A William V. Spanos Reader

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ISBN 978-0-8101-3093-7

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ISBN 978-0-8101-3084-5
Publication Date
November 2015
Page Count
728 pages
Trim Size
ISBN
0-8101-3084-X

A William V. Spanos Reader

Humanist Criticism and the Secular Imperative
Edited by Daniel T. O'Hara, Donald E. Pease, Michelle Martin

The American critic William V. Spanos, a pioneer of postmodern theory and co-founder of one of its principal organs, the journal boundary 2, is, in the words of A William V. Spanos Reader coeditor Daniel T. O’Hara, everything that current post-modern theory is accused of not being: polemical, engaged, prophetic, passionate. Informed by his experience as a prisoner of war in Dresden, Spanos saw dire con-sequences for life in modernist aesthetic experiments, and he thereafter imbued his work with a constructive aspect ever in the name of more life. A William V. Spanos Reader collects Spanos’s most important critical essays, providing both an introduc-tion to his prophetic, visionary work and a provocation to the practice of humanistic criticism.

About the Author

DANIEL T. O’HARA is a professor of English and Inaugural Mellon Term Professor of Hu-manities at Temple University. His books include The Art of Reading as a Way of Life: On Nietzsche’s Truth (Northwestern, 2009).

DONALD E. PEASE is the Ted and Helen Geisel Third Century Professor of the Humanities at Dartmouth College.

MICHELLE MARTIN holds a Ph.D. in English from Temple University. Her work has appeared in the Journal of Modern Literature, among other venues.

Reviews

"Collaboratively compiled and co-edited, A William V. Spanos Reader: Humanist Criticism and the Secular Imperative collects together in a single volume Spanos's most important critical essays, providing both an introduction to his prophetic, visionary work and a provocation to the practice of humanistic criticism.  An impressive work of exceptional scholarship from beginning to end, this is a very highly recommended and core addition to academic library Literary Criticism/Literary Theory reference collections in general, and William V. Spanos supplemental studies reading lists in particular." —Midwest Book Review 

"In the age of 'surface' and 'distant' reading, of the revival of 'thin description,' of the retreat into apolitical post-critical enumeration, A Spanos Reader reminds us that the task of the critic is to remain attentive to the secular imperative, that worldly and profane space of critique. It is to acknowledge, in Spanos’ own words, 'the full obligation to think the question of the human in an absolute sense: every single minute of one’s waking life.' This, indeed, is criticism with teeth." —symploke