When I think of the most important works of postwar criticism, I think of Frye’s Anatomy [of Criticism], Kermode’s The Sense of an Ending, Stanley Fish’s Surprised by Sin, Paul de Man’s Blindness and Insight, Said’s Orientalism, Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar’s The Madwoman in the Attic, Stephen Greenblatt’s Renaissance Self-Fashioning, Fredric Jameson’s The Political Unconscious, and Eve Sedgwick’s Between Men—books that launched or largely defined, respectively, myth criticism, narratology, reader-response criticism, deconstruction, postcolonial criticism, feminist criticism, New Historicism, contemporary Marxist criticism, and queer studies. The Anxiety of Influence—idiosyncratic, impacted, hermetic—launched nothing, except more books by Bloom.I don't know which of these I'll ever get around to reading, but I hope to make my way through a few of them. Deresiewicz also recommends Frank Kermode as a model critic.
20 September 2011
William Deresiewicz's list of influential postwar criticism.
From a TNR review of Harold Bloom's new book. For my own future reference.