This book attempts to evaluate the structural, methodological, and political potential and limitations of critique. The contributors assess the merits of the postcritical turn while exploring a range of alternate methods and critical orientations. They look at how critique-based theory has shaped the development of the novel; they examine Donna Haraway's feminist epistemology and objectivity; look at the positive outcomes of critique; highlight the difference between reading as method and critique as genre; and question critique's efficacy at attending to the affective dimensions of experience. In these and other essays this volume outlines the state of contemporary literary criticism and shows how this can be updated to include the intellectual and political challenges of the present.
Elizabeth S. Anker is Associate Professor of English at Cornell University.
Rita Felski is William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of English at the University of Virginia.
Introduction / Elizabeth S. Anker and Rita Felski 1
Part I. Countertraditions of Critique
1. "Nothing Is Hidden": From Confusion to Clarity; or, Wittgenstein in Critique / Toril Moi 31
2. The Temptations: Donna Haraway, Feminist Objectivity, and the Problem of Critique / Heather Love 50
3. The Eighteenth-Century Origins of Critique / Simon During 73
Part II. Styles of Reading
4. Romancing the Real: Bruno Latour, Ian McEwan, and Postcritical Monism / Jennifer L. Fleissner 99
5. Symptomatic Reading Is a Problem of Form / Ellen Rooney 127
6. A Heap of Cliché / C. Namwali Serpell 153
7. Why We Love Coetzee; or, The Childhood of Jesus and the Funhouse of Critique / Elizabeth S. Anker 183
Part III. Affects, Politics, Institutions
8. Hope for Critique? / Christopher Castiglia 211
9. What Are the Politics of Critique? The Function of Criticism at a Different Time / Russ Castronovo 230
10. Tragedy and Translation: A Future for Critique in a Secular Age / John Michael 252
11. Then and Now / Eric Hayot 279
About the Contributors 313