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    Critical criticism’s critique: 13 theses, or, it is all rubbish

    Leslie, Esther (2011) Critical criticism’s critique: 13 theses, or, it is all rubbish. In: Schad, J. and Tearle, O. (eds.) Crrritic! Sighs, Cries, Lies, Insults, Outbursts, Hoaxes, Disasters, Letters of Resignation, and Various Other Noises Off in These the First and Last Days of Literary Criticism ... Not to Mention the University. Eastbourne, UK: Sussex Academic Press. ISBN 9781845193423.

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    Book synopsis: Well this is it: the end, last gasp, final straw; in short, the concluding dark volume in a series of books some idiot called ‘critical inventions.’ Let us be like wry Oscar Wilde, said the idiot, and dream of the critic as artist, or at least as someone else, as someone other than who we had thought he was, or been taught he was. Let us, continued the idiot, set the critical dogs off the leash and see what they come back with. And here they are: no less than twenty-four press-ganged souls all huddled together for warmth; some are critics, some are poets, and some are critic-poets; among them such as Steven Connor, Jonathan Dollimore, Ewan Fernie, Mark Ford, Kevin Hart, Geoffrey Hartman, Esther Leslie, Willy Maley, and Michael Simmons Roberts. … So, twenty-four voices, twenty-four shots in the dark, or maybe shots at the dark, or possibly the head, or even the foot. But whatever, each is a shot at pushing the battered perambulator of dear old criticism so far and so fast that someone somewhere – whether in anger, derision, or pain – might just cry ‘Crritic!,’ that curse of all curses, the best of all possible anathema. But maybe, just maybe, the exclamation ‘Crritic!’ will here double as a cri de coeur, or howl of self-loathing, or scream of delight, or laugh in the night, or just a smashed-up and beaten old prayer. We shall see.

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