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Chris Baldick

Chris Baldick teaches at Edgehill College of Higher Education in Ormskirk. He is the author of The Social Mission of English Criticism and of a recent study of the Frankenstein myth.

Re-Readings

Chris Baldick, 10 November 1988

Academic publishers in Britain are relying increasingly upon the series of monographs, a form which permits the development of brand loyalty and which allows a few excellent literary introductions and re-interpretations to carry in their wake any number of inferior works. The rise of the series is most pronounced in the oppositional subculture of academic feminism, socialism and deconstruction which seeks in various ways to challenge traditional notions of method, of canon, and of the status of literature. Here the nature of the series monograph tends to encourage the production of instant off-the-peg reassessments or sample demonstrations of theoretical routines cried up as novelties. The series edited by Jonathan Dollimore and Alan Sinfield under the title ‘Cultural Polities’ has some twenty volumes in store already, covering popular fiction and music as well as canonical literature. Of these, the first four published titles present a mixed impression in which the more traditionally literary studies come off far better than the single excursion beyond letters. In this batch it is the excellence of John Barrell’s Poetry, Language and Politics which stands out, providing some compensatory cover for the shortcomings of its companion volumes.

Pine Trees and Vices

John Bayley, 9 April 1992

What an agreeable moment it used to be in horror films when the heroine arose from her bed in the old castle where she was staying the weekend and throwing a negligée over her nightdress...

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Versatile Monster

Marilyn Butler, 5 May 1988

The plot of Frankenstein, Chris Baldick points out, can be summed up in two sentences. ‘Frankenstein makes a living creature out of bits of corpses. The creature turns against him and runs...

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Placing Leavis

Geoffrey Hartman, 24 January 1985

The astonishing importance of Leavis in the English academic consciousness does not seem to be a passing fad. The scandal-maker of the 1930s became, by a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy, part of...

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