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The Institution of Criticism

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The Institution of Criticism

Peter Hohendahl

Paperback
ISBN: 9781501707186
Cornell University Press

German radicals of the 1960s announced the death of literature. For them, literature both past and present, as well as conventional discussions of literary issues, had lost its meaning. In The Institution of Criticism, Peter Uwe Hohendahl explores the implications of this crisis from a Marxist perspective and attempts to define the tasks and responsibilities of criticism in advanced capitalist societies. Hohendahl takes a close look at the social history of literary criticism in Germany since the eighteenth century. Drawing on the tradition of the Frankfurt School and on Jürgen Habermas's concept of the public sphere, Hohendahl sheds light on some of the important political and social forces that shape literature and culture. The Institution of Criticism is made up of seven essays originally published in German and a long theoretical introduction written by the author with English-language readers in mind. This book conveys the rich possibilities of the German perspective for those who employ American and French critical techniques and for students of contemporary critical theory.

This title was first published on February 1, 1982.

Reviews

"Hohendahl provides a lot of interesting detail—for example, about the way best sellers are handled in Germany: their success may depend upon their being ideologically acceptable to the newspaper owners, and their promotion is not by means of criticism, but by the contrivance of 'media events.'"—Frank Kermode, London Review of Books

This work can be downloaded for non-commercial purposes:

Creative Commons License
The Institution of Criticism is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.