9780979405761

Are the Humanities Inconsequent?: Interpreting Marx's Riddle of the Dog

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780979405761

  • ISBN10:

    0979405769

  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-05-31
  • Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr
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Summary

Adapting the discontinuous and multi-tonal critical procedures of works like Carlyle'sSartor Resartusand Laura Riding'sAnarchism Is Not Enough, Jerome McGann subjects current literary studies to a patacritical investigation. The investigation centers in the interpretation of a notorious modern riddle: "Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." Working by indirection and from multiple points of view, the book argues that aesthetics is always a science of exceptions, and that any given critical practice is also always an exception from itself. The book works from two assumptions: first, that the riddle of the dog conceals an allegory about book culture and is addressed to the academic custodians of book culture; and second, that any explanation of the riddle is necessarily implicated in the problem posed by the riddle. It therefore remains to be seenit is the reader's part to decidewhether the book is a friend to man orperhaps like the riddle of the dog"too dark to read."

Author Biography

Jerome McGann is the John Stewart Bryan University Professor, University of Virginia. His most recent books are The Point Is to Change It: Poetry and Criticism in the Continuing Present and The Scholar's Art: Literature and Scholarship in a Managed World, the latter published by the University of Chicago Press.

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