Social Agendas and the Corruption of the Humanities New edition
By (author) John M. Ellis
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Literature Lost by John M. Ellis
Book DescriptionIn Literature Lost, John Ellis subjects the fashionable notions that now dominate college curricula in the humanities to a careful historical and logical analysis. The result is a devastating critique and a comprehensive rebuttal of the claims made for the reigning orthodoxy. "[Ellis is] not the first ...to express dismay at [the extraordinary changes that have come over the teaching of the humanities in American universities]; what distinguishes him is the clarity of his perceptions, and his willingness not merely to deplore the new trends but-faithful to an academic tradition he believes to be in serious danger-to subject them to disinterested inquiry."-Frank Kermode, Atlantic Monthly "An eloquent, passionate plea for the 'wider world' to engage itself with academia and bring it to its senses, lest literature and the arts be trampled beyond recognition by the armies of the alienated professoriat."-Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post Book World "A thorough and masterfully rational study of the issues behind the conflict."-John W. Aldridge, Wall Street Journal "[An] exceptionally persuasive book ...which ought to be required reading for any student about to enroll in a literature course. "-Merle Rubin, Baltimore Sun
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780300075793
(216mm x 140mm x 15mm)
Imprint: Yale University Press
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publish Date: 24-May-1999
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author John M. Ellis
Against Deconstruction, Paperback (February 1990)
"The focus of any genuinely new piece of criticism or interpretation must be on the creative act of finding the new, but deconstruction puts the matter the other way around: its emphasis is on debunking the old. But aside from the fact that this program is inherently uninteresting, it is, in fact, not at all clear that it is possible."
Narration in the German Novelle, Paperback (August 1979)» View all books by John M. Ellis
An investigation of the German Novelle, in particular the relationship of the narrator to his story, and the importance of this relationship for its interpretation.
US Kirkus Review » Having deconstructed one of his bugaboos in Against Deconstruction (not reviewed), Ellis (German Literature./Univ. of Calif., Santa Cruz) now goes after the race-gender-class triad of academic political correctness. The Culture Wars have slowed only a little in the media since the first salvos in the early '90s, fired in such books as Dinesh d'Souza's Illiberal Education. Ellis, the secretary of the Association of Literary Scholars and Critics, and an occasional writer for the Chronicle of Higher Education on political correctness, is slightly more interested in the intellectual underpinnings of literary radicals than in fracases at tenure meetings and conferences; but he is deeply concerned about the deleterious effect of both on academic freedom and higher learning. As something of an old-fashioned humanist, Ellis's style tends to be measured and levelheaded when he's analyzing the Western tradition and the recurrence of philosophic radicalism and intellectual orthodoxy. His lively and telling discussion of previous incarnations of political correctness include Tacitus' efforts to romanticize German barbarians, Rousseau's vilification of European civilization, Herder's volk-worshiping cultural relativism, and Marx's materialist dialectics. He is also well versed in the modern schools of literary criticism and provides an excellent perspective on the evolution of the New Criticism to Deconstruction and New Historicism. When taking on the opposing forces in contemporary academic struggles, his methodical approach is especially adept at showing up the the sloppiness of cultural critic Fredric Jameson and the unscientific feminist psychology of Peggy McIntosh. Sometimes the book gives way to petty polemic, as when addressing more general trends in feminism and campus activism, but Ellis's humanist dislike of cant and jargon is well matched with his open-mindedness about the values of literature. Another fusillade in the Culture Wars from an entrenched position, but one of higher than usual caliber. (Kirkus Reviews)
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