.) In some respects he's simply following in the footsteps of Lukacs, but I appreciate his efforts to bring Hegel to bear on the Bildungsroman, especially because I'm currently making my slow way through Phenomenology for the first time.
"a sudden movement of the head like a bird who understands nothing of what we hear, who hears what we do not understand" (Roland Barthes)
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oneofmurphysbiscuits
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September 24th, 2014, 8:45 am #18

What about Braudel, i wonder, and Moretti? I'm not thrilled to be reading Hegel again, but it is something i want to do, once more and "properly" this time, much earlier readings were always in bits and pieces and on the way to other sources. ..Philosophy of Right is still andfor the most part a chore for me, but the Nisbet translation is brilliant, I'll be having another go round with Phenomenology later in the year, or early next year
I only think, if that is the name for this vertiginous panic as of hornets smoked out of their nests, once a certain degree of terror has been exceeded
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nnyhav
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October 1st, 2014, 4:33 am #19

http://www.openlettersmonthly.com/john- ... ormations/ The Sea-God's Herb reviewed by Dan Green
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nnyhav
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October 3rd, 2014, 3:09 am #20

JeffrytheCat wrote:It's a shame Barish's biography has turned out even worse than I'd expected. With the way these things tend to go, either there'll be a better biography in three years' time — or nothing for at least a decade. Still, I know my lurid interest will compel me to read the damn thing.
TLS' Ann Jefferson* thinks it should be shrugged off.

*"Ann Jefferson teaches French at New College, Oxford. Her new book, Genius in France: An idea and its uses, is due to be published at the end of this year." So she's into Weird Al Yankovic?
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