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The Critical PulseThirty-Six Credos by Contemporary Critics$
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Jeffrey Williams and Heather Steffen

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780231161152

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231161152.001.0001

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What I Believe and Why

What I Believe and Why

(p.33) 4 What I Believe and Why
The Critical Pulse

Vincent B. Leitch

Columbia University Press

In this chapter, the author recounts how he asserted an explicit point of view, an identifiable critical position, in the late 1980s. In an article written in 1987, “Taboo and Critique: Literary Criticism and Ethics,” he outlined his own project of cultural critique, fusing post-structuralism with post-Marxist cultural studies. First, he criticized the taboo on extrinsic criticism promulgated by the American New Critics and tacitly conveyed to him by most of his professors. Second, he sketched his own program by working through faults with the 1980s critical projects of Wayne Booth (liberal pluralism), Robert Scholes (structuralism), and J. Hillis Miller (conservative deconstruction), all major critical voices of the time.

Keywords:   critical position, cultural critique, post-structuralism, post-Marxist cultural studies, American New Critics, Wayne Booth, Robert Scholes, J. Hillis Miller

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