In spite of the recent discussion of the topic in the New York Times, I realize there is something antiquarian about my urge to think aloud about the nature of literary criticism. The decline of that role in society probably matters only to a fairly small caste of humanistically inclined readers. The implications of the decline, however, should matter to everyone.
Since my last post I've been thinking about the validity of the idea and the practice of literary criticism in a culture that often looks elsewhere for interpretation—and even more, that values expression over interpretation.
Who will read a literary criticism engaged with the real world?
Continuing my progressive descent into vulgar materialism (I use the words "progressive" and "vulgar" in positive senses!), I’d like to develop the line of thinking of my previous post, "Reading under Neoliberalism." I will use the questions Joel Burges asks in a comment to guide my reflections here.