The Scholar's Art: Literary Studies in a Managed World

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University of Chicago Press, May 15, 2006 - Literary Criticism - 239 pages
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For Jerome McGann, the purpose of scholarship is to preserve and pass on cultural heritage, a feat accomplished through discussion among scholars and interested nonspecialists. In The Scholar’s Art, a collection of thirteen essays, McGann both addresses and exemplifies that discussion and the vocation it supports.

Of particular interest to McGann is the demise of public discourse about poetry. That poetry has become recondite is, to his mind, at once a problem for how scholars do their work and a general cultural emergency. The Scholar’s Art asks what could be gained by reimagining the way scholars have codified the literary and cultural history of the past two hundred years and goes on to provide a series of case studies that illustrate how scholarly method can help bring about such reimaginings. McGann closes with a discussion of technology’s ability to harness the reimagination of cultural memory and concludes with exemplary acts of critical reflection.

Astute observation from one of America’s most bracing and original commentators on the place of literature in twenty-first century culture, The Scholar’s Art proposes new ways—cultural, philological, and technological—to reimagine our literary past and future.

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Contents

Loose Canons
1
Two Romantic Responses to the Death of Beauty
19
2 Romanticism PostRomanticism and the Afterlife of Cultural Authority
35
Laura Riding and the History of TwentiethCentury Writing
50
4 My Kinsman Walter Scott
71
5 Tennyson and the Artists of the Beautiful
88
6 Beauty a NineteenthCentury Users Manual
104
7 Mr James and His Discovery
121
8 Visible Language Interface IVANHOE
148
10 Impossible Fiction or The Importance of Being John Cowper Powys
175
11 Beauty the Irreal and the Willing Assumption of Disbelief
190
The Scholars Art
211
NOTES
217
WORKS CITED
221
INDEX
229
Copyright

8 Interpretation as a Game That Must Be Lost
135

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About the author (2006)

Jerome McGann is the John Stewart Bryan Professor of English at the University of Virginia. The author of four books of poetry and the editor of numerous works, including the definitive edition of Byron, McGann was awarded the Modern Language Association's Lowell Prize for best literary study for his 2001 book, Radiant Textuality: Literary Studies after the World Wide Web.

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