Only 1 left in stock.
Ships from and sold by
Gift-wrap available.
A Critic's Journey: Liter... has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Binding is tight; pages are bright; text has no markings. DJ is bright with light shelfwear. Hardcover.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

A Critic's Journey: Literary Reflections, 1958-1998 Hardcover – August 11, 1999

See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"
$3.38 $0.57
"Please retry"

A Spool of Blue Thread
The story of the Whitshank family told in Anne Tyler's hallmark setting—Baltimore. Read the full description | Learn more about the author
$50.00 FREE Shipping. Only 1 left in stock. Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Each of these 19 essays, penned by the highly esteemed Sterling professor emeritus of English and comparative literature at Yale, addresses a major literary issue, be it Shakespeare, Dickinson, Wordsworth, the rhetoric of hate or new approaches to teaching the humanities. Hartman, a refugee from Hitler's Germany and a member of the renowned Yale school of literary studies that helped make "deconstruction" a household word, is nothing if not an enthusiast for his chosen field. A talkative introduction traces his early influences and outlines the trajectory of a career that has taken him from being a champion of Romantic poetry to being a pioneer in Holocaust studies. Hartman possesses encyclopedic knowledge, and sometimes his writing seems more like snapshots of a mind in mid-rumination than like anything as focused as an essay. But strong mythmakers like Milton and Freud captivate him, and in his many pieces on such subjects he manages to channel his tendency toward breadth into sustained and highly appreciative investigations. Hartman's careful explication of his chosen texts is invigorated by his commitment, at once subtle and moral, to the critic's task of broadening our response to art: "Books are our second fall," he writes, "the reenactment of a seduction that is also a coming to knowledge." His conviction that criticism matters essentially, not just to its audience but to artists themselves, gracefully translates into moments of interpretive courage, for which the reader emerges grateful and enriched. (Oct.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

A celebrated professor of literature and criticism presents a representative gathering of his work, some of the pieces previously uncollected. Hartman, professor emeritus of English and comparative literature at Yale, has distinguished himself as a literary critic and commentator over 40 productive years. Here he offers selections from, or perhaps even summation of, his life's work, highlighting both the theoretical (Freud, Heidegger, Derrida) and the practical criticism (on Milton, Shakespeare, and Wordsworth) as well as forays into film (Hitchcock's North by Northwest), detective fiction (Raymond Chandler and Ross Macdonald), and the current sorry state of the humanities in American universities. What links all these interests is Hartman's abiding commitment to reading and interpreting literature and not (as his many detractors have often accused) his supposed identity as a deconstructive nihilist. This collection makes clear that Hartman's association with deconstruction is merely a piece of a much larger and more interesting picture. Its a picture of a man trying honestly and in a workmanlike way to understand the full complexity of literature's relationship to reality. Now, an upshot of his thinking in this regard is that criticism should not necessarily simplify literature. He rejects emphatically the genteel Anglo-American tradition of literary criticism as polite conversation in simple, elegant language. If literature is dynamic, manifold, and complicated, then criticism must rise to meet that truth and not mask or diminish it. Consequently, Hartman can be rough going for any reader, which leads him into a paradox of sorts. He also emphasizes the public nature of literature and criticism, yet his own writing sometimesoftenmakes him seem esoteric, academic, just another expert in a culture of specializations. The paradox creates an interesting struggle in his language, which is alternately pithy (public) and dense (esoteric). The result is a kind of writing that challenges the reader to think creatively, both with and against the critic. Hartman cultivates the form of the literary essay with great intellectual integrity, raising important questions along the way. -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; First Edition edition (August 11, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300080433
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300080438
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,251,628 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

1.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See the customer review
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By ben on June 19, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Everybody is a critic! It took all those years, and all those words to say ?!?!?!?!?! I would go back and ask for a refund at the college.
Ben T.S.
House of Venus
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
A Critic's Journey: Literary Reflections, 1958-1998
This item: A Critic's Journey: Literary Reflections, 1958-1998
Price: $50.00
Ships from and sold by