The Task of the Critic: Poetics, Philosophy, Religion
Today's critic must be something of a philosopher as well as a poet. Yet her workremains above all that of the close reader, and the emergence of the valuesembodied by the close reader to stand alongside those of the philosopher andthe poet may be one of the most significant intellectual developments to emergein the post-World War II years.This book analyzes the language poets, Deleuze and Guattari, and above allBenjamin and Derrida, to trace the various dimensions of the task of the critic.It concludes with a major chapter on the significance of Derrida's recent workfor the conceptualization of religion, and with an Afterword examining therole of the Romantic discourse of the fragment in the archeology of all thesediscursive strands.The task of the critic, now invited to pass through the discourses ofphilosophy, poetry, and religion beyond that of close reading, has neverbeen harder-nor have we ever been more in need of it.
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