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The Problem of Modernity: Hawthorne Criticism, Faith, and the Literary Situation
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Language, Literature and Intercultural Studies. (KuFo)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5104-1716
2017 (English)In: Orbis Litterarum, ISSN 0105-7510, E-ISSN 1600-0730, Vol. 72, no 4, p. 265-293Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article suggests that the ideologically aware mode of criticism that characterizes recent Hawthorne criticism is not the radical break with an earlier mode of criticism that it might appear to be, but rather a continuation of it. While laudable, the crucial aim of recent critics, to elucidate the relationship between literary text and social context, is in practice often compromised by the notion that literary works are more valuable if they can be shown somehow to predate or prefigure our own historical situation. This notion, however, is itself an article of faith, and needs to be critically examined if ideological analysis is to retain its productivity. To that end, the present article suggests that literary criticism would do well to focus not so much on the literary text as on the literary situation, which involves not only the writer and the original audience of the text, but its subsequent readings as well.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2017. Vol. 72, no 4, p. 265-293
National Category
Humanities and the Arts
Research subject
English; Comparative Literature
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-62538DOI: 10.1111/oli.12135OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-62538DiVA: diva2:1128477
Available from: 2017-07-26 Created: 2017-07-26 Last updated: 2017-10-10Bibliographically approved

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