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View Diary: Has Harvard Professor Helen Vendler Lost Her Damn Mind? (162 comments)

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  •  I wanted to discuss schools of literary criticism (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoldlady, poco, Portlaw

    is  but in some ways, it would be way too narrow and too geeky of a topic of a topic.

    Vendler is very much of the school of the New Criticism (i.e. like I.A. Richards) where art and writing is to be valued for its' own sake and value and timeliness. Historical context, class, sex, and race are considered to be unimportant.

    Which would favor, of course, the finest writers that are of the "norm", that is, white, male, privileged, and already canonical. Under that criticism, a Langston Hughes would still be considered to be a "great" poet (given Hughes' similarities to Whitman) but still, given his Harlem background, a bit "exotic".

    Dove seems to gone down the road of New Historical criticism pioneered by Vendler's Harvard collegue Stephen Greenblatt; which takes historical context as well as race, sex, and class into account when doing literary criticism.

    Personally, I like evaluating literature using a melange of schools of criticism....and already, I talking too much "inside baseball."

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