The Institution of Criticism
Free

The Institution of Criticism

By Peter Hohendahl
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Book Description

German radicals of the 1960s announced the death of literature. For them, literature both past and present, as well as conventional discussions of literary issues, had lost its meaning. In The Institution of Criticism, Peter Uwe Hohendahl explores the implications of this crisis from a Marxist perspective and attempts to define the tasks and responsibilities of criticism in advanced capitalist societies. Hohendahl takes a close look at the social history of literary criticism in Germany since the eighteenth century. Drawing on the tradition of the Frankfurt School and on Jürgen Habermas's concept of the public sphere, Hohendahl sheds light on some of the important political and social forces that shape literature and culture. The Institution of Criticism is made up of seven essays originally published in German and a long theoretical introduction written by the author with English-language readers in mind. This book conveys the rich possibilities of the German perspective for those who employ American and French critical techniques and for students of contemporary critical theory.

Table of Contents
  • The Institution of Criticism
    • CONTENTS
    • Introduction
    • 1 Literary Criticism and the Public Sphere
    • 2 Art Evaluation and Reportage: The Aesthetic Theory of the Later Heine
    • 3 The End of an Institution? The Debate over the Function of Literary Criticism in the 1960s
    • 4 The Task of Contemporary Literary Criticism
    • 5 Promoters, Consumers, and Critics: On the Reception of the Best-Seller
    • 6 Prolegomena to a History of Literary Criticism
    • 7 Critical Theory, Public Sphere, and Culture: Jürgen Habermas and His Critics
    • Index
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