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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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All There Is to Use

All There Is to Use

(p.237) 32 All There Is to Use
The Critical Pulse

Mark Greif

Columbia University Press

This chapter presents the author's view that criticism should employ “all there is to use,” unlike previous theories that demanded fidelity to one method. He says that criticism should learn to grapple with the total aesthetic environment that has taken hold of ordinary life in our times, which criticism has often been blind and deaf to, so far. Criticism still deals primarily with single objects, and it separates aesthetic objects by their medium. Yet objects are not experienced singly today but in thousands, and often not sequentially but overlapping or simultaneously. In the era of vast distribution but private screening and listening (and still-private reading), critics have to figure out what it means to reconstruct the feeling of the audience around them, to feel again the public pressure and exigency of so many invisible eyes upon so much visible stuff.

Keywords:   literary critics, criticism, humanities

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