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George Steiner

5 June 1980
Instaurations: Essays in and out of Literature Pindar to Pound 
by D.S. Carne-Ross.
California, 275 pp., £10.50, December 1979, 0 520 03619 0
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... will, if carefully circumscribed, have a vital presentness to the current reader. Professor Donald Carne-Ross, now of Boston University, is a reader in the best sense. He is a Classical scholar by training. There was a Vienna witticism to the effect that one could always distinguish for acutcness of diagnosis between those ...

My Americas

Donald Davie

3 September 1981
... We have all been told about the demographic shift in the United States from the North-East to the Sun Belt of the South-West; and the commentators on politics have been eager to explain that among the consequences of this shift is the Reagan Presidency. But our perception of US life and letters has not yet been affected; our listening posts on this side of the Atlantic seldom pick up the weak signals from Tucson or Albuquerque, on a wave-band still blanketed by the vociferous transmitters of New York ...
16 March 1989
Social Values and Poetic Acts: The Historical Judgment of Literary Work 
by Jerome McGann.
Harvard, 279 pp., £21.95, April 1988, 0 674 81495 9
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... According to Jerome McGann, poetry became desocialised as a result of Kant’s definition of the aesthetic experience as wholly and essentially subjective. A consequence for criticism ever since has been that ‘poetry’s historical and social relations are regarded as peripheral (“extrinsic”) concerns ...

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