William Empson

The Critical Achievement

William Empson
  • Edited by Christopher Norris

    Edited by Nigel Mapp

  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press

    Online Publication Date:June 2011

    Online ISBN:9780511552816

    Hardback ISBN:9780521353861

    Paperback ISBN:9780521118866

  • Book DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511552816

    Subjects: Literary theory

William Empson (1906SH84) was one of the twentieth century's most distinctive critical voices, and left a profound mark upon Anglo-American literary culture. This book is the first full study of Empson's literary criticism in its various aspects, taking account of recent developments in critical theory and of Empson's complex SH at times deeply antagonistic SH attitude towards those developments. In their diversity of viewpoint and critical approach the nine essays reflect this sturdy resistance to fashionable trends of 'Eng. Lit.' opinion. Topics include the relations between Empson and Derrida's approaches to the issue of textual 'undecidability', and Empson's prominent (if unwilling role) in the shaping of English as an academic discourse. Christopher Norris's extended introduction charts the ground and offers a major revaluation of Empson's place in the theoretical tradition.

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