I wish to conclude this dual genealogy of literary education in a more reflective register, by indicating its bearing on the present state of English and modern criticism. Needless to say I am well aware of the dangers attending any such undertaking. After all, haven’t we seen that the ‘present’ is precisely the place in which the local and contingent episodes of history are overidden, subsumed within the restoration of a lost unity (culture) or the recovery of a hidden truth (science)? Too often meditations on the present have the tendency to transform historical time into something resembling Dante’s purgatory: a place where lost wedding rings, the souls of unbaptised infants and the cowls of defrocked monks circulate in limbo, awaiting the final day on which they will be restored to their truth and glory.
KeywordsLiterary Education Human Science Literary Theory Ethical Technology Positive Science
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