Delivered at MLA 2019, as part of panel on the relation of criticism and theory. Criticism is not the opposite of theory, in the way that sometimes history is said to be the opposite of theory. Criticism is not systematic in the way that theory is. Thinkers described as unsystematic might often also be described as critics. Criticism has an affinity with the essay form. Criticism is often associated with a stance or attitude, as in “a critical spirit” or “a critical temper.” One does not refer to a “theoretical spirit” or a “theoretical temper,” though one can show...Read More
Author: Amanda Anderson
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