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For ease of exposition we can imagine the space of modern criticism as a field formed between two poles. At one end is the pole of the Romantic aesthetic characterised by the practice of reconciling the ethical antinomies – of form and meaning, feeling and thought, tradition and vision, the aesthetic and the didactic – in an exemplary reading of the literary text. At the other stands the pole of the human sciences, around which is clustered a whole swarm of ‘foundational’ literary theories. All of these, however, are characterised by a single intellectual action – the restoration to consciousness of literary representation’s unthought conditions – differing only over whether these conditions are to be looked for in ‘man’s’ speaking, living or labouring being.
KeywordsHuman Science Literary Theory Liberal Education Close Reading Literary Text
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