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Who can blame him?

Frank Kermode, 5 April 1990

Critical Terms for Literary Study 
edited by Frank Lentricchia and Thomas McLaughlin.
Chicago, 369 pp., £35.95, March 1990, 0 226 47201 9
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The Ideology of the Aesthetic 
by Terry Eagleton.
Blackwell, 426 pp., £35, February 1990, 0 631 16302 6
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... responsible for the shift. But Fish, in a bold essay on rhetoric included in the Lentricchia-McLaughlin volume, qualifies Geertz’s remark: ‘something,’ he adds, ‘is always happening to the way we think.’ For he doesn’t quite agree with people who claim to have overthrown ‘the rival epistemology’, wiped out ‘foundationalism’, disposed ...

On (Not) Saying What You Mean

Colm Tóibín, 30 November 1995

... makes me wish I were writing about the work of Fulke Greville or Sir Walter Ralegh or Sir Thomas Wyatt. I studied English and History. In English we were told almost immediately by Seamus Deane that we must bring nothing of ourselves, of our personal experience to a poem when we read. A poem was a verbal structure, and our job was to define the nature ...

The Party and the Army

Ronan Bennett, 21 March 1996

... the value of words in the struggle against the Crown when he gave the oration at the funeral of Thomas Ashe, who died on hunger strike in 1917: ‘That volley which we have just heard is the only speech which it is proper to make over the grave of a dead Fenian.’ In the early and mid-Seventies, the sheer scale of the conflict with the British Army and the ...

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