"Pechter's story of how the discipline of literary studies has undermined the rationale for its existence by allowing its object to disappear in the solvent of historicist and materialist criticismis at once learned and sadly funny. It should also be dispiriting, but somehow Pechter's enthusiasm for what has been lost generates in us the hope that it may someday be found." - Stanley Fish, Davidson-Kahn Distinguished University Professor of Law and Humanities at Florida International University
"Pechter has provided us with a cogent and highly readable polemic in favor of connecting our understanding of Shakespeare to that of nineteenth-century Romantic criticism, when, Pechter contends, Shakespeare studies were first invented. Only such a move, argues Pechter, can enable us to find our way out of the critical doldrums in which we are currently mired. Without taking sides here in this debate, I can say that I find the book compellingly thoughtful in mounting a challenge that resonates across the whole range of literary study." - David Bevington, Phyllis Fay Horton Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in the Humanities, University of Chicago
"Toughly argued, wide-ranging,and immensely well-informed, Shakespeare Studies Today offers a salutary and constructive re-examination of the bases from which current Shakespearian criticism and scholarship operate. Standing aside from the fashion for materialist approaches, Pechtermakes a powerful and up-to-datecase for a return to the traditions of Romantic criticism." - Stanley Wells, Chairman of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust
About the Author
Edward Pechter is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Concordia University and an Adjunct Professor of English at the University of Victoria. He is the author of Dryden's Classical Theory of Literature, What Was Shakespeare?, "Othello" and Interpretive Traditions and, most recently, "Othello": A Norton Critical Edition.