Pleasure and Change: The Aesthetics of Canon

Paperback | May 15, 2007

byFrank KermodeEditorRobert Alter

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The question of the canon has been the subject of debate in academic circles for over fifteen years. Pleasure and Change contains two lectures on this important subject by the distinguished literary critic Sir Frank Kermode. In essays that were originally delivered as Tanner Lectures atBerkeley in November of 2001, Kermode reinterprets the question of canon formation in light of two related and central notions: pleasure and change. He asks how aesthetic pleasure informs what we find valuable, and how this perception changes over time. Kermode also explores the role of chance,observing the connections between canon formation and unintentional and sometimes even random circumstance. Geoffrey Hartmann (Yale University), John Guillory (New York University), and Carey Perloff (director of the American Conservatory Theatre) offer incisive comments on these essays, to whichKermode responds in a lively rejoinder. The volume begins with a helpful introduction by Robert Alter. The result is a stimulating and accessible discussion of a highly significant cultural debate.

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From the Publisher

The question of the canon has been the subject of debate in academic circles for over fifteen years. Pleasure and Change contains two lectures on this important subject by the distinguished literary critic Sir Frank Kermode. In essays that were originally delivered as Tanner Lectures atBerkeley in November of 2001, Kermode reinterprets...

Sir Frank Kermode is Professor Emeritus, University of Cambridge.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:112 pages, 5 × 7.4 × 0.31 inPublished:May 15, 2007Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195309359

ISBN - 13:9780195309355

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Table of Contents

Robert Alter: IntroductionPleasure and Change1. Frank Kermode: Pleasure2. Frank Kermode: ChangeComments3. Geoffrey Hartman: The Passing of the Canon4. John Guillory: It Must Be Abstract5. Carey Perloff: The Artist and the CanonReply to Commentators6. Frank Kermode: On the Comments of the DiscussantsIndex

Editorial Reviews

"Kermode's wit and impressive breadth of reference make Pleasure and Change a compelling contribution to a debate that shows no sign of approaching a resolution."--Adam Smyth, Times Literary Supplement