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09 February 2011 @ 05:10 pm
a query  
Tell me, o my flist: what are the articles and books of literary criticism that you love? Not the ones you read so that you could be well-versed in something you wanted to write about (though if you read a book or article for this reason and loved it, please share!), and not necessarily ones that you agree with, but the ones that have mattered to you in some way. (They don't have to involve Shakespeare; I'm just curious.)

I haven't given this an incredible amount of thought (basically, the time it took me to walk from the Shakespeare aisles in the library over to the English department), but it strikes me that my list is quite small; at the moment it only consists of a wee handful:

--The Genius of Shakespeare, Jonathan Bate (although it's perfectly possible that I would no longer feel this way about that book, it meant a good deal to me in college)
--Shakespeare and Child's Play, Carol Chillington Rutter (about which I've posted a few times. Enter the Body should probably be here too.)
--Shakespeare and the Arts of Language, Russ McDonald
--most things I've read so far by Lynne Magnusson (yay modals! Though I am also quite fond of her piece on the sonnets, service, and subjectivity [the second chapter of Shakespeare and Social Dialogue], and "Language and comedy" in the Cambridge Companion to Shakespearean Comedy.)
--it's not technically criticism, I suppose, but 1599 by James Shapiro
--"Not at All What a Man Should Be: Remaking English Manhood in Emma", Claudia L. Johnson. (I'm pretty sure I once said "Emma is totally a nationalist project!" in conversation once because of this article, in one of those "Austen never wrote about important historical stuff" debates.)

At one point The Madwoman in the Attic would have been here, because it was probably the first feminist criticism I read, and I discovered it on my own while taking a class on women writers of the Regency, so that was exciting. And possibly there should be a section of things I read on Elizabethan staging, because that was very important to me, but nothing in particular stands out as something I especially loved.

But even assuming that I've left out some things that I've forgotten or that I don't remember at all, I still feel like this list should be longer.
tempestsarekind: very few dates in this historytempestsarekind on February 10th, 2011 08:26 pm (UTC)
In fact, it's still a bit of an inscrutable mystery how I was accepted to grad school, considering that I have no background in lit crit at all.

Oh goodness, this is *so* true of me! When I graduated from college, I'm not even really sure I knew theory even existed, and I'd only read the tiniest bit of criticism (mostly from writing my thesis).

I definitely want to give The Book of Memory a go, one of these days. Of course, it's always checked out at the library, which doesn't help. :)
Elliptic Eye: FACTelliptic_eye on February 12th, 2011 08:14 pm (UTC)
The Craft of Thought is even spiffier, IMO—on the off chance that that one isn't always checked out.

(Besides, you're a grad student! Recall that motherfucker!)
tempestsarekind: ten is a bookwormtempestsarekind on February 13th, 2011 08:14 pm (UTC)
Heh. I always feel bad about recalling books I don't actually need, though, because I probably won't get around to them for a while anyway.
Elliptic Eyeelliptic_eye on February 13th, 2011 08:35 pm (UTC)
I know what you mean. I talk a good talk, but I always feel bad about recalling even the books that I actually do need.
tempestsarekind: freema reading is sexytempestsarekind on February 13th, 2011 08:50 pm (UTC)
I know! I wish there were a "nudge" function or something: just a way to be next in line when the book is due back to the library, rather than recalling it outright. (I have requested popular Shakespeare books out from the public library rather than the university library for exactly this reason; the person ahead of me still gets all her allotted time with the book; she just can't renew it afterward.)