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Cover image for product 1118854535
New
ISBN: 978-1-118-85453-2
Hardcover
332 pages
May 2014
This is an out of stock title.
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Literary criticism of the past thirty years has undercut what the canonizers of the 19th and early 20th centuries saw as the fundamental role of early New England in the development of American literary culture. And yet, a determination in literary circles to topple perceived Ivy League elitism and Protestant cultural creationism, overlooks the continuing value, beauty, and even practical utility of a canon still cherished by lay readers around the world.

This manifesto raises questions about how academic specialization and the academic study of New England has affected enthusiasm for reading. Using a range of interpretive practices, including those most often deployed by contemporary academic critics, Elisa New cuts across firmly established subfields, mixing literary exegesis with autobiographical reflection, close reading with cultural history, archival and antiquarian inquiry with experiments in style, and lays bare editorial orthodoxies, raising to question the whole hierarchy of values now governing the study of American and other literatures. Taking New England as a test case for a wider more accessible set of critical practices, New England Beyond Criticism demands that the domain of literary study be opened further to the tastes of the general reader.

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