Critical Inquiry Critical Inquiry

Autumn 2014

Volume 41 Issue 1
    • 24Herbert F. Tucker
    • You are about to read—and to hear as well, if you like, on a visit to the Critical Inquiry website—a pretty shamelessly self-interested talk. I prepared it for two reasons. I wanted to get a more inward understanding of a couple of Browning poems that have been favorites of mine for forty years. I also wanted to give a sort of extreme road-test to a mode of critical understanding—prosodic analysis—that has at least until quite recently forfeited not just its prestige but its very academic currency, within the study and the classroom alike.

      See also: Herbert F. Tucker, Browning's Lyric Intentions

    • 102Charles W. Collier
    • Not long ago, news came about the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager, Trayvon Martin, at the hands of a nervous neighborhood vigilante. More recently a graduate student in neuroscience named James Holmes opened fire in a Colorado theater with an array of advanced weaponry, killing twelve and wounding fifty-eight.And on a cold and clear December morning in Connecticut, a former high school honors student methodically executed twenty unsuspecting schoolchildren and seven adults with “a semiautomatic rifle that is similar to weapons used by troops in Afghanistan.”

      See also: Mahmood Mamdani, Settler Colonialism: Then and Now  ·  John G. Cawelti, Myths of Violence in American Popular Culture

    • 153Marcel Lepper
    • The politics of literature is not the same as the politics of writers and their commitments. The politics of literature is not limited to the politics of literary texts either. If literature means things made from letters, the politics of literature has to deal with such “things.” In the so-called era after theory, literary scholars have rediscovered the thinginess of literature: rare books, manuscripts, cultures of printing and collecting, of cutting and pasting, of bibliophilia and biblioclasm.

    • 160Zachary Leader
    • Marcel Lepper focuses on the third of the three case studies I discuss in my essay “Cultural Nationalism and Modern Manuscripts,” concerning the disposition of Franz Kafka’s papers, in particular the papers Max Brod brought to Palestine in 1939 just before the Nazis closed the Czech border. The aim of this third study is to complicate the issues raised in discussion of the disposition of Kingsley Amis’s and Saul Bellow’s papers, where the interests in play are seen as scholarly, on the one hand, and national, on the other.

    • 167Charles Palermo
    • As Diarmuid Costello and Dawn M. Phillips explain, the relation of photography’s “automatism or mechanicity” is routinely seen as reason for viewing photography as “mind-independent, agent-less, natural, causal, physical, unmediated.”  So challenge i is really also a big part of challenge ii.