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The Dying Scholar’s Confession

Geoffrey Strickland, 20 February 1986

... Now I am about to die and the secret Of my ignorance dies with me. That I put it over them the more discerning Guessed, their eyes told me, but how much I fooled them None will ever know. My secret dies with me. I die mercifully before the secret is out: The books I quoted and had not read, The names I hoarded from the talk of others And dropped into my own, The desperate webs I wove to fill The dusty silences of teaching hours ...

Comparative Everything

Geoffrey Strickland, 6 March 1980

Comparative Criticism: A Yearbook 
edited by E.S. Shaffer.
Cambridge, 327 pp., £12.50, November 1979, 0 521 22296 6
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... It is not the fault of the contributors to this volume, or even of the editor, if it reminds one of Dr Johnson’s objection to the yoking together by violence of heterogeneous ideas. Comparative Criticism is a product of comparative literature, the first chair of which was created for Francesco De Sanctis in Naples in 1871 in recognition of his services to literary history and the cause of the Risorgimento ...

Against Theory

Gerald Graff, 21 January 1982

Structuralism or Criticism? 
by Geoffrey Strickland.
Cambridge, 209 pp., £17.50, April 1981, 0 521 23184 1
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... In the noisy polemical atmosphere of contemporary literary criticism, Geoffrey Strickland’s quiet ‘thoughts on how we read’ may not have got a fair hearing. His book is an answer to the philosophical critics who have lately been questioning the assumption that literary and other texts have determinate meanings, meanings more or less under the control of their authors ...

Lucky Lucien

Stephen Vizinczey, 20 February 1986

Lucien Leuwen 
by Stendhal, translated by H.L.R. Edwards.
Boydell and Brewer, 624 pp., £6.95, June 1984, 0 85115 228 7
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... government needs to impose its will by deception. In his introductory essay to this edition, Geoffrey Strickland shows how deeply the novel is rooted in its historical period – ‘this halt in the mud’, as it was called by the popular liberal Deputy General Lamarque. But public officials ‘dying of fear and vanity’ are as common today as they ...

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