book notes Vincent B. Leitch. Literary Criticism in the 21st Century: Theory Renaissance. New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2014. 192pp. Theory is dead. Long live theory! The contemplation (theoria) of its own status-- ontological, intellectual, institutional, cultural, and otherwise--seems to have always been a constitutive element of theory, but recently it seems this tendency toward self-assessment has kicked into high gear. In the last year or so alone we have had an account of theory's medieval birth (Andrew Cole's The Birth of Theory) and an elegy (a titular elegy, if not an actual one) for theory from a prominent film theorist (D.N. Rodowick's Elegy for Theory)--not to mention many other such works situated somewhere between theory's birth and death. Vincent B. Leitch's new book Literary Criticism in the 21st Century: Theory Renaissance is a welcome addition to the genre, and is recommended to anyone interested in thinking about, to paraphrase Trollope, the way(s) we theorize now. Like some of Leitch's earlier books, especially 2003's Theory Matters, Literary Criticism in the 21st Century assembles a versatile assortment of disparate discursive forms while still retaining a coherent and lucid perspective on the current and future status of theory. The ten chapters
symploke – University of Nebraska Press
Published: Dec 31, 2015
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