Hail to the Chief

Frank Kermode

  • Learning to Curse: Essays in Early Modern Culture by Stephen Greenblatt
    Routledge, 188 pp, £25.00, January 1991, ISBN 0 415 90173 1

As befits an undisputed chef d’école, Stephen Greenblatt includes in this latest collection an account of his own ‘intellectual trajectory’, which features a decisive revulsion from his teachers at Yale, a submission to ‘the intellectual power and moral authority’ of Raymond Williams at Cambridge, and the almost inadvertent invention of the New Historicism, the école in question.

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[*] In Comparative Criticism, Vol. XII, edited by E.S. Shaffer, Cambridge, 343 pp., £25, July 1990, 0 521 39002 8. This volume is subtitled ‘Representations of the Self’, and contains essays by J.P. Stern, Stephen Bann and others, as well as translations of Valéry by Alistair Elliot and James Greene, and a bibliography of comparative literature in Britain and Ireland for 1987.