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Literary Culture in a World Transformed: A Future for the Humanities

Paulson, William

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ISBN 10: 0801439140 / ISBN 13: 9780801439148
Published by Cornell University Press, 2001
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Literary Culture in a World Transformed: A ...

Publisher: Cornell University Press

Publication Date: 2001

Book Condition: Good

Edition: 1st Edition.

About this title

Synopsis:

Literary studies are in danger of being left behind in the twenty-first century. Print culture risks becoming a thing of the past in the multimedia age; meanwhile, human life and society are undergoing rapid changes as a result of new technologies, the intensification of global capitalism, and the effects of human actions on the environment.In this transformed world, William Paulson argues for a radical renewal of literary studies. Modern literary culture has defined itself, in opposition to science, politics, and commerce, as a protected sphere of democratic and free inquiry, but today that autonomy may lead to isolation from the real dynamics of cultural and global change. Paulson clearly and convincingly demonstrates the need for literary studies to embrace both the unfashionable literary past and the technologically saturated future, and to train not a countersociety of cultural critics but citizens of the world who can communicate the irreducible strangeness and multiplicity of literature to a society on hyperdrive. His series of concrete proposals, ranging from a closer connection between literature and everyday language to the restructuring of undergraduate and graduate education, will immeasurably enrich current discussions of the humanities' role in the life of the world.

Review:

"Paulson clearly and convincingly demonstrates the need for literary studies to embrace both the unfashionable literary past and the technologically saturated future. . . . His series of concrete proposals. . . . will immeasurably enrich current discussions of the humanities' role in the life of the world."―Rene Audet, Fabula, January 2002

"Paulson seeks a role for literary kinds of reading, steering between reactionaries on the one hand and radicals on the other. . . His diagnoses and advice. . . . are well balanced and clearly presented. . . . His book is one of the better examples of its kind, worthy of attention from anyone with a stake in the humanities, from upper-division undergraduates through faculty."―Choice, May 2002,Vol. 39, No. 9

"Paulson brings together some of the world's larger issues―a changing world in terms of economy and ecology, science and technology―and smaller issues: the effect of increasing electronic and audiovisual media on institutions of the book and the role of literary study in the academy."―Book News, June 2002

"His book convincingly argues that a skilled literary professional can be (at best, perhaps, must be) an amateur. As such, though it is very much written from the center, it outlines a radical openness to new modes of thought, new protocols of reading, writing, and teaching."―Thomas Chase, University of Regina, Journal of the Midwest Modern Language Association, Fall 2003

"Literary Culture in a World Transformed reassesses the place of literary studies in both the academic and non-academic worlds. Looking beyond the aesthetic and theoretical traditions that have polarized discourse about literature in the last few decades, William Paulson calls for a radically new form of interdisciplinarity. This is a brilliant and indispensable work."―Marie-Helene Huet, Princeton University

"In Literary Culture in a World Transformed, William Paulson argues for the humanities to relinquish a stance of opposition and autonomy and embrace a newly engaged notion of culture. This is real work, offering a new set of responsibilities for intellectuals, who are challenged not to criticize a reality made by others but to constitute reality"―Robert Weisbuch, President, The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation

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