Bearing the bad news: contemporary American literature and by Sanford Pinsker

By Sanford Pinsker

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However delimiting, clumsy, or inappropriate Rahv's central terms may have been, his cultural visionboth in its analysis and its prognosismerits our continuing attention. For if he could not see far enough into the future to worry about theorists replacing both the paleface and the redskin, both James and Whitman, he has provided us with a powerful argument for an American literature of mutual enrichment and eventual reconciliation. Page 18 The Catcher in the Rye and All: Is the Age of Formative Books Over?

She says this, by the way, without the slightest hint of irony (yet another outmoded, thoroughly deconstructed term) in illuminating Jacques Derrida's effort in tying language into knots: . . a text like Glas is best understood in the context of poetry rather than in the context in which it presently finds itself: the theory course. If this is indeed the case, the next stopand I have made this experiment with some of my own Contemporary Poetry students, many of whom are poetsis to read Glas against, say, John Ashbery's two-column Litany or John Cage's "writing through" Finnegans Wake, called Roaratorio, which uses a kind of odd citational graft and decomposition of word units very much as does Derrida.

After patiently trying to untangle Flem's complicated, wildly comic affairs, the Judge throws up his hands and admits publicly that he "can't stand it no more! " It's a delicious moment, but one destined for a long, and ultimately exasperating, run in American culture. For even as we celebrate Faulkner's updating of an Old Southwestern comic spirit that lies beyond law-and-order's grip, we recognize that the small claims court and civil suit are rapidly becoming for our world what the prison and the graveyard were for Hawthorne's.

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