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Interference Patterns: Literary Study, Scientific Knowledge, and Disciplinary Autonomy

Adams, Jon

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ISBN 10: 0838756816 / ISBN 13: 9780838756812
Published by Bucknell University Press, Lewisburg, PA, 2007
Condition: Fine Hardcover
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Textured black paper over boards with gilt titles to spine, in grey and black illustated jacket, 8vo. 268pp. Index, bibliography, notes. As new: bright, tight, sharp and unmarked. Jacket in Brodart. Neither ex-lib nor remainder. Multiple copies available; please inquire. Bookseller Inventory # 009906

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Interference Patterns: Literary Study, ...

Publisher: Bucknell University Press, Lewisburg, PA

Publication Date: 2007

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

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Synopsis:

The story of twentieth-century literary criticism can be told as a story about methodological anxieties: anxieties fostered by the success of the sciences and enacted by critics who have tried to set the study of literary texts on a more scientific basis. At the macrostructural level were taxonomists: Northrop Frye attempted to locate literature's conceptual center and organize Ptolemaic satellite myths around it, inferring the existence of "literature" from the possibility of criticism. Mean-while, Roman Jakobson sought the quintessence of "literariness" in the linguistic microstructure, seeking (and finding) unsuspected levels of complexity, first in Baudelaire and Shakespeare, then in lesser poets, then in advertising slogans. After the collapse of the structuralist project, calls for the scientization of literary study have increasingly come from outside the humanities, where, despairing of criticism's native efforts, cognitive scientists and evolutionary psychologists have begun to employ literary fiction as part of their ongoing project of explaining culture under a biologistic description. What motivates these attempts to scientize criticism, and what consequences would ensue were the goal achieved?

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