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Willa Cather and the Politics of Criticism Paperback – Jan 15 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (Jan. 15 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 037571295X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375712951
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 13 x 1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,810,652 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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By A Customer on May 3 2003
Format: Paperback
As the previous reviewers have noted, this is a clever, wonderfully written book that makes sense of Cather and mincemeat of decades of politically oriented criticism. It is disheartening to read of all the absurdity that has been written about Cather (and, by extension, so many other wonderful writers)and realize the amount of dreadful criticism, narrow thinking and senseless writing that is being generated and propagated by the academic presses. This book is a breath of fresh air, showing that the Emperor of Academia really has no clothes.
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Format: Hardcover
With great economy and acerbic wit Joan Acocella takes on the Amazons of feminist theory and vanquishes the lot. Her research is detailed and her sources impressive, and for once we have a critic who loves literature and the people who make it more than the ideologies they represent or the dogmas they profess. Acocella skewers anti-scholarly scholarship and retrieves one of America's great writers from the dark grip of the dogmatists. Her account of Cather's early life and preparation is concise and filled with understanding; what's more in the briefest space she tells the story of that life in the context of the age and gives us Cather's achievement without the burden of spurious literary theories. Students of literature and literary criticism must read this as an example of good writing and clear thinking. Excellent bibliography, marvelous notes!
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Format: Hardcover
In a lucid, readable style Acocella explains how in the field of Cather studies, common sense has left the building and the lunatic fringe has set up camp. To many, it does not matter how fine a author Cather was but whether she was enough of a lesbian and leftist to qualify as an Approved Writer for the academy. Acocella explains with great panache how one can be a Republican and self-styled old maid like Cather and still be a great American writer. Riveting reading.
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By A Customer on June 1 2000
Format: Hardcover
Joan Acocella has written a cogent and witty review of past and current Cather criticism. If you are tired of critics imposing their political agendas on Cather's work (whether from the left or the right) you will enjoy this book. My only criticism: this was originally a New Yorker article, and although it's been expanded, it is still rather slim. More, Joan, we want more!
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By A Customer on May 14 2000
Format: Hardcover
Joan Acocella casts a witty and penetrating eye on Cather's wildly varying treatment at the hands of both right-wing and left-wing literary critics. This book is a must-read for anyone who's weary of pretentious, precious academic criticism that strays alarmingly far from the text in order to claim an author for a particular political camp. Acocella is a wonderful writer; every thought, every sentence in this book is a delight. Best of all, she makes you want to re-read Cather, which of course can only make you happy.
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