Thursday, August 26, 2010
Of course "New Criticism" is not the only mode in which thoroughness can take place. However thoroughness occurs is lovely to me. Rachel Blau De Plessis is not necessarily a New Critic, and her essays tend towards the splendidly thorough! Amartya Sen (not a lit-crit for the most part, true), if anything, downplays the importance of language--and he too is soooooo thorough. I suppose all I'm arguing for is the delight I experience when people take the effort to substantiate their claims, to do the difficult work of explanation/connection, as opposed to relying almost entirely on the "gesture." I do not, as is likely implicitly clear, have much enthusiasm for innovative criticism. Yes, poem is a porous boundary, but I do not want what is more than less a poem to serve as replacement for academic/expository/argumentative prose. Manifestos (with O'Hara and Warhol as exceptions (and likely others I have not read)), grin, ought to go jumping off the nearest cliff. Funnily, I love impressionism when it comes to paintings. And I often find non-contemporary belles lettres charming.