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Frank Lentricchia (1940 - )

Related: American literature - literary theory

Crimes of Art + Terror (2003) - Frank Lentricchia, Jody McAuliffe [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

And so Lentricchia joined the conga line of critics who have "renounced" a certain kind of criticism, the kind that wants to translate a text into something other than what it is. Susan Sontag may have signaled the trend with her 1964 essay "Against Interpretation," in which she made the now-famous statements that "interpretation is the revenge of the intellect upon art," and, "In place of a hermeneutics we need an erotics of art." Roland Barthes, a giant in the field of semiotics, followed suit with his book S/Z, an obsessive reading of Balzac's Sarrasine. Barthes suggested that this most classical of narratives is, at the same time, filled with unexpected and idiosyncratic elements that resist the ministrations of literary theory. Readers find meaning not in theory, he claims, but somewhere in the uncertain ground between theory and text. With "Against Interpretation," Sontag said something similar, suggesting that texts are threatening to the extent that they require both an intellectual and a sensual response--the implication being that the modern audience can only handle one or the other at any given time. -- Mark Hornburg, http://indyweek.com/durham/2001-02-28/ae.html

Biography

Frank Lentricchia (born 1940) is an American literary critic, novelist, and film teacher. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank Lentricchia [Sept 2006]

Crimes of Art + Terror (2003) - Frank Lentricchia, Jody McAuliffe

Do killers, artists, and terrorists need one another? In "Crimes of Art and Terror, Frank Lentricchia and Jody McAuliffe explore the disturbing adjacency of literary creativity to violence and even political terror. Lentricchia and McAuliffe begin by anchoring their penetrating discussions in the events of 9/11 and the scandal provoked by composer Karlheinz Stockhausen's reference to the destruction of the World Trade Center as a great work of art, and they go on to show how political extremism and avant-garde artistic movements have fed upon each other for at least two centuries.

"Crimes of Art and Terror reveals how the desire beneath many romantic literary visions is that of a terrifying awakening that would undo the West's economic and cultural order. This is also the desire, of course, of what is called terrorism. As the authority of writers and artists recedes, it is criminals and terrorists, Lentricchia and McAuliffe suggest, who inherit this romantic, destructive tradition. Moving freely between the realms of high and popular culture, and fictional and actual criminals, the authors describe a web of impulses that catches an unnerving spirit.

Lentricchia and McAuliffe's unorthodox approach pairs Dostoevsky's "Crime and Punishment with Martin Scorsese's "King of Comedy" and connects the real-life Unabomber to the surrealist Joseph Cornell and to the hero of Bret Easton Ellis's bestselling novel "American Psycho. They evoke a desperate culture of art through thematic dialogues among authors and filmmakers as varied as Don DeLillo, Joseph Conrad, Francis Ford Coppola, Jean Genet, Frederick Douglass, Hermann Melville, and J. M. Synge, among others. And they conclude provocatively with an imagined conversation between Heinrich von Kleist and Mohamed Atta. The result is a brilliant and unflinching reckoning with the perilous proximity of the impulse to create transgressive art and the impulse to commit violence. --from the cover

See also: art horror - terrorism

After the New Criticism (1980) - Frank Lentricchia

After the New Criticism (1980) - Frank Lentricchia
[Amazon.com]
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First sentence: "Northrop Frye published his monumental book in 1957, one year after Murray Krieger in The New Apologists for Poetry had summed up the position associated..."

Book Description
This work is the first history and evaluation of contemporary American critical theory within its European philosophical contexts. In the first part, Frank Lentricchia analyzes the impact on our critical thought of Frye, Stevens, Kermode, Sartre, Poulet, Heidegger, Sussure, Barthes, LÚvi-Strauss, Derrida, and Foucault, among other, less central figures. In a second part, Lentricchia turns to four exemplary theorists on the American scene--Murray Krieger, E. D. Hirsch, Jr., Paul de Man, and Harold Bloom--and an analysis of their careers within the lineage established in part one.

Lentricchia's critical intention is in evidence in his sustained attack on the more or less hidden formalist premises inherited from the New Critical fathers. Even in the name of historical consciousness, he contends, contemporary theorists have often cut literature off from social and temporal processes. By so doing he believes that they have deprived literature of its relevant values and turned the teaching of both literature and theory into a rarefied activity. All along the way, with the help of such diverse thinkers as Saussure, Barthes, Foucault, Derrida, and Bloom, Lentricchia indicates a strategy by which future critical theorists may resist the mandarin attitudes of their fathers.

See also: Frank Lentricchia - 1980 - literary theory - New Criticism

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