Molly Anne Rothenberg Tulane University What could be a more fitting tribute to Sir Walter Scott around the bicentennial of Waverley's publication than the appearance of an original, revitalizing approach to his work? Evan Gottlieb's new book, Walter Scott and Contemporary Theory (Bloomsbury, 2013), sweeps away any lingering assumptions about Scott's work as fusty entertainment or outmoded literary strategy. Gottlieb acknowledges that Scott and theory "may not immediately sound like a natural fit," but he demonstrates Scott's profound engagement with the most urgent questions now addressed by contemporary theory (vi). Rather than simply using theory to explore and interpret Scott, Gottlieb exposes Scott's own theoretical dimensions and his contributions to investigations of current critical interest. The book provides intriguing introductions to Scott's novels and to theory as well as sophisticated interpretations of both. At the same time, the range of this volume poses problems for the reviewer because it makes so many different kinds of arguments, so here I will simply try to indicate the value of the book for a variety of academic purposes and populations. The introduction presents "contemporary" theory as more capacious and diverse than the "high" theory derived from Jacques Derrida and Michel Foucault
The Eighteenth Century – University of Pennsylvania Press
Published: Nov 4, 2016
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