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ISBN-10: 0823230309

ISBN-13: 9780823230303

Harry Berger, Jr., has lengthy been one among our so much respected and revered literary and cultural critics. because the overdue nineties, a circulation of outstanding and cutting edge guides have proven how very extensive his pursuits are, relocating from Shakespeare to baroque portray, to Plato, to theories of early culture.In this quantity a unique workforce of students gathers to have a good time the paintings of Harry Berger, Jr. To celebrate,in Berger's phrases, is to go to whatever both in nice numbers otherwise frequently-to leave and are available again, depart and are available again, leave and are available again. Celebrating is what you do the second one or 3rd time round, yet now not the 1st. To have a good time is to revisit. To revisit is to revise. social gathering is the eureka of revision.Not purely former scholars yet unusual colleagues and students come jointly in those pages to find Berger's eurekas-to revisit the rigor and originality of his feedback, and sometimes to revise its conclusions, throughout the enjoyment of strenuous engagement. Nineteen essays on Berger's Shakespeare, his Spenser, his Plato, and his Rembrandt, on his theories of interpretation and cultural switch and at the ethos of his severe and pedagogical types, open new methods to the incredible ongoing physique of labor authored through Berger. An advent by means of the editors and an afterword through Berger himself position this pageant of interpretation within the context of Berger's highbrow improvement and the reception of his paintings from the mid-twentieth century into the 1st decade of the twenty-first.

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Extra resources for A Touch More Rare: Harry Berger, Jr., and the Arts of Interpretation

Example text

Taking stock of such a situation is the ‘‘secret discipline’’ that drives this critic’s acts of reading. Still, one asks, who is it that ‘‘redistributes complicities,’’ whether this redistribution is seen as a lie of the self (the product of projection and displacement) or as a moral work (visible in the critic’s analytic discernings of such lies)? And is this process a kind of ‘‘redistribution of wealth’’ (an answer to various forms of ‘‘conspicuous’’ consumption) or a way of recognizing a shared poverty in language?

As Peter Erickson points 31 ................. 17407$ $CH3 07-07-09 10:47:12 PS PAGE 31 32 The Immature Criticism of Harry Berger out in his introduction to Making Trifles of Terrors, ‘‘Berger is resolutely—some might same relentlessly—moral in his critical pursuits,’’1 and he is also importantly the classicist, the reader of Plato, the scholar of myth and epic. But Berger is also the trickster, guilty of multilingual puns and wordplay galore. The deep and completely inexplicable love that Rabelais celebrates between his two characters—the giant humanist who celebrates education and the scrawny trickster without a crown to his name—captures the unusual nature of Berger’s scholarship and helps to explain why his works always represent something so much more than just another smart book on a Renaissance or classical topic.

The effort often has a kind of comic charm; it is a version of the clown’s wink of complicity with his audience, at once disarming and engaging, warding off the evil eye, whether it looks from inside or outside. The other sense of the phrase ‘‘self-hatred’’ I have in mind is more conventional. One of the particular forms in which the self shows its danger, and becomes an object of Berger’s suspicion, is in its doubt, fear, distrust, or hatred of itself. For Berger, it is the self’s inability to bear its own failures, aggressions, and fears (even its fear of its own fear) that in turn leads to some of the self’s most steadfast and corrosive acts of evasion, especially the self’s projections of its fears onto others.

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A Touch More Rare: Harry Berger, Jr., and the Arts of Interpretation


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