By John Holbo
FRAMING THEORY'S EMPIRE began lifestyles as a "book event"--an on-line, roundtable-style symposium on THEORY'S EMPIRE (Columbia UP, 2005). dozen participants provided experiences, feedback, and statement. Now in booklet shape, it incorporates a preface via Scott McLemee and afterthoughts from THEORY'S EMPIRE'S editors.
WHAT OTHERS HAVE stated . . . because the concept period attracts to an in depth, we'd like greater than ever clever rumination and debate over what all of it intended. THEORY'S EMPIRE was once a major step in that course. Framing THEORY'S EMPIRe incorporates at the dialog with sophistication and flair.
--Denis Dutton, editor, PHILOSOPHY & LITERATURE . . .
It's infrequent for authors to have their paintings be the article of a long, distinct, critical and vigorous discussion almost immediately after its booklet. John Holbo's dedication to utilizing the net as an software for bringing approximately accurately one of these discussion is a superb instance of ways new applied sciences can improve the standard of our highbrow exchanges. And to make that vigorous discussion be the thing of one other e-book, online and in not easy replica, is yet another contribution.
--Daphne Patai, editor, THEORY'S EMPIRE . . .
CONTRIBUTORS Mark Bauerlein, Michael Bérubé, Timothy Burke, Chris Cagle, Christopher Conway, Will H. Corral, Jodi Dean, Brad DeLong, Morris Dickstein, John Emerson, Jonathan Goodwin, Daniel eco-friendly, Matt Greenfield, John Holbo, Mark Kaplan, Scott Eric Kaufman, Adam Kotsko, Kathleen Lowrey, Jonathan Mayhew, Sean McCann, Scott McLemee, John McGowan, Daphne Patai, Kenneth Rufo, Amardeep Sing, and Jeffrey Wallen
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Additional info for Framing Theory's Empire
Foundationalism and anti-foundationalism, shall we say roughly the Marxist reading on the one hand, and the deconstructionist on the other, make awkward bed-partners, you might think. But Theory deftly marries them off, or at least has them more or less cheerfully all registered as guests in the same hotel room. (27-8) When it comes to analyzing this trick, the last thing we should do is fall for the trick. If any sense of inevitability and necessity attaches to Theory, in the above sense, we fell for the trick, picked the wrong card.
I always quote Friedrich Schlegel at this point in the discussion. He’s a little more delicate about it than Docherty: “It is equally deadly to the spirit to 38 John Holbo have a system and not to have one. ” Now there is your positive recipe for Theory—the Higher Eclecticism—in one line or less. Theory is a late-Romantic formation, a true child of the counter-Enlightenment. I say this not to dismiss but to clarify and give Theory credit for its deep intellectual, literary and cultural roots. Explaining why Theory might be good—that is, why Higher Eclecticism might be a positive value, rather than just some ongoing academic accident—would mean saying why Schlegel is right.
The volume contents are not uniformly successful. Sometimes it tips over into over-aggression. We’ll talk about it. Anticipating a couple objections will get me to stage two of my argument. Making Sense of the Theme 33 First, there are many more than two senses of ‘theory’. Talking as if there are just two—Capital-T and Coleridgean—is confused. Yes, but multiplying senses of ‘theory’ will only make worse Eagleton’s bad assumption that there is only one, which is the Norton’s assumption. It is important to see this argument is bad, and see the bad effects it really does have.
Framing Theory's Empire by John Holbo